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Michael Cohen


Donald Trump’s lawyer hit back against prosecutors, accusing their star witness – Michael Cohen – repeatedly of lying.

On the most tense day yet of cross-examination, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former fixer, described talking to the former president directly about a hush-money payment to an adult-film star.

But attorney Todd Blanche all but shouted Michael Cohen’s testimony was “a lie.”

Records, he said, show Michael Cohen called Donald Trump’s bodyguard about a prank caller.

Todd Blanche’s alternate theory of the phone call was designed to sow doubt on Michael Cohen’s third day on the stand, as the jury watched the furious exchange with intense focus.

Following the heated moment, Todd Blanche stormed back to the defense table and sat down next to his client. When the judge announced an afternoon recess, there was a collective exhale in the room.

Donald Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, for allegedly disguising payments to Michael Cohen as legal expenses when they were in fact reimbursements for paying off film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with him.

Image source: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Prosecutors allege Donald Trump sought to keep damaging information from the public to protect his 2016 presidential campaign. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all counts and denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels.

On May 16, Michael Cohen maintained that his previous testimony was true, and that he spoke to Donald Trump about the payout to Stormy Daniels on a call on October 24, 2016.

Earlier this week, prosecutors asked Michael Cohen about the call to help establish Donald Trump’s alleged direct knowledge of the payoff scheme. Michael Cohen testified that he kept his boss aware during every step of the process of paying Stormy Daniels.

As the man at the centre of the payout, Michael Cohen’s testimony is crucial for prosecutors to prove whether or not Donald Trump had knowledge of the allegedly fraudulent reimbursement plan.

However, Michael Cohen’s criminal record, history of lying to Congress, and profane public criticism of Donald Trump makes him a flawed witness. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance crimes over the hush-money payment, but maintains that he sent the money at Donald Trump’s direction.

The defense seized on Michael Cohen’s credibility issues for nearly two days and sought to paint him as a liar with a vendetta against Donald Trump.

On May 16, Todd Blanche played recordings from Michael Cohen’s podcast, Mea Culpa, where the witness expressed a desire to see the former president go through the booking process and said of Donald Trump: “I want this man to go down.”

Todd Blanche also confronted Michael Cohen with an X post where he called the former president “Dumbass Donald.”


Prosecutors and Donald Trump’s attorneys delivered opening statements and the first witness was called on April 22 in the historic and unprecedented criminal trial of a former president.

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” a lawyer told the jury during opening statements at the historic trial in New York.

Setting out the case for the defense, Donald Trump’s lawyer said his client had committed no crimes and that it was not illegal to try to influence an election.

“He is cloaked in innocence,” he added.

Donald Trump is accused of trying to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels before he won the race for the White House back in 2016.

He has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and also denies having an alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

At the start of the second week of the criminal trial in Manhattan – the first ever of a former US president – each side set out the case they will present to the jury. The first witness, tabloid publisher David Pecker, also took the stand briefly and will continue his testimony on April 23.

Trump Trial: 63 Potential Jurors Say They Can’t Be Impartial

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo told the court that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and confidant, worked with the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, to “cook the books” at Trump’s direction.

Prosecutors alleged that the scheme to disguise how Michael Cohen was reimbursed for the payment to Stormy Daniels involved falsifying three forms of records – invoices, ledger entries and cheques.

Donald Trump said in his business records that those payments were “for legal services pursuant to a retainer agreement” with Michael Cohen, Matthew Colangelo told the jury.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Critically for this case, he said that Donald Trump was motivated to provide the payoff so voters did not learn of the alleged encounter with Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors said that this cover-up should be considered election interference, which constituted a second crime. That elevated the charge of falsifying business records from a lower-level misdemeanour into a more serious felony.

They claimed the infamous Access Hollywood tape, which surfaced weeks before the 2016 election and showed Donald Trump bragging about being able to have sex with anyone because he is famous, had panicked his campaign.

“The defendant and his campaign staff were deeply concerned that it would irreparably damage his standing with female voters in particular,” Matthew Colangelo told the court.

But when Stormy Daniels came forward a day later alleging an affair with Donald Trump, it compounded the problem created by the tape, Matthew Colangelo alleged.

The trial is expected to last about another six weeks, but legal experts say opening statements are particularly important as an opportunity to shape jurors’ views on the case.


Court has wrapped up for the first day of Donald Trump’s long-awaited hush-money trial in New York.

It marks the first time that a US president – former or current – has faced a criminal trial.

Dozens of potential jurors have been excused after saying they cannot be impartial.

Jury selection is expected to continue for at least the rest of the week.

Donald Trump is accused of trying to cover up a $130,000 hush-money payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election – which he won.

Stormy Daniels claims she and Donald Trump had an affair in 2006, and she was then paid by Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen to stay quiet about it.

Donald Trump is accused of falsifying his business records by saying the reimbursement money he gave Michael Cohen was for legal fees.

He faces 34 counts of fraud, but denies any legal wrongdoing – and also denies having an affair with Daniels.

Image source Wikipedia

The maximum penalty if Donald Trump is found guilty is four years behind bars, but experts say a much less severe penalty would be more likely.

Speaking outside court, Donald Trump said he was upset about possibly missing son’s graduation.

He said some “amazing things happened today”.

The former president then brings up how the judge may not let him go to his son’s high school graduation.

The judge told Trump they would make a call on that closer to the date.

He criticises the judge, and the case. And once again makes the unsubstantiated claim that it is “election interference”.

Donald Trump has repeatedly made these types of allegations regarding his legal troubles.

And with that, he walks away and takes no questions.

There were 96 people in the first panel of prospective jurors brought into the courtroom today.

In a matter of minutes, 63 were dismissed because they said they could not be impartial in Trump’s hush-money case.

Now that court has resumed, those 33 remaining people will be asked more questions and we will likely see more excused before the day is out. Then there are hundreds more still waiting to be called to the court room.

Finding an impartial jury in New York is going to take some time, probably more than a week.

It’s a blue state, meaning voters are largely Democrats.

Donald Trump’s relationship with the city, where he made a name for himself as a real estate tycoon.

Former President Donald Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records. All 34 charges are related to hush-money payment.

Although falsifying records are usually treated as lesser misdemeanours, Donald Trump is accused of committing felony offences. That denotes a more serious crime, which could include prison time if a maximum sentence is given.

Donald Trump – who pleaded not guilty to all the charges – insisted after leaving the courthouse that there was no case to answer.

“There was nothing done illegally!” the former president posted on his social media website.

That, however, will be for a jury to decide. In the meantime, here are the details of the historic first-ever criminal indictment of a former president.

“Donald Trump” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump faces 34 felony charges of falsifying business records in the first degree.

The charges all relate to a $130,000 hush-money payment by lawyer Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before 2016 election in order to prevent her from talking about her allegations that she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2007.

In the court documents, Michael Cohen is referred to as Lawyer A and Stormy Daniels as Woman 2.

The first line of the Statement of Facts, a document that accompanied the indictment, spells out the prosecution case: The defendant DONALD J. TRUMP repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.

New York’s case against Donald Trump hinges on how Michael Cohen was compensated for those hush-money payments.

In 2017, after becoming president, Donald Trump met with Michael Cohen in the White House. Shortly thereafter – and over the course of 10 months – Donald Trump began sending cheques from a trust handling his assets, and later from his own bank account, to Michael Cohen.

Those cheques were registered as “legal fees,” but Michael Cohen says they were, in fact, reimbursements for the hush-money payment.

The prosecution case states: The payment records, kept and maintained by the Trump Organization, were false New York business records. In truth, there was no retainer agreement, and Lawyer A was not being paid for legal services rendered in 2017. The Defendant caused his entities’ business records to be falsified to disguise his and others’ criminal conduct.

Alvin Bragg alleges that Donald Trump falsified the true nature of the payments because those payments were made in support of a crime. While hush-money payments are not by themselves illegal, spending money to help a presidential campaign but not disclosing it violates federal campaign finance law.

Michael Cohen was convicted of just such a violation for not disclosing his payment to Stormy Daniels. By reimbursing Michael Cohen for that payment, Alvin Bragg asserts, Donald Trump is tied to that criminal act – and it makes his falsification of business record a more serious offence.

Donald Trump’s defenders argue that is a legal stretch, and that this is a politically-motivated prosecution.


Michael Cohen has given substantial help on how Russian nationals tried to affect the 2016 election, a legal memo has revealed.

His help is detailed in the memo from Robert Mueller, who is heading the investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump team.

Image source Wikimedia


President Trump Reimbursed Michael Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money, Says Rudy Giuliani

Michael Cohen’s Documents to Be Reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress

Robert Mueller’s memo is mainly to guide sentencing for crimes President Trump’s ex-lawyer has admitted.

A second memo sets out the case against Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort for breaching a plea bargain deal.

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort are among a number of President Trump aides being investigated in Special Counsel RobertMueller’s investigation.

Both have been co-operating with his team but Robert Mueller now accuses Paul Manafort of lying.

In a separate court filing onDecember 7, prosecutors in New York made their case for the length of Michael Cohen’s sentence when it is delivered on December 5.

They say Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer should serve a “substantial” jail term after admitting violating campaign finance laws, committing tax evasion and lying to Congress.

President Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion with Russian officials, calling the investigation a “witch hunt”.

The White House said the memos offered nothing new or damaging about the president.

President Trump tweeted: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

Michael Cohen had admitted making false statements about a Trump property deal, out of loyalty to the president.

The memo says that although this crime was serious, any sentencing should be served concurrently with the NewYork prosecutors’ recommendations on other crimes.

The memo says Michael Cohen has taken “significant steps to mitigate his criminal conduct”.

The memo’s key elements are about the Russian links.


Image source Wikipedia

Michael Cohen has admitted he lied about a Trump property deal in Russia during the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Michael Cohen said he did so out of loyalty to Donald Trump.

The president said his former right-hand man was “lying” to prosecutors in the hope of receiving a reduced sentence.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election and whether Donald Trump colluded with it.

In August, Michael Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty to violating finance laws during the 2016 election by handling hush money for Donald Trump’s alleged lovers.

Appearing unexpectedly before a federal judge in Manhattan on November 30, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to Congress.

The president’s former lawyer said at the hearing that he had submitted a false written statement about a Trump Organization plan to build a skyscraper in the Russian capital.

He said in court: “I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1.”

Michael Cohen has previously identified “individual 1” as Donald Trump.

He was interviewed in October 2017 behind closed doors by lawmakers conducting their own investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign worked with Russia to sway the US election two years ago.

According to the criminal complaint, Michael Cohen told the Senate and House intelligence committees that talks over the Moscow project had lasted from September 2015 until January 2016, while Donald Trump was running for the White House.

However, the document says that “as Cohen well knew”, negotiations over the Moscow project continued until June 2016.

Michael Cohen also told lawmakers he had had limited contact with Donald Trump about the project, when in fact it had been “more extensive”.

Prosecutors said Michael Cohen had tried to give a false impression that the Moscow project ended before the Republican presidential campaign properly began in 2016.

President Trump Reimbursed Michael Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money, Says Rudy Giuliani

Michael Cohen’s Documents to Be Reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones

Sean Hannity Revealed as Michael Cohen’s Mystery Third Client

Russia Denies Claims Its Intelligence Has Donald Trump Compromising Info

In a press scrum outside court, Michael Cohen said nothing to reporters.

His lawyer said: “Mr. Cohen has co-operated. Mr. Cohen will continue to co-operate.”

As he left the White House for a G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Mr

President Trump told reporters of Michael Cohen as he left the White House for a G20 summit in Buenos Aires: “He’s a weak person and not a very smart person.

“He’s got himself a big prison sentence. And he’s trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up this story.”

The president told reporters of the Moscow real estate project, which never came to fruition: “When I’m running for president, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to do business.”

He added: “He’s lying about a project that everybody knew about. I mean, we were very open with it.”

Soon after those remarks, President Trump abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina, citing the current Ukraine crisis.


Image source Flickr

President Donald Trump has said that payments to two women who say he had affairs with them did not break election campaign rules.

His comments come after his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating laws during the 2016 presidential election over his handling of the hush money.

Interviewed by Fox & Friends, President Trump said the payments had come from him personally, not from the campaign.

Donald Trump has in the past denied knowing about one of the payments altogether.

He also accused Michael Cohen of making up stories to receive a lighter sentence.

In an excerpt from the Fox & Friends interview, which will be aired in full on August 23, President Trump responded to questions about the hush payments by insisting that they were “not a campaign violation”.

He said: “They came from me. And I tweeted about it. But they did not come out of the campaign.”

President Trump added that he only found out about the payments “later on”.

The president’s comments contradict a statement made earlier by Michael Cohen under oath in which he said Donald Trump had instructed him to make the payments.

President Trump Reimbursed Michael Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money, Says Rudy Giuliani

Stormy Daniels Lawsuit against Michael Cohen Put on Hold for 90 Days

Michael Cohen’s Documents to Be Reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones

Last month, Michael Cohen released audio tapes of him and Donald Trump allegedly discussing one of the payments before the election.

Michael Cohen, who was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer for more than a decade, admitted passing on funds to two women thought to be Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The hush money payments were not reported to the Federal Election Commission during the campaign.

The question is whether the payments were made to protect Donald Trump’s personal reputation or to protect his image as a presidential candidate.

Under US election rules, any payments made with the aim of influencing a vote must be reported.

Michael Cohen acknowledged in court that the aim was indeed to protect Donald Trump’s candidacy, saying he had paid the money “at the direction” of Trump “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.

If Donald Trump were to be prosecuted over the money – not through the normal courts, because he is the sitting president, but conceivably in Congress, through an impeachment process – investigators would have to prove that he had indeed given the money to Michael Cohen for electoral reasons.

In his first public comments, back in April, about his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, President Trump denied knowing about the $130,000 payment made to the actress via Michael Cohen.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she and Donald Trump had met in a hotel room in 2006.

Asked by a reporter in the press cabin of Air Force One if he had any knowledge about where Michel Cohen had got the money to pay Stormy Daniels, President Trump responded at the time: “I don’t know.”

The following month, the president officially disclosed a payment to Michael Cohen of between $100,001 and $250,000 for expenses incurred in 2016.

Michael Cohen has reached a plea deal with prosecutors, which may see his prison sentence reduced from 65 years to five years and three months.

On the same day that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, a jury convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of bank and tax fraud charges.

It was the first criminal trial arising from the justice department probe led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Robert Mueller has been investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to swing the election in his favor.

Russia has denied claims it interfered in the elections.

There is no confirmation that Michael Cohen will speak to Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry but his personal lawyer has said his client is happy to talk.


President Donald Trump has officially disclosed his reimbursement to Michael Cohen, the lawyer who paid actress Stormy Daniels to hush up her claims of an affair.

The Office of Government Ethics found on Wednesday that Donald Trump ought to have revealed the payment in his previous financial disclosure.

The filing shows Donald Trump paid Michael Cohen between $100,001 and $250,000 for expenses incurred in 2016.

President Trump previously denied knowing of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.

The White House stated in a footnote to the filing that it was listing the payment “in the interest of transparency”, and contended it did not have to make the disclosure.

However, the head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) wrote in a letter that “the payment made by Michael Cohen is required to be reported” in the liabilities section of the statement.

In his letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the OGE acting director said: “You may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing.”

The deputy attorney general is overseeing the DoJ investigation into whether Trump aides colluded with alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Image source Wikipedia

President Trump Reimbursed Michael Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money, Says Rudy Giuliani

Stormy Daniels Lawsuit against Michael Cohen Put on Hold for 90 Days

Michael Cohen’s Documents to Be Reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones

Russia Denies Claims Its Intelligence Has Donald Trump Compromising Info

The Stormy Daniels payment is a potential legal problem for the president because it could be seen as an illegal campaign contribution.

Michael Cohen, whose records relating to the settlement were seized in an FBI raid last month, is now reportedly under criminal investigation.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she and Donald Trump had been in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe, a resort area between California and Nevada, in 2006. Michael Cohen said his client “vehemently denies” the claim.

If Stormy Daniels’ account is true, the tryst would have happened just a few months after Melania Trump gave birth to her son, Barron, whose father is Donald Trump.

Last month, President Trump said he was unaware Michael Cohen had paid Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election.

Donald Trump’s payment to Michael Cohen was first confirmed two weeks ago by Rudy Giuliani, another of the president’s attorneys, in a TV interview.

Rudy Giuliani said the transaction was to keep Stormy Daniels quiet about her “false and extortionist accusation” that she had an affair with Donald Trump, suggesting her claim could have damaged his candidacy.

Later that week, President Trump said the newly hired Rudy Giuliani needed time to “get his facts straight”.

On May 16, the Senate Intelligence Committee backed up the American intelligence community’s findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump.

The panel’s assessment contradicts a conclusion in March by the House Intelligence Committee rejecting allegations that Russia had aimed to boost Donald Trump’s chances.

Donald Trump’s financial disclosure shows millions in 2017 income from rents, licenses, book and TV royalties, company shares, hotel management fees and golf courses, with interests from India to Dubai.

Trump’s Washington hotel in a former Post Office building brought in more than $40 million in 2017, its first full year in operation.

His golf courses, including the Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, did not appear to see major gains, despite frequent visits from the president.

Mar-a-Lago contributed $25 million in income, compared with about $37 million on the previous report.

President Trump reported royalties from his 1987 book The Art of the Deal in the same $100,000-$1 million range as he did last year – and sales for some of his lesser titles picked up.

Many of Donald Trump’s shareholdings are in mutual and index funds, rather than the cross-section of American companies he once owned.


Donald Trump personally repaid lawyer Michael Cohen the $130,000 that was used to buy Stormy Daniels’ silence about an alleged affair, his legal aide Rudy Giuliani has said.

It appears to contradict President Trump, who said he did not know about the payment made by lawyer Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Donald Trump has denied Stormy Daniels’ claims of an affair in 2006.

The former New York City mayor said no campaign finance was used, a key issue in the matter.

Rudy Giuliani recently joined President Trump’s legal team and was talking to Sean Hannity on Fox News.

The campaign finance issue appears to be one his main motives – to deny that there was any wrongdoing.

Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election could count as an illegal contribution to President Trump’s campaign.

Image source Wikimedia

Stormy Daniels Lawsuit against Michael Cohen Put on Hold for 90 Days

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Sean Hannity Revealed as Michael Cohen’s Mystery Third Client

Russia Denies Claims Its Intelligence Has Donald Trump Compromising Info

Rudy Giuliani said: “That money was not campaign money. Sorry, I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.

“They funneled it through a law firm and the president repaid it.”

He said the repayment was made “over a period of several months”.

Rudy Giuliani added that the president “didn’t know about the specifics of it, as far as I know, but he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this”.

When asked by reporters a month ago if he knew about the payment to Stormy Daniels, President Trump said: “No.”

When asked why the payment was given to Stormy Daniels, the president added: “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”

President Trump might argue that the lawyer “took care of things like this”, as Rudy Giuliani suggested and that he knew nothing of the “specifics”, making the repayment personally later.

Speaking on Fox TV last week, President Trump suggested some knowledge of the matter in admitting Michael Cohen had represented him during the “crazy Stormy Daniels deal”, but did not go into specifics.

Michael Cohen, for his part, told the New York Times in February: “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.”

If Michael Cohen did co-ordinate with the Trump campaign, the $130,000 payment would be a violation of federal election law.

Rudy Giuliani’s comments also raise the question of whether President Trump was repaying an undisclosed loan. Donald Trump’s personal financial disclosure form from June 2017 makes no mention of a debt to Michael Cohen.

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said that Americans “should be outraged” at Rudy Giuliani’s comments.

He tweeted: “We predicted months ago that it would be proven that the American people had been lied to as to the $130k payment and what Mr. Trump knew.”

The payment relates to allegations by Stormy Daniels that she had relations with Donald Trump in 2006, allegations he denies.

After initially denying the payment, Michael Cohen eventually admitted he had paid the sum privately to Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, in October 2016 out of his own funds in exchange for her silence in a non-disclosure agreement.

Michael Cohen denied that Donald Trump was a party to the transaction.

The lawyer is now facing a criminal investigation. FBI agents searched his home and office in New York recently in relation to the nondisclosure agreement.

Two months ago, Stormy Daniels filed a lawsuit against the president, alleging that the agreement was invalid because Donald Trump did not sign it.


Stormy Daniels’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been halted for 90 days, an LA judge has ruled.

Judge James Otero said Michael Cohen’s constitutional rights could be endangered if the case proceeded while he was under criminal investigation.

The actress is seeking to end a non-disclosure deal signed over an alleged relation with Donald Trump in 2006.

Michael Cohen had said he would invoke his right to remain silent over the case.

The lawyer had argued that any statement he made in court could affect a criminal inquiry in New York into his business affairs.

As part of the investigation into the Daniels case, the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s offices for information, including on the non-disclosure agreement with Stormy Daniels – whose real name is Stephanie Clifford – signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

District Judge Otero in Los Angeles said there was “a large potential factual overlap” between the civil and criminal proceedings against Michael Cohen.

The judge said that “would heavily implicate Mr. Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights”, in a reference to the Constitution’s protection against self-incrimination.

Michael Cohen’s lawyers had earlier asked for the Daniels case to be put on hold for three months.

They had argued that Michael Cohen faced a Catch-22 situation: giving evidence in Los Angeles might mean incriminating himself in New York; while invoking his right to silence in the civil suit could undermine his defense there.

Catch-22 states that no individual can be “compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”.

Invoking the amendment means Michael Cohen will not have to reveal sensitive information in the wider investigation into his affairs.

A lawyer for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, earlier described Michael Cohen’s move as a “stunning development”.

The raid on Michael Cohen followed a tip-off by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Image source Wikipedia

Michael Cohen’s Documents to Be Reviewed by Special Master Barbara Jones

Sean Hannity Revealed as Michael Cohen’s Mystery Third Client

Russia Denies Claims Its Intelligence Has Donald Trump Compromising Info

Russia denies interfering in the election and President Trump has denied any collusion.

Separately, Stormy Daniels alleges she had a relationship with Donald Trump in 2006.

President Trump has denied having any relation with Stormy Daniels or any knowledge of the $130,000 payment to her by Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Stormy Daniels says she accepted the sum in return for signing the non-disclosure agreement.

During a recent TV interview, Stormy Daniels said she had been threatened in 2011 in a Las Vegas car park while she was with her infant daughter, and had been told to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Donald Trump.

Stormy Daniels is now suing President Trump in an attempt to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement, which she alleges is invalid because he did not sign it personally.

Legal analysts have said that Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels could have violated the rules on financing Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.


Documents seized from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen should be reviewed by an independent official, a New York federal judge has ruled.

The so-called special master was named as ex-judge Barbara Jones.

Barbara Jones will review documents seized from Michael Cohen by the FBI to determine if they include confidential communications with his legal clients.

The move comes as President Trump distanced himself from his long-time lawyer.

On April 26, President Trump told Fox News his lawyer was “a good guy” but only one among his “many, many attorneys”.

The president said: “I don’t know his business, but this doesn’t have to do with me. He’s got a business. He also practices law. I would say probably the big thing is his business. And they’re looking at something having to do with his business. I have nothing to do with his business.”

However, President Trump confirmed that Michael Cohen represented him in the “crazy Stormy Daniels deal”, referring to the actress who alleges she had a relationship with him in 2006.

Donald Trump has denied having relations with Stormy Daniels or any knowledge of the $130,000 payment to her by Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential campaign. Stormy Daniels accepted the sum in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement.

Image source Wikipedia

Sean Hannity Revealed as Michael Cohen’s Mystery Third Client

Russia Denies Claims Its Intelligence Has Donald Trump Compromising Info

The actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing President Trump and Michael Cohen to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement, claiming it was void because the president did not personally sign it.

Michael Cohen said he will invoke his constitutional right to remain silent in the civil case, arguing it could affect the criminal inquiry into his business affairs.

The DoJ announced earlier this month it was investigating Michael Cohen’s business dealings, rather than his work as a lawyer, following a raid on his home and office.

The April 9 raid on Michael Cohen followed a tip-off by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

Russia denies interfering in the election and President Trump has denied any collusion.

It was unclear if any of those seized documents include material relating to Donald Trump’s business dealings.

Legal analysts have said that Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels could have violated the rules on financing Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

On April 26, District Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Barbara Jones would be the first to review the material, before handing over documents prosecutors could use in their case.

Prosecutors had initially said the documents should be reviewed by a separate team of lawyers in their office while Michael Cohen’s lawyers argued they should have the first look, citing some of the material could violate attorney-client privilege.

Judge Kimba Wood said Barbara Jones could meet lawyers as soon as next week, but added she would intervene if the process took too long.

She said: “If at any point it turns out that the special master process is going too slowly, I will revisit it.”

Barbara Jones served as a federal judge for 16 years in the Southern District of New York and is a former organized-crime prosecutor.

The former judge was appointed in 2016 as the independent review officer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in a corruption case at the labor union.


Fox News host Sean Hannity has been revealed as the mystery third client of President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.

A judge ruled that the president’s personal attorney must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.

April 16 hearing in NYC follows an FBI raid this month on Michael Cohen’s home and office, which Sean Hannity has called an anti-Trump “witch hunt”.

A vocal Trump advocate, Sean Hannity denied he was a client of Michael Cohen.

Sean Hannity, who is known for passionately defending Donald Trump on his Fox News show against what he describes as biased attacks by the media, had never previously divulged any legal ties to the president’s attorney.

FBI agents who raided Michael Cohen’s home and evidence were looking for evidence on various matters, including a $130,000 payment made to actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid “hush money”.

During April 16 hearing, the judge deny Michael Cohen’s attempts to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the materials seized in the FBI raids.

Image source Wikimedia

Phil Robertson talks about ISIS on Hannity show

Phil Robertson campaigns for nephew Zach Dasher on Hannity show

President Trump’s attorney says the computers, phones and documents should be protected under attorney-client privilege.

However, Judge Kimba Wood ruled his application for a preliminary injunction was premature.

She allowed prosecutors to proceed with the cataloguing of evidence seized in the raids while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege are not disclosed to investigators.

However, the judge will also consider appointing a “special master” to play a supervisory role in the process.

Just before hearing, Michael Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.

One was Donald Trump. Another was a Republican fundraiser who admitted to paying a former Playboy model after she became pregnant during their affair.

The third client, Michael Cohen said, had refused to give him permission to be publicly named.

However, Judge Wood made one of the lawyers identify Sean Hannity.

There were gasps and some laughter in the courtroom after the announcement, and some journalists raced out of the courtroom to report the revelation.

Sean Hannity responded on Twitter: “In response to some wild speculation, let me make clear that I did not ask Michael Cohen to bring this proceeding on my behalf, I have no personal interest in this proceeding, and, in fact, asked that my de minimis discussions with Michael Cohen, which dealt almost exclusively about real estate, not be made a part of this proceeding.”

He later issued a statement of denial, saying: “Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.

“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”

After last week’s raid on Michael Cohen’s offices, Sean Hannity took to the airwaves to denounce the probe as a “declared war against the president of the United States”.

Also in the Manhattan federal court was Stormy Daniels, whose appearance triggered a scrum by photographers outside.

Michael Cohen has admitted making a payment to Stormy Daniel, who claims the money was to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with Donald Trump in 2006.

The president’s attorney says he made the payment just before the 2016 election, but maintains Donald Trump did not know about it.

Michael Cohen is facing a criminal inquiry, which President Trump has strongly criticized.

According to legal analysts, the payoff to Stormy Daniels could amount to a campaign finance violation.

The White House has denied President Trump had an extramarital affair.

The Kremlin has strongly denied claims Russia’s intelligence agencies have compromising material about Donald Trump.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the allegations were “pulp fiction” and a “clear attempt to damage relations”.

The unsubstantiated claims say Donald Trump’s presidential campaign secretly communicated with Moscow. They also say Russia has information about Donald Trump involving prostitutes.

The president-elect has condemned the reports.

He responded on Twitter: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

Later on January 11, Donald Trump went on to write: “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!”

Image NBC News

Donald Trump is due to hold a news conference on January 11, nine days before he takes office.

It was meant to be about his attempts to separate himself from his business commitments, to address concerns about conflicts of interest.

However, it now comes at an awkward time for Donald Trump.

Last week, US intelligence agencies released an unclassified report saying Russia ran a hacking campaign to influence the US presidential elections.

Separate reports circulating in media now say Russia has damaging information about Donald Trump’s business interests and salacious video evidence of his private life.

Among the claims included in a 35-page dossier are that Donald Trump’s aides were involved with the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic Party of his rival Hillary Clinton.

Michael Cohen, a lawyer to Donald Trump named in the memos, has denied a specific claim that he went to Prague in August or September 2016 to meet Kremlin representatives to talk about the hacking.

“I’ve never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews,” he tweeted.

Media suggest the videos were prepared as “kompromat” – compromising material collected about a politician or public figure in order to create a threat of negative publicity, if needed.


A power cut could have prevented a shark spotter from sounding a warning alarm just before Michael Cohen was savaged by a great white off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa.

The shark spotter is thought to have seen Michael Cohen, the 43 year-old British swimmer enter the water and attempted to warn him of danger – but the siren didn’t work because of a city-wide power cut, it has been reported.

Michael Cohen was dragged on to Clovelly beach near Fish Hoek , then he was airlifted to hospital and is in a critical

Michael Cohen was dragged on to Clovelly beach near Fish Hoek , then he was airlifted to hospital and is in a critical

An official incident report from the City of Cape Town claimed there was an electricity failure with the power company Eskom, according to South Africa’s Daily News website.

“At around 12.25 p.m. (on Wednesday), the mountain shark spotter saw a swimmer enter the water near the Clovelly Corner area.

“The spotter tried to sound the alarm, but due to an Eskom-related city-wide electricity failure, the alarm did not sound.”

The power company, Eskom was unable to comment as its officials said they were unaware of the City of Cape Town’s incident report.

But a company spokeswoman confirmed a power cut lasted for two hours, starting from just before 11:00 a.m. to shortly after 1:00 p.m. The power cut was apparently caused by a trip on the power line supplying Cape Town.

However, Eskom was unable to comment on the possible impact this had on the shark alarm as they unaware of the authority’s incident report.

Two men who dragged Michael Cohen to shore described how the creature swam around them as if to distract the 12 feet (4 m) Great White shark, which appeared to be preparing for a second strike.

Michael Cohen, who lost his right leg and part of his left foot, yesterday remained in a critical condition in hospital.

Michael Cohen, a British accountant, had ignored warnings of a shark in the area before taking to the water off Fish Hoek beach.

Yesterday, passers-by Hugh Till, 66, and Douglas Drysdale, 61, told how they ran into the blood-clouded surf to help pull Michael Cohen to safety after watching the attack.

“As Douglas and I were pulling him in towards the shore, the seal frolicked nearby, and kept swimming past us, it seemed rather agitated.

“It occurred to us afterwards how unusual it was for a seal to stick around in an area where a shark is, or where there is blood.

“It really did feel to us as though he was offering support to us, or the swimmer, and was prepared to act as a diversion if the shark went after us as well,” Hugh Till said.

Hugh Till was in the area with his friend Douglas Drysdale trying to spot whales when they saw the shark looming towards Michael Cohen, who was swimming a few yards from the beach.

The pair stopped their car and ran to shout warnings, but it was too late, leaving them to watch helplessly as Michael Cohen was pulled under.

Even though the shark remained in the area, possibly preparing for a second strike, Hugh and Douglas plunged into the water to help in the efforts to drag Michael Cohen to safety.

Prof. Andrew Nicol, who operated on Michael Cohen, said he had needed seven litres of blood on arriving at hospital.

Professor had fought to save one of the Michael’s legs, even though it was badly bitten, because he had lost the other leg. Michael Cohen’s femoral artery and vein were both torn – usually a fatal injury – and Prof. Nicol praised the life-saving first-aid efforts by a member of the beach’s shark-spotting team.

“The tourniquet resulted in the almost complete stopping of blood loss from the thigh and I just want to commend the people giving first aid on the beach for saving the life of this patient.”

“Self-made improvised tourniquets don’t tend to work and are frowned on in medical literature, but this really was life-saving. If the femoral artery and vein are both severed you don’t tend to make it into hospital alive,” Prof. Nicol said.

Michael Cohen, who has lost his lower right leg and left foot, was carried from the beach by members of the Fish Hoek emergency services to a waiting helicopter

Michael Cohen, who has lost his lower right leg and left foot, was carried from the beach by members of the Fish Hoek emergency services to a waiting helicopter

Michael Cohen is a Canadian-born accountant, who has a British passport and lived in London before moving to South Africa. He had taken to the water even though the beach was closed after shark sightings.

Michael Cohen was said to be a regular swimmer at the beach, who had previously ignored warnings to stay out of the water.

The site of the attack is close to one of the highest populations of Great White sharks in the world, and has seen a number of deaths and injuries to swimmers and surfers.

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