Booked Up with Jen Taub
December 11, 2022
In This Episode:
Michael Cohen was the personal lawyer and fixer for Donald J. Trump for more than a decade. He is now a top-selling author and host of the popular Mea Culpa podcast which, as of our Booked Up interview, had 65 million downloads. His new book, REVENGE, a New York Times bestseller, published in October 2022, reveals the high price Cohen paid for telling the truth about Trump.
In early 2019, Cohen testified under oath before a Congressional Committee, describing in detail the corrupt manner in which his former boss manipulated on paper the value of his various properties for purposes of deceiving prospective lenders and taxing authorities. Unlike others in Trump’s orbit, Cohen chose to testify against his former boss and also cooperate with law enforcement. His work with the New York Attorney General has led to a civil lawsuit against Trump and businesses related to among other charges, bank fraud, tax fraud, and business records falsification. And his cooperation with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office contributed to the landmark conviction of two Trump Organization businesses and may lead to further criminal charges by the DA and even federal authorities.
Cohen’s first book, DISLOYAL, shot to the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller’s list when it came out in September 2020. In this candid memoir, Cohen owned up to his misplaced admiration for Donald Trump, describing himself as “a demented follower willing to do anything for him, including, as I vowed once to a reporter, to take a bullet.”
His latest book, REVENGE, takes a hard look at how he was treated under Bill Barr’s Department of Justice, including what happened when he was out of prison on furlough, and about to sign the official release papers and get his electronic monitoring bracelet. The bureau of prisons team demanded he give up the right to publish his book or even speak to the press in exchange for his release. When he and his lawyer objected to these provisions asking to negotiate, the team disappeared for over an hour, seemingly to speak to their superiors. There was no negotiation. They came back, shackled Cohen and remanded him back to prison. He remained in solitary confinement for two weeks, until a judge took Cohen’s side, ordered his release, admonishing the government for retaliating against him for the plan to publish DISLOYAL.The judge said “I’ve never seen such a clause in 21 years of being a judge and sentencing people and looking at terms of supervised release. Why would the Bureau of Prisons ask for something like this … unless there was a retaliatory purpose?”
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