Apr 18

West Side Story

Only it’s not just the West Side IT’S THE WHOLE DAMN ISLAND AND THESE PEOPLE ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS EVEN IF THEY ARE TANNED AND SPEAK SPANISH!

Officials probe cause of island-wide blackout in Puerto Rico
Associated Press
04/18/2018

An island-wide blackout has hit Puerto Rico, which is struggling with an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory.

Electric Power Authority spokeswoman Yohari Molina tells The Associated Press that crews are investigating the cause. Officials said Wednesday it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power.

It’s the first time since Category 4 storm hit on Sept. 20 that Puerto Rico has experienced a full island-wide blackout.

Some 40,000 power customers were still without normal electricity service as a result of the hurricane.

Actually it’s not the first time. That would be when the grid installed by Ryan Zinke’s 2 guy no-bid crony company went down.

Pay attention! This part is important and relevant!

Ok, back to just funny. And sad.

I’m sorry, it gets my dander up a little because Spanish people are “white” by almost every definition except Ben Franklin’s who only accepted Anglo-Saxon and Danish people (so sorry for the rest of you). They are Celts and Goths. Celts of course being Scots, Irish, and British people and Goths being German- not that ethnicity matters except in a Roman Empire tribalist sense. You may now get naked and dye your skin with woad.

Freaking racist dopes.

Apr 18

Cartnoon

The Revolution

Arnold

Join And Die

6 Myths

Washington Nostradamus

Apr 18

The Breakfast Club (Yardsticks)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

The San Francisco earthquake; What becomes known as ‘Paul Revere’s ride’; A suicide bomb hits the U.S. embassy in Lebanon; Physicist Albert Einstein dies; Wayne Gretzky plays his last NHL game.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.

Barbara Bush June 8, 1925 – April 17, 2018

Continue reading

Apr 17

Cherchez la Femme

Of course I mean this in the literal “look for the woman” sense and not the more sexist (but perhaps historically accurate) meaning of “blame the woman”, after all it’s not their fault that the more chromosome damaged members of the species tend to think with two things- their dick and their wallet.

Which brings us to another cliché- Cui bono? which is a fancy Latin way of saying “Follow the money.” That phrase was made famous by All The President’s Men though it’s doubtful that Mark Felt ever said it.

The reason I mention this is that both threads weft together, along the warp of conspiracy with Russian state interference during the 2016 election, in the person of Michael Cohen.

Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency
By Adam Davidson, The New Yorker
April 14, 2018

There are lots of details and surprises to come, but the endgame of this Presidency seems as clear now as those of Iraq and the financial crisis did months before they unfolded. Last week, federal investigators raided the offices of Michael Cohen, the man who has been closer than anybody to Trump’s most problematic business and personal relationships. This week, we learned that Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months—his e-mails have been read, presumably his phones have been tapped, and his meetings have been monitored. Trump has long declared a red line: Robert Mueller must not investigate his businesses, and must only look at any possible collusion with Russia. That red line is now crossed and, for Trump, in the most troubling of ways. Even if he were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then had Mueller and his investigation put on ice, and even if— as is disturbingly possible— Congress did nothing, the Cohen prosecution would continue. Even if Trump pardons Cohen, the information the feds have on him can become the basis for charges against others in the Trump Organization.

This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth. I know dozens of reporters and other investigators who have studied Donald Trump and his business and political ties. Some have been skeptical of the idea that President Trump himself knowingly colluded with Russian officials. It seems not at all Trumpian to participate in a complex plan with a long-term, uncertain payoff. Collusion is an imprecise word, but it does seem close to certain that his son Donald, Jr., and several people who worked for him colluded with people close to the Kremlin; it is up to prosecutors and then the courts to figure out if this was illegal or merely deceitful. We may have a hard time finding out what President Trump himself knew and approved.

However, I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo—an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations.

Listing all the financial misconduct can be overwhelming and tedious. I have limited myself to some of the deals over the past decade, thus ignoring Trump’s long history of links to New York Mafia figures and other financial irregularities. It has become commonplace to say that enough was known about Trump’s shady business before he was elected; his followers voted for him precisely because they liked that he was someone willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, and they also believe that all rich businesspeople have to do shady things from time to time. In this way of thinking, any new information about his corrupt past has no political salience. Those who hate Trump already think he’s a crook; those who love him don’t care.

I believe this assessment is wrong. Sure, many people have a vague sense of Trump’s shadiness, but once the full details are better known and digested, a fundamentally different narrative about Trump will become commonplace. Remember: we knew a lot about problems in Iraq in May, 2003. Americans saw TV footage of looting and heard reports of U.S. forces struggling to gain control of the entire country. We had plenty of reporting, throughout 2007, about various minor financial problems. Somehow, though, these specific details failed to impress upon most Americans the over-all picture. It took a long time for the nation to accept that these were not minor aberrations but, rather, signs of fundamental crisis. Sadly, things had to get much worse before Americans came to see that our occupation of Iraq was disastrous and, a few years later, that our financial system was in tatters.

The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad global operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.

There are important legal questions that remain. How much did Donald Trump and his children know about the criminality of their partners? How explicit where they in agreeing to put a shiny gold brand on top of corrupt deals? The answers to these questions will play a role in determining whether they go to jail and, if so, for how long.

There is no longer one major investigation into Donald Trump, focussed solely on collusion with Russia. There are now at least two, including a thorough review of Cohen’s correspondence. The information in his office and hotel room will likely make clear precisely how much the Trump family knew. What we already know is disturbing, and it is hard to imagine that the information prosecutors will soon learn will do anything but worsen the picture.

So that’s why he matters and if, as Michael Avenatti suggests, he folds like a house of cards, Trump and his crime family are done. They’re probably done anyway, based on the records Cohen stupidly kept.

Apr 17

The Russian Connection: Comey Still Doesn’t Get It

In a Beat special report, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent and host of “The Beat,” Ari Melber breaks down why Former FBI Director James Comey’s new book doubles down on major mistakes from 2016, including his handling of the Clinton probe, why Comey clearly doesn’t get it – and is plowing into new mistakes in his comments about the Mueller probe on his new book tour.

“If you don’t admit your past mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them.”

I hand this discussion over to Charlie Pierce wherein he points out the failures of Comey to explain his catastrophic decision making in 2016:

To begin another week of fun and excitement here on the hellbound runaway train carrying our battered constitutional republic, let us gaze with wonder and awe at the single most maudlin, self-serving, and self-aggrandizing pronouncement given by a public official in my lifetime—and I covered Willard Romney when he ran for president.

I broke F.B.I. rules. I was no longer an employee so I wasn’t breaking the rules. So I took a bottle of red wine out of my suitcase that I was bringing back from California, a California pinot noir, and I drank red wine from a paper coffee cup and just looked out at the lights of the country I love so much as we flew home.

[..]

And, who knows, he may get better at explaining his hamhanded intrusions into the 2016 presidential campaign, during which he tried to be as apolitical as possible even though everything he did—and didn’t do—worked to sabotage the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. As much as he tap-dances, Comey can’t get around the simple fact that both campaigns were under FBI investigation, and that he went out of his way to tell the country only about the one against which the allegations were spectacularly trivial.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you think that the F.B.I. would be in better shape today, the institution you love, would be in better shape today if you had simply put out that one line statement, “We decline to prosecute”?

COMEY: I don’t know. I’ve asked myself that a million times. It’s hard– hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’m not sure that it would have. And– here’s why I say that. Because we would’ve taken a tremendous amount of criticism for being fixed. The system fixed, no detail. And I still would’ve been dragged up to Capitol Hill all that summer to justify the F.B.I.’s work. And so surely, I would’ve said something about how we did the work. And so I– I’d kinda be in the same place, except I’d be playing defense like a cornerback backpedaling. There’d be this tremendous hit the institution would take. I’d be trying to explain to people, “No, no, we did it in a good way. We did it in a good way.” And none of it, by the way, would change what I faced in late October. Even if we’d just done the one liner, we’d still have the nightmare of late October.

Mother of god, I read this passage several times and, every time I read it, I read as Comey’s explaining that he should be forgiven for screwing the pooch in July, when he gilded his announcement that HRC would not be prosecuted for aggravated email abuse with the phrase, “extremely careless,” because he wound up giving the pooch a serious screwing in October, right before the election. And it’s that second screwing of the pooch that Comey can’t talk his way past, unless you’ve had about 23 coffee cups full of a fine California pinot noir, that is. [..]

He told Stephanopoulos that, almost at the same time he was told about the contents of Weiner’s laptop, he also was told in detail what the national intelligence community knew about the ongoing Russian ratcking of the presidential election. In short, he knew that both campaigns were being investigated, and that one of those investigations was considered by his colleagues to be far more serious than the other. His answer is, quite literally, unbelievable.

COMEY: Yeah– I think it was in August, I volunteered that– that I would be– I remember saying that I’m a little bit tired of being the independent voice on things, after the beating I’d taken after the July 5th announcement. But I said in a meeting with the president, “I’m willing to be the voice on this and help inoculate the American people. But I also recognize why this is such a hard question, because if you announce that the Russians are trying to mess with our election, do you accomplish their goal for them? Do you undermine confidence in our election by having the president of the United States, or one of his senior people, say this publicly? Will the Russians be happy that you did that?” And so I– I wrote an op-ed, was going to go in a major newspaper that laid out what was going on. Not the investigation, ’cause that was too sensitive to reveal, but that, “The Russians are here and they’re screwing with us. And this is consistent with what they’ve done in the past,” and they never took me up on it. The Obama administration deliberated until the beginning of October.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Eventually the– administration does announce– that they’ve found that Russia is interfering– yet, and this is– this confounds me. I– I’m– I’m puzzled by this. Yet, when they decide to come out with a joint statement of the intelligence committees, you as the FBI director refused to sign it. Why?

JAMES COMEY: Because of the way we approach action in the run-up to an election. The– it’s not written down, despite what you might have heard, but there’s an important norm that I’ve lived my whole government career– obeying. If you can avoid it, you should not take any action in the run-up to an election that could have an impact on the election. By that, I mean the FBI or the Department of Justice. And so, we were being asked, in October, to sign onto a statement that says, “The Russians are messing with our election.” In my view and the view of the FBI leadership was it’s too late. And we can avoid action here. Because the goal’s already been accomplished. The American people already know this because lots of government officials have been on background talking to the press about this, members of Congress have been talking about it, the candidates are talking about it. So, the inoculation has already been achieved, and it’s October. So, we can avoid action here consistent with our policy that, whenever possible, we try and avoid action. So, we won’t sign this.

Yet, he writes a letter to a committee headed by then-Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a partisan viper of the first order, saying that he has reopened the Clinton email investigation. Because Comey is not a four-year-old playing with his toes in the mud, he has to know that this letter is going to get leaked about eight seconds after it arrives in Chaffetz’s hot little hands. But he won’t sign onto an intelligence committee report about Russian ratfcking because it might involve the FBI in something that “the American people are already talking about” and because it might be seen as tampering with the election? Please to be pulling the other one now.

How did we get here? How did we get to the point in this country that we have to depend even slightly on the likes of James Comey to help pull the republic out of the ditch? [..]

History’s judgment on Comey is going to be harsh, but history can wait for the moment. There are more important things to do right now. We should not let ourselves off the hook in other ways, however, and the most important of these is how we let our politics drift so far out of our control that they became vulnerable to the whims and calculations of people like James Comey, International Man of Integritude—and other, far worse people besides.

Comey is not a victim. Obama should have fired him after the July 5th fiasco. He didn’t. Trump did and for the wrong reason.

Apr 17

Cartnoon

Anna Akana

Apr 17

The Breakfast Club (Snow In April)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Cuban exiles invade Bay of Pigs; Three astronauts of Apollo 13 land safely in pacific ocean; Benjamin Franklin dies at age 84; JP Morgan born in Connecticut; Ford rolls out the Mustang convertible.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.

Thornton Wilder

Continue reading

Apr 16

The Russian Connection: Motions Denied

In a blow to Donald Trump and his consigliere Michael Cohen, Judge Kimba Woods denied their motions to stop prosecutors from reviewing the evidence seized in the raids of Cohen’s office and residences.

U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied the requests and ruled that prosecutors will get first access to the information, followed by Cohen’s defense team ten days later. Wood noted that she has not yet decided whether she will appoint a special master in the case at all.

“It’s not that you’re not good people,” Wood told Cohen’s attorneys on Monday afternoon, near the end of the two-hour proceeding. “It’s that you’ve miscited the law.”

Wood told both sides to review the documents quickly and to prepare “proposals for how we can move fast” on the case going forward. [..]

Prosecutors have said that they went to extreme lengths to avoid violating Cohen’s (and the president’s) attorney-client privilege: they plan to have a “taint team” of uninvolved prosecutors sort the materials before turning the information over to investigators.

“I have faith in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s office that their integrity is unimpeachable,” Judge Wood said. “I think that a taint team is a viable option.” [..]

Over the past week, the legal battle between politicians, porn stars and Playboy models has become increasingly complicated—and mired in legalese.

“If the government can obtain a search warrant for particular items but then seize and review everything in an attorney’s office, the protections of the Fourth Amendment are meaningless,” Harrison, Cohen’s lawyer, wrote in Monday’s letter. “We respectfully submit that the circumstances do not get more special than the unique circumstances presented by this case.”

“The balance of the equities should be with the American citizen whose stuff was taken,” Harrison said in court.

“There’s no question that you’re going to get a set of material,” Judge Wood told Harrison, “but you’re not going to take away what the government has.” [..]

(Assistant US Attorney Thomas) McKay emphasized on Monday that “there’s nothing improper about the way the search warrants were executed in this case.”

Officials took up to 10 “physical boxes” of documents, McKay said, noting that the “real volume” is made up of the seized electronic files.

“Cohen’s signature line in his email box used to say special counsel to the Trump Organization,” said McKay. “Now it says personal attorney to the president.”

The argument that Cohen’s lawyers had put forth was based on the case United States v. Stewart was flawed according to Judge Wood:

Trump and Cohen’s lawyers pointed to the case United States v. Stewart, in which a special master was appointed to review materials for privilege claims. The judge in the Cohen case, Kimba Wood, began on Friday by noting ways in which the facts of the Stewart case didn’t match with Cohen’s, including that the attorney in that case, Lynne Stewart, shared clients and computers with her colleagues in a way that Cohen apparently didn’t.

Paul Rosenzweig, who served with the independent counsel that investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, was skeptical that Wood would give Cohen’s team the power to review its own documents.

“If the government had reason to think that was not a problem, they would have just subpoenaed him in the first place. Then Cohen would have been his own taint team,” said Rosenzweig, who serves as a senior fellow at the center right think tank the R-Street Institute. “Unless the judge thinks there’s something really wonky going on with the government’s investigation, she ain’t going to let Trump’s lawyers be on the taint team.”

 
What Trump and Cohen are worried most about is that evidence will be found that backs up the allegations in the Steele dossier that acuseed Cohen of meeting with Russians in Prague and Trump’s escapades in a Moskow hotel.

Apr 16

The Neo Liberal Instinct

Charlie Pierce calls them “death funnels” and he’s exactly right. He’s referring to pipelines designed to transport Alberta Tar Sand, the dirtiest fuel on the planet, to refineries or ports to refineries that can turn it into technically more usable types of oil. It never gets very good, more the type you can lubricate heavy machinery with or burn in a particularly wasteful in the smoggy toxic sense power plant, barely better than coal.

It’s basically asphalt, suitable for paving and not much else and it makes as much economic sense as tearing up roads or taking used tires to achieve the same effect, which is to say none at all in the current market where solar and wind are dirt cheap, batteries are getting less expensive by the hour, and fracked oil and natural gas are driving Saudi Arabia into bankruptcy. In fact the only way you don’t operate at a loss simply from mining and refinery costs is if the price of crude is well over $70 a barrel. Which it isn’t.

But Big Oil has all these sunk costs based on the notion of $100+ Oil and unlike a smart gambler it doesn’t understand that the money you’ve put in the pot isn’t yours anymore, it exists in a quantum state only determined at the reveal.

Too metaphorical? The point is that their product (tar sand) is very, very low margin and one of the few places they can cut corners and save some money is transportation, thus the lust for pipelines- the cheapest way to get their 3rd rate, shoddy, and low priced goods to market.

Now Alberta is a nowhere place that used to be pretty because it was nowhere and you could hunt and fish and get carried off by mosquitoes the size of an eagle. Now it’s a steaming industrial moonscape and they are understandably eager to see some return on that unfortunate investment. British Columbia on the other hand is not at all anxious to see their still pretty places literally paved over with the inevitable spills and the First People Nations have treaties (taken much more seriously in Canada than here) that say you can’t just take the little land you’ve left us.

As a result the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to Vancouver (where the toxic cargo will be loaded onto ships for passage through some of the most treacherous and environmentally sensitive waters in the world) has been blocked.

To the rescue rides Justin Trudeau to save the investors of Kinder Morgan (a Texas company), with Canadian taxpayer dollars (they’re Canadian eh?, so they’re just not as good as U.S. taxpayer dollars but they’ll do).

Trudeau vows to push ahead with pipeline plans in spite of protests
by Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian
Mon 16 Apr 2018

Justin Trudeau has said Canada’s government is prepared to use taxpayer dollars to push forward plans for a controversial pipeline expansion, despite protests and efforts by a provincial government to halt the project on environmental grounds.

For months, the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia have been locked in a standoff over plans, spearheaded by Texas-based Kinder Morgan, to expand an existing pipeline and lay nearly 1,000km of new pipe from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific coast.

While the project could allow Alberta to get its landlocked bitumen to markets in Asia and reduce its reliance on the US market, it has encountered opposition in British Columbia over the potential for oil spills and the impact that a dramatic rise in tanker traffic could have on the region’s southern resident killer whales, a population already on the knife edge of extinction.

The political stalemate over the C$7.4bn project catapulted into the national conversation last week after Kinder Morgan Canada announced it would walk away from the project unless it saw a clear path to completion by the end of May.

Their project has now become a crucial test for Trudeau and his Liberal government, who swept into office in 2015 on promises of striking a balance between economic growth, environmental concerns and repairing the country’s fraught relationship with indigenous peoples. “While governments grant permits for resource development, only communities can grant permission,” noted the Liberal party’s 2015 platform.

The pipeline expansion has put this sentiment to the test, with Vancouver and nearby Burnaby launching court actions against the project along with several First Nations communities. After taking power in 2017, the provincial government of British Columbia – a left-leaning coalition which relies on support from the Green Party – vowed to use all the tools available to them to halt the project.

Recent weeks have seen indigenous-led protests against the project heat up, sending thousands into the streets. About 200 people have been arrested for blocking the entrance of facility belonging to Trans Mountain, including two federal MPs.

On Sunday, Trudeau interrupted a foreign trip to meet the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia, reiterating his government’s determination to see the project completed. “The Trans Mountain expansion is a vital strategic interest to Canada − it will be built,” he told reporters after the meeting.

The prime minister said the project – which would nearly triple the flow of Alberta’s bitumen to the west coast – is in the national interest. “It means good jobs in Alberta, they’ve suffered tough times. It means good jobs in BC, thousands of them as the pipeline is built.”

The uncertainty looming over trade relations between Canada and the US as well as waning investor confidence in Canada’s ability to complete big projects reinforce why this expansion needs to go forward, he added.

Trudeau said his government would launch formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan and potentially use taxpayer dollars to ensure the project goes forward. As interprovincial pipelines are the federal government’s jurisdiction, his government may also pursue legislation to assert Ottawa’s authority over the project, he said.

The problem with that course of action is that it benefits Alberta, which has never voted Liberal, at the expense of British Columbia, which is a swing Province. Not only that, but Quebec, which has 40 Liberal MPs, is intensely interested in whether Ottawa (oh, by the way, that’s Canada’s Capital) overrules Provincial Autonomy because of their special Francophone arrangements.

Apr 16

Death And…

Waffle House

was conceived and founded by Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner. Rogers started in the restaurant business as a short-order cook in 1947 at the Toddle House in New Haven, Connecticut.

New Haven is also the home (though not the birthplace of) my favorite traitor, Benedict Arnold, as well as being the most dangerous city in the state. There are no Waffle Houses in Connecticut, the closest ones are in western Pennsylvania.

I’ll note that I like mine scattered, smothered, covered, capped, and country. TMC usually finds something else to do while I indulge myself, calling them “a heart attack on a plate.”

Apr 16

Waiting for 2 pm? It’s already over. (Now With Exciting Update!)

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.

Exciting Update!

Plaaayuuh!

Trump Worlds Collide in New York Legal Tug-of-War: Cohen Update
Bloomberg News
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.

Apr 16

Cartnoon

The Midwest

Load more