Who knew? Trump promised to drain the swamp but he forgot to tell us he was going to staff the White House with what he found at the bottom.
The cast of characters surrounding Trump is straight out of a dime store novel (for those of you old enough to remember dime stores).
Images of Trump associates strutting in and out of federal courthouses is reminiscent of and episode HBO’s “The Sopranos,” or of one of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” movies.
Remember Fredo Corleone? You know – the “smart one?” There’s that epic scene right before he gets taken out in a boat and shot for being a traitor.
- Fredo Corleone: I’m your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
- Michael Corleone: That’s the way Pop wanted it.
- Fredo Corleone: It ain’t the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect!
Sean Spicer was the original White House Fredo – but alas, he only lasted 182 days. Sarah Huckabee Sanders stepped in, lasting 300 days and counting as of Tuesday night [May 22, 2018].
By now you should have heard about Evgeny Freidman, “a significant business partner” to Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Tuesday night [May 22]] his name was splattered all over the news for agreeing to flip and cooperate with federal authorities. Better yet, he comes with his very own gangster name already – “The Taxi King.”
A business partner of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen known as the Taxi King has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings.
Evgeny Freidman, 47, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a low level felony in New York state court for stealing nearly $5 million in state taxes and has agreed to cooperate in state or federal investigations. The deal, in which he will pay the state $5 million but avoid jail time, was originally reported by the New York Times. [emphasis added]
The New York Times first broke the story, reporting that:
A significant business partner of Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, has agreed to cooperate with the government as a potential witness, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure Mr. Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Under the deal reached with the New York attorney general’s office, the partner, Evgeny A. Freidman, a Russian immigrant who is known as the Taxi King, specifically agreed to assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations, according to a person briefed on the matter.
The broadened scope of Mr. Freidman’s cooperation may prove worrisome not only to Mr. Cohen, who is the target of a continuing federal investigation, but also Mr. Trump.
The president’s lawyers are already resigned to the strong possibility that the inquiry into Mr. Cohen’s businesses could lead him to cooperate with federal prosecutors. That likelihood may now be greater, with Mr. Freidman potentially sharing what he knows with federal prosecutors in New York and the special counsel.
For those of you who have not seen a photo of Friedman yet, take a look and see for yourself if you think he looks a fitting addition to “the family.”