Michael Cohen Gets Searched and Seized

Trump Maladministration

Lots of juicy news is breaking about Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. Today the FBI raided Cohen’s Manhattan law offices and his hotel suite in the Loews Regency on Park Avenue. Cohen’s attorney said in a statement. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Word is that Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations, and the records seized included those pertaining to the payoff to Stormy Daniels. That sound you hear is coming from Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, who is whooping it up. According to WaPo,

Among the documents seized were privileged communications between Cohen and his clients — including those with Trump, according to a person familiar with the investigators’ work. Investigators took Cohen’s computer, phone and personal financial records as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, the person said.

Good times.

Update: Just heard on NBC that Rod Rosenstein signed off on the raids, and Trump just called the Mueller investigation “an attack on our country.” Will Trump be restrained from firing Rosenstein and Mueller?

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 9, 2018 @7:04 pm

    I suspect that after finding this out, tRUMPs blood-pressure went somewhere into the low four digits!

    '"Mr. President, your blood-pressure right now is…  OMG, it's 1,200 over 800!!!  You should lie down… NO!  NOT like lie down to the press!  Lke like in down… On your back, down!!!  And stay away from sharp objects, because you map pop!"

    Please, FSM, is it too much to ask that he stroke out tonight?

    Not enough to kill him, but enough so that he can't talk any more?  (As Lou Costello used to say, "IIIhhh'm a baaaaaaaaaaaad boy…").

  2. erinyes  •  Apr 9, 2018 @7:38 pm

    The bricks will fall from the wall.

     

  3. Swami  •  Apr 9, 2018 @8:04 pm

    It's music to my ears!

    My hope is that they load Cohen up with charges à la Manafort, and he reciprocates against Trump for tossing him under the bus by tossing the whole clan of inbred of Trumpsters under the bus with him.

  4. Doug  •  Apr 9, 2018 @8:07 pm

    Rosenstein and Mueller bet their asses that Cohen broke the law.  The judge who signed the warrant agreed there is probable cause. If they are wrong, they are in a world of hurt but I bet they are right. (Step right up with your money – I will cover all bets.)

    As I read the statute, the maximum penalty for the campaign contribution aspect of the Stormy Danials payoff is five years. If records show that was known and wilfully disregarded – others have gone to jail for it. If Trump knew in advance and he paid for it, he probably can't be charged while in office. If Trump has been gaslighting Melania and there's proof he wet his wick with Stormy – it could get stormy again.

    Will other documents not related to Stormy be admissible if they show criminal conspiracy between Trump/Cohn and others – like Putin? Or organized crime in NYC or payoffs to government officials in the US or abroad. If Cohn is looking at life in prison, will Trump pardon Cohn? Relieved of the risk of prosecution, Cohn can be compelled to testify.

    How Privilege works when the client and attorney are engaged in criminal activities I do not know. If Cohn is pardoned of a crime that's proven or evident by documents, can Trump pardon himself if he's a party to the crimes? 

    We're in uncharted territory.  If Trump fires Rosenstein and Mueller, the investigation will continue until somebody in DOJ (but not Sessions) calls an end to it. Can the evidence collected so far be destroyed by the DOJ? Is it already preserved by Mueller who is no idiot?

    My spidey-sense says Trump will over-react – quickly.  

  5. Bonnie  •  Apr 9, 2018 @8:38 pm

    I just heard that some of the documents have to do with the attempts Trump was making to have a hotel in Russia while he was campaigning.  Interesting.

  6. Swami  •  Apr 10, 2018 @2:53 am

    You've got to look at the bright side..When Cohen gets out of prison I'm sure Eric Trump will have some gainful employment to offer him working in his vineyard. And if he is diligent and brushes up on his Spanish while doing his stretch in the big house he might even qualify for a honcho position once he is paroled. 

    This one goes out to Michael…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUYk700_6W0

  7. moonbat  •  Apr 10, 2018 @11:17 am

    Read on TPM that this is unlikely to be just about Stormy Daniels. The action is so aggressive and out of character for a mere $130 K questionable payoff. Moreover, the US attorney in charge of the NY district is a temporary Trump appointee, someone Trump himself interviewed (a no-no), and this appointee would have to sign off on it. Josh Marshall said it's just a hunch, but it does seem a whole lot more than just about Stormy. 

    Doug asked "How Privilege works when the client and attorney are engaged in criminal activities I do not know."

    I read somewhere that attorney/client privilege applies when the two are talking about something that happened in the past; it does not apply when client and attorney are scheming to do something illegal in the future.

  8. moonbat  •  Apr 10, 2018 @11:22 am

    " If Trump fires Rosenstein and Mueller, the investigation will continue until somebody in DOJ (but not Sessions) calls an end to it. Can the evidence collected so far be destroyed by the DOJ? Is it already preserved by Mueller who is no idiot?"

    One angle about this is how Mueller "outsourced" this piece of the investigation to the NY district court. If Mueller gets axed, this investigation will still continue. This whole thing of having the NY court go after Cohen may just turn out to be a strategy to take the heat off Mueller.

  9. Swami  •  Apr 10, 2018 @12:47 pm

    This whole thing of having the NY court go after Cohen may just turn out to be a strategy to take the heat off Mueller.

    I think it's more a case of sharing the wealth. There's just so much corruption to go around that Mueller decided to let some of the other prosecutors get a piece of the action. A prosecutorial courtesy? Or it could be both Trump and Cohen are New York homeboys and it just seems fitting to let them become convicted felons on their home turf.

  10. Tom_b  •  Apr 10, 2018 @1:29 pm

    Doug: lawfare.com has a legal description of attorney/client privilege. One issue might be that since Citrus Head said in public he knew nothing about the payment, Trump can’t claim privilege for a crime he says he knows nothing about. Good article— mentions the Gottis.

  11. grannyeagle  •  Apr 10, 2018 @2:01 pm

    My fantasy:  Trump goes to prison but not before he pardons all the other inmates.  So he has the place to himself and gets all the attention and dubs it Trump's Nirvana.

  12. Doug  •  Apr 10, 2018 @2:03 pm

    The one thing Trump can do (maybe) is pardon Cohen right now. The objective would be to prevent Mueller from having leverage over Cohen for crimes discovered. Trump's worst nightmare is having Cohen a cooperating witness with Mueller. 

    It Trump can't pardon Cohen in advance, I wouldn't issue a life insurance policy on him.

  13. Swami  •  Apr 10, 2018 @3:00 pm

    The one thing Trump can do (maybe) is pardon Cohen right now. 

    Cohen hasn't been charged yet so Trump can't pardon him. And Trump's pardoning power doesn't cover co conspirators in a criminal activity. From the information that I've gathered Trump's only avenue of escape is a GOP controlled Congress turning a blind eye to Trump's criminal activity. The feasibility of that scenario is quickly becoming a long shot as Trump is turning radio active by the day.

     Any attempts by Trump to put the brakes on the investigation at this point will only result in strengthening the obstruction of justice charges that are going to be lobbed against him.

    My feeling is that Trump didn't do his homework in understanding presidential powers, and he's going to rue the day he came down the golden escalator.

  14. Tom_b  •  Apr 10, 2018 @3:07 pm

    “Trump goes to prison but not before he pardons all the other inmates.”

    Not likely; I think Manafort is also under indictment by Virginia, thus, out of the reach of a pardon. Similarly, Kushner is being investigated for crimes against NY.

    Cohen may end up being charged in NY. No love of The Don there.

    And I doubt an obnoxious pile of whatever like Miller would last more than a few days behind bars alive, assuming he is charged with something and a pardon was less than immediate.

  15. Doug  •  Apr 11, 2018 @9:49 pm

    Swami – I'm not a lawyer but Ford gave Nixon a blanket pardon when Nixon had not been charged. Trump could not nullify the investigation but he could remove the threat of jail which might force Cohen to offer Trump up. It would increase the risk that a criminal charge of obstruction would be sustained in the future but Trump has to face the immediate fire and survive to face the future fire. Cohen talking is a nuclear firestorm.

  16. Swami  •  Apr 12, 2018 @3:20 am

    Doug  … Technically you are correct in that Nixon was never charged, but the Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon on an obstruction of justice charge. He avoided the impeachment by resigning the presidency, but the obstruction of justice charge still remained as a criminal liability that could/would be pursued through the justice department. Evidently Ford decided that getting bounced out of office was punishment enough for Nixon, so he cut off the prosecution at the pass with a pardon.

    My MSNBC shit house law degree tells me that Trump can't pardon his partners in crime. He certainly can try, but chances of it holding up in court are slim to non exsistant.