Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah predicted a bitter end for President Donald Trump after federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) filed a sentencing memo in the Michael Cohen case which accused the 45th president of directing his longtime attorney and fixer to commit felonies.
During a Saturday appearance on MSNBC’s Up With David Gura, the Haub Law Professor at Pace Law School and longtime SDNY prosecutor offered her analysis on how the Cohen matter relates to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s wide-ranging Russiagate investigation into electoral interference and corruption.
“What changed yesterday?” the eponymous host asked Rocah. “How pivotal was it?”
To which Rocah replied:
I think it was very pivotal…When Cohen pled guilty to the lying about the Trump Tower-Moscow [deal] last week, that was huge in and of itself. Now, we have Mueller talking about–sort of getting into the substance of that a little bit more in the filings about Cohen’s cooperation, right? And while it’s not spelled out, I think what’s coming to light more and more is that those business deals that Cohen lied about–and I’ll talk about maybe others who might have lied about it in a second–are so intertwined with this campaign, collusion, election interference that we’ve all been focused on. And we’ve sort of been focused on that one piece of it. And what’s starting to take shape, I think, is a narrative, if you will, that Mueller has long known, but I think we’re just starting to see it. And Mueller knows so much more about it than we’ve yet to see. But it’s this idea of the business and the political intertwining. That is ultimately I think what is going to bring down Trump, frankly.
The SDNY’s former chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Unit continued to hammer Trump for his business-minded attitude and how it may have led to criminal activity.
“Because it is the greediness, it is the inability to let go of his desire to seek these business opportunities in Moscow,” she said. “It’s this longstanding relationship that we now know went back to 2015 when people were seeking out–when Russians were seeking out [and] talking to Trump about, we think, business opportunities and probably a campaign. So I think this is in some ways bigger than any of us had imagined in items of the scheme that was orchestrated.”
Rocah also pumped the breaks a bit and admitted that the whole story had yet to be told.
“Now who orchestrated it and who had knowledge of different parts of it?” she asked out loud. “We’re, I think, still figuring it out. We know Cohen had some knowledge of it and some pieces of it. But in my mind, you’ve got different players in sort of different areas.”
The distinguished criminal justice fellow at Pace Law School also highlighted another key aspect of the SDNY filing.
“The other big thing that I think came out of [the recent Mueller and SDNY filings] is the coordination of the lies,” Rocah said. “Cohen’s lies to Congress. Manafort’s lies to the FBI…you have this idea of people sending signals or getting their stories straight both publicly and privately. And you know who else does that is Donald Trump. So, a lot of what was written about Cohen–in both filings–could have been written about Trump.”
[image via screengrab/MSNBC]