[ this post has updates below including new details about Darth Cheeto & Bill Barr keeping Cohen in solitary confinement ]

So I’m sitting here minding my own business watching a replay of All In with Chris Hayes and I hear a little gossipy tidbit about Trump consigliere Michael Cohen co-owning taxi medallions in Manhattan. “Oh jeez,” this native New Yorker thought, “there’s a story there.”

You’ll be shocked to learn that, yes, Michael “Says Who?” Cohen’s side gig as a taxi magnate are instructive to the issues he’s facing as Donald Trump’s fixer and make-things-go-away-er.

New York Daily News’lede sentence says it all: “He had money to pay porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000, but not the more than $50,000 to pay the state for his medallion taxes.” We’ll come back to Cohen’s “available funds” in a minute. 


Cohen partnered with a delightful chap named Evgeny “Gene” Naumovich Freidman, who immigrated from Russia to the United States in 1976 and was actually one of the first taxi executives to push for hybrid vehicles in New York City. But after ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft popped up both he and Cohen fell on hard times.

According to that Daily News piece Cohen and his wife owe $54K in back taxes—which started at around $30K but grew due to delinquency. Factor in Wall Street Journal‘s reporting yesterday that Cohen secured nearly $800K in what appears to be a line of credit to assist Trump in making accusers go away, it puts his taxi-related financial woes in sharp relief.

I’ll update this post with new information as I get it. Cohen is legit in a heap of trouble. 🔵

UPDATE: estranged NYC Taxi King Gene Friedman has flipped on Cohen and will cooperate “on state and local cases” says WaPo. from the post:

“Do you understand the nature of the benefit your attorneys have accomplished on your behalf?” Judge Patrick Lynch asked Freidman on Tuesday, a question that should frighten both Cohen and President Trump’s legal team.

UPDATE 2: Tangerine-Obese Nixon’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, is not a sympathetic figure—I’ll grant you that. But imprisoning American citizens because you’re scared about the contents of his tell-all book is, like ALL OF DONALD’S CRIMES, patently unconstitutional and illegal. I’ve written a LOT in this space (here and here) about unchecked lawlessness at the hands of AG* Bill Barr but tossing Cohen in solitary confinement should send a chill down everyone’s spines. MAGA is flooding the zone with fraud which is why it’s impossible to keep track of it all.

Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest.

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter—and check out the book links below. Make sure to comment often—cranky does love company after all.

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