By Abdulaziz Al-Anjeri
In his best-selling book, Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J Trump, Michael Cohen forecasts that President Trump would do everything in his power to avoid federal criminal prosecution if he loses the 2020 US presidential election to Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Released in September 2020, Cohen believed Trump would resign from office sometime during the 11 weeks between losing the election and Biden’s inauguration, hand over the Presidency to his Vice President, Mike Pence, and obligate a President Pence to pardon him.
“My theory is that if he loses, there’s still the time between the election and the time that the next president will take office. And during that time my suspicion is that he will resign as president, he will allow Mike Pence to take over, and he will then go ahead and have Mike Pence pardon him,” Cohen said in an television interview earlier this year with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“It’s a very Nixon type of event,” said Cohen, who is serving out the rest of his three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress about his pursuit of a Trump real estate deal in Moscow during the 2016 campaign cycle. As expected, the White House and President Trump himself have dismissed Cohen’s comments about the president as the words of a “desperate” man who lost all credibility after he was convicted and sentenced for lying to the United States Congress in 2017.
As American history reminds us all, the pardon of Richard Nixon was issued by US President Gerald Ford on September 8, 1974. By it, Ford granted Nixon, his predecessor, a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president. In particular, the pardon covered Nixon’s actions during the Watergate scandal.
American opinion writer and columnist Brent Budowsky views this in a very similar fashion, “A presidential pardon by Pence would not offer protection from cases originating in states, but those cases will be far more manageable if they are not sunk into a morass of federal cases that only a federal pardon can protect him from.”
Without a federal pardon, Budowsky continues, Trump will almost certainly spend his coming years stuck in federal cases that not only threaten his freedom, but also his ability to secure lucrative multibillion-dollar business deals capitalizing off of his presidency and media savvy. Moreover, this could even dim his chances to run for the White House again in 2024. This could even affect the chances of his son Donald Jr or daughter, Ivanka to run if they are caught up in this as well. If there is one thing that is real and constant nowadays: it’s the fact that President Trump does not like to lose or admit defeat.
Even now, a month after the recent presidential election, President Trump has yet to clearly concede his election defeat despite the fact his own US Attorney General Bill Barr acknowledged that if there was any election fraud it would not have affected the final outcome of a victory for President-elect Joe Biden. Rather than accepting defeat, the president continues to flood American courts with civil lawsuits and theories about how his re-election was stolen away from him by claims of fraud and conspiracies by Democratic operatives, opponents, the media and both Republican and Democratic state officials.
Others have even surmised and speculated that President Trump would himself pardon members of his family, himself, and others who may be caught up in any federal inquiry. In doing this. Donald Trump and his hallmark “Art of the Deal” would save himself and those remaining loyalists that matter to him.
Finally and it is important to remember that the Manhattan, New York District Attorney’s office has launched its own separate investigations into President Trump and the Trump organization. Will Trump take his case to Twitter and mobilize a campaign of denial in the state that made him or will this break him? As a private citizen, will Twitter censure Trump’s tweets? The best is yet to come. Never a dull moment in Trump world! It is going to be an interesting five weeks until the inauguration of President-elect Biden. Will Trump resign the day before a Biden Presidency to dominate the news of the day and take away the headlines from President Biden? Who really knows.
Al-Anjeri is founder and CEO of Reconnaissance Research.