consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Judge a man by the company he keeps. Or kept. Not to say anything against former NYC mayor Ed Koch. But Roy Cohn, COHN! [UPDATED]

Shocked, SHOCKED! This image, again a Politico screen capture as with the item below. This one online, here.

Putting a perspective on things, for those thinking when Norm Coleman gets within ten feet of a weasel meter he pins the sucker; make it a kilometer for Roy Cohn. In the 1970's he spoke at the SUNY Buffalo Law School, and afterwards I asked if after years had passed he still thought the Red Menace was real, and he did. Or said so at any rate.

Trump's penchant to sue at the drop of a hat may well be grounded on rubbing elbows with Cohn, who was rumored to not engender bad press because he'd sue faster than Larry Klaymen ever would, and would deep pocket the poor defendant to death; as a learning experience for others, never mind the cost. That was rumor. Legend. True perhaps. Perhaps not.

From the Politico item,

In 1986, three years after Trump Tower opened, Roy Cohn was disbarred for attempting to steal from a client, lying and other conduct that an appellate court found “particularly reprehensible.”

Trump testified that Cohn, who was dying from AIDS, was a man of good character who should keep his license to practice law.

This was not the only time Trump went to bat publicly for a criminal.

That excerpt goes beyond rumor, unless Cohn was never disbarred and died of other causes. He was the lead assistant to Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy's Red Scare, where Eisenhower finally ran out of patience and took McCarthy down. Lead counsel to McCarthy's investigative committee, ostensibly the one putting those papers in Joe's briefcase.

Turns out McCarthy never was a Tail Gunner, in the sense of flying sorties in that protective back end of a WW II bomber.

But the Politico item is about Trump, not McCarthy nor about Cohn. It paints, as expected, an unfavorable picture; so will Trump sue Politico and the author, or hold back? We wait. We see.

Hat tip to MPP, this item, for the Politico link; see, also;, HERE, an item largely cumulative to the Politico piece.

Check the homepage, and consider the site unfavorable toward Republican politicians, deservedly or not:

Perhaps it is coincidence, or it might have been a director's intent, but compare an image of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, with the opening Roy Cohn image. Is it mainly the cold hard stare, or also comparable facial features?

There are allegations online that the Trump-Cohn alliance was not a casual infrequent thing; the term "mentor" showing up; e.g., here, here and here. And after Cohn died, the taxman lingered. All the more reason to be curious about Trump's tax returns. Reading of Trump University, can one think of Roy Cohn litigating such stuff, had he lived long enough for it? At any rate, the company Donald Trump kept arguably is relevant in weighing his fitness to lead a nation.

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Three more, here, here and here. Unsavory? You decide.

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With Roy Cohn firmly in the Trump resume, crime fighter in Gotham City gives a speech. The Ted Cruz speech rang truer to me, even with Ted being Ted, but opinions can vary.

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While not directly related to Trump or Cohn, but turning up in a Google Scholar search for "Roy Cohn disbarred," there is a U.S. v. Wolfish case online, one that could be made into a comedy film, where Cohn's name incidentally appears and where the defendant's chutzpah was of an equal plane with that of Cohn and/or Trump. Other than having amusement value that way, it has no relevant place in this post.

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Regarding the latest Trump "keeping his name in the news" situation, Strib's editorial board is adamant:

Once again, a low blow from Donald Trump -- Feud with parents of son who died serving the United States is despicable. By Editorial Board Star Tribune, August 2, 2016 — 8:21am

[...] Roger Stone, a Trump confidante, has suggested — with no evidence whatsoever — that Khan was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, a despicable rumor. Trump also has suggested that Ghazala Khan did not speak during her husband’s appearance because she wasn’t “allowed” to.

Trump’s temperament is no longer an issue in the race. It is the issue. The U.S. president is challenged on every decision and excoriated frequently by opponents and even allies. A person whose response to every critique is to lash out will only burn bridges.

Trump’s latest outburst has cost him even more Republican support and a public tongue-lashing from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Roger Stone arguably fits into the Cohn-Trump pairing, arguably making it a troika. The following links are to sources not previously cited. Two are focused on Stone's presence in Trump's life voyage; here and here; and a third item is a WaPo post republished by Fresno Bee, (online here and worth reading in its entirety). It, mid-item, notes:

Journalists and contemporaries of both men, including a close political ally of Trump, said there was more to the relationship than Trump now acknowledges. Cohn himself once said he was “not only Donald’s lawyer but also one of his close friends.” Roger Stone, a political operative who met Trump through Cohn, said their association was grounded in business, but he also described the lawyer as “like a cultural guide to Manhattan” for Trump into the worlds of celebrity and power. “Roy was more than his personal lawyer,” Stone told The Post. “And, of course, Trump was a trophy client for Roy.”

Investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, who spent dozens of hours interviewing Cohn and Trump beginning in the 1970s, once wrote in “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall” that Cohn began to “assume a role in Donald’s life far transcending that of a lawyer. He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser.”

Barrett now says Cohn’s stamp on Trump is obvious. “I just look at him and see Roy,” Barrett said in an interview. “Both of them are attack dogs.”

Unrestrained attack dogs, if the McCain opinion holds sway. Unrepentant attack dogs. Trump, as noted by Cruz is a New Yorker, and New Yorker published, with this opening -

Dept. of Fixers - May 2, 2016 Issue: Bad Old Days - The political provocateur Roger Stone talks about his long friendship with Trump. By Jeffrey Toobin

Roger Stone, the political provocateur, visited the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel on primary day last week to reminisce about his long friendship with Donald Trump. It started in 1979, when Stone was a twenty-six-year-old aide in Ronald Reagan’s Presidential campaign. Michael Deaver, a more senior campaign official, instructed Stone to start fund-raising in New York. “Mike gave me a recipe box full of index cards, supposedly Reagan’s contacts in New York,” Stone said. “Half the people on the cards were dead. A lot of the others were show-business people, but there was one name I recognized—Roy Cohn.” So Stone presented himself at the brownstone office of Cohn, the notorious lawyer and fixer.

“I go into Roy’s office,” Stone continued, “and he’s sitting there in his silk bathrobe, and he’s finishing up a meeting with Fat Tony Salerno,” the boss of the Genovese crime family. Stone went on, “So Tony says, ‘Roy here says we’re going with Ree-gun this time.’ That’s how he said it—‘Ree-gun.’ Roy told him yes, we’re with Reagan. Then I said to Roy that we needed to put together a finance committee, and Roy said, ‘You need Donald and Fred Trump.’ He said Fred, Donald’s father, had been big for Goldwater in ’64. I went to see Donald, and he helped to get us office space for the Reagan campaign, and that’s when we became friends.”

Stone is now sixty-two, and he’s allowed his hair, which used to be a kind of yellow, to evolve into a shade more suitable for an √©minence grise than for an enfant terrible. He has played roles in many of his generation’s political dirty-tricks scandals. He was just nineteen when he had a bit part in Watergate; he sent campaign contributions in the name of the Young Socialist Alliance to the campaign of Pete McCloskey, who was running against Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1972. Almost three decades later, he helped choreograph the so-called Brooks Brothers riot, which shut down the Bush v. Gore recount in Miami-Dade County.

Over the years, too, Stone shepherded Trump’s political ambitions through several near-runs for the Presidency. “In 1988, I arranged for him to speak to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chamber of Commerce—that was his first political trip,” Stone said. “There was lots of speculative publicity. He liked the attention. He liked the buzz. He’s the greatest promoter of all time.”

When you factor in that Ronald Reagan's presidency was the worse thing that happened to our nation, until George W. Bush's, and that sleaze bags including two Trump generations had a hand in it happening, the man, Donald Trump, comes to resemble the second coming of the Gip; and that is cause alone to despise him and to wish him ill.

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