Michael Cohen Released From Brain Jail, Gets To Go To Regular Jail Now
It's a good news, bad news kind of day. On the one hand, Michael Cohen will spend three years in federal prison for doing allllll the crimes, after which the New York attorney general will doubtless want to have a word with him. On the other hand, he's finally great God Almighty free at last from that "personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired." (He said that. Today. In court.) So all in all it's a win for Cooley Law School's most famous alum!
Judge William Pauley got the ball rolling at Cohen's sentencing hearing in New York by laying out the charges and the 51- to 63-month sentencing guidelines. Then Cohen's lawyer Guy Petrillo stood up to 'splain how his client is a Boy Scout who gives to charity, helps little old ladies across the street, and always leaves the seat down. Sure, he did lie to Congress. And yes, there were one or 1,200 little tax and bank loan boo-boos. But eventually he turned his life around and helped the special counsel with the biggest investigation since Watergate! Plus, unlike Paul Manafort, Cohen did almost NO COLLUSION with Donald Trump during the investigation. So maybe we just call it even, Your Honor?
(Spoiler alert: We cannot.)
Mr. Petrillo does not appreciate the prosecutors calling his client a devious criminal, when anyone can see he's a paste-eating dullard who would never engage in those "sharp business practices" the SDNY accused him of.
Petrillo calls Cohen a man who "does not engage in sharp business practices."— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1544631202.0
LOL, sorry to interrupt this love fest, but remember that time Cohen threatened Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak, saying "I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"
Listen: Lawyer Michael Cohen has used legal threats to protect Donald Trump for years. NPR now has the audio of him… https://t.co/vJEocbE6jQ— NPR Politics (@NPR Politics)1527796800.0
I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. [...] I swear as God on my children, I will serve you personally and I will be nothing but happy when I turn around and I get a judgement of defamation against you and that fucking paper you work for.
It's a damn shame when a good boy falls in with a bad crowd. If only Michael Cohen hadn't had the "misfortune to be counsel to the president!" (He said that. Today. In court.)
Then Petrillo attacked SDNY for being totes jelly of the special counsel's office (SCO) for having a cooler case, which is an out-of-the-box argument for a guy arguing in federal court in New York, but you do you, dude.
Petrillo lashed out at the Southern District, suggesting prosecutors are angry at playing second fiddle to Mueller.… https://t.co/0z2AB4Sn2G— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1544632032.0
Jeannie Rhee of the SCO addressed the Court briefly to say that Cohen answered Mueller's questions fully. And then it was the SDNY's turn to kick Cohen in the dick. Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Roos explained that there's no excuse for a lawyer to pretend that ratfucking the American electoral system is a victimless crime. Cohen committed tax fraud, and more importantly he committed a fraud on the public trust. Besides which, he didn't cooperate with SDNY's investigation, so Cohen can GO THE FUCK TO JAIL, PLEASE.
Finally, Cohen read a prepared speech where he confessed to being one that loved not wisely, but too well. "Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass," said he! If only he weren't such a good, kind friend. But ALAS, his "weakness was a blind loyalty to Donald Trump," for which he's been subject to shit tweets for months. And isn't that punishment enough, Your Honor?
Similarly, Cohen's loyalty to his beloved family prevented him from discussing all his other crimes with federal prosecutors in New York.
"I have chosen this unorthodox path because the sooner that I am sentenced," the sooner he can return to his family… https://t.co/1e69GppORh— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1544633247.0
Petrillo had earlier argued that his client failed to cooperate with SDNY to spare his family the "glare of the cameras." Out of the goodness of his heart, you see, Mister Cohen must regretfully decline the offer to explain any crimes he wasn't stupid enough to surreptitiously tape record.
So, was Judge Pauley convinced? Did he find Michael Cohen a changed man, who'd suffered enough and should be fitted with an ankle bracelet and returned to his wife and kids for six months of R 'n' R in his condo?
Quoting Oliver Wendall Holmes, Pauley said of the tax-evasion charges: "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1544633667.0
Michael Cohen can get his ass to jail on March 6, and stay there for three years. And he can fork over $1.4 million in restitution, pay a fine of $50,000 for his New York fuckery, another $50,000 for lying to Congress, and forfeit $500,000 of assets. BYE, FELICIA.
And, oh by the way, Individual 1, the DOJ attorneys at the SDNY haven't forgotten about you. They just put out this nice press release announcing that they've immunized The National Enquirer's parent company for buying up Karen McDougal's story "so as to prevent it from influencing the election."
The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI's role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman's story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.
So Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays, Mister President! In the name of the Mueller, the SDNY, and the holy DOJ.
Follow your FDF on Twitter!
You liking these lawsplainers? Click here to fund 'em!
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.