Michael Cohen to Invoke 5th Am. in Stormy Daniels Case

Trump attorney Michael Cohen has asked the judge presiding over Stormy Daniels civil lawsuit to stay proceedings in the case because he is the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI and Southern District of New York, as he would invoke his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. His Declaration is here.

2. On Apri l 9, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBT") executed 6 three search warrants on my residence, office and hotel room, respectively, without any prior notice. During the corresponding raids, the FBI seized various electronic 8 devices and documents in my possession, which contain information relating to the $130,000 payment to Plaintiff Stephanie Clifford at the center of this case, and my communications with counsel, Brent Blakely, relating to this action.

The Washington Post correctly states:

It is not uncommon for defendants facing both civil liability and criminal prosecution to request a pause in civil proceedings to avoid giving sworn testimony and producing documents that could prove incriminating.

However, it also points out that when Clinton aides invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege over the email server, Trump saw things a little differently:

“The mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said at one campaign rally. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

And then there's Trump himself taking the Fifth 97 times during his deposition in his divorce case with Ivana.

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    There are no more words (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 07:48:45 AM EST
    To use to start a post about Trump that aren't completely worn out.

    I was watching Morning Joe and during their Avenatti segment, Trump got on Fox and Friends and said that Michael Cohen only represented him in a tiny tiny fraction of his legal affairs (so casting doubt on attorney client privilege), then said that Cohen did represent him in this crazy Stormy Daniels thing. So what he said before, that Cohen did all this Stormy stuff alone of his own volition, isn't true?

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 07:52:15 AM EST
    Avenatti's gotta be in heaven.  Trump's mouth is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Trump was on FOX AND FRIENDS (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 08:34:57 AM EST
    contradicting what he earlier said about not knowing anything about the Daniels case.

    Amid the other ravings.

    Avenatti could barely contain his glee.  

    'I want to send a shout out to Fox and Friends for this'


    Federal prosecutors already ... (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by Yman on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 01:01:58 PM EST
    ... citing Trump's Fox and Friends statements.

    You can't make this stuff up.  Every time I think I have a grasp on how stupid he is, he kicks it up a notch.


    I watched the segment (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 04:07:00 PM EST
    The FandF hosts look absolutely terrified.  Continually tried to cut him off and shut him up.  The longer it went the more they blanched.  They did eventually cut it off.  

    It was historic.   It will be viewed a hundred years from now and marveled at.


    Wow (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 04:20:19 PM EST
    Yeah, I come (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 05:06:36 PM EST
    home and see Fox and Friends trending and wonder what that is all about and come to find out Trump has taken one of those AK-47's and shot himself in the foot.

    Apparently Donald made a lot of news (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 08:37:25 AM EST
    On FOX.  Including saying he will not talk to Mueller.  I suggest watching the segment.  I plan to.  I have so far only seen the choice parts on MJ.

    'of course I stayed overnight in Russia' (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 08:38:15 AM EST
    Yeah, on FF just lying his arse off (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 08:40:09 AM EST
    He was ranting (none / 0) (#8)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 09:03:13 AM EST
    Can they just for the love of all that's holy, 25th Amendment him now???

    I don't think we'll get that (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 10:43:52 AM EST
    But I'm guessing John Kelly doesn't know Trump and Kayne talk on their phones late into the night...hahaha

    Good luck at the next GRAMMYS (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 10:49:35 AM EST

    Oh man (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 11:02:48 AM EST
    I've gotta admit this is a tough one for me as I've been a huge Kanye fan since his first album dropped and he issued in a long-awaited change for the entire rap genre (basically the time between Biggie's death and Kanye can be considered a black hole for mainstream socially conscious rap).  He just keeps getting crazier and crazier though.  Which - doesn't always hurt his music, although that has changed significantly as well, it's almost nice to see someone with a large following who is not afraid to try new things artistically.

    That said, he's always been more than a bit off his rocker.  And yea... It's not a good look.

    We've come a long way from his Katrina "outburst".  I miss that version of Kanye, even if he was stealing awards from Taylor Swift to give to Beyonce.


    sorry (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by CST on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 11:04:00 AM EST
    I thought this was the open thread.  Probably should've saved this for that.

    Probably not (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 11:48:20 AM EST
    To both.  :-(

    For the record (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 11:56:06 AM EST
    The FOX AND FRIENDS rant was totally to distract from the Pruitt hearings and the Jackson pig fu@k.

    Jus sayin

    Its working.  Remarkably as they admit they are being distracted


    I can't get past that Fox And Friends (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 12:18:51 PM EST
    name. I keep expecting it to be done with hand puppets, like Lamb Chop's Play Along..

    It always brings to my mind (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 12:35:57 PM EST
    The Fox and The Hound.

    Visualizing cartoons or puppets isn't much of a stretch, really.  Those people sitting on that sofa are about as close to being cartoon characters as you can get.


    Here is (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 05:02:11 PM EST
    What Rudy may have done is (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Thu May 03, 2018 at 01:51:17 PM EST
    really crack this thing open.

    An MO For Other More Serious Crimes

    First, bribe money can be laundered from the "client" through the lawyer as fictitious legal services. The lawyer can issue bogus invoices to the client in amounts sufficient to cover bribe payments, a commission to the lawyer, and a gross-up for any taxes the lawyer would have to pay on the fee income (bagmen, after all, don't want to be stuck paying taxes on amounts they pay out as bribes). Sound familiar?

    Second, by disguising the bribes as payments for legal fees, businesses can try to write them off as expenses (bribes are not deductible). This is tax evasion, of course, but it is common practice for the corrupt. Third, the lawyer-client relationship can be an impediment to law enforcement. It can be very difficult for prosecutors to pierce what appears on the surface to be a legitimate attorney-client relationship.

    So now we have Giuliani confirming that this is exactly how Trump and Cohen operated. Hush money to Stormy Daniels is one thing and certainly raises potential serious campaign finance violations, but she is not a public official. What I find most significant about Rudy's admission is what it says about the nature of the relationship between Trump and Cohen and how it suggests an M.O. for other more serious crimes.


    We now have serious SDNY public corruption prosecutors and FBI agents in possession of a massive amount of electronic data from his bagman. They likely already have all of his financial records as well. And Rudy has now given them the roadmap for how Trump may have laundered bribes through Cohen as purported legal fees or retainer payments. Every invoice Cohen has ever issued to Trump is suspect. Every corrupt payment Cohen has ever made or facilitated to building inspectors, councilmen, pornstars, or whomever can potentially be tied back to Trump. In addition, I suspect Trump and his kids had a false sense of comfort that their communications with Cohen would be privileged. I am convinced this is why Trump and his family are freaking out about the Cohen raid and the possibility he could flip. The SDNY is sitting on the mother lode of evidence and Rudy has given them the connection between purported legal fees and payments by Cohen to third parties.

    Lot to digest there.

    To my un-lawyer ears (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:27:26 PM EST
    The most interesting thing Ruday said was that the money was "funneled through a law firm"

    Interesting choice of words


    Did Giuliani just say (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Peter G on Sun May 06, 2018 at 01:05:15 PM EST
    that he himself has paid as much as $2 million each to women who alleged, truthfully or not (as long as the claim seems plausible), that he had sex with them while he was married to someone else? Here's the quote,
    "I never thought $130,000 -- I know this sounds funny to people there at home," he said. "I never thought $130,000 was a real payment; it's a nuisance payment. When I settle this, when it was real or a real possibility, it's a couple million dollars, not $130,000."
    If that's not what he was saying, what was it? That he himself, as a lawyer, has more than once made $2 million hush-money payments for his clients?

    It sure sounded like he said that. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 06, 2018 at 01:18:26 PM EST
    But then, whereas Rudy Giuliani was renowned 17 years ago as "America's Mayor," he's obviously since devolved into "America's Crazy Uncle Rudy," our national crackpot who likes to traffic in right-wing conspiracy theories and generally babbles a whole lot of nonsense. In that regard, Giuliani's he's a perfectly good fit for the Trump bandwagon, because he's simply par for the Trump course.

    It's funny we hear (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 06, 2018 at 03:43:44 PM EST
    "Americas Mayor" so much lately when what  remember is "a noun, a verb and 911"

    I don't see how Giuliani's helping Trump, ... (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 06, 2018 at 07:11:13 PM EST
    ... except perhaps by creating even more of a sideshow to distract the media from covering serious stories like this:

    The Guardian | May 6, 2018
    Revealed: Trump team hired spy firm for "dirty ops" on Iran arms deal - "Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to orchestrate a "dirty ops" campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal."



    I doubt the Israelis needed much coercing (none / 0) (#67)
    by jondee on Mon May 07, 2018 at 10:42:51 AM EST
    to induce them to go along with that operation, judging by Bibi's continued efforts to whip up hysteria about the Iranian "existential threat."

    Ummmmmmm........ (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Zorba on Sun May 06, 2018 at 02:04:02 PM EST
    Well, it did sound like that, Peter.
    I mean, $130,000 is a nuisance payment?  Really?  That sounds like a lot to most "regular" people (maybe not millionaires and billionaires).
    I never liked Rudy in the first place, but it seems to me that he is losing it.  Or has already lost it.

    Rudy interview (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 06, 2018 at 04:08:33 PM EST
    On THIS WEEK this morning was one for the books too.
    Avenattis reaction was also funny

    He was on right after and his first words were "did that really just happen?"

    It was a reasonable question.


    Colbert (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Apr 25, 2018 at 09:09:39 PM EST
    Calls Cohen "a sad neck with hair".

    I don't see cheering up in his future.

    Pruitt is on MSNBC (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 09:08:16 AM EST

    That didn't last long (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 09:18:14 AM EST
    Mike Pompeo sworn (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    in by Justice Alito, as Trump's second Secretary of State.  The vote was assured after Rand Paul changed his "never" vote, and he and Jeff Flake voted yes. The foreign policy hawk, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, torture-defender, former Tea Party Congressman from Kansas and Trump's former CIA Director was confirmed 57/41.

     The CIA clarified that Pompeo, an Army veteran, did not serve in the Gulf War, as frequently reported. Pompeo failed to disclose his Chinese business connections in confirmation paper work.  Pompeo was opposed to the Iran deal, but now says he will look at a "fix" rather than killing it. Samantha Bee has a succinct presentation on our new Secretary of State.

     Six Democrats (Bill Nelson, FL; Heidi Heitkemp, ND; Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, IN, Doug Jones, AL, and Claire McCaskel, MO) and one Independent (Angus King, ME), voted for confirmation. It is customary and usual to explain away votes like these by senators in red state, but I wonder just how much it matters on a vote for confirmation.  Would, for example, North Dakota Republicans now be persuaded  to vote for Heikemp because she voted in favor of Pompeo?  And, what is Bill Neson's excuse? Or, Angus King's.  

    oops (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 26, 2018 at 02:44:02 PM EST
    intended for Open Thread

    Stormy gets a 90 day stay (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 27, 2018 at 05:56:45 PM EST
    Justice delayed is justice denied (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 30, 2018 at 05:35:35 AM EST
    And justice delayed is also ... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 06, 2018 at 01:08:25 PM EST
    Trump (Alec Baldwin): "What do you need for this to all go away?"

    Stormy Daniels: "A resignation."

    ... a cameo appearance on SNL opposite Alec Baldwin, as an integral part of the best ensemble cold open of the season.

    Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels is a hero for our times.


    Oops! Forgot something! (none / 0) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 06, 2018 at 03:47:12 PM EST
    That was maybe (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 06, 2018 at 04:02:55 PM EST
    The best ever.

    Yeah, they just about summed up ... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue May 08, 2018 at 04:20:05 AM EST
    ... the utter absurdity of this entire farce that's passing for governance nowadays. And Alec Baldwin is a hero for our times, too.

    Martin Short (none / 0) (#68)
    by jondee on Mon May 07, 2018 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    sounds a little like Jerry Lewis doing Dr Bronstein.

    Jared (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 07, 2018 at 11:59:12 AM EST
    Sounded a bit Jerry as well

    Rudy says TRump paid (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 02, 2018 at 09:12:55 PM EST
    The 130,000

    And a lot of other things.  This just happened on Hannity.  Avenatti is on Lawerence taking a victory lap.  

    Rudy Giuliani says Trump paid Michael Cohen back for $130,000 given to Stormy Daniels

    He also says (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 02, 2018 at 09:56:22 PM EST
    Cohen is "perverted" and Ivanka can't be interviewed because she is a woman.

    This was quite a interview.


    Remarkably, it just may be (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Wed May 02, 2018 at 10:33:03 PM EST
    that Cohen told the truth: He was not reimbursed by either the campaign or by the T*ump Organization, just as he said. He was reimbursed by Tr*mp personally, or so Rudy now claims.

    My question is, once Trump paid (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Anne on Thu May 03, 2018 at 09:01:36 AM EST
    Cohen back, did Trump reimburse himself from the campaign?

    Michael Wolff's book (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 12:06:19 PM EST
    Claims that Steve Bannon told him around 100 women where paid off and signed NDAs during the Trump campaign.

    If that is true where did all that money come from? Who paid who out of what funds?


    As "Deep Throat" supposedly advised (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Peter G on Thu May 03, 2018 at 02:14:52 PM EST
    the WaPo reporters during the Watergate investigation, "Follow the money."  ("Deep Throat," you will recall, was later revealed to be the Associate Director of the FBI, a predecessor of Andrew McCabe.)

    Things feel very ominous to me right now (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 02:52:24 PM EST

    Reporter Kelly Cohen tweeted not long ago this:

    Special counsel robert mueller's team just filed a request for 70 blank subpoenas in alexandria VA, where paul manafort is on trial on charges including bank fraud

    Digby tweeted that Rudy is on the hill right now demanding that the Cohen investigation be shut down now.


    End game (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    Rudy is definitely having a fit (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:21:09 PM EST
    Perhaps because he knows he was paid hundreds of dollars an hour to screw the pooch.

    Sounds like everyone walks in the door (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 04:03:30 PM EST
    And is told no more than 10% of what they need to know to represent Trump. But they keep walking in the door, and the ruined pass them in the hall on their way out. The fresh meat knows as the damaged walk by them exactly how it went down, but they keep showing up to play their hand as successful Trump whisperer. I'm stunned the stream of fresh meat doesn't completely dry up. Must be some kind of testament to how codependent mankind by nature is.

    Rudy (none / 0) (#55)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 03, 2018 at 07:30:42 PM EST
    is channeling his inner Roy Cohn for the pleasure of tRump, playing the attack dog in this new scorched earth strategy, meant to play in the political area.

    Wow (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 03, 2018 at 07:08:39 PM EST
    I'm not even sure what to say. Giuliani knows that congress cannot shut down the Cohen investigation.  Are things going to explode soon? This is yet another example of how the Cohen raid shook them to the core.

    I missed Avenatti last night on Lawrence show (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 04, 2018 at 07:28:36 AM EST
    But Avenatti said there were extensive communications between Cohen and Stormy's first attorney Davidson that pertained to the timing of the NDA payment and the election. I guess we know what's on the DVD/CD that's in the safe now. It isn't Trump's d*ck pics, it is actually evidence of illegal stuff.

    Now Rudy is on FOX & FRIENDS (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:40:11 AM EST
    Throwing Cohen further under the bus.  Giving Stormy and her lawyer more slander tools and best of all saying this deal with Stormy and Cohen was to "save the marriage"

    This interview was better than last night Rudy is just digging as fast as he can.

    It amazing to watch.

    Even the FRIENDS can't believe what they are hearing.  And ask some pretty good questions.


    Rudy just called (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 08:47:12 AM EST
    Stormy and her lawyer extortionists

    Oooh boy.

    I mean just on its face how is wanting to return the money extortion


    Rudy is rapidly proving why (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Anne on Thu May 03, 2018 at 09:00:23 AM EST
    he wasn't originally asked to be part of the administration.

    I joked this morning that Trump's advance team may want to alert the Chinese president that Trump will be arriving - before nightfall, it looks like - via the giant hole he is digging...

    Josh Marshall put it this way:

    The reality is that sometimes you have no good plan because you, in fact, have no good options. You're stuck. Put more coarsely, sometimes you're just fcked. What you have are a half dozen brainstorms cooked up by a group of old men in a room used to bending reality to their purposes when something goes wrong. That's much more difficult on a national stage in front of intense scrutiny. That's what happened last night. Rudy Giuliani is far, far past his prime, used to the accommodating hothouse world of Fox News cronies and cash and carry deal-making in his law firm gigs. This was as sloppy as it looked and did his client no favors.

    Apparently, this circus does have room for a new act, but my guess is that either Rudy or Flood will be gone by the end of the weekend.


    We know the Ukranians (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 09:13:16 AM EST
    Stopped investigating Cohen and allowed a key witness to go back to Russia in exchange for American weapons.

    My questions is what has Trump promised Kim to get whatever deal seems imminent


    Here (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 09:31:02 AM EST
    He is also allowing (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 10:48:17 AM EST
    Press access to the coffins of deceased soldiers returning to Dover. Just saw the press on the tarmac and a pretty thorough bio of the 22 yr old soldier returning home was made available to the press. When was the last time you saw that?

    BushCo shut the press out of Dover to tamp down negative feelings about the Iraq War, the Obama administration was cautious about grieving families feeling exploited. Nobody cares now. Horrible terrible personal calls will be made to widows and widowers, and we will see every coffin arrive home in an attempt to validate Dear Leader's nonexistent benevolence.


    The Feds tapped Cohen's phone (none / 0) (#45)
    by Yman on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:33:09 PM EST
    Not sure how long.

    Explains the freak out.

    "Weeks" (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:38:46 PM EST
    Before the raid.  Vague and ominous

    They have at least one call from the white house and that's not counting Cheetos cell.


    NVM (none / 0) (#47)
    by Yman on Thu May 03, 2018 at 03:57:41 PM EST
    They issued a correction.

    Not a wiretap - a pen register.


    Going googling (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 04:05:18 PM EST
    Don't even know what that is

    Here? (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 04:08:56 PM EST
    Pen register
    A pen register, or dialed number recorder (DNR), is an electronic device that records all numbers called from a particular telephone line. The term has come to include any device or program that performs similar functions to an original pen register, including programs monitoring Internet communications

    Metadata (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 04:13:02 PM EST
    The Pen Register Act (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 03, 2018 at 04:21:34 PM EST
    Gives them all the numbers dialed in and out, all the email addresses and headers, all the IP addresses sending things to the device as well as all instant messages sent and received.

    Through the legislation internet providers are also required to work with investigators.

    And this:

    The Pen Register Act did not include an exclusionary rule. While there were civil remedies for violations of the Act, evidence gained in violation of the Act can still be used against a defendant in court. There have also been calls for congress to add an exclusionary rule to the Pen Register Act, as this would make it more analogous to traditional Fourth Amendment protections. The penalty for violating the Pen Register Act is a misdemeanor, and it carries a prison sentence of not more than one year.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Yman on Thu May 03, 2018 at 05:03:14 PM EST
    What MT said.  You can get the metadata - numbers called/received, times.  In real time, as opposed to historical data like you'd get with a subpoena to a carrier.  Slightly lower threshold to get one compared to a wiretap.

    Jeralyn is an expert on this subject. (none / 0) (#57)
    by fishcamp on Fri May 04, 2018 at 10:02:33 AM EST
    She gives lectures to other lawyers on wire tapping, pen registers, polecams, and other sneaky stuff the Feds use.  I happened to attend one of her conferences on this and was quite amazed to find out what's going on.  The lawyers were too.