Michael Cohen’s Case Cites & Who Needs Shadowy Cabals When You’ve Got Apparatchiks?
Posted by Ed Folsom, December 31, 2023.
Disbarred attorney Michael Cohen is back in the news. His attorney recently submitted pleadings in federal court containing citations to cases that don’t exist. Cohen wants to have his supervised release terminated early on his federal sentence for tax evasion, making false statements, and campaign finance violations. The judge in the case discovered that the cases that Cohen’s attorney, David Schwartz, cited in support of the motion are not real.
Cohen, who was disbarred around the time of his convictions 5 years ago, has now come forward to inform the court that the mistake is his, not Attorney Schwartz’s. Cohen told the court that he did some legal research using Google Bard which, it turns out, makes stuff up like Chat GPT does. But Cohen says he believed Google Bard was a legitimate source for legal research when he assembled the case citations and forwarded them to Schwarz. Little did Cohen know that Schwarz would put the citations in the pleadings without checking them.
Schwarz claims that he thought another lawyer who is also representing Cohen on the motion for early termination, E. Danya Perry, must have checked the citations. Perry says she had nothing to do with any of it and there was no reason for Schwartz to believe she checked the citations. Perry blames the problem on Schwartz’s slipshod lawyering and has urged the court not to hold any of it against poor Michael.
What lawyer cites a case to a federal court (or any court) without reading the case to see what it says? And, of course, no one can read a case that doesn’t exist. Since the non-existence of the case is a dead giveway that the citation is bogus, it’s also a clear sign that it will be an ethical violation to present the citation to a court as real.
It’s also hard to believe that Cohen, disbarred though he is, wouldn’t want to read the cases if for no other reason than to ensure that they don’t actually cut against him. As for Schwartz, I don’t think that the crappiest lawyer I ever knew would rest an argument to a court solely on a disbarred client’s representation that the cases the lawyer is about to cite actually say what the lawyer is about to tell the court they say.
Something that I read yesterday made me recall a whopper of a tale about Michael Cohen from an earlier time. The first time I ever heard of Cohen, he was part of the mythology of the great Trump/Russia collusion hoax that ran from late 2016 into 2019. In January of 2017, just before Donald Trump was sworn-in as President of the United States, the Hillary Clinton campaign’s dirt-dump known as the Steele Dossier became public. Among the many now thoroughly debunked claims in the Steele Dossier was a claim that Michael Cohen, then personal attorney to Donald Trump, met with Russian agents in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2016, to coordinate a campaign to hack the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
That, along with other baseless fantasies in the Steele Dossier, was put to work to cripple Trump’s presidency from its infancy. Steele Dossier fantasies were woven into near-daily press leaks, news stories and statements of Democrat Party partisans, all assuring us that the entire Trump/Russia collusion hacking of the 2016 election thing was about to be blown wide open, imminently, by smoking-gun evidence already in the possession of one or another investigative entity. For some reason though, on any given day the evidence just couldn’t be released publicly quite yet.
Then, in April of 2019, the report of independent counsel Robert Mueller issued, informing us on page 137: “Cohen…never traveled to Prague.” And so died the lie about Cohen caballing in Prague with Putin’s henchpersons. Up to that point, though, throughout 2018, the media continued to report that Mueller’s team already had the evidence in its possession demonstrating that the (in fact) big Cohen/Russia/Prague collusion lie was true.
Still later, in December of 2019, the report of Inspector General Michael Horowitz, regarding the FBI’s applications for four FISA warrants in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, informed us that the Clinton campaign’s Steele Dossier had been “central and essential” to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Trump/Russia collusion. The report reviewed debunked baseless assertion after debunked baseless assertion in the Steele Dossier, along with the justifications (or lack thereof) for including each debunked baseless assertion in each FISA warrant application, ultimately demonstrating the debunked baseless grounding of the entire hoax.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton maintained that the 2016 election was “stolen” from her. And there sure were a lot of Democrats shouting the line about Trump hacking the 2016 election in collusion with Russia, calling his presidency illegitimate and Trump himself a Putin puppet because of it — baseless lunatic conspiracy theory that it all was and still is.
What did I read yesterday that brought this all back? It was the editorial in the Portland Press Herald, dealing with Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ decision to exclude Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot in Maine based on her personal judgment that Trump participated in insurrection. The editorial had this to say regarding the legitimacy of Bellows’ move: “There are strong arguments to be made in either case (though not so for the looney perspective that [Trump] was in fact cheated out of his rightful second term by some shadowy cabal).”
Given the column space that the Press Herald dedicated for more than 2 years – both editorial and “news” column space — to baseless leaks, claims, and innuendo about Trump/Russia collusion and the hacking, corrupting, or stealing of the 2016 election for Trump – never indicating that any of it was “looney” – it’s rich irony for the Press Herald to single-out the other side’s perspective as particularly “looney.” And now, an executive branch bureaucrat of Maine State Government, with deep, deep partisan roots in Democrat/progressivist causes has unilaterally chosen to exclude Republican candidate Donald Trump as a possible choice of Maine voters for the U.S. presidency in 2024.
Don’t be looney. Who needs shadowy cabals when you’ve got commissars, apparatchiks, and hegemony?