Michael Cohen should Go Drive a Cab and forget GoFundMe, which his lawyer has sullied with what he actually called the Michael Cohen Truth Page.
GoFundMe should be for decent souls in urgent need, not for the likes of him.
We are left to ask ourselves how this guy Cohen can possibly ask for handouts while ensconced in a $300-plus-a-night hotel and holding title to a $9 million Park Avenue apartment and millions more in rental properties and retaining taxi medallions that are collectively valued at millions more.
How can he rake in donations in excess of $145,000 to the lie called the Michael Cohen Truth Fund?
The more than 2,600 deluded donors include such tender-hearted souls as a woman who gave the Cohen fund $10, after giving to two GoFundMe pages for women with cancer.
If Cohen really does need immediate cash, there is a simple solution. He can earn it in the way of the cabbies who have been driving up to 12-hour shifts, as many as six or even seven days a week in taxis bearing his medallions in New York and Chicago.
Those drivers padded Cohen’s pockets as they paid a middleman a fee for the right his medallions gave them to drive a cab, beginning each shift that many dollars below zero, working half of a long day or more before they started clearing anything for themselves.
Should Cohen’s financial woes now mount to where he no longer has any medallions, he can still get a hack license and go to a taxi garage, just like the drivers who helped keep him in cash over the years.
Or, Cohen can make a weekly lease arrangement online, such as the one presently offered by Mohammad from Brooklyn on My NY Taxi:
“NIGHT SHIFT, BROOKLYN
Toyota Camry Hybrid Yellow Taxi for 7 Night Shift Available. Total lease for 7 night shift is $585(Everything included). Nothing extra. No deposit. Hours 5 to 5.”
At the very least, Cohen should tell his lawyer to take down the GoFundMe pitch, which marks Lanny Davis as even lower than the rumpled shysters who used to shake down prospective clients between the double sets of doors to Manhattan night court, demanding, “Got a watch? Got any rings?”
Here is what Davis says on GoFundMe, with Cohen’s implicit consent:
On July 2, 2018, Michael Cohen declared his independence from Donald Trump and his commitment to tell the truth.
On August 21, Michael Cohen made the decision to take legal responsibility and to continue his commitment to tell the truth. Michael decided to put his family and his country first.
Now Michael needs your financial help—to pay his legal fees.
The Michael Cohen Truth Fund is a transparent trust account, with all donations going to help Michael Cohen and his family as he goes forward on his journey to tell the truth about Donald Trump.
If the truth be told, Cohen lied and kept lying until he faced overwhelming proof to the contrary and saw no hope of a presidential pardon.
Cohen decided to take legal responsibility when he faced many years in prison if he did not promise to cooperate.
Cohen put himself first, just as he did when committing fraud and evading taxes. Cohen may have seemed to be putting Donald Trump first when paying off the porn star and the former Playmate, but that loyalty only lasted as long as his immediate self-interest.
Cohen’s journey to tell the truth about Donald Trump involves avoiding prison.
Now that Cohen has irrevocably entered into a plea, he should not need a high-priced lawyer to handle the subsequent details. He certainly does not need the $500,000 set as the goal of the GoFundMe page.
No doubt a host of night-court shysters would scramble to represent Trump’s onetime supposed fixer gratis if they figured they could parlay the work into TV appearances. Look what representing Stormy Daniels did for Michael Avenatti.
Meanwhile, Cohen’s new criminal record does not bar him from securing that hack license. New York State Human Rights Law, Section 296, Subsection 15, holds, “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any person, agency, bureau, corporation or association, including the state and any political subdivision thereof, to deny any license or employment to any individual by reason of his or her having been convicted of one or more criminal offenses.”
But Cohen should not expect it to be easy in these days of Uber and Lyft. Financial pressures have led six New York City cabbies to commit suicide this year. Abdul Saleh worked 12-hour shifts for seven years and found he was still falling behind on his lease. He was $300 short on his next payment when he took his life.
Nicano Ochisor bet his financial future on the purchase of a single medallion. He made the loan payments by actually driving the cab in the afternoon and through the night, then handing it off to his wife, who drove it in the morning until she handed it back to him to drive until the next morning. The grueling routine became intolerable as e-cab services siphoned off much of the business while causing the value of the medallion to plummet. He reached a state where even the arrival of his first grandson did not keep him from hanging himself.
Yu Mein Chow made the same wager by buying a single medallion and fell victim to the same pressures. He had reached a limit when he parked his cab a block from the East River on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on May 11. He apparently plunged into what is not a river but a tidal estuary that changes directions with the tides. He may have floated unnoticed up and down the length of Manhattan again and again, before he was found at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge 12 days later, on May 23.
That happened to be one day after Evgeny “the Taxi King” Freidman made a plea deal with New York state prosecutors. He could have served 25 years in prison, but got off with probation after agreeing to cooperate with the feds against Cohen, recounting business dealings involving outsize loans with reckless banks and the purchase tens of millions of dollars in medallions and big-time tax evasion. Freidman had allegedly sought to avoid paying off his mounting debts by parking some $50 millions offshore.
Along with Freidman’s cooperation, the feds had piles of evidence recovered by FBI agents who executed search warrants on Cohen’s office and pricey hotel room.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cohen stood in Courtroom 20-B in Manhattan federal court and took what the GoFundMe page calls “legal responsibility,” otherwise known as a plea deal.
From the courtroom window, you could see a half-dozen yellow cabs crawling in the rush-hour traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, the cabbies at the wheel heroically working to make an increasingly difficulty living just as Cohen should do before he even thinks of seeking donation.
You could also see the place at the water’s edge where Yu Mein Chow’s body was finally recovered. Cohen should take the more than $145,000 donated to the Michael Cohen Truth Page and give it to the families of the cabbies who worked until they could work no more and never asked anyone to fund them.
Then, Michael Cohen, go drive a cab and maybe redeem yourself just a little.