- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, was allegedly secretly recorded by comedian Tom Arnold claiming he was not responsible for some of the crimes he pleaded guilty to in August.

“There is no tax evasion. And the HELOC? I have an 18% loan-to-value on my home. How could there be a HELOC issue? How? Right? It’s a lie,” he said in the March 25th call, reportedly recorded with Cohen’s knowledge, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While he admits they had him “on campaign finance,” he denies committing five counts of tax evasion and one count of “understating his debt and equity” while applying for a home equity line of credit, or HELOC.

Cohen lamented about nobody “stepping up” for him when he has “lost everything.” 

“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything, I mean everything.’ My family’s happiness, my law license, I lost my business. My insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about,” he said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance laws for hush-money payments he says were given to porn star Stormy Daniels, a claim that Mr. Trump has denied.

The attorney added he chose to lie because because prosecutors were starting to target his wife.

“I love this woman. I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap, and I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence,” Cohen said.

Mr. Arnold allegedly recorded the full 36-minute call because Cohen “tapes everything, and I wanted to remember what we talked about.”

Lanny J. Davis, Cohen’s attorney, said in a written statement that nothing contradicts what the former lawyer said, adding special counsel Robert Mueller called Cohen’s cooperation in the Russia investigation “credible.”

“Nothing said by Mr. Cohen to Tom Arnold contradicts Mr. Cohen’s previous defense attorney, Guy Petrillo, in his sentencing memorandum to the presiding federal US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III back in December,” he said.

“I would also add the important words used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others, in describing Michael Cohen’s cooperation and testimony as ‘credible’ addressing the ‘core’ issues involved in his investigation,” Mr. Davis added.

Mr. Arnold, who has been a vocal critic of Mr. Trump, tweeted a photo of him and Cohen in June of 2018 and told NBC News that Cohen “has all the tapes.”

“I say to Michael, ‘Guess what? We’re taking Trump down together,’ and he’s so tired he’s like, ‘OK,’ and his wife is like, ‘OK, f—k Trump,’ ” Mr. Arnold said.

Cohen would later tweet they never discussed Mr. Trump, and it “was a chance, public encounter.”

Cohen was Mr. Trump’s fixer for more 10 years. He pleaded guilty last August to campaign finance violations, bank fraud, financial crimes and lying to Congress. He is slated to serve his three-year prison sentence in May.

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