The Moment Of Truth Comes For Cohen And Flynn

As you likely know by now, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is getting sentenced this morning. In fact, the proceeding is starting as I write this post, so I am going to get it up so that there is an appropriate place to discuss the events.

There are three sentencing memos in the Cohen matter
1) Cohen’s memo
2) The SDNY Memo
3) The Mueller SCO Memo

The sentencing guideline range is 51-63 months, but the government has already suggested a downward departure, i.e. a reduction for those that do not practice federal criminal law, to 41 months. Remember, he is being, technically, sentenced on two different pleas today, the original comprehensive plea, and the one count of lying to the Feds under 18 USC §1001. The latter is a tack on charge and is really not particularly pertinent for sentencing and, in fact, the government has recommended no additional time for that above and beyond whatever is imposed in the original SDNY case. The judge is William H. Pauley, and, for what it is worth, he is not known for overly lenient sentences, and that is likely exacerbated in this case by the fact that Cohen’s conduct impinged on government.

I will make no bets here, but at one point I thought Cohen would do a lot better at sentencing, but the SDNY sentencing memo was just brutal. Currently having a hard time seeing Cohen walking out with less than the 41 months SDNY recommended, but you never know, only Pauley gets to decide. Do note that, should Cohen wake up and fully cooperate in the future, he can still get relief in the next year under Rule 35 of the Federal Criminal Rules of Procedure. Who knows what is yet to come, but it is technically possible that his sentence is not written in stone.

One interesting question is whether Judge Pauley will remand Cohen into custody today, or allow him to go home and self report at a later date. The presumption is always remand, but Cohen’s wife Laura clearly has health issues from seeing her enter the court this morning. If I were Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, I would ask for the courtesy on him taking her home and self reporting later. We shall see.

Also, if interested in the blow by blow in real time, follow Adam Klasfeld @KlasfeldReports on Twitter.

Will add in Some Flynn material in a bit.

157 replies
  1. Alan says:

    From Bloomberg: “Spotted at the Cohen sentencing hearing: Michael Avenatti is seated in the back row of the courtroom next to SDNY spokesman Nicholas Biase”


      • Alan says:

        It is funny tho, since the two battled and Avenatti might deserve a fair bit of credit for bringing Cohen to justice…

        • bmaz says:

          I would be stunned if he does not have a new claim from a soon to be former client, Stormy Daniels, for the $300K+ judgment for attorney fees against her. That is gonna get ugly.

          • Alan says:

            Avenatti should pay that out of his own pocket (plus the amounts added by the appellate courts, if he goes that route), but I suspect the entire amount is going to be quickly covered by a crowdfunding campaign (I might contribute to that myself…)

            • chuck says:

              Back many, many months ago, I was eagerly awaiting a pol quote of, “While piles of shit are familiar with shit holes, their opinions are unreliable as they have shit-for-brains and are spineless.”  Pretty sure that would be 100% defamation free.

  2. Alan says:

    I’m following

    Calling the SDNY memo unfair, [Defense Attorney] Petrillo said, “I don’t really understand the strident tone of the memo.”

    Petrillo lashed out at the Southern District, suggesting prosecutors are angry at playing second fiddle to Mueller. “Power to the Southern District,” Petrillo said. “They want to build a bigger case than they’ve already made. God bless them.”

    • Alan says:

      Special Counsel’s Office prosecutor Jeannie S. Rhee said that Cohen provided “credible” and “valuable information” regarding “any links between a campaign and a foreign government.” “Mr. Cohen has sought to tell us the truth,” Rhee said.

      “There’s only so much we can say about the particulars at this time, given our ongoing investigation,” Rhee said. Kept tight-lipped throughout her remarks. More on what she said soon.

    • Alan says:

      SDNY’s Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos is now up.

      Roos hits back and says that Cohen “cannot have it both ways.” “To do so would send the wrong message,” Roos says, the message being that “selective cooperation” would be rewarded.

      Roos: “The charges portray a pattern of deception, of brazenness and of greed.” The campaign finance charges, Roos said, were particularly “serious because of the tremendous societal costs.”

      Roos adds that Cohen’s actions harmed the interests of “free and transparent elections, and in committing these crimes, Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process.”

      Roos: The unfairness here is not to Mr. Cohen here, but to the public.

    • Alan says:

      Judge Pauley: Cohen’s cooperation “does not wipe the slate clean.” “This court … believes a significant term of imprisonment” is justified, Pauley says.

  3. bmaz says:

    Note, per Adam,

    Pauley also gives an enhancement for “sophisticated means” in his crimes, i.e. creating shell companies for the hush-money payments.

    That is not favorable at all to Cohen.

    • William Bennett says:

      That is not favorable at all to Cohen.

      Boy I’ll say. Just read Kurt Eichenwald’s analysis of the sentencing memo and what’s at stake in all the money shuffling. Which is to say, money laundering, which is not just criminal in itself (potentially tax evasion as well as the campaign finance violations) but also demonstrates criminal intent and awareness of criminal wrongdoing. None of which is trivial (“Campaign finance, meh“), especially since the Trump org was manifestly involved.

      Favorite bit:

      …so, what do we know about P2? It was paid after submission of an invoice – a frigging INVOICE – from Cohen to Trump Org saying it was for campaign expenditures.

  4. Tom S. says:

    No jury was influenced by the demands for stiff punishment for Cohen coming from the bully pulpit of our POTUS last week, is it proper for the defense to object to the court to such weighty interference? Would the sentencing judge and all possible alternates not be handed an appearance of conflict of interests as a consequence of attempted interference, by unreasonable presidential bluster?

    • Trip says:

      No jury, but the defense might’ve brought up the interference by the president. I’m not sure it would have moved it in another direction.

  5. orionATL says:

    thanks, bmaz. this is lively, interesting writing and very informative about sentencing which has always been a black box for me – oh, the things you can learn on emptywheel street – always impressive!

  6. Alan says:

    I’m now hoping the judge throws the book at him and invites the prosecution to later file for a sentence reduction if they are satisfied with his further cooperation…

    • bmaz says:

      Kind of think that is where it is headed. Interesting, I actually initially thought he was on a different path when he started cooperating. Oh well, he still has Rule 35 if he wants to really get there.

    • gedouttahear says:

      Petrillo’s a guy who was high up in the USA SDNY office and continues in his private practice to deal with them. (I also suspect he has good personal relationships with some of the AUSA’s in that office.) Despite the foregoing, he represented his client vigorously and this included blasting the SDNY for their sentencing recommendation.

      Compare this to the sleazy conduct of some of the other lawyers in these whole sordid events, where the interests they serve does not seem to be their client’s, but either their own (Avenatti) or the putz prez (Manafort’s crew.)



  7. orionATL says:

    if i interptret this comment by sco prosecutor jeannie rhee as intended, i would not say sco  was especially appreciative of cohen, just dealing with the political realities of sentencing a partialcooperator:

    “…Jeannie Rhee, part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s prosecution team, told the judge that Cohen “has endeavored to account for his criminal conduct in numerous ways,” providing “credible and reliable information about core Russia-related issues under investigation…”



    • Jockobadger says:

      bmaz – does that make it 24 mos. with good time?  Not sure if that applies in this sort of setting.  Thanks to all of you.

      • bmaz says:

        No. It will be in a federal BOP facility (to answer Trip) and in the federal system you serve 85% of the term before being eligible for release. Again, though, it is certainly not impossible that he gets some Rule 35 consideration over the next year.

        • Alan says:

          one wildcard might be the reform bill that might get a vote in the Senate–I’m not sure what’s in that tho…

        • Jockobadger says:

          Thank you. Damn I’m glad I found you folks.  Makes for great reading when I’m supposed to be working.  Since I’m self-employed I don’t even need a boss key.

        • Ollie says:

          hey bmaz, this is Ollie.  So I’ve seen rule 35 stated here and there but I have a Q.  Why, if the feds think that Cohen knows more, why did they bring this to sentencing?  Couldn’t they still pressure him to give it ALL up?  Do criminals normally do this?  Not tell all the truth at the possible cost of MORE jail time?  If he talks more, while in prison, then rule 35 would allow them to not be mad at him for not telling all prior but reward him w/more time off?  Please forgive me if this is SO stupid a Q …I almost asked you via twitter, hahaha.  Ty bmas.  You’re awesome! Ollie

      • Drew says:

        Federal prison is the regular prison for Federal crimes. The judge is recommending Otisville, which is in Orange County, NY, about 70 miles from NYC–almost to the Catskills. It looks like there is both a medium security prison and a minimum security prison camp there–probably the prison camp is what is intended, but I don’t know.

      • Trip says:

        I think I was confusing some of the other local NY state investigations with Fed investigations. Was Cohen helping with anything in re to the Trump Org (separate from campaign issues) or the Foundation?

    • Alan says:

      It looks like Petrillo did a pretty good job of lawyering and navigating Cohen through a very complex situation.

  8. bmaz says:

    And, there it is, ordered to self surrender on March 6. Not surprised, but this was not a given in the least. Easily could have been remanded.

  9. scribe says:

    Musta been some serious cooperation to go that far below the calculated range.  Have to think the judge took into account the almost inevitable disbarment to follow.

  10. Jockobadger says:

    Did Judge Pauley have access to restricted info/reporting from Rhee/SCO that he might’ve taken into account in sentencing?  Stuff that lead the SCO to recommend reduction?   Detailed info that we probably won’t get to see? Thanks

  11. Rusharuse says:

    “Today Michael Cohen will be sentenced to substantial jail time for his role in the Trump criminal enterprise and the rigging of an election. We will then depose him under oath in order to fully disclose all of the facts to the American people. Trump is in a lot of trouble.”


  12. Trip says:

    Strangely, even though Flynn cooperated more fully, and earlier, I find Michael Cohen a more sympathetic character of the two.

    • Sharon says:

      I agree, Trip. Something tells me that the fact that Flynn spent his life on the inside and Cohen his life on the outside has something to do with this.

      • Trip says:

        Yeah. Both were corrupt hustlers, but Flynn was officially inside government (a decorated general) where there should be higher standards and loftier priorities.

        • orionATL says:

          michael flynn is a lieutenant general (ret) in the u.s. military.

          the way i understand it, all officers, whether retired or not, and particularly high ranking ones like flynn are always and forever subject to military (and dod) rules, including recall to duty and conduct. they NEVER become “just ordinary citizens”).

          what the military could or would do to flynn if it chose, i can’t guess, but if he was hilary clinton, he’d probably have already been court-martialed and had his pension docked. for an example of mercy showered on a good-old-boy network good-old-boy by peers, see the matter of petraeus, david, ex-general-in-command who handed over highly classified docs to his lady love.

    • hester says:

      Totally agree w you also agree w Sharon.  I find Cohen more sympathetic.  It’s usually whom you know… the government connections you have….. Flynn has many.  Cohen was just a flunky to a mob boss. ah well.  Doesn’t excuse him…. But for Flynn to get no time?  It’s whom you know…. always.

      • bmaz says:

        No, this is simply wrong. Flynn pled to one count of false statements, and that has a presumptive sentence of six months to no time at all. Cohen’s case is FAR different. They are not analogous in the least.

        • hester says:

          Well, I get it.  I wonder if that’s all he’s guilty of……

          From WaPo in May


          While Flynn’s supporters have focused on his guilty plea regarding lying to the FBI, the special counsel’s office made clear in a court filing at the time that he was also being investigated for other possible crimes before the deal was struck, including improperly lobbying for Turkey.


          Bolding mine.  Looks like striking the deal might’ve aborted the further investigation.

        • Sharon says:

          bmaz, I know the crimes are different. I’m not saying my greater sympathy for Cohen means he should get a lighter sentence than Flynn. I’m only saying it’s easier for a commoner like me to empathize with a common crook.

    • Jenny says:

      Trip, I agree.  Cohen seems remorseful and conscious he allowed himself to be controlled by Trump.  Taking responsibility for ones actions is the first step.  Greed is enticing; however money can’t buy you love.

      “Greed is not a financial issue.  It is a heart issue.”  Andy Stanley

      • Trip says:

        I don’t know how remorseful he is. I just think he was a schmuck who looked up to Trump and thought he could make things happen. But he does seem to possess more human qualities than Trump in that, as much as it was a ‘show’ with his daughter today, I think Cohen can feel emotions like love. I think with Trump he could take or leave his own kids, wives, etc. except to the extent that they are useful to him or a positive reflection on himself.

          • bmaz says:

            So the guy accepting responsibility for what he did, pleading to a life, for him and his family, altering comprehensive set of convictions is now a “sociopath”?? Seriously, where do you come off with that shit? Is every criminal you don’t like a sociopath? WTF??

  13. Pete says:

    So Cohen is NOW a convicted (and sentenced) felon.  Twitter lawyers can now come out of hiding from @bmaz (for the time being) who correctly was pointing out that prior to today’s Cohen events he was NOT a convicted felon, but a defendant awaiting sentencing despite what cable news and pundit lawyers were claiming.  It’s a detail, but the law (process) is detailed for a reason.



    • Trip says:

      Pfffft, bmaz is a MAGA-breitbart-something (adjusts tin foil) and People have been saying that he does the RICO.

    • Alan says:

      Legally, I think it would be the entry of judgment (see Fed Rules of Crim Proc 32(k)(1)) that would make him a convicted felon–but if I’m wrong, I will stand corrected.

      • Trip says:

        IANAL, but in some cases, doesn’t the judge have the prerogative to toss a case out? In that sense, until the judge imposes a sentence I suppose it’s not the end of the game. I would think that might more likely be the case with jury trials rather than plea agreements. But I do not know.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh no, that is exactly right. The the court accepts a plea or a jury renders its findings in a verdict, but that verdict is not reduced to a formal conviction until entry of sentencing. Hilariously, I tried to explain this to some MSNBC TV “expert”, Maya Wiley, yesterday and got flamed by a bunch of dopes for doing so. But you are spot on.

        • Alan says:

          oh, wow. Maya and I were classmates in college and were both at Columbia in grad school at the same time.  I didn’t know she was now on MSNBC (I watch absolutely zero TV news).  Awesome new position for her!

          • bmaz says:

            She is normally very good, and I like her. Man, she has a shitload of followers willing to troll anybody that talks to her on Twitter though! Heh.

  14. David Karson says:

    Even though the SDNY was arguing for a greater sentence, I’ve often seen judges go below the recommended minimums from the prosecution, so 36 months not that big of surprise, given his cooperation.  Reading dozens of sentencing memos, the Prosecution’s usually reads like the person akin to evil incarnate, while the defendants often read like they are Mother Teresa, with tons of letters from friends and family talking about a life time of good works to help the poor, needy and how their  kids and wife will go to pieces if they don’t get a short sentence because they are such great  husbands and fathers. It was always hard to believe that the prosecution and defense are talking about the same person after reading the respective SM’s.

  15. orionATL says:

    cohen had some blistering words for trump though this quote from the nytimes does not do his comments full justice:

    “…before he was sentenced, a solemn Mr. Cohen, standing at a lectern, sounded emotional but resolved as he told the judge he had been tormented by the anguish and embarrassment he had caused his family“

    I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,” he said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” – a reference to Mr. Trump – “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. 

    Mr. Cohen said the president had been correct to call him “weak” recently, “but for a much different reason than he was implying.” “It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass,” Mr. Cohen said. 

    Mr. Cohen then apologized to the public: “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unfair…”

    • Geoff says:

      I really think you are letting this lifelong con man get one over on you. Those words are hollow. This guy has been grifting in every aspect of his life for decades. Do you really think the whole time he was having some sort of existential crisis and that only now, when finally getting caught, he has the clarity to see what he has been doing? I’m sorry, but no. I don’t buy it. And he didnt even really cooperate fully, which just goes to show that this act is all about saving his own butt.

      • Avattoir says:

        I have not idea what is the basis for your assertion that Cohen is ‘having on’ ANYONE at this site.

        So, maybe you’re new in town. Stay a while. Read more. You might learn a thing or two.

        • Geoff says:

          Yes, fairly new. Perhaps OrionATL left out his sarcasm tag on purpose.. By my use of “getting one over on” I mean that the OP seems to think that these “blistering” comments are authentic, and that Cohen truly holds the moral high ground that one might normally associate with such comments. I’m pretty sure he does not. In fact, one can only hope that the sentencing judge was able to look through these sentiments for what they were : totally self serving. I think that Cohen simply talked the talk to get himself the lightest sentence possible. At this point, Trump can do nothing for him, so he can say whatever he wants. It probably means nothing to him. I just find it incredibly hard to believe that anyone here could think that Cohen is doing anything but acting out the part of the criminal turned virtuous man. He’s a conman. It’s what he does. My apologies if I am inferring too much. I just dont understand the original comment if it is not meant to be sarcastic.

          • bmaz says:

            Hi Geoff, nobody is getting anything over on anybody here. Federal criminal courts do not run on emotions and outrage like you are propounding. Cohen pled guilty to a wide range of crimes, without a formal 5K1 departure agreement, which he ultimately would have received, but he wanted to get on with it. As far as financial and physical stress on him and his family, it is understandable, even if I would have counseled him to be more patient.

            As I said, there was a broad range of crimes, there were multiple quite thorough sentencing memos executed by all parties and Judge Pauley made a very rational and informed sentence. That is how the process works in federal criminal courts; it does not operate on your rage.

            • Geoff says:

              Thanks Bmaz. I’ve been reading here a while, and I appreciate the rational thinking, and especially the vast legal knowledge on display. I’m always happy to learn from the people here, although in the area of law, I am not well versed, and am this handicap in many ways makes me a slow learner, as I lack a good frame of reference with which to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

              I guess I am just generally bothered by having to read/listen to Cohen’s BS, so when someone describes it in a way that makes it seem authentic, I get a bit bent. I mean, when did Cohen learn that Trump was a piece of shit? I’d think he figured that out long long ago, yet he continued to “defend” him, simply because if you have no moral compass, and the money is all that matters, then you take the money. And then when Trump was elected, he doubled down, selling access. But hey, when the money’s gone, sure enough, he changes his tune. How convenient. This makes it hard to think of him as in any way better than Trump. Nothing he ever says will change my opinion of him. If he did 20 years of community service, then perhaps I’d reconsider my assessment of how much he is a changed man.

  16. Trip says:

    Stephen Brown‏Verified account @PPVSRB

    AMI, the parent company of National Enquirer, has reached a deal with SDNY prosecutors and is cooperating.

    Maybe Pecker can explain the high end glossy promo of MbS, along with corroborating the Cohen story. Also, what about all the dirt on Trump that was supposedly locked up in a safe?

    • Tech Support says:

      Given all the talk about Cohen not “fully” cooperating, does a formal cooperation agreement between AMI and SDNY mean then that they are going to roll over about all criminal behavior?

      There might be an Imelda Marcos volume of “other shoes” dropping here.

      • Avattoir says:

        Still pending:

        1. the DoorMan’s Story, on which AMI was involved so undoubtedly SDNY has been talking to Pecker about it;

        2. the one involving Eliot Broidy, on which Mickey Medallions was involved so undoubtedly either Mueller’s OSC or SDNY has been chatting amiably with Cohen about it; and

        3. Toad only knows what all else.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      The AMI deal feels to me like a preview from SDNY of what it could do to the Family Business. AMI is a more conventional corporate entity, but it’s still a corporate entity that cooperated instead of being prosecuted.

    • Trip says:

      southpaw‏ @nycsouthpaw

      The AMI nonprosecution deal included a specific agreement that neither the SDNY prosecutors nor the media company would disclose it publicly until after the midterm elections.

      WHY? The voters should be informed. This like an assist to Trump’s hush payoffs. I understand the policy of not wanting to steer elections, but burying agreements like this tends to hoodwink the public into thinking the “no collusion no collusion” BS talking point might be legit (on the GOP side).

      • Alan says:

        The voters should have been informed (by the Trump campaign) in August 2016.  Revealing it in August 2018 would not have affected the outcome of the midterm elections, so the better course is avoid any possible appearance of tampering with an election.

  17. Drew says:

    Popehat is doing a fist pump because his prediction was 36 months. Don’t know if he had that number in an office pool-though.

  18. klynn says:

    OT…Your quiet on the Twitter front this AM had me thinking you were going to finally get to “break” your own story…But hey, shopping is good too!

  19. TimH says:

    …should Cohen .. .fully cooperate in the future, he can still get relief in the next year under Rule 35 … possible that his sentence is not written in stone.

    Roger that!

    • Jenny says:

      Cohen tweeted 19 Dec 2015 at 7:30 PM

      “Hillary Clinton when you go to prison for defrauding America and perjury, your room and board will be free.”

      This was tweeted 36 months ago.  Cohen was sentenced to 36 months.

      What goes around, comes around.

  20. Kick the darkness says:

    From a Politico piece (  Wonder if the experts here agree with the author’s parsing of the sentencing arguments.  Although I imagine we will get a full EW breakdown soon enough.  Feels like Trump better get someone to shut down the garbage smashers on detention level PDQ.

    The conclusion reached by Judge Pauley… was based on a “preponderance of the evidence” standard….Nevertheless…When federal prosecutors told Judge Pauley that “[i]n particular, and as Cohen himself now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of [Trump],” they were in effect representing to the judge that their evidence supported that conclusion….suggesting they had evidence pointing to Trump’s involvement before Cohen confirmed it.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      The Family Business is a co-conspirator. We don’t know precisely which family entity sent the “retainer” payments to Cohen, but it was a corporate payment. The AMI deal suggests that SDNY is treating this as a corporate campaign fraud case.

      • bmaz says:

        I think it is very much both personal and corporate, not one or the other. Turns out it is…..a conspiracy.

  21. Frank Probst says:

    I realize that everyone has a father, and most of them don’t want to see their son getting sent to prison, so it’s not a surprise that Maurice Cohen was there for his son’s sentencing, but it has to be especially awful to survive the Holocaust and live to see this happen, especially since one of the places (Michael) Cohen might serve out his sentence is in a minimum security “camp”.  He’s the only one who I think I really felt sorry for today.

  22. Eureka says:

    Thanks, bmaz.  I always learn a lot of finer details on these posts where you give lots of feedback in the comments.


  23. Wotadog says:

    Following on from Cohen sentencing, could the brains trust here unpick this opinion from Walter Dellinger:

    Mentioned by Neal Katyal

    “as @WalterDellinger has argued, there is a real difference between indicting a President and forcing them to go through trial. The indictment might be permissible–indeed, it might be required if a President doesn’t agree to voluntarily waive the statute of limitations”

  24. viget says:

    OT, sort of —

    On Twitter, our hostess was opining on who the “at least one other member of the campaign” could be at the meeting between Cohen and Pecker.  Someone replied it’s Trump based on the reporting of the WSJ from early November claiming Trump and Pecker met at Trump Tower in August 2015.

    But I find the wording used in the cooperation agreement very interesting.  “At least one other member of the campaign” is a funny way to just implicate the President.  Why not say something like, “another senior campaign official?”

    To me it suggests it could be that yet ANOTHER campaign person was there besides Trump.  Not sure, could have been Jr., or someone Trump really trusted.  At that time, the only major campaign players were Lewandowski, Hicks and Roger Stone.  Interestingly, Roger Stone resigned on August 8,2015.  Wonder when this August meeting was?  Is it possible Cohen has this on tape?

    Also consider this NYT story from around the time of Cohen’s guilty plea (link):


    For the first time, prosecutors said that the tabloid publisher American Media Inc. had been involved in deals to buy the silence of both Ms. Clifford and Ms. McDougal. And as early as August 2015, prosecutors revealed, Mr. Cohen communicated with the chairman of American Media, David J. Pecker, who agreed to turn the organization’s tip line into a trip wire that could detect potential trouble for Mr. Trump. Mr. Pecker agreed to “help deal with negative stories,” about Mr. Trump’s “relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”
    Mr. Pecker made that promise, prosecutors said, “in coordination with” Mr. Cohen, “and one or more members of the campaign.”
    Prosecutors and Mr. Cohen said that he undertook his work with A.M.I. at Mr. Trump’s direction — an assertion the president denied, telling Fox News on Wednesday that he learned of the payments only later. In the campaign’s early days in 2015, Mr. Trump was operating a bare-bones staff that included his communications director, Hope Hicks; his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski; and, until that August, his longtime consigliere, Roger Stone.


    Could it be possible that SDNY (and probably Mueller) have some leverage over Stone now with possible conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations?


    Enquiring minds would like to know….

  25. jonb says:

    Another question for the lawyers, or others . Cohen seems to be saying his lies to congress were  made with the knowledge/approval of some senior official to coordinate their stories. Isn’t that considered suborning perjury?  If the don was also aware of his plan to lie…….

  26. MattyG says:

    Does the sentence reduction for cooperation offer any hints as to the potential scope of the Russia side of the investigation? Or are we still just reading redacted tea leaves for now?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      No.  The NY state bar association or state judiciary’s disciplinary committee has to act to review his conduct, give Cohen a chance to rebut the now voluminous evidence of his unfitness, and then suspend or revoke his license.

      Made men often get their licenses back after a term of years or after they serve their sentences.  Scooter Libby did.  In part, it’s a straight up power play.  People like Libby and Roy Cohn, whose license was revoked only as he lay dying, after years of questionable conduct, often have legions of the great and good attest to their “good conduct.”  Mortals do not have such wings.

        • bmaz says:

          Why would you think it would?? He has been convicted for about 12 hours. That kind of bullshit search, so quickly, means absolutely nothing. Jesus, even if they entered it today, it would not ne time to hit the records. Please, do not be absurd with this stuff. This is just ridiculous.

      • Trip says:

        Cohen really didn’t use his law license, other than to make threats as a lawyer, as far as I can tell. He only had one client, and I think they broke up, lol.

        • bmaz says:

          Do you have a law license/bar membership? No? If you did you might not be so sanguine and dismissive. Let it play out as it should.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That license is worth money and marketing juice, even if you don’t use it to practice.  On the other hand, the act of so publicly having lost it is a considerable negative.  That’s especially so as Cohen hasn’t remotely the connections and smarts of Scooter Libby, Roy Cohn or even John Dean.

          Mickey will probably retain extended family and neighborhood connections that will keep him gainfully employed whenever he is able to be so. (That might be one of the areas of non-cooperation that upset SDNY.)  He won’t have to drive for Ueber or work in the new NYC Amazon facility to make ends meet.

  27. RisingDown says:

    Bmaz, could you offer any insight as to why Cohen would agree to full cooperation with SCO but not SDNY? Would it have to do with purview SCO will consider as opposed to risking an opening of flood gates to investigations by SDNY?

    Many thanks to you, Marcy and the rest of contributors here.


    • bmaz says:

      Not sure that is an accurate synopsis. He may have offered more to SCO than SDNY for several reasons, including family involvement. We just do not yet know. Think the accurate framing is that, as of today, the SCO is more satisfied than SDNY. We shall see how it goes from here, but it is not over for the next calendar year.

  28. jonb says:

    can there be much doubt that cohens lack of cooperation with SDNY has to do with his family, his wifes family and the taxi business?     He simply won’t dime on family members probably for a dam good reason.

  29. tinao says:

    HAHAHA Caught…but not yet big fish sentenced. MC got off light, I really don’t care about the blather…our preznit who isn’t a very good one is next. Popcorn is white cheese. Model is everyone. :-)

    • bmaz says:

      This is silly. He neither got off easy, nor got the “book” thrown at him. It is a perfect example of how federal sentencing works. To call it “blather” is ridiculous. This is serious stuff, it is not a “popcorn” moment one way or the other. Maybe try to give credit to a process that is working.

  30. Thomas says:

    Why can’t they send him to one of those prisons in the Southern States where they send convicted black men to do hard labor?
    Privileged little fuck never did an honest days work in his life.

    I say poetic justice would be that people who have so many advantages and yet commit crimes, to take more, need to pay for that by working their asses half to death.
    It’s upside down to reward rich privileged criminals with “camp.”
    Let’s have a real deterrent. If it’s good enough for a poor black man, it’s good enough for a sleazy organized crime punk like Cohen. Tough guy. Big shot. “What I’m going to do to you is fucking disgusting.”
    Let him show his remorse by working his ass off for a change.

  31. perris says:

    Hi everyone, Perris here.

    Hey Bmaz, can you find a copy of the plea Butina plea?

    I can’t find a copy, but according the the ny times, she’s agreed to be deported after whatever the punishment.

    I’d post a link but would get moderated

    she will most likely be deported after her release, as was made clear in court filings laying out the deal that were obtained by The New York Times.

    I can’t think of too many reasons she’d accept that in her plea

    Possibly Putin cut Trump loose,

    Butina doesn’t understand how dangerous that is for her, don’t forget, there are people in America still believing everything Trump says, she might not believe the stories about Putin

    Possibly, since I haven’t read the plea, deportation is just an option, with other options being arranged?



  32. Jockobadger says:

    Here you are.  Page 9, Section 12, Immigration Issues

    This is near the top of the para:

    “….your client’s guilty plea and conviction make it very likely that your client’s deportation from the United States is presumptively mandatory and that, at a minimum, your client is at risk of being deported or suffering other adverse immigration consequences.”

    This is very interesting because her fate seems to hinge on whether there was an underlying and very deliberate “plan” beyond what is described in the agreement.  It sure sounds like RF personnel right up to the top were aware of her activities and supported them financially and otherwise.  Job well done? Dacha for Butina afterwards?  “Adverse immigration consequences” could mean a lot of different and likely unpleasant things.  Yikes.  Apologies if these are dumb questions.

    Also, I haven’t read or heard anything about how truly secretive all of this was i.e. her communications with “Russian Official” (Torshin?), etc.  Was that stuff all encrypted outside of or beyond normal email/cell comm encryption?  WhatsApp or other?

  33. Robert says:

    Something I don’t understand… Although I could be very wrong, my assumption is that after raiding Cohen’s office and home, prosecutors must have evidence to charge him with dozens, if not hundreds, of crimes. Especially given his apparent propensity to record conversations. So…

    Does the fact that he only pleaded guilty to 9 (?) crimes mean that:

    1. They looked at all the possible crimes they could charge, and just chose those 9 (based upon his plea deal)? So they essentially gave him a pass on any other potential future charges based on the evidence they discovered?
    2. There are far more charges that they could bring up if he “Manaforts” his cooperation deal?
    3. Prosecutors could bring up more charges any time in the future, based on the evidence they got from the searches, despite the plea deal?

    So if Cohen keeps his cooperation agreement, he’ll be off the hook for any other related charges?

    Hoping for some clarity…

  34. Trip says:

    Apparently Michael Cohen is giving interviews and trolling Trump. Petrillo seems like a decent/professional lawyer, but this approach is more Lanny Davis-like. Is this a good idea (for Cohen)? Or does it not matter at this point?

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