In public speeches, Michael Cohen, the one-time lawyer and “fixer” for Donald Trump, has said that it’s because of loyalty to his family and his country that he finally decided to flip on his former friend and employer, who is now the president of the United States. Cohen spoke of his wife and his two college-age children in terms of his decision, but talks with his surgeon father, Dr. Maurice Cohen, who survived the Holocaust in Poland, might have helped him make the final decision to plead guilty and testify against Trump.
The Wall Street Journal says that Dr. Cohen urged his son to protect his family over Trump, saying that he didn’t survive the perils of the Holocaust to “have his name sullied by Mr. Trump.”
In June, Michael Cohen stepped down from his position as the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chairman as a result of Trump’s border policies.
“As the son of a Polish Holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy [are] heart wrenching.”
Michael Cohen’s father, 83 and mother, Sondra, now live in Florida, which is one of the places that the former Trump lawyer is allowed to travel while out on the bond secured by his wife, Ukraine-born Laura Shusterman Cohen.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) August 23, 2018
But back in 2017, Michael Cohen used his father’s history as a Holocaust survivor to explain why he himself was not a racist, and by association, neither was Donald Trump, says Daily Mail.
“As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I have no tolerance for #racism. Just because I support @POTUS @RealDonaldTrump doesn’t make me a racist.”
But recent conversations with his father in reference to family and loyalty changed Michael Cohen’s mind about how to proceed with the investigation into improper and irregular behavior.
Cohen was also told by his accountant that wife Laura Cohen had a vulnerability in terms of prosecution because she had also co-signed tax documents concerning their taxi medallion business in several states, including New York and Illinois.
Like Michael Cohen’s parents, his wife and her parents were born in eastern Europe after moving to this country over 20 years ago. It was through wife Laura Cohen’s father, Fima Shusterman, that Michael Cohen was originally introduced to Donald Trump. Fima Shusterman and his wife, Ania, own a variety of Trump properties in New York and have known the president and his family members personally for years.
Michael Cohen is facing five years behind bars.