In a strange twist of karma, anti-Trump actor Tom Arnold secretly recorded phone conversations with disbarred attorney Michael Cohen.
The Hill reported that Cohen reportedly told comedian Tom Arnold that he is not guilty of some of the charges for which he pleaded guilty, and expressed frustration at the length of his sentence and a lack of support from those in Washington.
In recordings of a March phone call Arnold provided to The Wall Street Journal, Cohen decried being “a man all alone” in Washington while insisting that some of the charges, including one related to his home equity line of credit (HELOC), were lies.
“There is no tax evasion,” he told Arnold, according to the Journal. “And the HELOC? I have an 18 percent loan-to-value on my home. How could there be a HELOC issue? How? Right? … It’s a lie.”
“I love this woman, and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap,” Cohen added, referring to his wife, who he said was also targeted by prosecutors. “And I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”
Michael Cohen was secretly recorded by Tom Arnold? Can the screenwriters please take a break for 5 minutes?
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) April 24, 2019
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Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen walked back parts of his plea deal for financial crimes, while taking shots at fellow disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, in a phone call secretly recorded by comedian Tom Arnold.
“There is no tax evasion,” Cohen told Arnold in the phone call, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Look at what’s happening to Avenatti — it’s called karma boomerang,” Cohen also said in the call, which Arnold recorded March 25, without Cohen’s knowledge. “The guy lied about me every single day, right? And the world loved it.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in New York on Aug. 21, 2018, to charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and making an illegal campaign finance violation in the form of a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006. He also pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s probe Nov. 29, 2018, to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump-themed skyscraper in Moscow.
He was sentenced to three years in prison Dec. 12, 2018, and will begin serving the sentence May 6.
Arnold’s recording turns the tables on Cohen, who is known for making secret recordings of phone conversations with reporters, colleagues and his former boss. The comedian provided the 36-minute recording to the Journal.
In the call with Arnold, Cohen complained he felt like “a man all alone” in the wake of his legal troubles.
“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything,’” he said, according to the Journal.
“I lost my business … my insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about,” Cohen told Arnold.
He also said “it’s a lie” that he committed bank fraud in applications for loans against his home.
Cohen said one reason he took a plea deal was that prosecutors were going after his wife. He also said he expected to receive a lighter sentence that the three-year term he originally got.
“I love this woman, and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap,” Cohen said of his wife. “And I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”
Cohen deposited $2.4 million from his tax schemes into his wife’s bank account.
Cohen spoke with Arnold on the same day Avenatti was indicted on extortion and fraud charges in New York and California. The two disgraced lawyers battled in the media in 2018 over the payments to Daniels, a porn star. At one point in the saga, Avenatti released Cohen financial documents that were illegally leaked by a Treasury Department employee.
Avenatti faces even more serious charges than Cohen. He was indicted in New York on charges that he tried to extort Nike, Inc. for $20 million. He is accused in California of extorting at least five clients out of millions of dollars by withholding proceeds from their legal settlements.