Michael Cohen -- Trump's loyal fixer

He's known as the President's longtime personal attorney. But he has been called Donald Trump's Capo. His mini-me. Hi...

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 11:41 AM
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 11:41 AM

He's known as the President's longtime personal attorney. But he has been called Donald Trump's Capo. His mini-me. His pitbull.

He's been compared to the Showtime character Ray Donovan who cleans up after Hollywood stars and to Roy Cohn, Trump's former lawyer and the controversial attorney for Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the 1960s red scare.

Michael Cohen described his role in the Trump Organization in his own words in a 2011 CNN interview: "I protect Mr. Trump. If there's an issue that relates to Mr. Trump, that is of concern to him it's of course of concern to me and I will use my legal skills to protect Mr. Trump to the best of my ability."

Now, those skills are under intense scrutiny. There are dueling court arguments over the validity of a nondisclosure agreement he drafted for adult film star Stormy Daniels (who is suing Cohen for defamation), questions about whether Trump knew about the $130,000 paid for her silence and still more questions about the origins of the money itself.

But those who know Cohen -- and his relationship with Trump -- say there's no question at all about his all-consuming desire to serve his boss.

"He took care of a lot of things for Mr. Trump without Mr. Trump knowing about it. That's part of the overall structure is that Michael had great latitude to take care of matters," said David Schwartz, who has been friends with Cohen since the 1990s. "He's the guy that you could call at three (o'clock) in the morning when you have a problem and you need something taken care of."

Something, Schwartz said, he's witnessed often.

"Every dinner I've been at with Michael, the boss has called," he said.

Cohen's abilities to solve problems for Trump were well-known both inside the Trump Organization and the Trump Campaign.

"He took care of what had to be taken of. I don't know what had to be taken care of. But all I know was Michael was taking care of it," Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told CNN.

Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio described it like this: "It's almost like something out of the 1930's, Guys-and-Dolls kind of New York, where there's a guy who knows a guy and he can get things done."

Getting things done

He has been getting things done for Trump since 2007. Cohen, who had bought apartments in some of Trump's New York buildings, lobbied for Trump in a dispute with a group of residents. Cohen -- and Trump -- won.

"Trump loved him for it, and that was the beginning of it. And then after that they became close," Schwartz said.

Impressed at his ability to represent his interests, Trump hired him away from the New York law firm where he had been practicing.

"If you look where Michael came from in his legal career before he started working for Trump (Organization), it wasn't like he came from a white shoe law firm, he came from you know a hard-nosed New York trial firm. Trump has an eye for talent, and this was somebody that I mean, he used to call him his bulldog, his tough guy, and I think Michael was able to really form a bond with the President," Nunberg said.

Cohen's tasks in the organization ranged from running a Trump-backed Mixed Martial Arts company to real estate branding deals. At one point, he even arranged an engine repair for Trump's plane.

But his most important task was being there for whatever Trump needed.

"They say I'm Mr. Trump's pitbull, that I'm his right-hand man. I've been called many different things around (The Trump Organization). What I am is a loyal employee. I like the man. A lot," Cohen said in 2011.

"It was much more than an attorney client relationship. It was certainly it was something much deeper, almost father and son kind of kind of thing, always hot and cold," Schwartz said. "Donald Trump could be yelling at him one second and saying he's the greatest person in the world the next second. Donald Trump knew that Michael always had his back and, of course, he loved loyalty. And Michael is very loyal to Trump."

Investigations

That loyalty has put Cohen in the sights of both special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators who are questioning Cohen's negotiations to build a Trump tower in Moscow even though the project never materialized.

Cohen's name is also mentioned in the infamous dossier that was compiled on then-candidate Trump. It alleges he traveled to Prague to meet with Russians -- a charge Cohen has denied. He is suing BuzzFeed which published the dossier.

When Trump became President, Cohen did not come to Washington with him -- and has also left the Trump Organization to work independently.

Cohen -- a sometimes-Democrat -- briefly entered politics himself in 2013 when he ran and lost for a New York City Council seat in 2003. But may have missed out on a White House job exactly because of his past success serving his boss, according to D'Antonio, the Trump biographer said.

"He was such a good fixer for Donald Trump the business mogul that he couldn't serve him in the White House," he said. Cohen "not only knows where all the bodies are buried he buried a lot of them himself. And that ironically disqualified him."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1097128

Reported Deaths: 17438
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1437882222
Lake712531225
Allen65537867
Hamilton50147482
St. Joseph48760639
Elkhart39461538
Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
Hendricks25845379
Porter25014381
Madison20656444
Clark19898275
Vigo18764308
LaPorte16857260
Delaware16425291
Howard16408311
Monroe16379217
Kosciusko13936163
Hancock12841185
Bartholomew12686188
Warrick11995189
Wayne11879265
Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
Henry9002165
Marshall8907146
Dearborn881799
Dubois8710139
Shelby8054128
Cass8014127
Lawrence7922182
DeKalb7591106
Huntington7448108
Jackson743893
Gibson7002118
Montgomery6910123
Harrison685296
Knox6827113
Steuben654186
Miami6477107
Whitley642260
Putnam631982
Clinton618976
Wabash6060108
Jasper601791
Jefferson5689103
Ripley549192
Adams532381
Daviess5003116
Scott480378
Wells471799
White468767
Greene461799
Clay457462
Decatur4529109
Jennings439666
Fayette435694
LaGrange419290
Posey403244
Washington384154
Randolph3818107
Fountain368362
Spencer355846
Fulton355572
Starke348772
Owen346276
Sullivan344954
Orange324470
Jay318650
Rush298332
Carroll289438
Franklin286744
Perry283253
Vermillion280458
Tipton247365
Parke246330
Pike244144
Blackford218044
Pulaski205658
Newton179052
Brown171850
Crawford167929
Benton163217
Martin150819
Switzerland145112
Warren132216
Union117816
Ohio91413
Unassigned0585

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1683472

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
Summit702171199
Lucas618431017
Butler55878803
Stark525841170
Lorain41058639
Warren35404412
Mahoning35095769
Lake31445493
Clermont30711362
Delaware26682182
Trumbull26664611
Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 34°
Huntington
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 34°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 35°
The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday before cooler air returns to the Midwest.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events