Politics

MSNBC Speculates About Michael Cohen Getting Violently Attacked in Prison

An MSNBC guest speculated Monday about Michael Cohen being the possible victim of violence in prison as he began his three-year stay there.

Cohen was sentenced for tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations. He reported Monday to Otisville, an upstate New York, minimum-security facility known for being a cushy stay for inmates. Jack Donson, a former Otisville case manager, told the Associated Press Cohen wasn't necessarily safe, however, due to President Donald Trump's labeling of him as a "rat." Someone could easily "take him out," he said.

MSNBC's Hallie Jackson asked former federal prosecutor Annemarie McAvoy if Cohen's experience could be different from a typical inmate.

"It's still a jail," she said. "It's a prison. There are bad people there … You still wind up with having people who can potentially hurt you. They could physically attack him. They might attack him because they don't like him. It might be because of what he said. It might be because of how he acts. It might be that they think they can get money out of him."

She relayed a story of a client being forced at knifepoint to make money transfers to family members.

"It all depends," she said. "It depends how he handles himself. It depends who he hooks up with. It's still a prison with bad people who are going to be there to potentially take advantage or hurt him."

Cohen, the president's former lawyer and fixer who once gushed over Trump in over-the-top media appearances, told Congress in February that Trump was a racist and a cheat.

Donson also appeared on CNN Monday and told anchor Brooke Baldwin that Cohen is "going to have a target on his back to a point" because "nobody likes informants in prison." He added that the inmates were non-violent and unlikely to harm him.

Cohen's guilty plea marks yet another top person in Trump's orbit going to prison, following the convictions of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort for a variety of financial crimes.