Trump’s Former Fixer Says Missing Tapes Would Prove Trump Lied

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Jose Pagliery/The Daily Beast
Jose Pagliery/The Daily Beast

Michael Cohen—former President Donald Trump’s one-time fixer, lawyer, and consigliere—walked into an acrimonious deposition Monday morning to testify that his former boss lied under oath and ordered his security guards to get “rid of” protesters they later beat up.

He also said evidence showing Trump lied was likely destroyed.

Cohen recently surfaced as a surprise witness in a lawsuit over the way Trump Organization corporate security goons attacked demonstrators protesting the way then-candidate Trump called Mexicans “rapists.” He claims he was in the room when Trump made the order. The company says that’s a lie.

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But what will inevitably devolve into an evidence-less “he said, he said” situation could have been resolved with two Trump Tower corporate security videotapes—which mysteriously disappeared.

According to court paperwork listing the evidence at the upcoming trial, the demonstrators who sued only got one building surveillance tape, which purportedly shows corporate security chief Keith Schiller making his way through the lobby to fight demonstrators outside the building on New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

But the building regularly took security video on the 26th floor outside Trump’s office and in the elevator, which would easily prove if what Cohen claims is true—that he was in the room when Trump allegedly gave the order and walked alongside Schiller out of the suite and down the lift.

Cohen claimed Monday those tapes were probably destroyed. He also said security tapes were overseen by Trump Organization chief operating officer Matthew Calamari, a Trump loyalist who would never allow his boss to be embarrassed or implicated in criminal behavior by allowing incriminating evidence to “come to light.”

“The truth is the truth, and the truth never benefits Donald,” he said to reporters waiting across the street from Manhattan’s iconic Grand Central Terminal.

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Calamari already testified in this case back in 2016 and did not seem to reveal anything damning against the company. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

The Daily Beast pointed out that Cohen would be face-to-face with Trump’s newest bulldog lawyer, Alina Habba, a relatively unknown attorney from New Jersey who has become a prominent fixture on MAGA-friendly media outlets.

When asked how he felt about battling someone who used to have his job, the lawyer who took the fall for Trump’s porn star hush-money scheme, lost his law license, and spent years in federal prison issued a warning.

“It’s a mistake and unfortunately, as we all know, it didn’t work out well for me. I don’t suspect it’ll work out well for her,” he said.

Cohen then walked into the building for his 10 a.m. appointment at the offices of the law firm Belkin Burden Goldman, one of several representing Trump.

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Minutes later, Habba showed up on 42nd Street in a chauffeured, black SUV and walked into the same building.

“I think there’ve been enough courts that have spoken on his credibility,” she said. “I think it’s ironic he’s come out of the woodwork a couple of weeks before trial. And the truth will come out. I actually look forward to spending a few hours questioning Mr. Cohen.”

Although this case is an otherwise forgettable tale about raging corporate security guards in the early days of Trump’s political campaign, it’s already presenting the potential to land the twice-impeached former president in serious trouble.

When he testified behind closed doors last year, Trump admitted to personally overseeing Calamari’s compensation—which includes untaxed, corporate perks that have been investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

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