January 24, 2019

We really are living under mob rule. Just not the kind you usually think of. The occupant of the White House is ruling things the way the head of a Mob family would. Donny Deutsch couldn't resist a Godfather comparison of his own when he joined Nicolle Wallace on Deadline White House.

Michael Cohen has backed out (okay, "postponed," but do we really think it's ever gonna happen?) of testifying in front of Congress. Despite warnings from Committee Chairmen Elijah Cummings (House Oversight), Adam Schiff (Intelligence), and Jerrold Nadler (Judiciary) that no witness tampering would be tolerated, Donnie and Rudy just keep those threats against Cohen's family a-comin. The brazenness is astonishing. As a legal matter, it only makes things worse for Trump, since it is out in the open for all to see, and now there are Democrats in place in the House to do something about it.

On a personal level, it's terrifying, I'm sure, to have your 80-something-year-old father-in-law's life threatened, and to have thousands of heinous threats against your daughter levied as soon as you take steps to testify. What does the testimony contribute, other than media drama, anyhow? He's not allowed to say anything he hasn't already told Mueller or the Committees. Nothing new will come out. It will just be him telling his story. The impact in the court of public opinion could be huge, and the television value enormous, but would it change the mind or actions of a single Republican lawmaker?

Donny Deutsch is thinking Cohen made the right decision — legally and personally — choosing the protection of his family.

WALLACE: Is cohen legitimately afraid for his safety and that of his family?

DEUTSCH: I'll give it to you in realtime because I had a front row seat. I happened to speak to Michael after the interview. He said, "I'm not doing it." I said, "What do you mean, you're not doing it?" He said, "I'm not testifying. My wife is sitting here crying. They're calling out my poor father-in-law, he's 80-something, a man who's never done anything." By the way, he watches his wife cry every day. He said, "I'm not doing it." So I literally saw the obstruction of justice in real time. I remember I even said to him, I said, "Michael, your father was innocent and he's insulated now because he brought it out." He said, "He's the president of the United States. The Justice Department reports...he can do whatever he wants." So that's where it started. There are other threats happening, that happen every day that magnified a thousand-fold. The things he gets written to about his daughter that are so heinous, just since he started to talk about testifying in Congress. He volunteered in the first place. I wasn't quite sure what he was doing. He volunteered to do this. He was not asked and he was anxious to do it because he does have a story to tell. What the American public can take solace in, they may not get their Perry Mason moment, but he has given 70 hours to Mueller. He's spoken already to the Senate. There's nothing new he's going to say that he can say. And the other reason he pulled out, it was in that announcement, he's still cooperating. They are ongoing things. So as a cooperating, ongoing person, I don't think it's even an intelligent legal move, I think his lawyers finally got to that point. For all of that above, and that's why you saw the statement Schiff and Cummings put out, they got canceled on. They got it. And we have to step back and take politics out of it. The president just did a Freddy Pentangeli Godfather, when they bring your brother and he's sitting right there. Of all of the heinous things he's done, this is a new level, and I saw it on a very personal level.

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