They should've known. Inside Donald Trump's orbit, there are dozens of sycophants and stupids who, by now, should know exactly what their boss is all about. They should know that the only reasons he keeps them close is to one day betray them -- hurling them overboard like chum for prosecutors and litigators, keeping Trump insulated from harm.
Melania should know. Kushner should know. Kelly should know. Even Trump's kids should fully understand that when their despotic Dad is backed into a corner, he'll absolutely turn on them, making them scapegoats for his crimes. Paul Manafort should know, too, but something's keeping this particular traitor from turning on Trump before Trump turns on him. There's a strange loyalty at play here, and we've all wondered about it. Perhaps it's coerced through Trump's own personal kompromat operation or perhaps there's something else that's motivating Trump's people to remain this ridiculously loyal to him, knowing they could be clipped at any second.
At the very least, Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen should be aware of what's happening now.
Yesterday, in one of the most inexplicable chapters from Trump's lengthy history in the public klieg lights, the president admitted -- on camera no less -- that he had no idea Cohen entered into a non-disclosure agreement with adult film star Stormy Daniels in which Daniels was paid $130,000 to remain silent about having sex with Trump (barf).
Q: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
THE PRESIDENT: No. No. What else?
Q: Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.
Q: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t know. No.
Simply put: Trump might've just disbarred Michael Cohen -- his very own lawyer who knows exactly where the bodies are buried, so to speak. This was no accident. Trump's blurt/lie was intentional. I mean, why else would he decide now to comment on the Daniels situation other than to use Cohen as a human shield?
Entering into an agreement on behalf of a client who doesn't know about the agreement is grounds for disbarment in New York. Likewise, it'll allow Stormy Daniels to freely discuss the details of her affair with Trump. And, as if that wasn't enough, Trump's remarks will make it much more likely that Cohen will decide to flip on Trump, revealing all kinds of incriminating details about not just the Daniels situation, but also the Russia investigation.
With friends like these, right?
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has Cohen in his crosshairs on the Russia front.
We just learned yesterday via a bombshell McClatchy piece that Mueller is snooping around Cohen's involvement in various Trump Organization deals in Russia and elsewhere.
Armed with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony, Mueller’s team showed up unannounced at the home of the business associate, who was a party to multiple transactions connected to Trump’s effort to expand his brand abroad, according to persons familiar with the proceedings.
Investigators were particularly interested in interactions involving Michael D. Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former Trump Organization employee. Among other things, Cohen was involved in business deals secured or sought by the Trump Organization in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Russia.
At some point, it seems obvious that Cohen, despite his misplaced loyalty to his client, will decide to guard his own ass by grabbing Trump by his too-long tie and yanking him over the ledge. My hunch is that, as with Manafort, Mueller is coercing as many Trump insiders to blab about what they witnessed during and following the 2016 campaign, and Cohen's definitely on the shortlist.
For all of his goombah Mafia cosplaying, Cohen is the latest victim to be shoved into the Trump propeller. Many more Trump insiders are sure to follow unless, of course, they do the right thing. The big question now is this: Are they smart enough to disconnect from Trump? We'll see...