"michael cohen"

Sean Hannity, while excoriating Obama over housing crisis, quietly snapped up hundreds of foreclosed properties

Fox News' Sean Hannity used to make a lot of noise about how President Barack Obama was responsible for a housing crisis that destroyed American families. All that while, through various shell companies, Hannity was cheaply buying foreclosed homes by the hundreds to profit handsomely from that selfsame crisis.

The records link Hannity to a group of shell companies that spent at least $90m on more than 870 homes in seven states over the past decade. The properties range from luxurious mansions to rentals for low-income families. Hannity is the hidden owner behind some of the shell companies and his attorney did not dispute that he owns all of them.

Dozens of the properties were bought at a discount in 2013, after banks foreclosed on their previous owners for defaulting on mortgages. Before and after then, Hannity sharply criticised Barack Obama for the US foreclosure rate. In January 2016, Hannity said there were “millions more Americans suffering under this president” partly because of foreclosures.

This news is fallout from last week's naked act of Hannitarian grotesquery in journalism: defending Trump legal advisor Michael Cohen at Fox News without disclosing that Cohen had also given him legal advice.

One of the oddities of Trump's GOP is how quickly those who resemble him in unseen ways are prevailing as its thought leaders. The griftarians on the right lack Trump's ability to hide specifics (what they do becomes more obvious in less time) but they all benefit from a new institutional conservatism that's tailored to their needs because it's tailored to his needs. Read the rest

GOP fundraiser who paid for silence of impregnated Playboy model offered to lift sanctions on Russian firm for $26M

Remember that Trump associate who resigned as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee last week after news came out he'd hired Michael Cohen to negotiate a $1.6 million deal to buy the silence of Playboy model he impregnated? His name is Elliott Broidy and, The Intercept has a new story about how Broidy promised the Russian gas giant Novatek he get it taken off the U.S. sanctions list for a cool $26 million. Just another day in the shithole presidency.

In February 2017, Broidy sent a draft of the plan by email to attorney Andrei Baev, then a Moscow- and London-based lawyer who represented major Russian energy companies for the firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Baev had already been communicating with Novatek about finding a way to lift U.S. sanctions.

Broidy proposed arranging meetings with key White House and congressional leaders and generating op-eds and other articles favorable to the Russian company, along with a full suite of lobbying activities to be undertaken by consultants brought on board. Yet even as he offered those services, Broidy was adamant that his company, Fieldcrest Advisors LLC, would not perform lobbying services but would hire others to do it. He suggested that parties to the deal sign a sweeping non-disclosure agreement that would shield their work from public scrutiny.

The plan is outlined in a series of emails and other documents obtained by The Intercept. Broidy and Baev did not dispute the authenticity of the exchanges but said the deal was never consummated.

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Trump campaign paid $66,000+ to lawyers for Keith Schiller, former longtime bodyguard

Trump's longtime strongman got benefits we're just beginning to learn about. Wonder why he needed legal representation?

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Have a sex secret? "Get Cohen on the phone"

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH brilliant legal mind Michael Cohen advertises his services: Got Sex Secrets? Get Cohen on the Phone!

Judge denies Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's request for temporary restraining order

A federal judge rejected a request from President Donald Trump and from Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, for a temporary restraining order to keep federal prosecutors from reading files seized in 'no-knock' FBI raids last week.

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Sean Hannity revealed as Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's client number 3

In New York today, a judge ordered Michael Cohen to reveal the name of a third client, someone who didn't want to be named. It's Sean Hannity.

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Contrasting perspectives on the meaning of the raid on Michael Cohen's office

It's hard to know what to make of the raid on Trump family lawyer/bagman/fixer Michael Cohen's office -- there's been plenty of news tick-tock on the subject and legal experts agree that something momentous is going on, but what, exactly, does it all mean. Read the rest

Trump called Michael Cohen Friday to “check in,” as lawyers fight over seized documents from FBI raid

Four days after FBI agents raided Michael Cohen and seized loads of potential evidence, President Donald Trump called his longtime personal lawyer just “to check in” and see how things were going, no big deal.

“Defense lawyers often caution witnesses and subjects to no talk during an ongoing investigation because it appears like they may be conspiring together,” says the New York Times' Michael Schmidt about the story.

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Prosecutors got 'covert' warrants to search Michael Cohen's email, here's what we know of their findings

A court filing in the case of President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen shows that prosecutors obtained “covert” search warrants on multiple email accounts belonging to Cohen. An early report says “Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work,” according to sources, and “zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.”

If that's the case, attorney-client privilege doesn't apply.

According to all that is publicly known, Trump does not use email, personally. Others may read out the contents to him, or print out the messages. But he doesn't email.

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Trump's lawyer Cohen trying to block information found in FBI raid with a restraining order

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is trying to stop the government from using information found in the FBI raid that occurred on Monday in his office and home.

Cohen is asking a federal judge for a restraining order today at a US District Court hearing.

According to CNBC:

Cohen's argument is "a dead loser," said former U.S. attorney Harry Litman, who teaches at the UCLA School of Law and continues to practice law. "The search was orthodox and lawful and he has no basis to challenge it," Litman said, based on news reports about the process of obtaining the search warrant.

But even if it turns out that the warrant was acquired on insufficient grounds, Litman said Cohen's strategy for this hearing doesn't hold much water. "Even if it's flagrantly unlawful, the way to challenge that is to keep the government from using the evidence in court against him," Litman said.

Cohen's approach, on the other hand, makes it look like he is trying to temporarily freeze the government's ability to use what it has seized, said Harry Rimm, a partner of the law firm Sullivan & Worcester.

"The argument is likely that this is an unusual case with leaks," where Cohen can't "wait months for a suppression motion because by the time we'd get to a suppression motion in the normal course, Cohen will have suffered terrible harm," Rimm told CNBC in an email.

Image: IowaPolitics.com/Flickr Read the rest

Lawsplaining the FBI raid on Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen

Ken "Popehat" White (previously) is a former US federal prosecutor whose explanations of the minutae of law have been invaluable to my understanding of the legal controversies swirling around Trump and his retinue. Read the rest

FBI raids the office of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen

Today the FBI raided the office of Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. They seized various documents, including information related to porn actress Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford.

According to the New York Times, who first reported on the story:

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York...

The payments to Ms. Clifford are only one of many topics being investigated, according to a person briefed on the search. The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said.

And according to CNN, Trump knew about the raid before it was reported, and, of course, kept up with the story by watching reports about it on TV.

Image: IowaPolitics.com - Trump executive Michael Cohen 014, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link Read the rest

Is Stormy Daniels being shadowbanned on Twitter?

This afternoon, Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress and director to whom Dear Leader's lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid hush money weeks before the 2016 election, tweeted the following:

It's true. If you search on her name, and hit the Latest tab, you see lots of Trump-linked tweets and tweets where Ms. Daniels is mentioned, but not a single one of the recent Tweets from Stormy Daniels herself. [Note: her posts don't appear when you click the "Latest" tab, but her posts do appear in the "Top" tab -- Mark]

Hey Twitter? What's up with this? Is she being shadowbanned? It actually appears to be a redirect to Trump tweets. Who might be doing this?

Image: mkhmarketing/Flickr. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Read the rest

Stormy Daniels files defamation lawsuit against Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

"Defendants plainly intended to prevent American voters from hearing Plaintiff [Clifford] speak about Mr. Trump," the suit says.

Stormy Daniels has amended her lawsuit against Donald Trump to say Trump attorney Michael Cohen defamed her, and also says the non-disclosure agreement she signed violates campaign finance law.

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Stormy Daniels offers to return $130,000 hush money to Trump in exchange for freedom to tell all

Adult film star Stormy Daniels doesn't want Trump's $130,000 hush money anymore. But unlike an unwanted new pair of shoes that suddenly feels too tight around the toes, can hush money be returned?

Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford in real life, sent a letter to Trump's private lawyer Michael Cohen today offering to return the money for her freedom to freely share her story about Trump. This includes being free to share any text messages, photos and video she might have regarding their alleged affair.

According to NBC:

The letter says the money would be wired to an account designated by Trump by Friday. In return, Clifford would be allowed to "speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and the attempts to silence her and use and publish and text messages, photos and videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution or legal liability," the letter says.

"This has never been about the money," Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told NBC News on Monday. "It has always been about Ms. Clifford being allowed to tell the truth. The American people should be permitted to judge for themselves who is shooting straight with them and who is misleading them. Our offer seeks to allow this to happen."

I can't see what the upside for Trump would be in taking her up on her offer, besides the $130,000, which is just pennies to Trump according to all the bragging he's done about his finances. Read the rest

CNN's economics analyst told cringeworthy joke about Stormy Daniels and no one was laughing

On a CNN Tonight's panel last night with Don Lemon, CNN economics analyst Stephen Moore cracked a stupid joke about Stormy Daniels, and it didn't go over well with Lemon and the other panelists.

On the subject of Daniels and her lawsuit against Trump, Lemon asks political commentator Kevin Madden to react to Daniels' claim that Trump's long-time attorney Michael Cohen has attempted to silence her as recently as last week. Madden says her claims are credible, and he's incredulous that we're even having to have this kind of discussion about a sitting president.

Then Moore jumps in and says, "Are you saying that a porn star would actually try to call attention to herself? Shocking, right?”

The atmosphere becomes awkward as the panelists quietly stare straight ahead with expressions of suppressed cringes on their faces. Moore tries to breaks the ice with, "I mean, that’s what porn stars do!” He digs himself deeper with, "My only point is, I mean, a porn star?" He then makes that horsey sound people make when they blow air between loose lips, to show that a porn star's remarks are to be dismissed.

Political Analyst Kirsten Powers, one of the other panelists, says, "I don't think it's appropriate to be demeaning this woman."

The ignorant drivel coming from Moore continues until the video finally cuts off. Read the rest

Porn actor Stormy Daniels sues Trump, claims NDA invalid because he never signed

Stormy Daniels' new lawsuit against Donald Trump says their "hush agreement" is invalid because 'David Dennison' (the president's sex pseudonym) never signed it.

Donald Trump never signed the nondisclosure agreement that his lawyer Michael Cohen arranged with porn performer Stormy Daniels, according to a lawsuit filed by Daniels today in Los Angeles and later obtained by NBC News.

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