There can be no better lawyer for Donald Trump than Michael Cohen, a man with an outsize sense of his own competence. In fact, for a man like Trump, who's mentally stuck in the late ’80s, draws nutrients in equal measure from Big Macs and reality TV, and wilts under any amount of sunlight, finding a lawyer like Michael Cohen must have felt like divine intervention.
Like Trump's, Cohen's career seems to have flourished largely because no one was bothering to scratch the surface. But now that he's garnered national attention (and the attention of federal investigators), everything seems to be falling apart. We aren't even talking about the screwball-level, self-inflicted wounds Cohen is so prone to. Take, for example, how quickly after the FBI's raid on his offices it came out that Cohen was representing Sean Hannity as Hannity aggressively bought up property in an eager bid to become a slumlord.
And now we're slowly learning more about Cohen's other clients, too. Rolling Stone found that Cohen represented a string of people "involved in deliberate, planned car crashes as part of an attempt to cheat insurance companies." Per Rolling Stone:
Furthermore, investigations by insurers showed that several of Cohen's clients were affiliated with insurance fraud rings that repeatedly staged "accidents." And at least one person Cohen represented was indicted on criminal charges of insurance fraud while the lawsuit he had filed on her behalf was pending. Cohen also did legal work for a medical clinic whose principal was a doctor later convicted of insurance fraud for filing phony medical claims on purported "accident" victims. Taken together, a picture emerges that the personal attorney to the president of the United States was connected to a shadowy underworld of New York insurance fraud, a pervasive problem dominated by Russian organized crime that was costing the state's drivers an estimated $1 billion a year.
So Cohen has a knack for unsavory clients. But representing someone who was involved in schemes to rent U-Hauls and drive them into friends' cars to set up lawsuits, by itself, doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on him. It does, however, fit into a much bigger picture of how Cohen has operated for years: This is a guy who takes out mortgages on his house to use as hush money, a guy who owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, and who's long courted clients who think life is like Goodfellas minus the last half hour.
Cohen clearly never thought that he'd be in this situation, or that one of his biggest clients would bumble his way into the White House. But everyone involved just kept failing upward. If he ever imagined that was a real possibility, he may have done a better job covering his ass all these years.