Before we get to rounding up all the Michael Cohen news from the past three days, can we just ask WHAT THE HELL IS HE WEARING HERE?
That jacket is a war crime! Who thinks, “I’m going to appear on the front page of every paper in the country smoking big cigars with my friends who DEFINITELY don’t look like the cast of Goodfellas while the judge demands to know where I am (not there!). I should wear that blazer that looks like my granddad’s BarcaLounger!”
Okay, movin’ on! There’s a lot of Michael Cohen bullshit to get through before he shows up in court again this afternoon, so let’s hit it quick.
We’re Back to the Taint Team
A week ago, Michael Cohen got KNOCK-KNOCK-MOTHERFUCKERED at his home, office, and hotel by the FBI, who scooped up all his dirty laundry and took it to a secure facility for a sniffing. The normal procedure is for the the FBI to employ a team of investigators called the Taint Team (aka Filter Team) to go over evidence seized from an attorney and weed out documents covered by attorney-client privilege, before turning it over to investigators working the case.
On Friday, lawyers for the FBI, Cohen, Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels all told Judge Kimba Wood how the evidence should be sorted. You will be FOR SHOCKED that Donald Trump and Michael Cohen would each like to do the sorting themselves, since we all know the FBI is BIASSSS.
HALP, HALP! Michael Cohen Is Being Oppressed!
Michael Cohen knows who should decide whether the government gets to see his files, and it is MICHAEL COHEN. See, Cohen has clients, so many clients! So it’s only fair that he himself should sort out what documents he sees fit to turn over to the government because there are “thousands” of pages of privileged documents to protect.
Riiiiight, said Judge Wood, So you won’t mind giving the court a list of Mr. Cohen’s clients.
Only Cohen’s attorney couldn’t come up with anyone other than Donald Trump — although we can think of one guy!
“I need more time to really analyze that question,” Cohen attorney says in response to how many clients Cohen had with whom he had attorney-client privilege.
— erica orden (@eorden) April 13, 2018
And Cohen himself was smoking cigars with Da Boys and getting photographed in his war crime blazer while his counsel was in court trying to convince the judge that Cohen IS TOO a real lawyer.
Here’s a fun excerpt from poor Mikey’s Motion to appoint himself to the Taint Team.
Boo fucking hoo!
And just as we were typing, Cohen’s lawyers let the court know that they would not be divulging Michael Cohen’s client list because REASONS. Are those reasons because all the clients have wandering dicks that needed a hush money agreement? Cohen’s lawyers did not say. But they are very sure that the FBI is BIASSS and so the judge should appoint a special master to oversee the privilege determinations, that is if she refuses to let Michael Cohen do it his own self.
As the Court is surely aware, there is a growing public debate about whether criminal and congressional investigations by the government are being undertaken impartially, free of any political bias or partisan motivation.
Mmmm hmmmm. Congress and the FBI are controlled by Republicans, but you go right ahead and tell Judge Wood that you can’t get a fair shake. SOLID PLAN.
The FBI Does Not Have Time For Your Shit, Michael Cohen!
Sure it sounds kinky, but a taint team is the normal way to handle potentially privileged material — it’s like the missionary position of evidence sorting, if you will. The FBI got a warrant, they did a good search, and they have no goddamn intention of turning that stuff back over to Michael Cohen so he can decide what he’d like to share with them.
And they’d appreciate it if Michael Cohen would get off his high horse about being a big shot lawyer, since he only has like one client (plus the other guy). Also, too, Mikey, you can stop pretending that you’re just the attorney in this case.
Cohen, however, is not the disinterested third party contemplated by the USAM. The applicable provision is that which applies when the attorney is a “suspect, subject or target” of the investigation. As a result, as the USAM observes, “[t]here are occasions when effective law enforcement may require the issuance of a search warrant for the premises of an attorney who is a subject of an investigation, and who also is or may be engaged in the practice of law on behalf of clients.”
In case you missed that, Michael, that means you are definitely the target of this investigation.
Donald Trump Has Thoughts! And They Are Ridiculous!
Donald Trump knows who should be reviewing these documents, and it is DONALD TRUMP! Because he’ll be “irredeemably violated” if the FBI Taint Team makes a mistake and accidentally allows a privileged document to slip through. Plus, obviously the FBI is BIASSSS, since they seem to think Michael Cohen isn’t even a real lawyer with privileged documents to protect. (So weird!) Also, too, did you know Donald Trump is the president? He will be the best sorter, Your Honor, believe me.
Yes, Donald Trump, who spent two goddamn years hollering that Clinton didn’t turn over her server to the FBI so they could decide what was relevant, is insisting on his right to decide which of his communications should remain private. When we get around to impeaching this jackass, there better be a count for Aggravated Murder of Irony.
Michael Avenatti was in court on Friday, presumably looking fabulous in a normal suit and tie.
Stormy’s lawyer @MichaelAvenatti is speaking in the Cohen proceeding.
“We have every reason to believe that some of the documents that were seized relate to my client.”
— erica orden (@eorden) April 13, 2018
And he’s announced that Stormy Daniels herself will be in court for the Monday afternoon hearing. Shit’s gonna be lit at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Federal Courthouse, y’all!
(Nerd Alert: The FBI has Cohen’s recordings of his conversations with Daniels’s and Karen McDougal’s former lawyer Keith Davidson. Look for Avenatti to insist that his client waives the privilege for Davidson’s side of the conversation, while the FBI insists that Cohen and Trump have waived their attorney-client confidentiality by running their mouths about it.)
But Wait, There’s MORE!
Remember on Friday when we told you about Cohen and Davidson negotiating a hush money payment between yet another Playboy model and (now former) RNC deputy finance chair Elliot Broidy? The Wall Street Journal reports that Cohen got paid $250,000, on the $1.6 million deal — which seems like a lot for a shitty NDA he cut and pasted from the Daniels settlement. Cohen even reused the same LLC to route the payments, because of course he did. And Davidson may have taken a cut of 40% on his client’s share. These guys are really, really … ahem, lucky.
WSJ also reports that Cohen was responsible for killing the story of Don Jr.’s affair with the Celebrity Apprentice lady who wrote those terrible songs after the chinless wonder refused to put a baby in her. It’s a weird, weird world!
And Now for the KICKER!
Vanity Fair says that Cohen is considering representing himself.
Cohen, according to these people, has vacillated between this new level of exasperation and his typical Trumpian chest beating manner. He has suggested to people close to him that perhaps he should act as his own attorney, because he may be the most apt person to defend himself.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Stop it, dude! You’re killing us.
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