SDNY Will Put Michael Cohen TO DEATH! OK Not Really, But It's BAD (For Him)

Finally! And at the last minute! The Southern District of New York (SDNY) has filed its sentencing guidelines for Michael Cohen, and they are not pleased with him. They spend 40 pages detailing Cohen's very many crimes and his bad attitude and we are pretty sure there's a section about how they just don't like his face so they recommend it be removed via guillotine, but maybe we just hallucinated that section.

Remember, this is different from Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation (SCO) into Donald Trump, which Cohen is helping out a lot with. Mueller has filed his own addendum to this document, and it is a lot nicer to Cohen than SDNY's thingie. We'll look at it after we look at the SDNY thingie, OK? Be fucking patient.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight felony crimes, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and all the dirty campaign finance lady boning payoff crimes, which he admitted he committed in COLLUSION with and at the orders of Trump, who is an unindicted co-conspirator. SDNY recommends that everybody throw the book at Cohen, and then throw some more books at him, because he is BAD.

Here is the SDNY part!

SDNY's preliminary statement foreshadows just how through SDNY is with Michael Cohen's shit:

Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends. Now he seeks extraordinary leniency – a sentence of no jail time – based principally on his rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes; his claims to a sympathetic personal history; and his provision of certain information to law enforcement. But the crimes committed by Cohen were more serious than his submission allows and were marked by a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life (and was evidently hidden from the friends and family members who wrote on his behalf).


SDNY is highly unimpressed by Cohen's argument in his own sentencing memorandum that he was just a simple country lawyer who got in with a bad crowd, and should get off easy, citing the well known legal standard of Bite Me, Asshole, You Know What You Did. Somebody who has spent their whole life bragging about what a good "fixer" they are for MIS-TURR TWUMP does not get to suddenly turn around and act like he accidentally got involved in something way above his pay grade. ASSHOLE.

The filing literally cites this tweet, in a footnote:

The filing also responds to Cohen's suggestion that maybe a good prison sentence for him would be "time served" with a jolly "LOL!"

SDNY allows that Cohen helped with Mueller's investigation, but notes that he probably shouldn't have dicked them around for an entire year if he was going to want a good report card at the end. They note that he doesn't have an official cooperation agreement with SCO or with SDNY, and also he didn't fucking move mountains or anything, Jesus Christ.

SDNY provides background on how it was that Michael Cohen came to be the personal attorney to "Individual 1," who is the tiny-handed short-fingered vulgarian currently making diarrhea mouths all over Twitter. Also "Individual 1" is the president of America. The filing explains how once "Individual 1" became president, Cohen created these fake-ass consulting companies that paid him many Ameros to "consult," based on his close relationship with President "Individual 1."

Then it goes through his crimes. They are:

  • SOOOOOO MUCH TAX EVASION, mostly from his fraud-y taxi medallion businesses, and also from other odd jobs, like for instance the $200,000 he pilfered from an assisted living in, and the $30,000 he made from selling some fancypants French purse. That's right. MICHAEL COHEN, PURSE SALESMAN. Michael Cohen tried to blame this on his accountant in his sentencing submission, and SDNY is not. having. it. SDNY says Cohen actively and willfully hid all kinds of shit, and if you want to learn all the shit he hid, you'll have to read it yourself because it is a Friday night in December and we have Christmas parties to go to, OK?
  • SOOOOOO MUCH BANK FRAUD. Cohen lied to a buncha banks to get funny money loans and home equity lines of credit. Hence the "fraud." He would lie about his net worth to get terms more favorable to him, blah blah blah, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT HERE, LET'S GET TO THE PORNS!
  • THE PORNS! For a good recap on the crimes Cohen committed, at the behest and in collusion with Donald Trump, to pay off Stormy Daniels, click here. For a similar recap on what he and Trump did with Karen McDougal, conspiring to have AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, and then trying to buy back the story because oh no, what if Enquirer editor/Trump pal David Pecker gets hit by a bus and McDougal talks before the election, click here. SDNY details what Cohen and President "Individual 1" did, and adds that they committed these grievous sins "with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls," and notes that because of these schemes, "neither woman spoke to the press before the election," which was the whole purpose of the crimes to begin with.
  • Oh yeah, Cohen lied to Congress about matters concerning Mueller's investigation. Did you already forget about that?

We should note here that SDNY is pissed at Cohen for trying to blame his lawyers for all his shit. More on that in a second.

As to the nature of Cohen's cooperation with SDNY, let's just say it was middling:

He did provide what could have been useful information about matters relating to ongoing investigations being carried out by this Office. But as Cohen partially acknowledges, it was his decision not to pursue full cooperation, and his professed willingness to continue to provide information at some later unspecified time is of limited value to this Office, both because he is under no obligation to do so, and because the Office's inability to fully vet his criminal history and reliability impact his utility as a witness.

The filing notes that Cohen didn't lie to SDNY or SCO once he flipped (but not as an official cooperating witness), but he didn't want to talk about all the other criminal shit he may or may not have done. Indeed it states that Cohen "repeatedly declined to provide full information about the scope of any additional criminal conduct in which he may have engaged or had knowledge." Also:

Cohen only met with the Office about the participation of others in the campaign finance crimes to which Cohen had already pleaded guilty. Cohen specifically declined to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past. Cohen further declined to meet with the Office about other areas of investigative interest.


So they're recommending that he get a a sentence modestly lower than the sentencing guidelines (51-63 months in prison), but not any sort of so-called "sweetheart deal," Jesus Christ it's not like he's Mother Theresa or something.

SDNY also says that despite how Cohen may be trying to see himself as some sort of hero trying to do the right thing, he didn't even start helping Mueller's investigation until he found out SDNY was about to indict the fuck out of him. So fuck him.

Did we mention SDNY's lawyers are really pissed at Cohen? Your FDF would like to mention that again. (A brief sidebar by Five Dollar Feminist, who wrote this part!)

It is impossible to overstate how FUCKING FURIOUS the prosecutors at SDNY are with Michael Cohen as a lawyer. Were he a plumber, they would probably go a lot easier on him. But this is a guy who had tangled with the FEC before when he first tried to foist That Orange Idiot on America in 2012. He knew damn well that those pornstar payoffs were against the law, and he didn't give a shit.

Cohen's submission suggests that this was but a brief error in judgment. Not so. Cohen knew exactly where the line was, and he chose deliberately and repeatedly to cross it. Indeed, he was a licensed attorney with significant political experience and a history of campaign donations, and who was well-aware of the election laws. In fact, Cohen publicly and privately took credit for Individual-1's political success, claiming – in a conversation that he secretly recorded – that he "started the whole thing . . . started the whole campaign" in 2012 when Individual-1 expressed an interest in running for President.

He committed brazen tax fraud by failing to report income, he lied to banks about his debts to get loans, and he came back a year later claiming insolvency when he wanted the loan's terms adjusted. Cohen is the proverbial guy who murders his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's a poor orphan!

Cohen, who himself studied tax in law school and displayed an awareness of complicated tax laws in real estate transactions, took purposeful steps to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars in income over a five-year period. He made private loans at double-digit interest rates and did not report the millions of dollars in income it generated.

And then to come before the court and claim to be a simple country lawyer whose accountant didn't fill out his 1041-EZ right? BITCH PLEASE!

As the Probation Department noted in evaluating Cohen's efforts to blame his accountant for Cohen's voluntary and intentional efforts to evade taxes, "the defendant's contention that he provided the accountant with all relevant bank records appears to minimize his responsibility in the instant offense and attempts to place the burden on his accountant."

And, oh by the way, as an attorney, Cohen certainly knows that telling all those lies makes him useless as a witness, even for the limited information he did offer. But nice job trying to claim credit for helping the NYAG out when you know damn well you're just a witness they could subpoena anyway, COUNSELOR.

Now as for Mueller's memorandum to this filing!

Mueller's addendum is much shorter, thank God. Like SDNY, Mueller says Cohen was a real piece of shit who deliberately and in a premeditated way lied to Congress and to his office in order to obstruct the Russia investigation. He lied to Congress in writing, he lied in public so that other witnesses could hear what kind of lies he was telling, and he willfully concealed that MIS-TURR TWUMP was actively pursuing a Moscow Trump Tower project with Russia during the campaign and lying about it to the American people. (Read this for a refresher on what he did there, as revealed in his guilty plea last week.)

However, since Cohen decided to come clean, he has helped a lot, according to Mueller. He's met with the SCO's office seven times, he's corrected all his lies, and he continues to be a very good helper with areas central to Mueller's Russia investigation. (NO COLLUSION.) Interestingly, the filing also says Cohen has "provided relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period." What's that about? (Obstruction of justice. It is about that. And maybe more!)

There are a couple of new details in Mueller's filing. For instance, Cohen had lied about an attempt to set up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin at the United Nations General Assembly. Russia apparently also was reaching out to the campaign as early as November 2015, when the Moscow Trump Tower project was ongoing, in order to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. According to the filing Cohen didn't set up the meeting, because he was already conspiring with a different Russian on the project. (LOL!)

Mueller closes by saying that it has no comment on what kind of sentence SDNY wants, but that because Cohen has been such a GOOD BOY, any sentence imposed in the special counsel's investigation should run concurrently. Isn't that nice of Robert Mueller? What a mensch he is.

Cohen will be sentenced December 12.

We almost feel sorry for him. Almost.


P.S. Oh yeah, Mueller's thing on Paul Manafort's breach of his plea agreement came out too. Sorry, guys, but Mueller's not tipping his hand yet. It's here if you want to read it, but the basic gist is "Paul Manafort Is A Fucking Liar, Can You Believe It?" It's mostly about Manafort repeatedly lying about his contacts with his Russian spy buddy Konstantin Kilimnik, and also lying about his contacts with the Trump administration. In the expert opinion of Ourselves and also Five Dollar Feminist, if there's any big reveal in there, it's the stuff about his contacts with the Trump administration, which could be where a pardon dangle might have been dingle-dongled. We'll probably do more analysis next week, but for right now we need to get ready for a party and FDF has her hand up a chicken's ass.

(In the culinary way, you perverts!)

With additional reporting by Five Dollar Feminist

[Cohen sentencing guidelines from SDNY / guidelines from Mueller]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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