Book Review: Disloyal


Michael Cohen testifying before the House Oversight Committee

I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them.

– Michael Cohen

In Disloyal, A Memoir:  The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump, Michael Cohen digs up all those skeletons and asks for penance.  It is clear this teetotaler was drunk on Trump’s Kool-Aid and didn’t sober up until he was behind bars for being Trump’s fixer.  He admits with conviction that he sold his soul to bask in the celebrity and power of the Boss.

“You’re family,” Trump said to my son and me.

And I fucking believed him.

Mr. Cohen knew what he was doing was wrong as he destroyed people who dared cross Trump.  Hell, he enjoyed squashing people like bugs and had a vast network of people willing to be complicit.  This was especially true among Trump’s inner circle of powerful sexual predators.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard the phrase “circle jerk” which describes the high they feel as they brag about their dastardly deeds.  Yes, “jerk” means what you think it means.

“The President of the United States wanted me dead” is the opening sentence of the book.  I know exactly how that feels because a retired state supreme court judge wants me dead too.  As I read this book, it was clear how easy it must have been for the judge to surround himself with a merry band of enablers eager to curry favor and have dirt on a powerful man.

I knew he wanted me gone before I could tell the nation what I know about him. . .I was exactly the person Trump was talking about when he said he could shoot and kill someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. . .

I knew him better than even his family did, because I bore witness to the real man. . .in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was:  a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man. . .Trump has no true friends.  He has lived his entire life avoiding and evading taking responsibility for his actions.  He crushed or cheated all who stood in his way.

Jake, Laura, Samantha, and Michael Cohen the day he was sentenced.

Donald Trump was like a mafia don, in a sense, and I wanted to be his soldier in the worst way. . .I was exactly like Rudolph Giuliani would become:  the crazed advocate mocking others and proving my unquestioning loyalty, even as it led to ruin.

– Michael Cohen, Disloyal

Mr. Cohen came from an affluent Jewish family.  His father was a physician and Holocaust survivor from Poland.  His fascination with the Mafia stemmed from odd jobs he did at his playboy Uncle Morty Levine’s club, El Caribe.  He was in awe of their swagger and oblivious to where that path would take him.  His family frequently voiced their objections to his work with Trump, but he was “addicted” to the power.  In a lot of respects, Trump seduced him much like narcissistic, abusive men lure women into their nets.

It didn’t occur to me that the entire spectacle had been staged for my benefit. . .it was part of a performance meant to draw me into Trump’s centrifugal force, precisely in the way a con man draws a mark into his world.  Like a confidence artist, Trump was showing me that he inhabited a different type of reality. . .a world that was filled with wonder and excitement and power and intrigue and adulation.  All I had to do was do what I was told, without question or a second thought.  I didn’t just accept this invitation; I leapt at it. . .That was me:  shoveling shit but part of the show. . .a surrogate and attack dog with a law license.

The book confirms Trump’s guilt in most of the sordid stories we’ve heard during the last five years as well as how Trump perceives his cult:

. . .his voters are his audience, his chumps, his patsies, his base. . .I told Congress that Trump is a con man.

Trump Hair

Trump’s crazy “flip, flop, flap” hairstyle is designed to hide ugly red scars due to a botched hair transplant.

My sense after reading the book is that Mr. Cohen is hoping Trump will get a well-deserved visit from Karma at 12:01 PM on January 20 shortly after he’s evicted from the White House.

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