Posts Tagged ‘Michael Cohen’

Client Number Three

April 18, 2018

Client Number Three

After the FBI seized documents from his office, home, and hotel room, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is on trial in New York for as-yet unspecified federal crimes, most likely bank fraud and campaign law violations relating to his hush money payoffs to women on behalf of his adulterous clients Donald Trump and Elliott Broidy. Mr. Cohen isn’t much of a lawyer, but he’s had one more client, whose identity he tried to withholdJudge Kimba Wood wasn’t having it, and “client number three” turned out to be Sean Hannity, the vociferous defender of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen on Fox News. Hilarity ensued.

More:

“Yes, Sean Hannity was a legal client of Michael Cohen’s,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.” Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin, New York Times

“Sean Hannity’s idea of ‘attorney-client privilege’ was right out of ‘Breaking Bad,’”  Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers,” Rosie Gray, The Atlantic

“Michael Cohen and the Busting of the Trump Crime Family,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Trump Should Be Worried by Cohen Probe. Really Worried.” Noah Feldman,  Bloomberg View

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Michael Cohen Goes to Court Today

April 16, 2018

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of Donald Trump, will be in U.S. District Court in New York this afternoon, trying to exclude thousands of documents seized by the FBI from the federal case against him. Mr. Cohen has been charged by Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami, not (as in the SNL skit above) Robert Mueller. Since Mr. Cohen has only one client, Donald Trump, the case against Michael Cohen is more of a present threat to Mr. Trump than the Mueller investigation. And since Michael Cohen serves Donald Trump in the capacity of bagman and fixer, not as a lawyer, attorney-client privilege does not apply. In any case, a lawyer abetting a client in criminal acts cannot hide behind privilege.

More:

“Trump advisers see Cohen probe as greater threat to Trump than Mueller: report,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

“What Exactly Was Michael Cohen Doing for Donald Trump?” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Trump Wants to Review Seized Michael Cohen Materials Before Federal Prosecutors,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” Adam Davidson, The New Yorker

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Trump Lawyer Says He Paid Off Porn Star Before Election

February 16, 2018

Trump Lawyer Admits Paying Off Porn Star Right Before Election

Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen admitted on Tuesday that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money in 2016, right before the election, so she wouldn’t blab about her 2011 extramarital affair with the married Mr. Trump. Mr. Cohen says the payoff came out of his own pocket, and not from Mr. Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump businesses.

That doesn’t mean it’s legal. Even if Mr. Cohen didn’t coordinate his pre-election payoff with the candidate or the campaign, it could be considered an unreported in-kind campaign contribution in excess of the $2,700 individual cap. Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission to that effect. The FEC has a Republican majority and reports violations to Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice for enforcement, though, so that dog won’t hunt.

That doesn’t mean Mr. Trump is out of the woods. Stormy Daniels claims that Michael Cohen’s payoff revelations invalidate their nondisclosure agreement, so she’s free to talk about the president’s adulterous romps.

More:

“The Coming Storm? Hush Money and the Federal Election Campaign Act,” Thomas Frampton, Harvard Law Review blog

Related:

“Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity,” Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker

“The latest alleged Trump affair coverup is a damningly familiar tale,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Alleged Ex-Trump Paramour Says ‘Catch And Kill’ Practice Kept Her Quiet,” Amy Held, NPR

“Tools of Trump’s Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation and the Tabloids,” Jim Rutenberg, Megan Twohey, Rebecca R. Ruiz, Mike McIntire and Maggie Haberman, New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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