What's It Called When Circling Shark Robert Mueller Combines With Stormy Daniels Tornado?
There are 1.3 million lawyers in America, but Michael Cohen may be the stupidest one of all. Forget about fingerprints -- this guy proudly taped his business card to every piece of campaign finance fuckery he could get his hands on. He's up to his neck in payoffs to pornstars, illicit agreements with the National Enquirer to bury Trump's alleged affairs, and maybe the Access Hollywood tape, too. On Monday (holy shit, just five days ago!), the FBI raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room, scooping up records of all his dirrrty secrets. This likely includes recordings he made of conversations with Trump and everyone else in the clown car, because of course he did.
Did Michael Cohen set out to violate campaign finance law, or was he too dumb to know he was even doing it? Who knows! But we've spent a year watching Robert Mueller's criminal investigation circling the White House like a menacing shark, while the Stormy Daniels civil suit bears down like a tornado. And now, Counselor Dunning-Kruger has managed to unite these threats in one, giant ...
Yeah, we went there! And we're not sorry, because the Russia investigation and the pornstar payoff have now met in the middle with what looks like a corker of a campaign finance scandal. We don't need a Russian pee tape! The only assist Donald Trump and his wandering dick need to bring down this presidency is from the country's most ridiculous, strip-mall lawyer. God Bless America!
First, let's take a step back. Yesterday, Michael Avenatti announced that Trump's fixer Michael Cohen intended to plead the Fifth in Stormy Daniels's defamation suit against him.
"Wow," we thought, "that's the first non-idiotic thing this mook has ever done!"
Here, enjoy a moment of coherence as Avenatti explains it to Anderson Cooper.
Calling it a "stunning development," Michael Avenatti tells Anderson Cooper that Michael Cohen’s lawyer has directly informed him Cohen will request a delay in that Stormy Daniels' lawsuit and that it is his intention to plead the Fifth https://t.co/yiruOB4niY
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 13, 2018
AVENATTI: So we received a call earlier today from Michael Cohen's attorney who notified us that it's his intention if our case proceeds, to plead the Fifth Amendment in response to every question that we may ask in connection with the case.
COOPER: In a deposition?
AVENATTI: In a deposition or otherwise as it relates to him defending himself in the case. And asked us to agree to a stay or delay in the case. We said we don't believe a stay or delay is appropriate.
COOPER: Why would they want a stay?
AVENATTI: Well, they want a stay because they want to avoid having Michael Cohen answer questions and potentially plead the Fifth Amendment in response to questions that we may pose.
COOPER: And I just want to be clear on this, you heard this directly from Michael Cohen's attorney?
AVENATTI: Yes, Mr. Blakely; there's no question about it.
Cohen's lawyer Brent Blakely was quick to set the record straight with the Daily Beast. His client is not pleading the Fifth in the Daniels civil suit. He's asking for a delay until after the Mueller investigation concludes, so that he won't have to look guilty as fuck by pleading the Fifth. And, gosh, if it takes three years to resolve the criminal part, well sorry, Stormy!
See, there's no penalty for refusing to incriminate yourself in a criminal case. But in a civil case, it's different.
4/ In a civil case, if you take the Fifth, the court or jury is permitted to presume that your answers would have been damaging to you. So while taking the Fifth can't be used against you in a criminal case, it can hurt you in a lawsuit.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) April 12, 2018
It seems clear that Cohen is being investigated by the FBI for campaign finance violations related to the payouts. The last thing he wants to do is sit down for a deposition where Michael Avenatti asks him 15 different ways, "Did you pay off any other women?" Because he can either answer and incriminate himself, or plead the Fifth and allow the court to infer that the answer would have been, "Hell, yeah! We had a big old slush fund, and we doled out cash to 17 blondes, 9 brunettes, and one ginger."
If he weren't the dumbest fucking lawyer in the world, he would never have let himself and his client get boxed in like this. He'd have taken the $130,000 back and let Stormy tell the boring story about the time she bumped bits with the President, which we all already knew! Instead he went on national television and called her a liar, before confessing to multiple campaign finance violations as he laid out every detail of the payoff while snarling that he was going to get $20 million from Daniels.
So now it looks like the feds have got Michael Cohen by the short hairs, and they're ready to start pulling. Donald Trump's fixer, the guy who knows where all the bodies are buried, has said he would take a bullet for his boss. Which is easy to say when you think it'll never happen. But things tend to look different when you're facing possible jail time to protect a guy who will happily throw you under the bus. Nobody's that stupid, not even Michael Cohen.
Okay, Mikey! Time to tell the nice man everything you know!
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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.