Is Michael Cohen In Big Trouble? Or Is The NYT Full Of Crap? (JK, It Is BOTH.)
GODDAMMIT, NEW YORK TIMES! You're breaking like nineteen scoops a day. Can we cut the shit already with these screaming nonsense headlines? Because everything is on fire right now, and we really don't need these distractions, thankyouverymuch!
You probably got an NYT push notification yesterday about Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen being investigated for 'Bank Fraud in Excess of $20 Million!' ZOMGGGGG!!!1!! Does that mean Michael Cohen stoled $20 million dollars from the bank?
Federal authorities investigating whether President Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, committed bank and tax fraud have zeroed in on well over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses that he and his family own, according to people familiar with the matter.
No, it means nothing of the kind! And it's craptastically hacky to write a story implying that it does.
Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Mr. Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, which exceed $20 million.
Cohen used 32 taxi medallions, each pulling in a million dollars per year in fares, as collateral for a series of loans. If he overstated the value of the medallions, he likely got ... a better interest rate on his loans. Which may well be a crime, but it's not like he pocketed $20 million in ill-gotten gains. And, by the by, he's made every payments on those loans, unlike Paul Manafort.
The Times goes on to breathlessly report that Cohen may be in trouble with the IRS for failing to properly report cash fares to the IRS.
Oh, noes! Tax fuckery in the cab business? Next you'll be telling us that bartenders don't always report all their tips to Uncle Sam!
The tax fraud aspect of the investigation has been focused in part on whether Mr. Cohen properly reported the income from the medallions, which was sometimes in cash, people with knowledge of the matter said.
REALLY? An inside source told you on the DL that people sometimes pay cab fare in cash? That's some super-sleuthing right there!
But what this article really needs is whole bunch of wildass speculation.
A cooperation agreement would likely include a provision that Mr. Cohen also provide information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating possible involvement by the Trump campaign in Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
It is unclear whether the prosecutors and Mr. Cohen's lawyers have had detailed discussions about a potential cooperation deal, but it is unlikely that the government would bring charges without having done so.
But if a plea deal is not reached, either because Mr. Cohen and prosecutors cannot agree on the terms or because prosecutors determine he does not have valuable information or is not credible, the government would likely seek to bring charges well before the midterm elections.
If the matter is not finalized by the end of August, prosecutors probably will wait until after the election, one of the people familiar with the inquiry said in recent weeks. That schedule would conform with the Justice Department's informal policy of avoiding bringing politically sensitive cases that could influence voters close to an election.
Okay, so the Times's source, who may or may not be Rudy Giuliani, is sure that no prosecutor would dare bring tax and loan charges against a private citizen who has no ongoing relationship with the president, who is not himself on the ballot, close to the midterms. Also somethingsomething "Taxi King" Gene Friedman, who has no comment.
So what you're saying is someone told you the names of the banks subpoenaed -- Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union -- and you spun that shit out into 2000 words of breathless speculation for Sunday clickbait. And maybe Michael Cohen will get indicted for tax and loan fraud, and maybe the feds are rolling up Friedman to gain leverage on Cohen, so now maybe Cohen will flip on the president. Or maybe none of this is actually true! LOL, whatevs!
SLOW FUCKING CLAP.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.