After pleading guilty to eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen is in hot water. With the aid of Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, the team has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the ex-attorney’s substantial legal fees. Over the past two days, the fund has raised well into the six-figure range, with one supposed donation by NASCAR’s former CEO Brian France and his wife Amy making up more than one-third of funds.
The Michael Cohen Truth Fund is described as a "transparent trust account" and is actively soliciting donations from the public to reach its $500,000 goal so that Cohen can "tell the truth about Donald Trump." At the time of writing, the fundraising campaign has been active for just under two days and has already raised a sum of $141,915, more than $20,000 of which was donated in the first nine hours alone. At the heart of the campaign lies a very large donation of $50,000 from "Amy and Brian France," also known as the recently-arrested former CEO of NASCAR and his wife.
A donation from the Frances' comes as a shock given their historical relationship with President Trump. So much of a shock that the couple reportedly changed their donation from public, which attributed both Brian and his wife Amy, to private, which anonymizes the source of the funds to the public as shown in a tweet from journalist Yashar Ali.
In February 2016, France publicly endorsed Trump as a U.S. presidential candidate, though he admitted to Fox News that he was not well versed in all of Trump's policies. France is said to have admired Trump's "business approach" and has maintained a friendship with the President's son, Donald Trump Jr., for over two decades.
France was caught driving intoxicated earlier in August while he also was found to be in possession of oxycodone by Sag Harbor Village police in New York. He resultantly stepped down from his role as NASCAR executive and has since been replaced in the interim by his uncle Jim France as both CEO and chairman of the sanctioning body.
Additionally, the news comes just two days after Cohen's formal flipping against his old boss, who happens to be both the President of the United States and the subject of an intense investigation regarding foreign involvement in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. In a sworn testimony, Cohen went against Trump by describing allegations in which money was funneled through the lawyer and into the pockets of multiple women with whom Trump had extramarital affairs. Earlier this year, allegedly corroborating evidence was obtained during an FBI raid of Cohen’s property, allowing the law enforcement agency to take possession of several recordings that Cohen had made of Trump while he was still one of the attorney's clients.