In yet another case of Donald Trump-era truth being stranger than fiction, Michael Cohen, a disgruntled ex-attorney for the former president, is weighing a potential Democratic primary run against Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York.
Cohen, a resident of the East Side of Manhattan, told Semafor in a Thursday story that he is “interested” in campaigning for the seat and that a “multitude of folks” have urged him to follow through with the idea.
HuffPost reached Cohen by phone Friday, but he declined to elaborate on his plans, saying that he is not yet prepared to speak about it. “As soon as I’m ready, I’ll definitely give you a call,” he promised.
For years, Cohen served as a personal attorney and fixer for Trump. During the 2016 presidential election, he defended Trump on television. And more fatefully, Cohen made payments on Trump’s behalf to adult actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to conceal their extramarital affairs with the reality TV star.
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to a variety of federal charges, including violations of campaign finance law for the hush money payments. He subsequently served over 13 months in prison, ending his incarceration in November 2021.
Cohen’s legal troubles coincided with a very public change of heart about Trump. In testimony to Congress in 2019, Cohen called Trump a “racist” and a “con man.”
This past March, he also testified to a Manhattan grand jury about the hush money payments he made on Trump’s behalf. That grand jury indicted Trump the following month, accusing him of falsifying business records to conceal those payments.
Some Democrats are sure to remain skeptical of Cohen’s sincerity, not least if he is running against Nadler, a veteran liberal who spearheaded investigations of Trump while serving as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Nearly a year ago, Nadler handily defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a primary after the two septuagenarian Manhattanites were drawn into the same district.
A spokesperson for Nadler did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cohen’s interest in running.
But a former senior Nadler campaign aide, who requested anonymity to speak without authorization, offered a scathing reaction.
“After a lifetime spent debasing himself, Michael Cohen clearly isn’t satisfied,” the former senior campaign aide said. “Jerry will trounce Cohen without ever having to shift into second gear.”