ROY COHN, American lawyer born (d. 1986); An evil, dramatic, controversial and dangerous man in life, Cohn inspired many dramatic fictional portrayals after his death. Probably the most famous is his role in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on A Theme, in which Cohn is portrayed as a self-hating, power-hungry hypocrite who refuses to accept himself as a homosexual, and is haunted by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg as he lies dying of AIDS. In the 2003 HBO version of Kushner’s play, Cohn was played by Al Pacino, and Rosenberg was played by Meryl Streep. Cohn is also a character in Kushner’s one-act play, G. David Schine in Hell. He was a despicable, vile person.
His sleazy soul-less mind still haunts us today in the person of his protégé, Donald Trump. Cohn’s influence on Mr. Trump is unmistakable. Mr. Trump’s wrecking ball of a Presidency — the gleeful smearing of his opponents, the embracing of bluster as brand — has been a Roy Cohn number on a grand scale. “If you get a punch, you punch back….harder.” Mr. Trump’s response to the Orlando massacre, with his ominous warnings of a terrorist attack that could wipe out the country and his conspiratorial suggestions of a Muslim fifth column in the United States, seemed to have been ripped straight out of the Cohn playbook. Even more recently, his response to the impeachment has been to bray about his being “the chief law enforcement officer of the country”….which he is decidedly NOT. Clearly, whatever “lesson” Republican Senators think he’s learned has nothing to do with restraint. We now find ourselves in a country where the rule of law has been seriously undermined, if not destroyed. Thanks Roy.
For 13 years, the lawyer who had infamously whispered in McCarthy’s ear whispered in Mr. Trump’s. In the process, Mr. Cohn helped deliver some of Mr. Trump’s signature construction deals, sued the National Football League for conspiring against his client and counter-sued the federal government — for $100 million — for damaging the Trump name. One of Mr. Trump’s executives recalled that he kept an 8-by-10-inch photograph of Mr. Cohn in his office desk, pulling it out to intimidate recalcitrant contractors.
The two men spoke as often as five times a day, toasted each other at birthday parties and spent evenings together at Studio 54. Roy Cohn….Cryptmaster. One final story that my friend Robert reminded me of… Cohn gave his services to Trump free of charge. Finally, as a gift Trump gave the pathetic homo a set of gold and diamond Bulgari cufflinks. Upon the settlement of Cohn’s estate, the links were found to be fakes.