Trump "Fixer," Michael Cohen Loses His Legal Team

Trump's longtime personal lawyer has suffered his own legal setback, as his legal team abandons him.

Depending on which side of the courtroom you’re standing on, I’m guessing this is either good news or really, really bad news.

For Donald Trump’s longtime “fixer” and personal attorney, Michael Cohen, it really seems kinda bad. Like, “I’ll be keeping my soap on a rope, please” bad.

ABC News is reporting that Cohen’s situation has gotten increasingly bad, with his legal team dropping him and the very real prospects that he’ll be working with federal prosecutors.

Some reports have emerged in the last 24 hours that he has been telling associates that he expects he’ll be going to prison.

We’ll see, but in the meantime, there is a Friday deadline for a privilege review on more than 3.7 million documents that were seized when Cohen’s office and home were raided on April 9. After these things are handed over to Judge Kimba Wood, the legal firm handling the case are apparently washing their hands of the matter.

Cohen, now with no legal representation, is likely to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York, sources said. This development, which is believed to be imminent, will likely hit the White House, family members, staffers and counsels hard.

Cohen has been described as the one who “knows where all the bodies are buried,” as far as Donald Trump’s less-than-savory past dealings. That could be why Trump has lashed out so vehemently against his situation.

Really, Cohen got himself into the mess, but Trump made it worse when he rolled on the guy and admitted that he actually did pay off his porn star mistress, through Cohen’s shell company, right before the election.

Trump has a way of screwing over friends and family, it appears.

Two sources who are familiar with a warrant in the case told ABC News in April that federal agents were hunting for records tied to Cohen’s personal business dealings and secret deals with alleged mistresses, media organizations and the 2016 presidential campaign.

Cohen’s attorney at the time of the raids released a terse statement shortly after the April raids arguing that the seized documents included “the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients.”

“These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities,” Stephen Ryan said.

After a “special master” – former federal judge Barbara Jones - was appointed to go over the material, in order to determine what fell under attorney-client privilege, it was determined that 162 items out of the first 300,000 reviewed fit the bill.

Of those items proposed by Cohen or the Trump Organization to be “privileged,” only 3 were approved as such.

Judge Wood has given Cohen’s attorneys until Friday to complete the review of the remaining documents. Any remaining items to be reviewed would be turned over to a team of federal prosecutors unconnected to the case to complete the examination of the documents.

The sheer volume of materials seized is mindboggling, and it shows prosecutors are taking this investigation very seriously.

So is it a political hit job?

I’m sure there are some who will insist it is, and I’m not going to say there isn’t some side eye being thrown at how Trump ran his campaign.

I’m also not saying Cohen doesn’t deserve to be raked over the legal coals.

I’m just going to say that it’s a bad time to be a greasy “fixer” for a Manhattan conman, right now.

Comments
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cynicalnerd
cynicalnerd

@gunner305 Context. As I said, I got the story from Erick's radio show last night, including the vanity fair article. I don't take any Democrat Media story at face value as I require a secondary source that has experience (Erick Erickson or Mark Levin in this case) in these matters that I trust verifying it. The ABC story left out critical information^ that changes the entire tone of the actual events taking place; the Vanity Fair article, while biased in its own right at least gets right the fact that is not the beginning of the end of this case, but the end of the beginning.

^The most insidious power the Media has is the power to ignore.

HDA
HDA

MistyBat said: Wow!

Yeah, and that calculation ignores all of the support staff (legal assistants, word processing, audio-transcription specialists, prof-readers, database support) and expenses (photo-copying, overtime meals, overtime cars (which may just be a NY thing), travel,...). My guess is that MWE is going to be lucky to collect ten cents on the dollar on this one, which is perhaps why they have limited their staff to 15 so as not to pull people off of revenue generating work (i.e., they've probably pulled in associates who don't currently have a lot on their plate and used them to minimize the opportunity cost of this "exercise").

gunner305
gunner305

@cynicalnerd, why do you disbelieve ABCNEWS account of this story, while accepting the account from Vanity Fair? Remember they are both MSM which must not be “trusted”!!!!

MistyBat
MistyBat

Wow!

HDA
HDA

MistyBat said: Cohen's legal bills for fifteen full time lawyers have been estimated at $350,000-$500,000 per week.

I think that understates it. I used to be a lawyer in a "big law" firm like the one he's using and I had senior associates (in 2003) billing at $500/hr. So lets use that number in 2016 as the average rate for all lawyers (including partners who would be at 1000/hr+) working on the case (I think that might be low, but ...). If they are working as hard as they say they are (see their request to the judge for more time), then let's assume that they are billing 20 hours per day and working 7 days a week. So that's 7 x 15 x 20 x 500 = 1,005,000 per week. It may not be that high because document review has been pushed down to more junior associates, but I suspect that 500,000 a week is too low.