Garth Brooks has now been dragged into the messy downfall of Donald Trump‘s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Brooks’s unlikely appearance in Cohen’s ongoing legal saga follows a Rudy Giuliani associate denying that he was dangling a pardon in front of Cohen in order to keep him from testifying in regard to campaign finance violations and other business dealings which may implicate Trump. When Giuliani ally and attorney Bob Costello sent an April 2018 email to Cohen telling Trump’s former fixer that he could “sleep well tonight” because he had “friends in high places,” Costello told The Daily Beast, he was just invoking the 1990 Garth Brooks hit “Friends in Low Places” to soothe a distraught friend. Of course!
CNN reported on the existence of the emails Wednesday night and although they don’t explicitly mention a pardon, they sound like dialogue written for the mobster characters on The Simpsons. Giuliani has since commented on the emails, telling CNN: “That was about Michael Cohen thinking that the President was mad at him, I called (Costello) to reassure him that the President was not mad. It wasn’t long after the raid and the President felt bad for him.”
On Thursday morning, Costello complicated things by telling The Daily Beast that the suspicious language in his email to Cohen was just a nod to a song about being a dirtbag barfly.
“To repeat myself, Michael Cohen and his counsel’s interpretation of events is utter nonsense,” Costello told The Daily Beast in an email. “This statement: ‘Sleep Well tonight, you have friends in high places’ was a tongue-in-cheek reference to a Garth Brooks song, to a client whose state of mind was highly disturbed and had suggested to us that he was suicidal. We were simply trying to be decent human beings. There is no hidden message.”
Personally, if I were trying to soothe a friend going through some shit, I might pick lyrics from one of the moodier selections from the Chris Gaines catalog, but to each their own.
Costello then bolstered his already bulletproof defense by adding: “Michael Cohen and/or his counsel have selectively leaked copies of emails to bolster the false narrative that they originally tried to peddle in the media last week. We have documents to back our position up, and are preparing to provide these to the U.S. Attorney’s office, who has asked for them.”
Teams Trump and Cohen are currently locked in a blame game over who initiated talks of a pardon, but if it’s proven that the Trump camp dangled the promise of a pardon in front of Cohen before he testified in Congressional hearings and criminal trials, then the president could potentially be on the hook for obstruction of justice.