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On second thought, Michael Cohen would like to fold, please. He's tapping out. Crying UNCLE. Invoking the slaughter rule. Sorry guys, he hears his Mom calling him home for dinner.

Except Your Boyfriend Michael Avenatti has Michael Cohen pinned down and wants to keep kicking him in the dick. Because two-bit bagmen should really, REALLY not pick fights with superstar litigators.

Last week, Michael Cohen and Donald Trump told a federal court in California that they were going to do Stormy Daniels a big favor and forget all about that Hush Money Agreement she signed 11 days before the 2016 presidential election. She's free to tell the world about that time she bumped uglies with Donald Trump and spanked him with his own cover photo. They'll even throw in a promise to withdraw from the Arbitration Agreement. Whatever.


All Stormy Daniels has to do is give back the money. The Post reports,

"Today Essential Consultants LLC and Michael Cohen have effectively put an end to the lawsuits filed against them by Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels," [his attorney Brent] Blakely said in an emailed statement. "The rescission of the Confidential Settlement Agreement will result in Ms. Clifford returning to Essential Consultants the $130,000 she received in consideration."


Okay, let's get this straight. Michael Cohen and Donald Trump want out of this case. Cohen is being devoured by legal fees, and Trump would rather read a whole stack of policy papers than be deposed by Michael Avenatti. On the other hand, Daniels has a book to sell and Avenatti wants to run for president. But instead of just walking away and denying their opponents the publicity they crave, Cohen and Trump are going to keep this shit alive over a measly $130,000?

Because as long as Daniels refuses to return the money, this case lives on. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT DANIELS AND AVENATTI WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU PASTE-EATING DIPSHITS!

We still have the defamation cause of action or claim against Michael Cohen. We still have the defamation claim against Donald Trump. We have another claim against Michael Cohen relating to his conduct in conspiring with Keith Davidson to hide information and documents from my client. And furthermore, as it relates to the NDA, we want a judicial finding, a determination, that that NDA is not just null and void, but that it was an illegal contract that was proposed by Donald Trump in an effort to violate campaign finance law.

We put this finding of illegality that we sought in there for a reason. Because we boxed in Donald Trump. Because we knew that never in a million years would he be in a position where he could admit that. Because, were he to admit that, he would have a much bigger problem.

We're going to get an admission or a judicial finding by way of competent evidence that Donald Trump conspired with Michael Cohen to do this, to violate campaign finance law. And we're going to either get that by way of an admission, which I don't think we're going to get. Or by cross examination in a deposition, and ultimately a trial. And that is our goal, and it's been my goal for six months, and it's going to continue to be my goal.

Daniels and Avenatti don't want out of this lawsuit. They want to depose Trump and Cohen to expose them to further criminal liability for campaign finance violations. Avenatti wants to ask Trump under oath, "How many other women did you pay off during the campaign? And where did the money come from? And who directed the payments?" He never intended to take Cohen and Trump up on their offer to dismiss the cases, but they didn't have to giftwrap it for him in a $130,000 bow.

Here, have a Scribd of Daniels's response, courtesy of Law and Crime. Avenatti's not asking for much, just a public admission that the NDA was illegal because it violated campaign finance law and legal ethics, an on-the-record recision of the agreement, and attorney's fees. NBD!

Trump's lawyer Charles Harder has responded more rationally to Stormy Daniels's defamation suit over Trump's comments referring to her as a liar and a "con job". He's filed a SLAPP Motion, seeking to have the case dismissed before the discovery phase on grounds that Trump was just expressing his opinion. If he prevails, Trump might be able to get his attorney's fees reimbursed from Daniels. And he's just stupid and greedy enough to try it -- time to book Stormy and Michael on The View again!

TL, DR? These assholes should never have sued Daniels in the first place. They kicked her career into high gear, made Michael Avenatti a superstar, and opened themselves up to deposition. Now they want out, but it's too late for that. As Avenatti told Lawrence O'Donnell,

We're not willing to accept that surrender under the terms that they want to offer.

WOMP WOMP.

[CNN / WaPo]

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If it's a day, the New York Times is fucking shit up, but today, it fucked up BIGLY.

Fresh-faced access journalists Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt have just published what we can only describe as a drive-by shooting against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reads as some bullshit planted by the White House to give Donald Trump the pretext for his Saturday Night Massacre, if he wants it. (He does.)

Maybe the White House is tired of talking about the flailing nomination of Judge Maybe Rapey and how Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and the New York Times was more than happy to help!

Or maybe it was planted by former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before his pension was set to kick in, and may have a serious axe to grind with DoJ officials and leaked a copy of his own memos. (His lawyer says that's not true, but he would say that, wouldn't he?)

Or maybe it's both, somehow! Or one of many other things!

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It's not every day Golf Digest gets noticed as a source of hard-hitting investigative journalism, at least outside of reviews of titanium carbon fiber nanotech infinite improbability drivers or some such. But Wednesday, some journamalisming that started with a Golf Digest story about a guy who drew fantastic imaginary golf courses concluded with that guy, Valentino Dixon, walking out of Attica prison, 27 years after he'd been sentenced for 39 years to life. Not bad, Golf Digest. We give you a GOLF CLAP. And a Pulitzer if we had one, which, sadly, we don't.

As Golf Digest says, the twists and turns of the case are a bit complex (they're unraveled in more detail in this New York Times story), but it basically comes down to a local prosecutor who was determined to railroad Dixon for the 1991 murder of a 17-year-old, Torriano Jackson, in Buffalo, New York. The conviction involved

shoddy police work, zero physical evidence linking Dixon, conflicting testimony of unreliable witnesses, the videotaped confession to the crime by another man, a public defender who didn't call a witness at trial, and perjury charges against those who said Dixon didn't do it.

Dixon had a prior conviction for selling cocaine, and he made a convenient target for Erie County prosecutor Chris Belling, who was weirdly determined to ignore even statements from the actual killer, LaMarr Scott, who pleaded guilty to the killing shortly before Dixon's release this week.

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