Michael Cohen

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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:30 pm

Michael Cohen Is Ready to Talk Russia to Congress

He once felt he owed Trump his loyalty. Now he owes Congress an explanation.

Natasha Bertrand is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers national security and the intelligence community.
Jan 30, 2019

President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen exits the federal courthouse after entering a guilty plea in Manhattan in November 2018.Andrew Kelly / Reuters
President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen lied to Congress about issues central to the Russia investigation out of “blind loyalty” to his longtime boss. But now the man who once said he would take a bullet for Trump plans to correct the record before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees—perhaps giving lawmakers more insight than they’ve ever had into the president’s dealings with Russia before and during the election.

Cohen’s much-hyped public testimony before a separate panel, the House Oversight Committee, was expected to be highly restricted to avoid interfering with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, with which Cohen has been cooperating for several months. (Cohen postponed that hearing following attacks from the president and the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on his wife and father-in-law.) But the intelligence-committee hearings will be conducted behind closed doors, giving Cohen the opportunity to have a freer exchange with the members.

Read: Three remarkable things about Michael Cohen’s plea

Cohen is willing to answer questions about what he’s told Mueller and other issues related to the ongoing investigation, according to two people familiar with his plans. (They, like other people I spoke with, requested anonymity to discuss the private deliberations.) However, his legal team is also in talks with Mueller’s office to determine whether there are any parameters for his testimony. The House Intelligence Committee is also “in consultation with the special counsel’s office to ascertain any concerns that they might have and to deconflict,” according to a committee aide.

“The reason that he agreed to testify privately for the intelligence committees is, first and foremost, because he owes them,” one of the people familiar with Cohen’s plans said. “He pleaded guilty to lying to them and owes them an apology.” Cohen admitted in court late last year that he lied to Congress when he told them that negotiations to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended in January 2016, and that he hadn’t discussed it much with Trump. In fact, Cohen testified, he agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow project and took steps to prepare for Trump’s possible trip there after he clinched the Republican nomination.

Cohen is “more open to answering questions” about these and other Russia-related issues than he would have been in a public setting, according to this source, as long as he remains “secure in the knowledge that both committees will protect his testimony and prevent leaks.”

Read: Michael Cohen takes Mueller inside the Trump Organization

The Senate panel, which subpoenaed Cohen earlier this month, and its House counterpart declined to preview what questions they intend to ask. But the central purpose of the interviews is for Cohen to correct the record on his previous false statements to the committees about the timing of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations—and, crucially, whether Trump or anyone in the White House directed him to lie in the first place. BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that Mueller had evidence that Trump had asked Cohen to lie about the timing of the real-estate deal, prompting the special counsel’s office to release a rare statement contradicting aspects of the story. But House Democrats made it clear that, if it were confirmed that the president had tried to obstruct justice in order to hide his involvement in business negotiations with the Kremlin during the election—while Russia waged a hacking and disinformation campaign to undermine Trump’s opponent—it would be cause for impeachment.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Wednesday morning that the panel expects Cohen to address the Moscow real-estate deal, which was also a potential source of leverage for Russia throughout 2016 as Trump—and his family—kept the negotiations a secret from voters. Cohen admitted late last year to discussing the Moscow deal with Trump’s family members “within” the Trump Organization.

Donald Trump Jr., an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was only “peripherally aware” of the Moscow deal in 2016. It is not clear what he told the House Intelligence Committee, which has not yet released the transcripts of the closed-door interview. But Cohen’s corrected testimony could illuminate whether other witnesses have been honest during congressional testimony about their role in, or knowledge of, the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations in 2016, and Russia’s interference more broadly.

Read: Michael Cohen pays the price for his ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump

“I think this common thread of lying to Congress and particularly to congressional committees may ensnare a number of other potential targets in the special counsel’s investigation,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Monday. “And it could become a matter of criminal action.” On Friday, the longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was indicted by Mueller for lying to the House Intelligence Committee about WikiLeaks, prompting Schiff to reiterate that the Intelligence Committee’s “first order of business” once it is constituted—which has been delayed by Republicans—will be a vote to send the official witness transcripts to Mueller. “We will continue to follow the facts wherever they lead,” he said.
https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article ... ssion=true
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:01 pm

Adam Klasfeld

Verified account

Follow Follow @KlasfeldReports
Docket activity in U.S. v. Michael Cohen on the same morning his testimony is postponed.

"SEALED DOCUMENT placed in vault. (mhe)"
https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 4180823041

“mhe” is short for “Mmmwhaaaahaahaaaheeeeheeeheeeee!!!” :D

And there was a sealed filing related to Gates today as well. It’s hard to know what’s going on but there definitely activity

Schiff postpones Cohen’s testimony 2/28 “in the interest of the investigation.” Sounds like Mueller wants to get the other transcripts and charge everyone that lied about the Moscow Tower (like Junior?) before they talk to Cohen and risk leaks.

House Intel panel postpones Cohen testimony

Morgan Chalfant02/06/19 09:52 AM EST
The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday abruptly postponed the closed-door testimony of President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen until later this month.

"In the interests of the investigation, Michael Cohen's testimony has been postponed until February 28th," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a brief statement Wednesday morning.

Cohen had been scheduled to testify before the committee on Friday as part of its newly revived probe into Russian interference.

Schiff initially announced in late January that Cohen would testify before the committee behind closed doors on Feb. 8, about a month before he is slated to report to federal prison to serve three years for a series of offenses he pleaded guilty to last year.

Cohen has attracted the attention several congressional committees, particularly among House Democrats looking to leverage their new oversight powers to investigate the president and his administration.

He also has been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify in a closed-door session next week as part of that panel’s Russia probe. Cohen’s legal representative and spokesman Lanny Davis has said his client plans to comply with the subpoena.

The president's former "fixer" has admitted to lying in previous testimony before both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about plans to build a Trump property in Moscow.

He was slated to appear publicly before the House Oversight Committee this Thursday, but he postponed that appearance last month, citing what he said were threats from Trump and the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The committee and Cohen’s representatives have been trying to work out a compromise for his appearance, but no details have been announced.

Lawmakers on the committee signaled his public testimony was expected to be severely limited so as not to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, in which Cohen is cooperating, and other probes involving Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty to a slew of federal offenses in August, including campaign finance violations tied to a scheme to pay off women who alleged affairs with Trump in order to suppress information about them before the 2016 election. He implicated Trump in the scheme; the president has denied any wrongdoing.

In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying about discussions within the Trump Organization about developing a property in Moscow and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators. Cohen admitted that the talks extended into June 2016 -- several months longer than he previously stated – at which point Trump was the presumptive nominee for president.

Updated at 10:15 a.m.
https://thehill.com/policy/national-sec ... -testimony
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:15 am

“Earth-Shattering”: In Testimony Against Trump, Michael Cohen Preparing to Shock Lawmakers with Disclosures

For more than a decade, the president’s former lawyer and fixer bore witness to Trump’s ruthless business tactics and personal skulduggery. Now, Cohen is prepared to bare his soul before Congress.

Emily Jane FoxFebruary 26, 2019 5:00 am
The Cohen Files

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen leaves the Monocle restaurant on Capitol Hill on Thursday, February 21, 2019.
By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.
Over the weekend, Michael Cohen left New York City and drove down to Washington, D.C., to commence what is expected to be an excruciating week for the Trump administration, if a cathartic one for himself. For more than a decade, Cohen served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, business consigliere, and all-around doer of dirty deeds, as he’s put it. In early 2018, however, Cohen and his former boss found themselves at odds over an alleged hush-money scheme. Cohen quickly became the subject of a federal investigation, an infamous early-morning visit from a dozen F.B.I. agents armed with search warrants, and a constant victim of Trumpian Twitter invective. In the process, Cohen also became an unlikely, and formidable, player for the other side in the Mueller team—a man with crucial knowledge about both the Stormy Daniels affair and the Trump Tower Moscow saga, who, after some time and major changes in his position within Trumpworld, was willing to spill. This impression was amplified when Cohen implicated the president under oath while pleading guilty in August to campaign-finance violations, among other financial crimes, and in November to lying to Congress. The following month, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Now, Cohen plans to air the president’s dirty laundry during three days of congressional hearings—a final act of allocution before he reports to prison in May. According to people familiar with his testimony, Cohen’s testimony will include allegations of racism, lies, infidelity, and criminal misconduct while in office. Cohen has been preparing for this very public moment every day for the last several weeks, according to people familiar with the situation, as he tries to square his wrongdoings in the face of great skepticism. In intense, daily meetings, his new attorneys, Michael Monico and Barry Spevack, have been probing his memory of his time with Trump, according to these people, including his professional tasks, and the inner workings of his life as a loyal employee to a man for whom he once told me he would “take a bullet.” “Some things that are earth-shattering are right in front of your nose, and the reason you don’t know that they’re earth-shattering is because they’re right in front of you,” one person told me. The second of the three hearings will be public, rather than behind closed doors, and broadcast by all the major networks on Wednesday, hours before Trump is set to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Hanoi. (The White House did not comment for this story.)

According to these people, Cohen is prepared to provide a first-person narrative of the crimes to which he has pleaded guilty, particularly surrounding his role in hush-money payments. Cohen’s lawyers have prepared him by asking detailed and process-oriented questions, so that he is able to tell the full story behind the $130,000 payment to Daniels, in particular. The sorts of things he could answer run from beginning to end: What did you tell Trump about the payment and how did he react? Did you tell Trump Organization C.F.O. Allen Weisselberg about it? How did you decide that the payment would come from your personal account instead of through the Trump Organization? Once that was decided, did you discuss how you were going to get paid back? If they were going to make it a retainer fee, did you discuss how it was going to be put on the books or if it would violate campaign-finance laws? Did the reimbursements begin after Trump was sworn in, and if checks were written, who signed them? Cohen’s answers to these questions, according to the people familiar, are chilling.

Meanwhile, there won’t be revelations about election meddling, at least in public. The House of Representatives set the scope for the hearings after consulting with both the Department of Justice and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which are both still investigating any ties between Russian election interference and the Trump campaign. Cohen will, however, be asked about the president’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the election, along with what he knows about Trump’s business activities and charitable organization, potential conflicts of interest and campaign-finance violations, and his compliance with other requirements and laws.

Congressional investigators will certainly be interested in the Trump Tower episode, too. “Who would have been aware of the false testimony that he was giving?” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff asked Sunday on ABC’s This Week, previewing the questions Democrats are likely to pose when they interview Cohen. “What more could he tell us about the Trump Tower New York meeting or any other issues relevant to our investigation?”

Cohen’s final stand in D.C.—the specter of a convicted felon making potentially sordid allegations against a sitting president on live television—is likely to be spectacular political theater, perfectly construed for our reality-TV, post-reality times. What makes it all the more spectacular is how precipitously the relationship between Cohen and Trump has devolved. Around a year ago, as news of the Daniels hush-money payment began to reverberate, Cohen kept in close touch with the president, visiting him twice at Mar-a-Lago and speaking with him near daily on the phone. It wasn’t until after Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room were searched by the F.B.I. in early April—an event Trump initially called “an attack on our country”—that the cracks in the relationship began to show. Trump soon distanced himself from Cohen and his legal troubles, saying in interviews with Fox News that Cohen did very little legal work for him, and that Cohen was being investigated for crimes unrelated to him. Squabbles over who would foot Cohen’s legal bills intensified the rift, as did what Cohen perceived to be a coordinated strategy by people in Trump’s orbit to discredit him.

But perhaps the most spectacular aspect of all will be the split-screen tension. As Cohen rips into his former boss on the world’s stage, and lawmakers, in turn, rip into him, Trump will be at a crucial summit with Kim in Vietnam. For a president who cares primarily about ratings and the public spectacle of power, rather than the actual work and weight of it all, this could be one of the most heightened, hyped, and, ultimately, pivotal weeks of his presidency.

Last August, under oath, Cohen publicly implicated his former boss in committing a felony by directing him to make payments to Daniels. But Trump, potentially protected by Justice Department guidelines that suggest a sitting president cannot be indicted, has so far not been touched by the arms of justice. Nor have his approval ratings among supporters budged much. That could change on Wednesday, when Cohen is given a platform to elucidate the president’s alleged crimes. Cohen’s lawyer and public spokesperson, __Lanny Davis,__has said that Cohen could be a modern-day John Dean, the former White House counsel whose testimony before Congress helped take down Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal. Dean himself was sentenced in August 1974 to one-to-four years in a minimum-security prison, part of which he served at a safe house near Baltimore. Decades later, he is better remembered for the lies he exposed than his own crimes. Cohen, as he prepares to speak his truth before the world, might be hoping for the same.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/02 ... isclosures
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:09 pm

Seth Abramson


(1) McClatchy DC is correct (as it has often been in its Trump-Russia reporting) and Cohen is lying;


(2) people are misreading the McClatchy DC report, which only intimates that Cohen's *phone* was in Prague on the given date (thus linking up with the Steele Dossier)Seth Abramson added,
Brian Stelter
Verified account

Cohen just now: "I've never been to Prague."

McClatchy's previous reporting: "Cell signal puts Cohen outside Prague around time of purported Russian meeting." https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/invest ... 16820.html

1/ McClatchy also cited *surveillance* info in which a Russian "remarked that Cohen was in Prague." As to *that*, it's *entirely possible a Russian said this* (as McClatchy DC reported) and was either (1) wrong, or (2) being misleading because s/he knew they were being overheard.

2/ But neither @brianstelter nor anyone else could responsibly say that either McClatchy is correct or Cohen is; it's entirely possible that Cohen has never been to Prague—except in '01, as he told WSJ—and that McClatchy is correct about *both* the phone and surveillance records.

3/ We're dealing with the most dire, complex federal criminal investigation of our lifetimes. Any journalist, attorney or news analyst who can't be discerning enough about facts, statements, and the law to see that Cohen and McClatchy aren't necessarily in conflict has a problem.

4/ The question is whether Cohen (or McClatchy) disagree with the Steele Dossier, which is a thornier issue. It's possible that the same Russian who—potentially—*legitimately* thought Cohen was in Prague said as much to Steele's source. Remember that the Dossier was *raw intel*.

5/ So journalists, lawyers and news analysts must be perspicacious enough to always discuss the Steele dossier as raw intel; to acknowledge that a Steele source could *honestly* say what they were told or believed and be *wrong*; and that Cohen and McClatchy *aren't* in conflict.

6/ I'd also say, as a former criminal defense lawyer—and current attorney and member of the NHBA and Federal Bar for the District of New Hampshire—that when you are *losing* a case you focus on *one* fact in dispute. And notice that that's exactly what Trump supporters are doing.

7/ My concern about Cohen's testimony on Prague is zero—and that's because Trump-Russia collusion in no way hinges on it, the claim Cohen was there comes from raw intel, and nothing that's come out makes impossible that Cohen's cell phone—in other hands—was in Prague in mid-2016.

8/ I'd also note the obvious irony of those who've spent months saying that not a word Cohen says can be believed now saying that we can *definitely* believe him on Prague. Note the difference in what *I'm* saying—I'm *consistently* saying that Cohen is *now* telling the truth.

9/ I'll make an exception to that statement: Cohen *has* previously been to Prague—and told Corn that—but in answering the question today focused on whether he went there *during the campaign*. Unlike Trump supporters I'm consistently saying I think Cohen's telling the truth now.

10/ Anyone asked about Cohen's testimony has to decide if they think Cohen is telling the truth now or not. I'd be suspicious of any person whose analysis of Cohen's testimony depends on thinking he told the truth in some answers and lied in other answers—watch out for that. /end

PS/ (Proof of Collusion takes no view on Cohen and Prague. The book focuses instead on Cohen's pre-RNC trip to Italy (in 2016) and the *fact* that he lied about where he was (and with whom) during that trip, which is suspicious. That's all. I've never been obsessed with Prague.)

PS2/ What readers of this feed will know is that I *have* been very interested in the Steele dossier—which I've estimated at somewhere around 70% accurate (because much of it is "raw intel," as Steele himself said from the outset). If Cohen-in-Prague is part of the 30%, so be it.

PS3/ Here's what I said on Cohen and Prague six months ago: "I'm not convinced Cohen was in Prague." I then said we could "bank on" Cohen meeting with at least one Kremlin agent in Italy. I have no worries giving that a *slight* amendment (see next tweet).Seth Abramson added,
Seth Abramson
Verified account


(1) Mueller says he has evidence Cohen was in Prague.…
Show this thread

PS4/ The pre-RNC Cohen-Sater chat on traveling abroad to meet Russians focused on meeting Kremlin agents who could help Trump get Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen declined to go to Moscow and went to Italy instead. It's entirely possible any Russian he met there was not a Kremlin agent.

PS5/ That is, there are many people Cohen could've met in Italy who could've assisted Mr. Trump with Trump Tower Moscow and explain Cohen's fake alibi *and* his other lies told about the vacation *and* him "going on vacation" during the 10 days pre-RNC that Trump needed him most.

NOTE/ A full discussion of the lies Cohen told about Italy—which strongly suggest he was engaged in clandestine activity for Trump in the days immediately preceding the 2016 RNC—can be found in PROOF OF COLLUSION. And PROOF OF COLLUSION can be found here:
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status ... 6162353153
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:08 am


A Criminal in the Oval Office? Michael Cohen Accuses Trump of Lying, Racism & Illegal Activity

FEBRUARY 28, 2019Watch iconWatch Full Show

Marcy Wheeler
independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. She runs the website EmptyWheel.net.

In an explosive 5-hour hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen accused his old boss of committing multiple criminal acts before and during his presidency. Cohen provided evidence that Trump had violated campaign finance laws by paying hush money to women, accused the Trump Foundation of committing fraud by using the tax-exempt organization for personal purposes, and said Trump lied when he said he couldn’t release his tax returns because they were being audited. He also claimed that Trump had advance knowledge that WikiLeaks was preparing to publish a trove of emails to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the run-up to the 2016 election. Cohen confirmed the president repeatedly checked in about the status of a proposed Trump Tower Moscow project well into the 2016 campaign, despite public claims to the contrary. But he said he had seen no direct evidence that Trump had colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign. The testimony came two months before Cohen is scheduled to begin a 3-year prison sentence for lying to Congress, a series of financial crimes and campaign violations. We speak with Marcy Wheeler, an independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. She runs the website EmptyWheel.net.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, has accused his old boss of committing multiple criminal acts before and after he became president. Cohen made the charges during more than five hours of explosive public testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

He provided evidence that Trump had violated campaign finance laws by paying hush money to women. He accused the Trump Foundation of committing fraud by using the tax-exempt organization for personal purposes. Cohen said Trump lied when he said he couldn’t release his tax returns because they were being audited. He said Trump routinely deflated his assets to reduce his taxes, while inflating them in order to win bank loans. Cohen claimed Trump had advance knowledge that WikiLeaks was preparing to publish a trove of emails to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Cohen also confirmed the president repeatedly checked in about the status of a proposed Trump Tower Moscow project well into the 2016 campaign, despite his public claims to the contrary. But Michael Cohen said he had seen no direct evidence that Trump had colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Cohen also said he fears there would not be a peaceful transition of power if Trump loses the 2020 election.

Michael Cohen’s testimony came two months before he’s scheduled to begin a 3-year prison sentence for lying to Congress, a series of financial crimes and campaign violations. Cohen told Congress he was ashamed of his own failings.

MICHAEL COHEN: Never in a million years did I imagine, when I accepted a job in 2007 to work for Donald Trump, that he would one day run for the presidency, to launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance, and actively win. I regret the day I said yes to Mr. Trump. I regret all the help and support I gave him along the way.
I am ashamed of my own failings and publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the Southern District of New York. I am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.
I am ashamed, because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a con man. And he is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop on Democratic National Committee emails.
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Cohen accused President Trump of repeatedly lying during the 2016 campaign when he said he had no dealings with Russia.

MICHAEL COHEN: There were at least a half a dozen times between the Iowa caucus in January of 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me, “How’s it going in Russia?” referring to the Moscow tower project. You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow tower negotiations before I gave it. So, to be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project. And so I lied about it, too, because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me, that we both knew to be false, and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie. And he made it clear to me, because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Cohen also revealed new details about how President Trump, as well as his son Don Jr., signed checks to him to reimburse him for the hush money he paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who alleged she had an affair with Trump.

MICHAEL COHEN: As Exhibit 5A to my testimony shows, I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed, from his personal bank account, on August 1st of 2017—when he was president of the United States—pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me—the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer—for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year, while he was president. Other checks to reimburse me for the hush money payments were signed by Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg. And see, for that example, 5B.
The president of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. And you can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, testifying in front of Congress Wednesday.

For more, we’re joined by Marcy Wheeler, independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. She runs the website EmptyWheel.net.

Marcy, welcome to Democracy Now! Overall, respond—as you tweeted up a storm yesterday, following every line—what you thought was most important about this explosive five hours before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

MARCY WHEELER: Well, it was kind of overwhelming, because, you know, there are additional details of financial fraud that you weren’t even able to hit on because there was so much there. I think what was most surprising is that Cohen came off more credibly than, certainly, the Republicans who were trying to damage his credibility. Yeah, is he still, you know, a thuggish liar? Yeah. Do we all know what a creep he was during 2016? Absolutely. Yeah, was yesterday a performance? Absolutely. But did he come off at least credibly enough to make what he was saying about Trump generally seem true? And I think he did.

AMY GOODMAN: And what was most significant, do you think, about what he revealed? What President Trump pointed out, in Vietnam, at his news conference, clearly very engaged in this—I don’t know if that’s why he ended the summit abruptly—but said the important thing to bring out, he said, although he considers him a liar, is that he said there was no collusion.

MARCY WHEELER: What Cohen actually said is that he, himself, didn’t have direct evidence. A lot of people note that this means the entire Steele dossier is debunked, which is not surprising. I’ve been challenging that for a long time. What he said was he suspected it, and talked particularly about a weird interchange between Don Jr. and his father sometime in June of 2016 where Don Jr. came up, walked behind Trump’s desk and said, “blah, blah, blah, the meeting,” and Trump, you know, kind of assented to that and said, “Good. Let me know.”

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s go to Michael Cohen, who said Donald Trump knew about the WikiLeaks release of Hillary Clinton’s emails before it happened.

MICHAEL COHEN: A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked documents, the Democratic National Committee emails, ahead of time. And the answer is yes. As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew, from Roger Stone, in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July of 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that within a couple of days there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating, to the effect, “Wouldn’t that be great?”
AMY GOODMAN: Later in the hearing, Republican Congressmember Thomas Massie of Kentucky questioned Michael Cohen.

REP. THOMAS MASSIE: You said—and this is also in your testimony—in the days before the Democratic convention, you became privy to a conversation that some of Hillary Clinton emails would be leaked. Is that correct?
REP. THOMAS MASSIE: OK. Was that in—you said late July. Do you know the exact day?
MICHAEL COHEN: I believe it was either the 18th or the 19th, and I would guess that it would be on the 19th.
REP. THOMAS MASSIE: But it was definitely July?
MICHAEL COHEN: I believe so, yes.
REP. THOMAS MASSIE: Do you know that was public knowledge in June? This was Mr. Assange. And I’d like to submit this—unanimous consent to submit this for the record.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: Without objection, so ordered.
REP. THOMAS MASSIE: Mr. Assange reported to the media on June 12th that those emails would be leaked. So, I’m not saying you have fake news; I’m saying you have old news, and there’s really not much to that.
AMY GOODMAN: Marcy Wheeler, he’s saying that a lot of people knew, that Julian Assange had said it publicly.

MARCY WHEELER: Julian Assange said publicly that he had material on Hillary Clinton. What Julian Assange never said publicly is “I’m going to drop it at the beginning of the DNC.” And so, what is interesting about Cohen’s story—and, to be clear, it’s unlikely that he really did speak directly with Julian Assange. We know from a bunch of Stone’s other claims that when he claimed to be speaking directly with Assange, he instead was speaking with a cutout, like Jerome Corsi or like Randy Credico.

But what it appears happened is that Stone informed Trump precisely when the emails were going to be dropped. And that, as far as I know, is not something that has been made public before, and is particularly interesting because if the call happened on July 19th, Stone was meeting with Nigel Farage at the RNC that day, and he’s one of the people that it was clear Mueller seemed interested in finding out whether was a go-between between people in the U.K. who knew about the emails and Roger Stone. So, it is new information. It’s consistent with Roger Stone’s indictment, although it means, in the indictment, Mueller is referring to the president himself as a senior campaign official. It’s more specific than we had ever known before.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break, 30 seconds, come back and hear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s line of questioning for Michael Cohen. Stay with us.
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/2/28/ ... val_office
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:12 am

In letter, Cohen’s lawyer tells Chairman Cummings that Cohen stands by his testimony but should have been more precise in his language...

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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:36 pm

Exclusive: Lawyer said Michael Cohen could 'sleep well tonight' after speaking to Rudy Giuliani

Washington (CNN)An attorney who said he was speaking with President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani reassured Michael Cohen in an April 2018 email that Cohen could "sleep well tonight" because he had "friends in high places," according to a copy of an email obtained by CNN.

Two emails -- both dated April 21, 2018, and among documents provided to Congress by the President's former attorney and fixer -- do not specifically mention a pardon. Cohen, in his closed-door congressional testimony, has provided these emails in an effort to corroborate his claim that a pardon was dangled before he decided to cooperate with federal prosecutors, according to sources familiar with his testimony.

But the attorney who wrote those emails, Robert Costello, told CNN that Cohen's interpretation of events is "utter nonsense." Costello said that Cohen asked him to raise the issue of a pardon with Giuliani.

Michael Cohen's attorney sends letter clarifying pardon testimony
"Does dangled mean that he (Cohen) raised it and I mentioned it to Giuliani, and Giuliani said the President is not going to discuss pardons with anybody? If that's dangling it, that's dangling it for about 15 seconds," said Costello, who has a four-decade long relationship with Giuliani and was exploring potentially representing Cohen. "The first time I kind of danced around the issue because Michael brought it up with me and I told him, 'Look, this is way too premature. ... But if you want me to bring it up, I will bring it up.' And I did."

A source with knowledge of Cohen's thinking at the time disputes Costello's version of events and insists it was Costello who was pushing his relationship with Giuliani. Another source familiar with the emails said that Trump's legal team was trying to keep Cohen in the fold as a way to keep him quiet, hinting that a pardon could be in the mix at some point.

But Trump's team says it was Cohen and his lawyers who were bringing up a prospect of a pardon.

New York Times: New York attorney general subpoenas two banks related to Trump Organization projects
The two completely contradictory narratives come as congressional committees grapple with the issue of a pardon and Cohen, specifically who initiated the pardon conversations and how far they progressed. Cohen's testimony has sparked a full-blown fight with Republicans accusing Cohen of lying when he said he "never asked for, nor would I accept" a pardon from Trump.

Giuliani told CNN the emails Cohen provided to Congress weren't about pardons.

"That was about Michael Cohen thinking that the President was mad at him," Giuliani told CNN. "I called (Costello) to reassure him that the President was not mad. It wasn't long after the raid and the President felt bad for him."

Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney and spokesman, told CNN that he couldn't comment on the matter if it involved documents provided to the intelligence committees. "However, as a general matter from my own past experience, it is impossible to deny or try to spin your way out of what documents say. For example, Michael Cohen in his public testimony did not ask anyone to rely on what he was saying alone. He provided documents that speak for themselves to corroborate what he was saying," Davis said.

White House defends Trump's claim that Cohen asked him for a pardon
In the emails obtained by CNN, Costello tells Cohen -- whom Costello says was worried about his relationship with Trump -- that all was well with Trump and that the President was still with him.

"I just spoke to Rudy Giuliani and told him I was on your team," Costello wrote in the first of two emails. "He asked me to tell you that he knows how tough this is on you and your family and he will make (sure) to tell the President. He said thank you for opening this back channel of communication and asked me to keep in touch."

In a follow-up email, Costello told Cohen he had spoken to Giuliani and told Cohen that it was "very very positive."

"There was never a doubt and they are in our corner," Costello wrote. "Rudy said this communication channel must be maintained. He called it crucial and noted how reassured they were that they had someone like me whom Rudy has known for so many years in this role."

"Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places," Costello ended the email.

It's not known what written response, if any, Cohen had to Costello's emails.

Trump alleges Cohen asked him 'directly' for a pardon
Costello said he first started talking to Cohen after Cohen was raided by the FBI in April 2018, when Cohen was still part of the Trump joint defense agreement. Costello said he was looped in on Cohen's case by his law partner, Jeffrey Citron, who had a previous relationship with Cohen. Citron told Cohen in an email that Costello had experience both with the Southern District of New York and dealing with "highly sensitive matters."

No retainer was signed, according to Costello. At the time, Stephen Ryan was representing Cohen in the exhaustive review of documents seized from Cohen. One source said that Cohen was primarily concerned with a campaign finance violation at that point in the investigation.

Costello said that one reason he spoke to Giuliani was because Cohen was concerned that Trump had soured on him -- or thought that he had soured on Trump -- following a New York Times report that detailed Trump's poor treatment of Cohen. The conversations occurred just days after Giuliani had joined Trump's legal team and Cohen's office and home were searched.

"He wanted to make sure that the boss or the big guy knew that he didn't hate Trump. That he wasn't blaming Trump," Costello said. "There were reports out there that Trump hated Cohen, and that Cohen hated Trump... Michael couldn't say whether Trump hated him. He didn't think so. But he wanted to make sure that Trump knew that he didn't hate Trump."

Manafort sentencing marks rare reprieve for Trump world in Mueller probe
The morning after Costello's first email was sent, Trump tweeted about Cohen. "Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if...it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!" the President tweeted.

Costello included a "PS" message in his follow-up email, which was sent after Trump's tweet, noting the "very positive comments about you from the White House. Rudy noted how that followed my chat with him last night."

Cohen testified to Congress that he spoke directly about a pardon with Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, CNN has previously reported, which Sekulow denies. But Cohen said he did not speak about pardons with Giuliani.

Giuliani has previously said he never offered anyone a pardon on behalf of Trump.

Following Cohen's testimony, multiple congressional committees have signaled they plan to investigate the issue of pardons.

Michael Cohen sues the Trump Organization
"Congress is investigating reports that Trump and his legal team privately dangled pardons to obstruct investigations, including ours," House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California tweeted on Tuesday.

But Cohen's testimony has also sparked a backlash from Republicans. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday urged Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the committee, to join his criminal referral of Cohen to the Justice Department.

"We warned the chairman when you're bringing a guy in front of Congress ... who has a history of lying and specifically lying to Congress, you run this risk," Jordan said last week.

Costello said he had not yet heard from Congress about his conversations with Cohen -- but he expected he might soon.

CNN's Dana Bash, Manu Raju, Pamela Brown and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/13/politics ... index.html
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:44 am

The NY federal judge handling Cohen's case approved proposed redactions and ordered the redacted versions placed on the public docket by tomorrow

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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:00 pm

kadhim (^ー^)ノ

The search warrants used in the raid of Michael Cohen's office, hotel room and home last year have been released, albeit redacted. There's.... a lot of pages


The initial search of Cohen's email addresses and iCloud account began under Mueller, pretty soon after the special counsel was appointed


If I recall correctly, the false statement to a bank charge Cohen pleaded to involved him overstating the strength of his financial position -- this alleges he was understating it, claiming he was poorer than he was


Cohen used the consulting fees he earned from AT&T, Columbus Nova, BTA Bank, Korea Aerospace and Novartis to pay for, among other things, his membership of the Core Club in New York


Michael Cohen had lent someone $6m and was earning $60,000 a month in interest from the loan.

(What kind of person needs to pay 12% a year for $6m loan?)


There's about 18-pages of fully redacted material about the hush money scheme, which, as @bradheath notes, means that is almost certainly an ongoing investigation


FBI had a pen register on Cohen's Gmail account


As of April 8th, 2018, the FBI had been unable to gain access to Cohen's email account at the Trump Organization


(This is why you don't use Touch ID or Face ID)

((Also, don't commit crimes, but also don't use Touch ID or Face ID))


This is from a separate search warrant that deals specifically with email accounts -- looks like someone who is not Cohen had an AOL account that was relevant to SDNY's investigation into Cohen


The fact of Cohen's eventual indictment by Mueller made this obvious, but this states explicitly that the special counsel office's had only handed off parts of their investigation into Cohen, not the totality


Mueller was continuing to extend its surveillance of Cohen's email accounts at least as late as January 2018


Curious redaction here. This section deals with money Cohen received via Essential Consultants. Elsewhere, it's fully disclosed that he received cash form Novartis, etc. But here, it references 'foreign sources' but seems to hide their identity


Here's the link to the search warrant for Cohen's emails
Michael Cohen Email Search Warrant
Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Kadhim Shubber (Financial Times).
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... rrant.html

(The search warrant referenced at the start is still being processed by DocumentCloud)
We're told that Cohen received money from Columbus Nova, which we all knew, but there's something else apparently related to his consulting income that is still redacted

This is from a third search warrant, specifically for Michael Cohen's devices -- states that Mueller was exploring a FARA case against Cohen (just as the special counsel did with Flynn, Manafort and Gates)

This appears to be Mueller's initial search warrant for Michael Cohen's email.

References false statements to a financial institution, money laundering, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and FARA violations as possible crimes under investigation

Michael Cohen Devices Search Warrant
Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Kadhim Shubber (Financial Times).
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... rrant.html

There's two warrants that are almost fully redacted as they deal with the hush money scheme -- one is about the location of specific cell phones, the other is for a search of three devices
Done with a first read-through. Main takeaways seem to be:

- Mueller was investigating Cohen early on
- The SDNY hush money probe is ongoing

Intriguing questions raised:

- Who did Cohen lend $6m to?
- Why the redactions around income for foreign sources?
Here's the search warrant referenced at the top of this thread -- it's the one for Cohen's hotel room, office, home and a couple of devices

Michael Cohen Search Warrant For Hotel Room, Office, Home And Devices
Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Kadhim Shubber (Financial Times).
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... ant-1.html
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1107 ... 97728.html
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:46 pm

We learned today that FOUR different Trump aides were under investigation for FARA and 951. Three were charged. I'd bet $100 at least two others are/were similarly investigated.

March 19, 2019/0 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel
As noted, the search warrants leading up to and used in the April 9 search of Michael Cohen have been partly unsealed. In this post, I want to lay out what we know about how the investigation into Cohen developed.

On July 18, 2017, Mueller’s team got a warrant on a Michael Cohen Google activity from January 1, 2016 to July 18, 2017, for which they would already have obtained the call records showing whom he was emailing when using it and a preservation order. At the time, they were investigating:

False statements to a financial instituion

Money laundering

Acting as an unregistered foreign agent

FARA violations

On August 8, 2017, Mueller’s team got a warrant for Cohen’s iCloud account.

On November 13, 2017, they got a warrant for activity associated with a business account, MCDPC, which was hosted by 1&1, as well as for Cohen’s Gmail account going back to June 1, 2015. On November 7, 2017 and January 4, 2018, Mueller got pen registers to obtain records of everyone Cohen was talking to in real time.

While sorting through that evidence, they appear to have discovered more of the bank fraud associated with his taxi medallions.

On February 2, 2018, Mueller provided SDNY a subset of content from Cohen’s iCloud. On February 8, 2018, Mueller referred some of the crimes they were investigating to SDNY, including the taxi medallion payments and other money laundering, and handed them a USB drive with the stuff obtained in those earlier email warrants (but not yet the iCloud one). That month, SDNY got some of the emails turned over as hard copies from third parties using a subpoena, and accessed the toll records for the emails. Before accessing the content, on February 16, 2019, SDNY got a d-order for header information for the two accounts handed over by Mueller. They also interviewed and acquired emails from a number of employees at Sterling, from whom Cohen was getting a loan. Then, on February 28, 2018, SDNY submitted affidavits to access the content handed over from Mueller and to obtain everything in the accounts from the interim period (that is, since November 14), as well as another Gmail and AOL account associated with the taxi medallion related bank fraud.

This suggests that while they had found his Essential Consultants bank account and recognized that he was using it for things he hadn’t informed the bank about, they were not yet focusing on hush payments as an illegal campaign donation.

On March 7, 2018, Mueller handed over the iCloud material to SDNY.

In early April, SDNY started a slew of legal process leading up to its search of Cohen’s properties.

According to the letter associated with this release, they got a warrant for out of jurisdiction materials on April 5 (reportedly for stuff held overseas). I’m still trying to find that in the attachments.

Then, on April 7, 2018, it obtained a warrant to search the existing collection for material related to illegal campaign finance.

Also on April 7, SDNY got a warrant for prospective and historical location data associated with Cohen’s AT&T phones for the periods from October 1, 2016 to November 8, 2016 and January 1, 2018 to present. The campaign finance crimes were the only ones specified in this warrant.

On April 8, SDNY got a warrant for Cohen’s condo, office, safe deposit box, and hotel, as well as two iPhones. This covered all the crimes to which Cohen pled guilty in SDNY, as well as his sleazy influence peddling with BTA, KAI, AT&T, and Novartis, but not Columbus Nova (I’ll return to this). They also got a warrant to use a Stingray to figure out which room he was in at the hotel (like the location searches on his phone, this was just for his campaign finance crimes). Then, on April 9, they went back and got another warrant for the specific room at Loews.

In the materials from SDNY, some names are redacted. The biggest redactions (suggesting ongoing investigation) pertain to the campaign finance crimes, meaning Trump and Trump Organization are in trouble. There may also be redacted material associated with Cohen’s sleazy influence peddling.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/03/19/t ... stigation/
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:10 am

Power Up: Michael Cohen testified Trump submitted false insurance claim for bathroom ceiling fresco

By Jacqueline Alemany
March 28 at 5:41 AM

THE FRESCO: President Trump is taking a victory lap as special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe closes without finding a criminal conspiracy between his associates and Russia. But new details Power Up uncovered from Michael Cohen’s recent closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee serve as a reminder that the president’s legal troubles are far from over.

What Cohen claimed: Trump’s longtime fixer and personal attorney told lawmakers earlier this month that Trump submitted a false insurance claim regarding a fresco on the ceiling of Melania Trump’s bathroom, three sources with knowledge of the testimony tell me and my colleagues Ellen Nakashima and Karoun Demirjian.

The painting, located in Trump Tower, was apparently damaged by steam, the sources said.

What we don’t know: It remains unclear what evidence, if any, Cohen has to corroborate his allegations of fraud. The timing of the alleged insurance claim is also unknown.

Note: Trump Tower is famous for its fresco-style ceilings.

White House pushes back: “Mr. Cohen lied to Congress, defrauded the federal government out of millions of dollars, and is going to prison — no one should believe a word he says,” deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley told Power Up.

What’s at stake: Lawmakers are looking into Cohen’s claim, which would be the first example of insurance fraud that has surfaced following his public testimony that Trump often exaggerated his personal wealth in financial documents provided to banks and insurers.

Big picture: Cohen’s accusation comes as several investigations are probing alleged criminal behavior by the president.

Over in New York …: State regulators subpoenaed the Trump Organization’s longtime insurance broker, Aon, earlier in March. The move came after Cohen’s public testimony on Feb. 27 before the House Oversight Committee, as my colleague David Fahrenthold has reported.

From Cohen’s public testimony, per David: “Cohen described how Trump sent exaggerated statements of his wealth — called ‘Statements of Financial Condition’ — to journalists, potential lenders and insurers. Cohen said these statements contained inflated statistics about the value of Trump’s assets. For instance, if Trump wanted to pump up the value of an office building, he would simply multiply its actual rent receipts ‘by a multiple — and you make up the multiple,’ Cohen testified.”

“In other cases, according to copies of the statements obtained by The Washington Post, Trump exaggerated his wealth by leaving things out … ‘When we were dealing . . . with insurance companies, we would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium, which is based sometimes upon the individual’s capabilities to pay, would be reduced,’ Cohen testified.”

Flash back: The AP's Jeff Horwitz reported on Trump's questionable insurance practices in 2016. “Donald Trump said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, but the Associated Press found little evidence of such large-scale damage,” per Horwitz. “Two years after a series of storms, the real estate tycoon said he didn’t know how much had been spent on repairs but acknowledged he pocketed some of the money.”

The no comment crew: New York’s Department of Financial Services declined to comment on whether Cohen's allegation about the fresco was part of its probe.

Also not commenting: The Trump Organization. A spokeswoman for Aon. A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis.

A reminder: Cohen, by his own admission, has lied to lawmakers. He pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump-branded project in Moscow. And while he provided information to Mueller’s Russia probe, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for making false statements to Congress, as well as tax evasion and campaign finance violations involving hush-money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump.

Credibility gap: “Disputes about the veracity of Cohen’s claims are fueling a political fight over whether lawmakers should take Cohen at his word,” Karoun and Robert Costa wrote after Cohen made other disputed claims about pardon discussions with Trump's legal team during closed-door testimony. “While Democrats have questioned what incentive that Cohen, who is heading to prison, would have to lie to Congress now, Republicans have pointed to Cohen’s guilty plea as proof he can’t be trusted to deliver honest testimony.”

IT'S NOT JUST INSURANCE: Trump is still mired in a variety of other investigations in New York, outlined by Roz Helderman and Fahrenthold.

Trump faces a lawsuit in New York State Court over what the state called “persistently illegal conduct” within the Trump Foundation.

Manhattan prosecutors also issued a subpoena in February into Trump’s inaugural committee, which raised a record amount of cash.

The Trump Tower building is viewed on 5th Avenue on July 22, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MEANWHILE, ON THE HILL: House Democrats are requesting a decade's worth of Trump’s financial records from audit firm Mazars USA, after Cohen accused Trump of inflating his worth to mislead lenders and insurers, David and Colby Itkowitz report.

The request from Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), sent last week, comes after Cohen testified in February that Trump exaggerated his net worth in financial statements he sent to Deutsche Bank during his unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in 2014.
AND THE GRAND JURY CONTINUES: “A grand jury that worked with [Mueller] in Washington is continuing to work on related matters, including an ongoing investigation of a mystery, foreign state-owned company that refused to comply with a Mueller subpoena,” my colleague Spencer S. Hsu reports.

Politico's Darren Samuelsohn first reported the news: “The revelation — while laced with uncertainty — indicates that the ongoing cases Mueller handed off after concluding his probe could still feature significant developments, legal experts said.”
As for the release of the actual Mueller report itself: Attorney General Bill Barr is expected to miss the April 2 deadline House Democrats set to provide the full report documenting Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Karoun reports. That increases the likelihood lawmakers will subpoena the Justice Department.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says Barr told him it would be "weeks, not months" to see the report and would give the panel an interview "reasonably soon"
“We may very well want Mueller after Barr,” Nadler said.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:03 pm

Michael Cohen's attorneys just sent a letter to Congress stating that he recently accessed one of his hard drive containing 14 million important files, "which consist of emails, voice recordings, images and attachments from Mr. Cohen's computers and phones."Image
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:34 am

Says Trump "Instructed" Him To Lie

In a memo submitted to Congress, the president's former lawyer asks for time to help congressional investigators review new evidence.

Emma Loop
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Jason Leopold
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Anthony Cormier
BuzzFeed News Reporter
Reporting From
Washington, DC
Posted on April 5, 2019, at 12:16 a.m. ET

Michael Cohen arrives to testify in a closed session before the House Intelligence Committee last month.
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images
Michael Cohen arrives to testify in a closed session before the House Intelligence Committee last month.
WASHINGTON — Attorneys for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, submitted documents to lawmakers Thursday night accusing Trump and his team of lawyers of instructing Cohen to lie to Congress about when negotiations ended to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

In a 12-page memo sent to top House Democrats, Cohen’s attorneys said Trump “encouraged Cohen to lie and say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2016 using ‘code’ language — telling Cohen during various conversations that there was ‘no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia’ after the start of the campaign.’”

The memo addresses issues that have been at the center of the recently concluded two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with Trump’s campaign. Attorney General William Barr has stated that the report, which has not been made public, did not find that the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated with Russia."

The more than 100 pages of documents included with Cohen’s memo claim to lay bare a “conspiracy to collude” with the Russian government during the campaign, along with an array of other crimes by the president.

Want to support more reporting like this? Become a BuzzFeed News member today.

Cohen’s memo supports BuzzFeed News's earlier reporting that Cohen told investigators Trump had directed him to lie about the timing of real estate negotiations in Moscow.

In January, BuzzFeed News reported that Cohen had described being instructed by the president to say the project was terminated long before Trump became the frontrunner in the Republican primary. In response to the story, many Democratic lawmakers called for Trump’s impeachment.

Less than a day after its publication, a spokesperson for Mueller’s office stated, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” The office never specified what descriptions or characterizations it was disputing. Peter Carr, the special counsel’s former spokesperson, declined to comment on Thursday night.

The new memo from Cohen’s attorneys says that Trump “encouraged” him to lie to Congress, alleging the president suborned perjury while in office. A footnote in the memo cites BuzzFeed News’s January report:

3. Note, this is not far off the words used by the Buzzfeed reporters — that Trump “directed” Cohen to lie in his congressional testimony vs. Cohen’s false statement to Congress, i.e., there were no Russian contacts after January 31, 2016, the day before the Iowa caucuses. Cohen’s false statement was made “in accordance with … [Trump’s] directives.”
Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about when negotiations for the project ceased. A cache of documents obtained by BuzzFeed News over the past year shows that negotiations continued until at least right before the Republican National Convention in July 2016.

The memo states that Cohen’s false testimony was based on “Trump and associates’ overall and intense effort to persuade Cohen to commit crime of lying to congress.”

“Cohen explained that he was, in effect, instructed to lie about the January 31, 2016 date through the use of Trump code words that could only be interpreted as an instruction or ‘directive,’” the memo states, "to cover-up the fact that Cohen had been in contact with Russians during most of the presidential campaign, from the day of the Iowa caucuses, February 1, through all the primaries and caucuses and until June 2016, after Trump had become the putative Republican nominee by assembling a majority of delegates.”

The memo, which details some of what Cohen told the House and Senate Intelligence committees behind closed doors in February, further states that after delivering his false testimony, Cohen received a call “from Trump’s attorney, who congratulated him on the testimony — and said his ‘client’ was happy with Cohen’s testimony.”

Cohen’s attorneys also made new claims in the memo about Trump’s involvement in the Moscow Tower project, which he has previously dismissed as barely more than a notion, and his role in trying to close the deal.

“In May 2016, Cohen told Trump he could travel to Russia to assist the building of the project either before or after the GOP Convention in August, and Trump agreed,” Cohen’s attorneys wrote. “Obviously this proves that Trump knew that Russian contacts about the Moscow Tower project continued after January 31, 2016. Cohen made inquiries about Trump’s schedule to Trump’s executive assistant” about a trip for Trump to make to Russia during the campaign, to move the negotiations along.

The trip did not take place, but the memo characterizes those inquiries “as further evidence that the trip to Russia was under serious consideration after Trump approved it.”

The memo implicates Ivanka Trump in the negotiations, stating that she knew Cohen gave false testimony to Congress. According to the memo, he told the Intelligence committees that in late 2015 the president’s daughter forwarded him “an email from the wife of a former Russian weight-lifting champion about Ivanka sponsoring a health spa at the top of the Moscow Trump Tower.” BuzzFeed News first reported that in November 2015, Ivanka Trump put Cohen in touch with the weightlifter, a Russian Olympian named Dmitry Klokov who offered to introduce Trump to President Vladimir Putin to facilitate the Moscow tower project.

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump, did not immediately respond to calls for comment. He previously told BuzzFeed News, “Ms. Trump did not know about this proposal until after a non-binding letter of intent had been signed, never talked to anyone outside the Organization about the proposal, never visited the prospective project site and, even internally, was only minimally involved.”

Congressional investigators had reviewed emails and questioned witnesses about the interaction, BuzzFeed News reported, as had Mueller’s team. In a subsequent court filing, Mueller’s team wrote that in November 2015, Cohen had “received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national” who “repeatedly proposed a meeting” between Trump and Putin to advance the project.

The memo is part of an effort by Cohen to reduce and delay the three-year prison term he was sentenced to serve, which is scheduled to begin on May 6. Highlighting evidence he provided to congressional committees in February, a letter that accompanied the memo states that Cohen “was only recently able to access a hard drive with important documents,” and that the “drive contains over 14 million files, which consist of all e-mails, voice recordings, images, and attachments from Mr. Cohen’s computers and phones.” Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s attorneys, told BuzzFeed News that Cohen had no access to the hard drive when he testified before Congress earlier this year because it had been seized by prosecutors and was returned to him only last week.

The letter continues: “We are writing this letter in the hope that you will support Mr. Cohen’s value as a cooperating witness and the need for him to be readily accessible.”

Cohen’s lawyers also call his sentence “disproportionate,” noting that Cohen is the only Trump Organization employee headed to prison “for conduct almost all of which was for the benefit of Mr. Trump personally and indeed directed by him.”

“The actions against Mr. Cohen appear to be selective prosecution and the sentence imposed is a disproportionate one,” Davis said. “For him to surrender in 30 days would be a detriment to committees search for truth, as well as a miscarriage of justice."

Cohen’s attorneys sent the letter to the heads of the House Intelligence, Judiciary, Financial Services, and Oversight Committees, who are Democrats. The lawyers wrote that, judging from the attacks that Republican lawmakers leveled against Cohen during his recent testimony, it was unclear whether they were interested in receiving the letter as well.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/em ... gc#4ldqpgc
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:22 am

Michael Cohen’s Attorneys Partly Back Report on Trump Orders
April 5, 2019 ADAM KLASFELD FacebookTwitterEmail

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the beginning of a July 16, 2018, meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
MANHATTAN (CN) — Standing up for the substance of explosive January reporting that elicited a rare denial at the time from the typically silent spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller, Michael Cohen’s attorney told Congress late Thursday that the president pushed Cohen to deceive Congress.

“When Cohen had to submit testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in the fall of 2017, Trump and his [White House] advisors encouraged Cohen to lie and say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2016,” attorney Lanny Cohen said in the new memo to House Democrats.

The date of the contacts is key as Iowa caucuses kicked off on Feb. 1, 2016, marking the official start of the Trump campaign.

Cohen has since admitted that negotiations stretched far longer.

“Trump did so using ‘code’ language – telling Cohen during various conversations that there was ‘no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia’ after the start of the campaign,” his lawyer’s memo continues.

This is not a new allegation from Cohen’s team: Cohen said as much during his congressional hearing, and his prior attorney Guy Petrillo made a similar suggestion back in back in November.

Thinly veiling Trump’s name, Petrillo said of Cohen’s false statements to Congress: “In each case, the conduct was intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1’s directives.”

Quoting this passage in a footnote, Davis noted that it is “not far off the words used by BuzzFeed reporters.”

This past January, however, the report by BuzzFeed prompted an uncharacteristic rebuke by Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” Carr said in a carefully worded statement at the time.

Cohen has testified about this matter and others in his marathon testimony before House and Senate committees, most of them in private.

His legal team claims that the classified portion of the testimony corroborates the claim that Trump encouraged Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Moscow tower project.

“Mr. Cohen shared the facts contained in this section with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees but cannot reveal the direct testimony publicly,” another footnote of the new memo states.

In a different report of undisputed accuracy, BuzzFeed revealed that Trump Moscow tower talks included a promise of a $50 million penthouse for Russian President Vladimir Putin and could have made President Trump hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, noted in a phone interview that the clarification from Cohen’s team paints a more nuanced picture of what happened.

“BuzzFeed’s report was specific,” Rocah said. “It said that he was instructed, which conveys the idea that there was a specific instruction given. What seems to now emerge from Cohen, through his lawyer, is that it wasn’t an explicit instruction. It was implicit.”

Conspiracies based on tacit directives are harder for prosecutors to prove, but Rocah added they are far more typical.

“That actually rings more true to me,” she said. “That’s actually how these things work.”

Currently scheduled to report to prison a month from Saturday, Cohen asked House Democrats to postpone his incarceration to let him sift through a hard drive with 14 million files that he claims will aide their investigation.

“Working alone, Mr. Cohen has only had the time to go through less than 1 percent of the drive, or approximately 3,500 files,” Davis told U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings, in a letter also signed by his co-counsel Michael Monico and Carly Chocron.

Vanity Fair reporter Emily Jane Fox, labeled the “Cohen whisperer” for her ready access to the former presidential fixer, has confirmed that Cohen did not discover new evidence.

“What he’s offering to share with Congress is what was recently returned to him by investigators,” she tweeted. “He hadn’t been able to review or share these materials with lawmakers when he testified earlier this year.”

If true, that fact may be significant to Southern District prosecutors who will ultimately make the final call on whether to reduce or delay Cohen’s sentence.

Describing her old experience in that post, Rocah said: “It seems like a bit of a last-ditch effort to try to stay out of jail.”

U.S. District Judge William Pauley III, who sentenced Cohen to three years of imprisonment, already granted him a two-month reprieve to allow him to testify to Congress.

“Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony contains evidence of at least 10 or more federal and state crimes,” the memo sent to House Democrats estimates. “Michael’s testimony led to the subpoenaing of 80 individuals by the House Judiciary Committee and dozens of new congressional and state investigations.”

Although Davis alleged that his client faced “selective prosecution,” Cohen pleaded guilty twice and remains a cooperating witness in a still active grand jury investigation.

Among the 121 pages of exhibits, Cohen’s attorneys included the signed checks that Trump signed in reimbursements for hush-money payments.

“It is a fact that President Trump committed a felony while president when he signed these $35,000 checks to reimburse Michael Cohen,” the memo states. “If he were not president, he would have been indicted and convicted of this crime. There is also no doubt that his son Don Jr. could now be indicted and probably almost certainly would be convicted for signing similar hush money checks from the Trump Trust Organization.”

The signature of Trump’s son appears on another exhibit, which Cohen’s legal team claims is the check to silence pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels about her affair with his father.

Cohen’s legal team also undermined the summary offered by Attorney General William Barr of Mueller’s “principal conclusions,” which said the special counsel did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.

Like the Moscow tower accusations, Cohen accuses the president of using code to collude with the Kremlin before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016.

“Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians and knew its purpose was for the Russian government to help Trump and harm Clinton in the election,” the memo states, summarizing the “strong inferences” of Cohen’s testimony.

At his sentencing, Mueller’s prosecutors commended Cohen’s assistance with their investigation, but Southern District prosecutors blasted him for “selective cooperation.”

Several federal investigations in New York remain pending.

Cohen’s memo alludes to one involving a reported back channel to Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, telling Cohen on the month the FBI raided him: “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.”

“Information disclosed in this section cannot be disclosed in greater detail since this matter is under investigation by prosecutors,” a footnote of Cohen’s memo states.

Rocah noted that Cohen’s gambit could come across as political gamesmanship and ultimately alienate the very people he needs to persuade: federal prosecutors in New York.

“He’s essentially going to Congress and saying, ‘Help me,’” Rocah said.
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Re: Michael Cohen

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:14 am

Adam Klasfeld

BREAKING: Prosecutors say they concluded parts of Michael Cohen spin-off investigations and agree to unseal new campaign finance information.

Judge Pauley writes in an order that he will unseal that material tomorrow at 11 a.m.

"Accordingly, the Government is directed to file the July 15, 2019 status report and the Materials on the public docket on July 18, 2019 at 11:00 a.m."

Busy day tomorrow. That's just after bail ruling on Jeffrey Epstein. cc: @CourthouseNews

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... 17-19.html

Zoe Tillman

NEW: The judge in Michael Cohen's case has ordered more info unsealed from search warrant materials, now that the investigation into his campaign finance violations is over. The judge denied govt's request for certain redactions, citing public interest https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... r-SDNY.pdf

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