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Michael Cohen’s Testimony Exposes the Ugly Lunacy of the Trump “Cult”

A former federal prosecutor explains how Donald Trump’s lawyers are committing serious mistakes—and why Trump’s demand for cultlike devotion may be what’s driving them.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
Michael Cohen, former attorney to Donald Trump, in New York City on May 14

On Tuesday, when Michael Cohen testified against Donald Trump, the former president’s lawyers reminded jurors that Cohen was once slavishly devoted to Trump and used to lie relentlessly on his behalfbefore Cohen turned on him. Cohen responded by admitting it: Yes, he was once a member of the Trump “cult.” Which is apt: Again and again, Trump’s own lawyers have seemingly designed their strategy around flattering Trump as much as serving his legal needs. We talked to Ankush Khardori, a former federal prosecutor and senior writer for Politico Magazine, who explained how Trump’s lawyers are making serious mistakes that are rooted in his demand for absolute devotion. Listen to this episode here.