Michael Cohen is in Contempt of Court. He has refused to release a list of clients to Judge Kimba Woods by the 10 am deadline for his written filing because…
Well, just because.
Judd Legum at Think Progress reports–
From 2007 to 2017, Cohen said he only worked for Donald Trump and the Trump organization.
From 2017 to 2018, Cohen said he was back in private practice and had only 10 clients. Seven of those were not legal clients and Cohen didn’t disclose their names. Two of the remaining three clients were Donald Trump and Elliot Broidy. Cohen’s relationship with Broidy was disclosed last week by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Cohen helped negotiate a $1.6 million hush money agreement between Broidy, a top Trump fundraiser, and a Playboy Playmate who he impregnated.
Cohen refused to reveal the identity of the third legal client because the client “directed Cohen not to reveal the identity publicly.” Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, writes that this client’s matters “are responsive” to the search warrant, but it appears to be a typo. Ryan seems to have forgot to include the word “not.”
Ryan makes a feeble attempt to argue that the names of his clients are protected by attorney-client privilege. He cites a single case, Vingelli v. Drug Enforcement Agency, which states that names of clients are not protected unless there are “special circumstances.” Vingelli defines those circumstances as when a disclosure would implicate the client in a crime, or when it would be “tantamount to revealing a confidential communication.”
Without citing any case law, Ryan goes on to argue that Cohen’s case is the most “special” because “federal prosecutors have seized data and files of the personal attorney of the President of the United States.” He goes on to call the search of Cohen’s office the product of “the most highly politicized search warrant in the history of American jurisprudence.” Why would this prevent Cohen from disclosing the names of clients who are the not the president? Ryan does not explain.
The letter goes on to say that revealing the identities of Cohen’s clients would be “embarrassing” to them. This goes to the heart of the matter. Cohen has seemingly specialized in silencing women through threats and cash payments. Being included on a list of Cohen’s clientele is embarrassing. That doesn’t mean, however, that Cohen has a legal right to withhold the names.
Finally, Ryan argues that the court does not need the names of Cohen’s clients to make a decision on the temporary restraining order.
So, to summarize- In the last 11 years Cohen has provided “legal” advice and services to 3 Clients, Donald Trump, Elliot Broidy ($1.6 Million in hush money so a Playboy Playmate he got pregnant would have an abortion and shut up about it), and a Player (should that be Plaaayuuh?) to be named later.
The question remains, was Michael Cohen a lawyer subject to attorney/client privilege or not? Note- attorney/client privilege is a privilege of the client, an attorney can not invoke it, only the client can.
“My sources say no.”
He should proceed from the courtroom in cuffs directly to Riker’s Island. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Or at least get his request for a temporary injunction laughed out of court.
Trump Worlds Collide in New York Legal Tug-of-War: Cohen Update
April 16, 2018
Client No. 3 Is Sean Hannity (2:52 p.m.)
A gasp was heard in the courtroom when a Cohen lawyer disclosed the name of the third client: Sean Hannity.
Hannity is a Fox News host and has been one of the president’s most vocal on-air defenders. and a critic of Mueller’s probe. Trump often calls Hannity after his Fox News program, according to media reports.
“I understand he doesn’t want his name out there, but that isn’t the law,” Judge Wood said.
Can’t wait to watch Hannity tonight.
Update: On the Radio
Sean: Cohen never represented me. I never paid him a dime. I asked him legal questions because of his expertise.
Oh wait, I may have given him $10 and said I definitely want your attorney/client privilege on this, but there was never any third party. I have plenty of other attorneys.
In short- under the bus.