Michael Cohen says he believes Trump has a plan to save himself from criminal prosecution if he loses in November.
“My suspicion is that he will resign as president. He will allow Mike Pence to take over, and he will then go ahead and have Mike Pence pardon him.”
Trump has also claimed he can pardon himself (which would go to the Supreme Court) making a pardon from Pence more a sure thing.
Cohen turned against his former boss in 2018 when he cooperated with investigators, testified before Congress and pleaded guilty to numerous criminal charges, including lying to Congress and violating campaign finance law, which he says he did for Trump.
Maddow asks Cohen,
“You write that the president personally approved that insane story in the National Enquirer that was basically that Ted Cruz‘s dad killed JFK,” and that “in fact, President Trump personally demanded that that photo of … Ted Cruz’s dad appear on the front page of the Enquirer.”
“Do you know if Sen. Cruz knows that Donald Trump approved that personally and made that happen personally?”
“Well, he does now,”
Maddow also asked,
“You also say that the Enquirer, one after another, did hit pieces on all of President Trump’s primary rivals. Was the president involved in okaying all of those stories, too?”
Cohen said yes,
“David Pecker would reach out to me and he would give me a list of things that he was intending to do in order to squash Ted Cruz’s or Marco Rubio‘s rise. Whoever was rising in the polls, that’s who became the person that we needed to knock out of the race.”
When Pecker sent him the “salacious rumors” about the rising candidates, Cohen said, he would discuss the smears with Trump, and he would approve them. Then Pecker would run them. Maddow called that
“a remarkable campaign contribution to the Donald Trump for President campaign.”
Cohen alone in this scandal was sentenced to three years in prison, which he is now serving at home.
His new book, Disloyal: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump is out now.