BY SUSAN WRIGHT
So Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen has reported beginning his three-year prison sentence for a series of offenses, some of them done in service to Trump.
In a press conference, apologized for his wrongs, and suggested that he had more to tell and that he looked forward to the day when he could reveal all he knows.
Yes, we can look forward to another tell-all book on just how horrendous and corrupt Donald Trump is.
In the meantime, he’s talking, and some of those tales told paint a vivid picture about the 2016 election. In one particular instance revealed on Tuesday, he’s talking about one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, Jerry Falwell, Jr, dean of Liberty University.
Reuters dropped an exclusive on Tuesday, regarding an account given by Cohen to actor Tom Arnold as to how he helped “fix” a particularly sticky problem for Falwell and his wife, just months before the son of televangelist Jerry Falwell threw his public support behind then-candidate Trump.
It wouldn’t be the first time Cohen has stepped in to help Falwell with a problem.
Back in 2012, Falwell and his wife befriended a 21 year old pool boy at a luxury hotel in Miami, by the name of Giancarlo Granda.
For some mystifying reason, the Falwells decided to loan this otherwise inexperienced young man $1.8 million to invest in a youth hostel, where he would serve as manager.
He had no known business experience. He has no background in the hospitality industry, other than working as a pool attendant, but they were prepared to invest heavily, in order to help him in this venture.
Not only that, but they were flying him around on private jets, bringing him out to be with them on the Liberty University campus.
The odd story came to light because of a lawsuit, brought by two other investors in the Alton Hostel, Jesus Fernandez Sr. and Jesus Fernandez Jr.
The Fernandez family feel they were pushed out of the deal, as the hostel is listed as owned by Granada (the pool boy), Falwell’s wife, Cindy Falwell, and their son, Jerry (Trey) Falwell, III.
Granada was with the couple at a Liberty University convocation in 2012, and met Donald Trump and Michael Cohen at that event.
Just what kind of help Cohen provided in that incident is not immediately clear, but there was some discussion.
Tuesday’s news, however, is another level of “hhmmmm…”
According to Reuters, several months before Jerry Falwell, Jr became the first major evangelical voice to throw his support behind Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, Cohen was asked to bring his particularly greasy, mob lawyer tactics into play, on Falwell’s behalf.
In a recorded conversation, reviewed by Reuters, Cohen revealed how he stepped in to stop something deeply embarrassing and personal from seeing the light of day.
Falwell, president of Liberty University, one of the world’s largest Christian universities, said someone had come into possession of what Cohen described as racy “personal” photographs — the sort that would typically be kept “between husband and wife,” Cohen said in the taped conversation.
According to a source familiar with Cohen’s thinking, the person who possessed the photos destroyed them after Cohen intervened on the Falwells’ behalf.
Why do I get the feeling that we’re not just talking simply boudoir photos?
So this is where I recall some of the lessons learned from the sex counseling classes that were part of my Psychology major.
Sex between a married, devoted couple is not a bad thing. It’s not to be treated as dirty or wrong. There should be no shame in enjoying each other, as a married couple, because that is what God intended for us.
Touching, exploring, loving, and appreciating everything about our mates. Sex was not simply formed for the sake of procreation. Were that the case, it would be an instinctual process, just as it is for other animals. No one would derive pleasure from it.
In fact, humans are the only living creatures that have sex for pleasure.
As I have often said, however, sex was meant as a wedding gift, not a party favor.
So if Jerry Falwell, Jr and his wife felt like taking some spicy images, during the course of their marital playtime, is it wrong?
My first inclination is to say, no, not entirely.
With that in mind, however, if it’s a case of images that somehow disrespect the marriage bed, or show some otherwise unhealthy appetites, it could be troubling.
The husband is tasked with loving his wife as Christ loved the church, and part of that is protecting her from incidents like this.
The next question should be: Who had those images and how did they gain access to them?
That much we don’t know.
The Falwells enlisted Cohen’s help in 2015, according to the source familiar with Cohen’s thinking, the year Trump announced his presidential candidacy. At the time, Cohen was Trump’s confidant and personal lawyer, and he worked for the Trump Organization.
The Falwells wanted to keep “a bunch of photographs, personal photographs” from becoming public, Cohen told Arnold. “I actually have one of the photos,” he said, without going into specifics. “It’s terrible.”
So the individual who had the images destroyed them, but Cohen is saying he’s retained one of them?
And while there is no proof that this is the catalyst for Falwell’s subsequent endorsement of Trump, and his steadfast approval of Trump’s every move, it doesn’t seem particularly on the up-and-up.
During the campaign, Cohen worked closely with Liberty University to help promote Trump’s candidacy. It was around that time that Cohen heard from the Falwells about the photographs, said the source familiar with Cohen’s thinking.
The Falwells told Cohen that someone had obtained photographs that were embarrassing to them, and was demanding money, the source said. Reuters was unable to determine who made the demand. The source said Cohen flew to Florida and soon met with an attorney for the person with the photographs. Cohen spoke with the attorney, telling the lawyer that his client was committing a crime, and that law enforcement authorities would be called if the demands didn’t stop, the source said.
That part is actually correct, so kudos to Cohen for managing some legit lawyering.
With Cohen now behind bars for the next couple of years, we may not immediately get a follow-up to this story, but it’s unlikely to just go away.
And he still has one of the images, so there’s that