Michael Cohen Predicts ‘Total Panic Mode’ for Trump After $355M Fine

Michael Cohen Predicts ‘Total Panic Mode’ for Trump After 5M Fine

Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House that the former president is in “total panic mode” after being fined $355 million in his New York civil fraud case.

The Context:

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Friday that Trump will have to pay roughly $355 million in penalties and is banned from doing business in New York for three years following a monthslong trial from late last year into early January. The trial was to determine damages Trump would pay after Engoron found that he inflated his assets to get more favorable business loans for his real estate company The Trump Organization. Trump has maintained his innocence and claimed that the case was politically motivated as he is the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 presidential election.

What We Know:

Cohen, who Engoron called an “important witness” in the trial, said of Trump’s assets in New York, “If they were sold, I don’t think cover the $355 million” while appearing on MSNBC on Friday.

“So, to just underscore what you’re saying, he’s stuck?” host Nicolle Wallace asked.

Former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen speaks as he arrives to meet with the Manhattan District Attorney on February 08, 2023, in New York City. Cohen said on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House that the former…

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Cohen replied: “That’s a great way to describe it and I’m gonna use your language. He’s stuck.”

“So, what happens to Donald Trump when he gets stuck?” said Wallace.

“He goes into complete and total panic mode,” Cohen said. “But, Donald’s theory right now—the only out for him both financially as well as criminally, regarding incarceration, is if he wins the election.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign via email for comment.

The Views:

Following Engoron’s ruling, Trump’s lawyer Christopher Kise told Newsweek via email, “The Court today ignored the law, ignored the facts, and simply signed off on the Attorney General’s manifestly unjust political crusade against the front-running candidate for President of the United States.”

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James called the ruling “a massive victory” on X, formerly Twitter, adding that “No matter how big, how rich, or how powerful you are, no one is above the law. Not even Donald Trump.”

Trump reacted to the ruling on his social media platform Truth Social on Friday, writing: “A Crooked New York State Judge, working with a totally Corrupt Attorney General who ran on the basis of ‘I will get Trump,’ before knowing anything about me or my company, has just fined me $355 Million based on nothing other than having built a GREAT COMPANY. ELECTION INTERFERENCE. WITCH HUNT.”

What’s Next?

Trump’s lawyer said that the former president will appeal Engoron’s decision, telling Newsweek that Trump “remains confident the Appellate Division will ultimately correct the innumerable and catastrophic errors made by a trial court untethered to the law or to reality.”

As Trump deals with this case, along with four other criminal cases and a defamation suit that writer E. Jean Carroll won against him last month that his lawyer said they would “immediately” appeal, Trump will continue to campaign for president. He has been campaigning in South Carolina for the upcoming primary on February 24. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Updated 02/16/24 6:16 p.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information.