The Brew: Cohen Admits to Stealing from Trump, Judge Battles Devastating Defense Witness

Plus, shocking admissions from the NIH.

"That guy right there stole from me ... yet I'm the one facing the Big House."

By Al Perrotta Published on May 21, 2024

Happy Tuesday!

Your Brew is served.

Michael Cohen Admits He Stole Tens of Thousands from Trump

The prosecution in former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” case has rested – or should I say collapsed – after yet another day that’ll live in legal infamy.

Trump lawyer: “Did you steal from the Trump organization?”

Michael Cohen: “Yes, sir.”

Whoa. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen — and the prosecution’s chief witness — admitted Monday he stole tens of thousands of dollars from Donald Trump — at one point even stuffing the cash in brown paper bags. The way it worked is Cohen would arrange a settlement, report a lower amount to the Trump organization, and pocket the difference.

Even CNN admits Cohen’s crime is worse than anything Trump’s being accused of. Cohen’s a crook. No surprise. That Cohen stole from Trump yet Trump’s the one on trial in New York is also no surprise.

However, Cohen also testified that he told the feds about the theft, and not only did they not charge him with a crime, they let him keep the dough.

Let’s put it another way: The feds own Cohen.

Jonathan Turley details the rather remarkable confession-slash-indictment of the feds. Add to Cohen’s revelation the fact that his former attorney, Robert Costello, told Congress last week the feds also knew Cohen had told him repeatedly, “I swear to God, Bob, I have nothing on Trump” — and the end result is that D.A. Alvin Bragg is now in deep doo-doo.

As we said on The Brew yesterday, the best thing Judge Juan Merchan can do is give a directed verdict, call Trump “not guilty,” and then head for the hills, leaving Bragg to hold the bag. But at the moment, the defense case is underway and Merchan is still putting his thumb on the scale.

Defense Begins: Costello Testifies Trump Didn’t Have Any Idea About Payment to Daniels

And onto the stand comes Robert Costello, a nightmare for the prosecution.

Costello is a.) very credible and experienced, b.) very good at telling the story in a compelling way, and c.) sounds like he just walked out of an episode of Law & Order.

He’s told the jury Cohen repeatedly said, “I swear to God, Bob. I have nothing on Donald Trump.” Boom.

And he’s testified that Cohen insisted Trump had nothing to do with the “hush money” payment to Stormy Daniels. Boom.

The prosecution kept objecting to Costello’s testimony, the Biden-donor judge kept sustaining their objections … and Costello kept answering the question anyway. Crafty. Costello’s making sure the jury hears what he has to say, despite the judge’s best efforts. Merchan ended up admonishing Costello.

Put Costello’s testimony (and the fact that the prosecution and judge don’t want the jury to hear it) on top of Cohen’s confessions, and that New York jury is going to be ticked. No matter how much they hate Trump, they are not going to tolerate being played for chumps. The only question is whether they will vote unanimously for Trump’s acquittal or be a hung jury.

One funny moment: Merchan lectured Costello on “proper decorum” … after letting Stormy Daniels prattle on endlessly about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Tidbits From the Trail: Trump Heading to the Bronx, Biden Forgets When He Was VP

Trump announced he’ll be holding a rally Thursday in South Bronx. Joe Biden got 88% of the vote there in 2020, but Trump is determined to put New York in play with the help of urban voters who are tired of getting shafted.

Do you remember what you were doing in 2020 during the COVID pandemic? Joe Biden doesn’t. He seems to think he was vice president of the United States, that year, telling an audience in Detroit, “When I was vice president, things were kinda bad during the pandemic.”

It’s one thing to pretend you were a civil right activist, superstar athlete, or big rig driver, but to think you’re Mike Pence?

In all seriousness, Biden’s confusion over the time and place and events is precisely one of the issues that turned up in his interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur — the audio of which Biden is dubiously claiming “executive privilege” over, despite the transcript already being released. Biden didn’t know when he was vice president.

Biden went on to say in his speech how Barack Obama had sent him to Detroit at some point. “Well, the poor mayor spent more time with me than he ever thought he’d have to.” Clearly he’s referring to something other than the pandemic. The auto industry bailout? The futility of the Detroit Lions? His fabulous recording career with Motown?

When’s the Accounting? Former and Current CDC and NIH Officials Make Startling COVID Confessions

The former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an interview last week that the government needs to admit that the COVID-19 vaccines have had significant side effects. In fact, Dr. Robert Redfield told Chris Cuomo he was canceled for trying to warn about them. “Those of us that tried to suggest there may be significant side effects from vaccines … we kind of got canceled because no one wanted to talk about the potential that there was a problem from the vaccines, because they were afraid that that would cause people not to want to get vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, the former head of the NIH admits there was no “science or evidence” behind the mandates for social distancing. In other words, there was no evidence the recommendation to stay six feet from other people had any impact on the spread of the COVID virus.

Dr. Francis Collins made his confession earlier this year in a closed-door session with the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, but the transcript was only released last week.

Said the Select Committee: “The six feet of separation recommendation had real-life consequences. This guideline made it nearly impossible for schools nationwide to reopen due to the pressure from teachers unions to follow this guideline. In addition, businesses had to adapt at great cost or risk complete closure.”

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Perhaps most significantly, the National Institutes of Health finally admitted the U.S. government funded “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology … despite Dr. Anthony Fauci swearing under oath that did not happen.

Last week, the Select Subcommittee directly asked NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak, “Did NIH fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology through [Manhattan-based nonprofit] EcoHealth [Alliance]?”

“It depends on your definition of gain-of-function research,” Tabak answered. “If you’re speaking about the generic term, yes, we did.”

In an October 2021 letter to Congress, Tabak only admitted the U.S. funded a “limited experiment” at Wuhan, but did not describe it as “gain-of-function.” Conveniently, the New York Post reports, “The NIH scrubbed its website of a longstanding definition of gain-of function research the same day the letter was sent.”

The Catfight Heard ‘Round the World Goes Into Extra Rounds

Fallout continues from the embarrassing (or hysterical) clash Thursday night involving U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jasmine Crockett, and Anna Paulina Luna.

Crockett (D-MO) did what radicals do in any situation: scream “racist.” She’s claiming MTG’s catty comment about her eyelashes were “racially motivated.” Wanna play that game? Then referring to Greene’s “bleach blonde, bad-built, butch body” is both homophobic and bodyshaming, with tinges of racism.

But Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) had her own answer for that Monday: making a subtle swipe at the dolled-up Democratic congresswomen while pumping iron.

Meanwhile, AOC (D-NY) got into it with, of all people, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). AOC, who takes offense as easily as the rest of us take vitamins, called Fetterman a bully for jokingly apologizing to The Jerry Springer Show for comparing it to the House of Representatives. Fetterman responded Sunday on CNN, saying, “That’s absurd.”

“I was just simply responding to the kind of chaos and everything that Rep. Greene started as well. And if everyone on the committee was proud of what they‘ve produced, they are entitled to their opinion, or if they feel that this is the kind of a video that you want to send to a classroom of eighth-grade civics kind of students across America.”

Along The Stream

Trump’s not the only target of lawfare. Today, we begin a special five-part series from legal expert Daniel Street on “The Hunting of Sidney Powell.”

Also, our former colleague Rachel Alexander is cohosting a big two-day virtual conference kicking off today. It’s being put on by Davos In the Desert. Check here for more details.


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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