“What I’m Going To Do To You Is Going To Be F–ing Disgusting”: Michael Cohen In His Own Voice

The_Daily_Beast_logoI have been a long critic of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen for over a year for his thuggish and often incompetent practice of law.  He has matched his lack of legal skills with an abundance of greed, including blatant efforts to sell access to Trump to foreigners and private companies.  Now people can listen to Cohen in his own voice as he performed his signature function for Trump: threatening a reporter for the Daily Beast and his acquaintances with ruin if he ran a negative story about a 1993 Trump biography.

The new tape shows Cohen threatening then-Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak over his reporting of a biography, written by former Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III. The biography titled “The Lost Tycoon,” including details from a sworn deposition from Trump’s first wife, Ivana, that Trump raped her during their divorce proceedings.

Cohen shows his infamous lack of legal knowledge and tells Mak that you cannot rape your wife by definition. That is wrong . . . in all fifty states.  Cohen states in the recording below that “You’re talking about Donald Trump, you’re talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual, who never raped anybody and of course understand that by the very definition you can’t rape your spouse.”

He continues:

“Mark my words for it, I will make sure that you and I meet one day over in the courthouse and I will take you for every penny you still don’t have, and I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. Do not even think about going where I know you’re planning on going. And that’s my warning for the day.”

Cohen then morphs into a bad rendition of a mobster after being asked for a statement: He warns Mak to “tread very f–king lightly because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f–ing disgusting. . . . Do you understand me? Don’t think you can hide behind your pen because it’s not going to happen. . . . I’m more than happy to discuss it with your attorney and with your legal counsel because motherf—er you’re going to need it.”

 

Here is the recording: Cohen/Mak conversation

This is the man that President Trump has called a “good man” and his personal lawyer for years.  While some of us have been saying for months that Trump needed to sever all ties to Cohen, Trump recently took Cohen out to dinner and affirmed to the media that he was still his lawyer.

The recording reveals addition unethical and unprofessional conduct by Cohen.  Both threats of criminal and civil actions can violate the New York bar rules. Indeed, a prior opinion stated that following:

Rule 3.4(e) the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) prohibits lawyers from threatening criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter, but does not apply to threats to instigate ancillary non-criminal proceedings against an adverse party, e.g., where a lawyer, on behalf of a client, threatens to report an adverse party’s misconduct to an administrative or regulatory agency unless the adverse party agrees to the client’s settlement demand. The inapplicability of Rule 3.4(e) to threats to instigate ancillary non-criminal proceedings, however, does not mean that lawyers are free to make such threats with impunity. Such threats may violate criminal laws against extortion, and, if so, they will likely violate Rules 8.4(b) and Rule 3.4(a)(6). Where such threats do not violate criminal law, they may nonetheless violate Rule 8.4(d), which prohibits conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Whether such a threat violates Rule 8.4(d) will generally depend on whether the threat concerns matters extraneous to the parties’ dispute or, conversely, would serve as an alternative means of vindicating the same alleged claim of right or of obtaining redress for the same alleged wrong. Additionally, if such a threat is made without a sufficient basis in fact and law, it may violate, inter alia, Rule 4.1 or Rule 8.4(c).

Lawyers often raise liability issues and talk can be tough. However, there is a considerable difference between putting a party on notice and threatening a clearly baseless actions against a journalist and others.

Here Cohen is muscling a journalist with the threat to go after not just him but “your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know.” Really, everyone Tim Mak knows from his high school friends in Canada to his dog?  What is the legal basis for that threat?  It is like Cohen is reading from a script from Better Call Saul.

I am astonished that the New York bar has not acted previously to formally review Cohen based on a growing list of alleged improprieties and abuses.  His conduct is an embarrassment not only to New York lawyers but the profession generally.  This tape could easily find itself as a critical piece of evidence in any bar proceeding against Cohen.  Cohen is not only misstating the law but he is threatening a journalist without any viable legal claim.  It is absurd to claim that he could sue Mak or his publication for reporting on this obviously newsworthy story. Indeed, Cohen cites the very fact that makes such a defamation claim absurd.  Mak was “talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate,” which makes him not only a public figure but a future public official.  Under New York Times v. Sullivan and its progeny, public figures must meet a higher burden in showing a reckless disregard of the truth or knowing falsehoods.  So Cohen misstates the existing law on rape and then cites the most damaging element against Trump in threatening a frivolous lawsuit against Mak and everyone he has ever known.

This also should make the Trump legal team uneasy about the recordings reportedly seized in Cohen’s office.  The only thing worse than retaining a reckless and unprofessional lawyer is your reckless and unprofessional lawyer on tape.  Cohen is the bill come due for Trump and moments like the Daily Beast call could easily be replayed over and over again in painful hearings to come.

148 thoughts on ““What I’m Going To Do To You Is Going To Be F–ing Disgusting”: Michael Cohen In His Own Voice

  1. Ivana has made it clear that she wasn’t raped.

    so i’m not sure how you can write “threatening a clearly baseless actions against a journalist”

  2. Peter Hill wants eveeyone to know about today’s NYT hit piece on Michael Avenatti to expose an equally morally bankrupt attorney. Peter thanks everyone for reading and apologizes for not posting this NYT piece earlier

    David Brock…hmmmmm

    😉

    “Stormy Daniels’s Lawyer Sought Help From Democrats in Fight With Trump”
    June 1, 2018

    WASHINGTON — Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress who says she had a sexual encounter with President Trump, has sought help for his legal battle against Mr. Trump from leading Democratic operatives.

    Mr. Avenatti contacted an official in the network of liberal groups led by David Brock, while someone associated with Mr. Avenatti’s law firm was in touch with two people connected to major Democratic donors, according to people familiar with the conversations. But the discussions do not appear to have led to any financial help for the high-profile legal and public relations fight being waged by Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.

    Mr. Brock’s groups decided not to donate to the efforts because they saw little value in spending money on a legal fight that was largely being waged in the news media, especially given Mr. Avenatti’s penchant for attracting press coverage, according to two Democratic political operatives familiar with the discussions.

    • Robin,

      I overlooked this story earlier. But thanks for posting it. The story clearly says that Democratic donors are not that keen to fund Avenatti. Consider this passage:

      “But the discussions do not appear to have led to any financial help for the high-profile legal and public relations fight being waged by Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels.

      Mr. Brock’s groups decided not to donate to the efforts because they saw little value in spending money on a legal fight that was largely being waged in the news media, especially given Mr. Avenatti’s penchant for attracting press coverage, according to two Democratic political operatives familiar with the discussions”.

      By the way, Robin, the Trumpers on this thread believe the N.Y. Times is ‘fake news’. Yet they will seize on any N.Y. Times article if they think it’s embarrassing to liberals. In fact, ‘you’ may been thinking that in posting this.

      • Yet they will seize on any N.Y. Times article if they think it’s embarrassing to liberals.

        Who here is reading the Sulzberger Birdcage Liner?

        (PS, ever hear of an ‘admission against interest’?)

        • Well the N.Y. Times is the ‘newspaper of record’. So even if you hate their politics, few papers are more significant.

        • I love the NY Times and have been a suscriber for many years.
          It’s a great newspaper, even if I disagree with the editorial board more often than not.

              • Old enough, yes. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I’ve read from him. If I recall correctly, he wasn’t a fan of Hillary Clinton.

                • Safire on Hillary Clinton, 1996:
                  “Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar,” he said. “Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit.”

  3. Cohen’s not a real guy from the ‘hood. His father is a surgeon; his mother a nurse, and he attended a ritzy prep school, followed by American Univ in D.C. (unlike Blagoyavich, whose father was a Serbian immigrant steelworker, and who paid for college by working on the Alaska pipeline and as a semi-pro boxer). Both Cohen and Trump (the so-called “blue collar billionaire”) were born and raised in luxury, but like to play the tough guy persona. Maybe it’s a N.Y. thing, maybe just macho postering, I don’t know, but it certainly seems to get under the skin of the Ivy League types. JT hates Cohen to a degree that’s irrational, and I read some years ago that Obama and his crowd of effete Chicago intellectuals both ridiculed and hated Blagoyavich and vowed to take him down.

    • Tin, are you sympathizing with Rod Blagoyavich..??

      I don’t think Rod deserves 18 years in prison. But even the people of Illinois were taken aback by Rod’s mendacity. And it takes a lot to shock Illinois!

      • Rod deserves 18 years. The problem is that too many others, on both sides of the aisle, also deserve to be in prison. The whole idea of Presidential pardons should be scrapped. Ford, Clinton, and now Trump take these acts down to the level of the Thanksgiving Turkey routine. If you break the law, you go to jail. If you are rich and privileged, you should get extra time, not off, but in the slammer. The average guy that goes to jail comes out and is handicapped for the rest of his life. The rich fu*^ or the connected fu*^ that goes to jail comes out and goes right on with a rich and privileged life. Presidential pardons have become just another way for one side to laugh at the other. But, the routine laughs at America.

      • Peter H. – I’m somewhat sympathetic to him, because I admire someone who can rise from humble beginnings to become Governor, all on his own, without affirmative action and other benefits that he was denied for being a working-class White. On the other hand, he did abuse his position and deserved to lose his position. But not 14 years in prison! C’mon! Bob McDonald, Governor of VA, didn’t do a day in prison after being convicted of public corruption. The case was overturned. And George Ryan, Blago’s predecessor was convicted of public corruption and was sentenced to 6 years. So yes, I think the Obama crowd went after Blago and he received a draconian sentence which was, on its face, unjust.

    • were born and raised in luxury, but like to play the tough guy persona. Maybe it’s a N.Y. thing, maybe just macho postering,

      Maybe it’s just how business is done in real estate development.

  4. Cretin that is. Cretans from the glorious large island South of Greece, take exception to your misspelling.

  5. J.T. says: “It is like Cohen is reading from a script from Better Call Saul.” I disagree. Jimmy McGill, a/k/a Saul Goodman (It’s all good—man), a fictional lawyer, is much shrewder than Cohen. He’s flamboyant, to be sure, but he doesn’t go around making baseless threats against people or bullying them. In fact, he’s kind of humble, in his own way. He’s also a crook, but a likable one, unlike Cohen. And, like Cohen probably will do, he turned state’s evidence to save his own hide. Instead of practicing law, witness protection got him a job managing a Cinnabon restaurant in Nebraska or some place far away from Albuquerque.

    All that said, Cohen is a reflection of his client, who thinks he can bully and intimidate to get his way. That is also Trump’s style. In fact, it’s the only thing he knows, which is why he’ll fail miserably. That strategy has already failed with Mexico. In re North Korea, he’ll only give ground to avoid appearing as a failure, not because of negotiating skills, not because it’s good for America, and not for any reason other than personal aggrandizement. Cohen is an embarrassment to the profession. Trump will dump him like everyone else who’s no longer serving any current need. If he’s smart, he’ll take whatever deal he can get and sing like a canary. Maybe he can find his own version of Saul Goodman to advise him.

    • Trump said ‘in the end’ Mexico will pay for the wall. It hasn’t already failed. We will see. As for North Korea, we will see. I predict success. And as Trump has said, ‘peace IS the prize.’ The two Korea’s have now agreed to let families reunite that were separated by the Korean war. Lots of movement there.

      • Mexico will NOT pay for the wall. You Trumpsters can hold your fingers and click your heels all you want to, but it won’t happen. You really, really, want to believe your reality TV star President, but it’s not going to happen. How about this: those of you who DO believe him, you go ahead and pay taxes to cover the cost, which is what his budget calls for. The rest of us, who DON”T believe him, don’t have to pay. If Mexico does end up agreeing to pay for the wall, you’ll get your money back. How does that sound?

        As for Korea, your President has nothing whatsoever to do withy any of this. The Koreans began friendly overtures as a prelude to the Olympics, so that they could have a united womens’ hockey team. Trump had nothing to do with that, either. In fact, Pence and his fugly wife refused to stand or applaud the Korean womens’ team, even after Kim Jong Un’s sister gave a standing ovation for the American womens’ team.

  6. COHEN’S STYLE REFLECTS DONALD TRUMP

    One can obviously conclude that Michael Cohen is just the kind of lawyer Donald Trump wanted; a thuggish bully making endless threats. And that has been the story of Trump’s political career since he first announced his presidential candidacy.

    At the moment Trump is threatening to ‘blow-up’ America if the Mueller Probe doesn’t stop. Trump is sick and tired of being pestered by someone he can’t control.

    If Mueller doesn’t wrap his investigation, Trump is going to spin endless conspiracy theories and possibly cause a civil war. And if chaos results it’s Mueller’s fault! ‘He should’ve known better than to mess with Donald Trump’.

    • They are discrediting their own already, The hero, Trey Gowdy, well until Benghazi, admitted there was no spygate and Hannity and FOX NEWS went after him big time. Trump has only one way out and he knows it, EVERYBODY is lying except Trump, and he has 25-35 percent already believing it.

        • I thought so too, it’s just a ploy, he’s ready to spring the trap he set for HRC. Any day now, it’s coming. Any day…………

    • Cohen is Trump’s loyal fixer who’s been around for a long time dealing in the NYC construction business with all those mafiosos who run the rackets. Whaddya expect?

  7. and now a word about the other sleazy attorney, JT’s star pupil, Michael Avenatti

    “Stormy Daniels Lawyer Michael Avenatti Dogged by His Own Legal Battles” – WSJ

    “On a single day last week his law firm, Eagan Avenatti LLP, and a company he started were hit with back-to-back court judgments ordering them to repay millions of dollars in outstanding debts. In the past year alone, more than a dozen creditors—including a former colleague, a law firm and former landlords—have gone to court to collect millions of dollars more in debts they allege are owed them by Mr. Avenatti, his law practice or his corporate entities. Most of these cases remain open.

    In those and other recent lawsuits, opposing litigants have raised questions about tactics used by Mr. Avenatti against adversaries, some of whom have voiced suspicions that he or entities he controls have manipulated the court process and played shell games with creditors. “Mr. Avenatti cannot keep his agreements,” Stephen Ryan, Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, said before Judge Wood on Wednesday in opposing any role for Mr. Avenatti in that case.”

    “In a January divorce filing, Mr. Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie, stated the couple had lived a “lavish marital lifestyle” that included “international and domestic luxury vacations with travel by private jet; acquisition of an extensive art collection and exotic car collection,” as well as a $14,000-a-month apartment in Los Angeles and a full-time driver employed by Mr. Avenatti’s law firm.”

    http://www.paywallnews.com/news/Stormy-Daniels-Lawyer-Michael-Avenatti-Dogged-by-His-Own-Legal-Battles.Bk8qQ90J7.html

    • Lucian, Michael Avenatti doesn’t matter now! Get that through your head.

      All of Michael Cohen’s files have been seized and inventoried. Those file are a treasure trove to investigators. That investigation goes regardless of Michael Avenatti.

      • Peter, you have a hardon to post links to NYT, WaPo and other fake news crap while others have theirs. Few comment on those fake news sources so get it through your head: Hillary lost because she is a mongrel. Support the President of the USA and be a good sport

        Thank you Lucien for posting some of those comments from the WSJ article. Nice to see creditors and Judges going after Avenatti. May they all get their monies from the cretan.

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