The apparent decision of Trump’s former personal lawyer–or “fixer”–Michael Cohen to abandon the President and maybe help Mueller in his Russian investigation and/or the federal prosecutors pursuing the separate case against Cohen in the Southern District of New York has led to many media comments about a fight between two pathological liars.
The pathological bit is all two true, but the idea that they are equally untrustworthy now is pure crud.
There is a critical difference between the two: Cohen faces the imminent threat that any lie he now tells will lead to swift criminal prosecution. He is on the ropes and sweating hard, and his family now counts for more to him than loyalty to a cretin who has abandoned him. He faces bankruptcy.
Cohen knows both Mueller and the New York prosecutors may already have the smoking gun evidence of his past lies and any future ones. He can’t use executive privilege as his last refuge.
Trump believes he is safe and secure. The FBI has not raided his offices and seized tons of documents, videos, and cell phones. He has all the money in the world to mount a legal riposte and rich friends standing by to help out.
Trump has little incentive to stop lying. For Cohen, it’s an existentialist question about his life.