THE COHEN COLUMN--Trump has always cultivated the reputation of been excessively vengeful. Back in New York he would brag about getting even, multiple times over, against anyone he perceived to have slighted him.
He learned his lessons well as Barnard Law Collier, Former New York Times bureau chief in Buenos Aires, put it:
The young Donald hung like a rock groupie on every word that a hotshot lawyer named Roy Marcus Cohn spoke. The lessons he learned from Roy Cohn (and which I was party to at various steakhouse venues around midtown) were ones that Trump has clung to all of his life since.
The core Cohn commandment:
“Don’t tell me about the law, tell me about the judge.”
Immorality was defined in the Cohn/Trump realms as doing anything not of direct personal benefit to oneself or one’s “satellites.” It was considered “stupid” if adversaries would not do dirty tricks because of “morality.” Cohn taught that it was anti-business to allow one’s money-making activities to be hampered by any “moral” concept, including any bias against malicious lying, cheating, framing, and stealing.
But you don't have to actually wrong him in any way for any moment for convenience or on a whim he will throw you under the bus, no matter how loyal you have been.
The Republicans in the House found this out for themselves when Trump told Republican senators that the House health care bill, the one he twisted House arms to pass, which he publicly celebrated with them in the Rose Garden, was "mean, mean, mean." And the House members who voted for this "mean" bill are hopping, plenty mad about it. Picture the 2018 attack ads against them they see coming.
Like this would not get back to the House, like Republican senators don't talk to them, like it would not be reported to the public.
Join the crowd, Republican House members. There's plenty of room under the Trump bus. All you really have to do is jump on the Trump train. You'll end up under the Trump bus sooner or later.
Rod Rosenstein too found this out the hard way. He dutifully drafted a memo enumerating the indiscretions of James Comey, WITHOUT actually calling for Comey's firing, and found himself being blamed as the number one, two and three hatchet man for firing.
Trump would love to throw Rosenstein, the guy who appointed Special Prosecutor Mueller, under the bus again right now, by firing him too. But even he has gotten the message it would just make the obstruction of justice case against him stronger, as if it was not strong enough already.
Nonetheless there is active speculation about whether Rosenstein is thinking about recusing himself. We posited that Mueller would likely not press the Rosenstein memo angle so as not to force Rosenstein's hand, but we will not commit to a prediction about possible recusal. There is just too much flux.
The one thing we can say with certainty is that Rosenstein is not interested in being thrown under the Trump bus over and again.
Speaking of getting more than even, Trump's own big thing, all these people under the Trump bus will be and are getting even in their own way, starting of course with Rosenstein's own appointment of a
The Republicans in the House, which is where impeachment needs to start, have no inherent loyalty to Trump. Most of them did not support his candidacy. They never liked him and many outright despised him in secret, and still do. He is useful to him only as long and to the extent that he will sign the bills they wanted to pass anyway. And he has already turned on them on the very first bill they did pass.
The instant Trump's base turns on him and they will after they learn that by the time Trump was in his 40s, his working motto became …
“Over promise, under deliver, keep the difference.”
… actually still applies ... to them, then so too will the Republican Congress.
They are almost at that point now already.
They would take Veep Mike Pence in a heartbeat or of course House Speaker Paul Ryan IF Pence too is dragged own in Trump's wake. That explains why Pence has hired HIS OWN LAWYER in defense.
But what happens if the Democrats sweep the House in 2018 and retake the 3rd in line speakership position? What happens then? Indeed!
Absent some spectacular new evidentiary bombshell this will take quite a while. From Watergate to Nixon’s resignation some 26 months passed.
Expect Special Council Mueller will patiently and methodically build an ironclad case.
But nobody will get more even than the dedicated law enforcement professionals that Trump has smeared on Twitter.
In testimony, the voice of the hard-nosed Comey actually cracked when testifying about Trump denigrating his precious FBI, not to mention himself personally. Don't tell us Comey's activism in precipitating the appointment of a special prosecutor was not, at least in part, an act of getting even.
And Trump has done the same thing to Mueller and his entire team, trashing them as "bad and conflicted" people.
Their way of getting even is to put him in prison, for every CRIMINAL thing he has ever done, respecting the applicable statute of limitations, of course.
And they are now quite determined to do it.
We predict that Trump will end up under his own bus . . . alone.
(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and occasional contributor to CityWatch.)