The Ghost Of Roy Cohn

The Don McGahn quest finally succeeded last week. The right-wing former White House counsel who looks like a liberal was subpoenaed two years ago but fought it and kicked the can down the road until it was seriously dented.

The transcript was released this week. It’s all over the interweb but I checked it out at the Lawfare blog because it’s searchable.

Most of McGahn’s testimony confirms what was written about him in the Mueller Report. No surprise there, he was one of the primary sources for Team Mueller, which is why he’s about as popular at Mar-a-Doorn as Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler.

The most interesting bits of the transcript to me at least are the parts about Roy Cohn who Trump considered a great man and I consider one of the worst people to come out of New York City. Something he has in common with the Kaiser of Chaos, but Donald never worked for Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. They were both, however, Democrats when it aided whatever grift they were running at a given time.

I hereby present the passages about Roy Cohn with some commentary. Somebody had to do it, so why not me? I still have my lawyer hat on, after all.

It turns out that McGahn’s father was a lawyer who attended NYU Law School. Guess who one of his profs was:

McGahn:  My dad also had Roy Cohn as a professor in law school, if you must know, but that’s a separate issue.

I wonder what Cohn taught: Redbaiting 101 or Mob Lawyering? Enquiring minds want to know even if David Pecker does not. If that were my last name, I’d change it in a heartbeat just like Peter Marshall of Hollywood Squares fame changed his last name from La Cock. Imagine the fun Paul Lynde would have had with that.

McGahn: And then as the report indicates, his response is in the report, and he invoked, you know, Roy Cohn apparently didn’t take notes.

Q:  So was it your understanding that he thought great lawyers like Roy Cohn did not take notes?

McGahn:  He said that, yes. Not only did I think that, I heard him say that, yes.

Q: And what was your reaction to that?

McGahn: I didn’t really have one. My recollection is I didn’t really respond. And this was not the first time that Roy Cohn has sort of — the ghost of Roy had come into the Oval Office, so it didn’t seem to be a point worth responding to and, you know, he’s the President, he gets the last word.

The Ghost of Roy Cohn? A genuinely terrifying thought. As far as I know the only president who allowed Cohn to darken the White House door was Ronald Reagan. He was a redbaiting witch hunter himself in his Hollywood days. I wonder if Cohn ate any jellybeans. Ronnie had a sense of humor so maybe he gave Cohn some red ones. Oh, sweet mysteries of life.

 Q:  What was your reaction to being compared to Roy Cohn?

McGahn: What was my reaction to what?

Q:  To being compared to Roy Cohn.

McGahn:  My reaction — well, this wasn’t the first time. You know, I really didn’t want to be compared to Roy Cohn…

Q: Why not?

McGahn: I don’t recall specifically, but Roy Cohn was not really my role model anyway, so saying I was no Roy Cohn, in a weird way, I thought, that’s good, he doesn’t think I’m that sort of lawyer.

Q: But the President was suggesting that you should be more like Roy Cohn who was a great lawyer, correct?

McGahn:  Well, you know, I think he had already made his point that he really had a fondness for Roy Cohn.

Cohn was one of the few people as ugly inside and out as the Impeached Insult Comedian. Cohn ran a master class in grifting for Trump who had learned the basics from dear old dad.

Q: What was your reaction to being compared to Roy Cohn?

McGahn:  What was my reaction to what?

Q: To being compared to Roy Cohn.

McGahn:  My reaction — well, this wasn’t the first time. Report speaks to an earlier time. You know, I really didn’t want to be compared to Roy Cohn —

Q: Why not?

McGahn: — in any way, shape, or form. I understand he was, you know, a brilliant lawyer in certain ways but had some ethical trouble later in his career.

Q: And by “ethical trouble,” do you mean he was ultimately disbarred for unethical conduct?

McGahn A Yes. Yes. You know, I may have mentioned that at some point in some of these exchanges. I don’t recall specifically, but Roy Cohn was not really my role model anyway, so saying I was no Roy Cohn, in a weird way, I thought, that’s good, he doesn’t think I’m that sort of lawyer.

Q: But the President was suggesting that you should be more like Roy Cohn who was a great lawyer, correct?

McGahn: Well, you know, I think he had already made his point that he really had a fondness for Roy Cohn.

Q: And the sentence after that reads: The President expressed anger at McGahn about the recusal and brought up Roy Cohn, stating that he wished Cohn was his attorney. He brought up Roy Cohn and essentially wished he still had Roy Cohn: Where is my Roy Cohn? What did you take him —

McGahn:  I took that to mean I was not his Roy Cohn.

I have to give McGahn credit for knowing that being like Roy Cohn was not a good thing. Cohn’s picture was in the dictionary next to unethical sleazy lawyer. His entire career was a disbarment waiting to happen.

It’s a pity that McGahn’s ethics didn’t extend to the Kavanaugh Mess. Justice Bro was his guy and he helped ram the confirmation through. George W Bush agreed and pushed hard for Justice I Like Beer to take his place on SCOTUS. The malakatude, it burns.

It was ironic that Trump called the Mueller Probe a witch hunt. Roy Cohn was one of the leading witch hunters of his time. He was involved in the Rosenberg case and knew that Ethel was not guilty, and Julius was a small fry. I’ve already mentioned his time with the drunken redbaiter from Cheeseland. Ron Johnson is a piker compared to Joe McCarthy.

Don McGahn’s testimony may not lead to any direct action BUT it’s an important part of the historical record. I’m one of those who thinks it’s as important to learn how and why things happened during the Trump regime as it is to prosecute the wrongdoers.

Finally, a reminder that even if Donald Trump is convicted of a crime, he can still run for office from prison. Eugene V. Debs received 913, 664 votes while languishing in federal prison in 1920. Debs was a political prisoner locked up for his anti-war views. Trump is, of course, a criminal who deserves everything the justice system can throw at him.

Stay tuned.

The last word is as obvious as it is inevitable. It goes to REM:

 

2 thoughts on “The Ghost Of Roy Cohn

  1. rob says:

    I wonder if Cohn and J.Edgar. ever vacationed together?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: