The ‘I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty’ Defense
Loyalty?! 🧐Loyalty To What Exactly?🤨
Loyalty To The Way It Ought To Be Versus The Way It Actually Is
Mr. Cohen, we should use this opportunity and get into loyalty, again. We need to know what that entails when you counseled Donald Trump as president or real estate mogul in these instances.
Mr. Cohen, were you mistaken by your loyalty to Trump in the performance of professional duty to advise your client, or were you simply paid to make this risky mistake of great liability? It appears your loyalty to Trump served as a practicality here where the sentiment expressed in deeds were a means to an end — a very socioeconomic end.
The president relying on your legal expertise may now believe in the contexts of his own presidency — being elected despite taped recordings of him stating “grab them by the pussy, you can do anything”, or despite saying “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters”, is simply enough rather than the illegal payments you made to pay off MacDougal and Daniels. Presumably this was not even necessary and was simply an error in your professional duties as his attorney. Even the First Lady who seems to be unaffected by such facts would seem to agree that there was nothing that Trump did that was wrong in the first place.
Perspective | Trump's claim that he didn't violate campaign finance law is weak - and dangerous
December 14 at 6:00 AM Last week, in their case against Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors in New York filed a…
By George T. Conway III (conservative lawyer who regrettably voted for President Trump and husband of Kellyanne Conway who is an advisor to President Trump), Trevor Potter and Neal Katyal
December 14 at 6:00 AM
This all suggests Trump could become a target of a very serious criminal campaign finance investigation. In response, Trump has offered up three defenses. His first was to repeatedly lie. For quite some time, he flatly denied knowledge about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. But now he seems to be acknowledging that he knew (since his personal company reimbursed Cohen for the payment, he ought to). Now Trump and his acolytes have turned to two other excuses: They point to an earlier case involving former senator John Edwards to argue that what Trump did wasn’t a crime; and they say, even if it was a crime, it wasn’t a biggie — there are lots of crimes, so what, who cares.
The former is a very weak legal argument, and the latter a dangerous one. Indeed, the campaign finance violations here are among the most important ever in the history of this nation — given the razor-thin win by Trump and the timing of the crimes, they very well may have swung a presidential election.
What anyone should be able to glean from this response is that under no circumstances are you to embarrass this president, especially to get a reduced prison sentence from conduct in service to the president of the United States.
The fact that Trump has mentioned embarrassment reveals that some degree of shame has been realized by him even though he is deluded by his own narcissism. This would be a remarkable breakthrough or a breakdown in someone with malignant narcissism. If President Trump is coherently suggesting that Mr. Cohen has been a great liability to him or an Achilles Heel, then this speaks volumes about what Trump sees has disloyalty to his godsend aura invincibility.
Unsentimental loyalties, such as the zealous but unsentimental professional loyalty of a lawyer to a client, are not unthinking, but have their rationale in professional or associational tele, such as that of the adversarial system (however, see McConnell). It is to this shared professional commitment that the lawyer is ultimately committed, not as a matter of mere sentiment but of deliberated choice.¹
Ultimately this is where the appearance of one form of loyalty (blind loyalty) is trumped by another (familial responsibility or national responsibility — but in Cohen’s case not so much— in loyalty to the country or necessarily to his family either, but to his own self-preservation.
Mr Cohen’s attempt to salvage some integrity with his cooperation with federal prosecutors, his guilty pleas incited by self-introspection are matter-of -factly in retrospect. Instead of trading in his loyalty for an uncharacteristic president, he is seen as merely disloyal.
It is this loyalty to a misguided ideology and refrain of America First or Make America Great Again that has established principles of corruption and of oppression to incur aspects of legality and social capital. That sort of devotion is self-defeating to the persistence of humanity and it therefore not a virtue.
Disloyalty to a president that lacks the moral compass is welcoming and deserving under virtuous circumstances. Especially when the president also lacks the character of a statesman, a representative of a contributively diverse and multicultural America.
A loyalty rather, that is not the kind that is romanticized by vainglorious sophists who have miseducated the vulnerable and fearful with faulty historical interpretations, false narratives, and counter-framings of undue whiteness along with the vanity and insanity it proffers would certainly suffice.
What is either contradicting or patently untrue could easily be exchanged for an empathy and promise towards those who are loyal to our interdependence as a nation whose history is fraught with betrayals.
¹ Kleinig, John, “Loyalty”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/loyalty/>.