Will Michael Cohen’s Father-in-Law Sue Giuliani For Defamation?

In Washington, it is all too common for public figures to exchange uncorroborated allegations. Often the most telling factor is to wait to see who actually sues for defamation. We are at that point in the controversy surrounding the Buzzfeed story after Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani made what would be arguably defamatory statements against the father-in-law of Michael Cohen on national television . . . if the statements are untrue. The question is whether Fima Shusterman will sue over being called a criminal working with Ukrainian organized crime.

In an interview on CNN, Giuliani responded to attack on Shusterman by President Donald Trump, references that I have previously criticized as highly inappropriate. Yet, Giuliani is correct that Cohen’s credibility is at issue given the harsh view expressed by the Southern District of New York about his lack of cooperation and the reason why he was not allegedly cooperative. Many believe that Cohen is continuing to conceal evidence of criminal conduct by either himself or his father-in-law or both.

Giuliani however went further and said that the father-in-law’s criminal conduct is the reason that the Southern District of New York was critical of Cohen’s lack of cooperation. He stressed “the Southern District of New York, in the plea, wanted him (Cohen) to go to jail and said he’s lying. They don’t buy the special counsel’s approach. They say he’s lying because he’s holding back information that is far more damaging than the lies that he is sharing with them now. Now, what is that information about? It’s about his father-in-law.” Giuliani went on to note that Shusterman is from the Ukraine and suggested that he was not only involved in criminal conduct but may “have ties to organized crime.”

This is an allegation of criminal conduct.  Criminal conduct has long been recognized as a per se category of slander under common law torts as well as such categories as moral turpitude and unchastity or impugning professional reputation.

Shusterman ran taxicab businesses in both New York City and Chicago and reportedly may have pleaded guilty to federal income tax fraud related to his New York business. Cohen got involved in the taxicab business through his father-in-law. I have previously written about the sleazy taxi business deals of Cohen and the allegations against his father-in-law. So here is their chance to prove they’re innocent and sue Giuliani who will be allowed to defend his allegations based on truth. While Shusterman may be viewed as a limited public figure subject to the constitutional standard of defamation (requiring proof of actual knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard of the truth), this should be an straight-forward case to show that Cohen was not shielding his father-in-law and that his family has no connections to organized crime. That would actually force a degree of accuracy and accountability in this increasing raw and nasty dialogue.

I do not expect that to happen because the Shusterman has long been accused of criminal practices or associations. However, this issue could well be pursued in Cohen’s upcoming testimony. While the Democrats would object, I expect that there are some prosecutors in New York eager to hear Cohen answer questions about the family taxi business.

62 thoughts on “Will Michael Cohen’s Father-in-Law Sue Giuliani For Defamation?”

    1. [Piggybacking on Dr. Benson’s comment about not being able to tell the diference.]

      The real problem with Giuliani’s comments during his interview with Jake Tapper is that Giuliani is not supposed to know what Cohen supposedly told Mueller. The BuzzFeed story claimed, among other things, that Mueller has statements from Cohen alleging that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. Giuliani could know from Trump that Trump supposedly did not tell Cohen to lie to Congress. But Giuliani is not supposed to know that Cohen supposedly told Mueller that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. Either Giuliani knows what Cohen supposedly told Mueller or Giuliani doesn’t know what Cohen supposedly told Mueller.

      Chances are that Giuliani does not know what Cohen told Mueller. And that means that the only way that Giuliani could know that the BuzzFeed story made a false claim about Cohen’s statements to Mueller is if the two FBI agents from the NYO who leaked Cohen’s supposed statements to BuzzFeed told Giuliani that they had successfully planted another Fake News story in the press about Cohen’s supposed statements–just like Giuliani had almost certainly asked them to do.

      Maybe they’ll get tickets to the Super-Bowl, or something.

      1. I read, rapidly, the Wikipedia page on torts. With my head thus spinning, I read the above. Fortunately I am sitting in a chair with two sturdy arms.

        But I am sure that the Daily Tatler will eat it up!

        1. I still heartily recommend a base isolator for one’s chair.

          I think Wikipedia has an entry on base isolation for houses in seismic zones.

  1. Now some freshman house member from Colorado wants to bring up Justice Kavanaugh on perjury charges. I hope these morons try to impeach Trump. Then the fun will really begin. The left doesn’t care about the native born taxpayers. Their agenda is all about taking down Donald Trump.

    1. Are you a cretin? The “left” as you call it, is mostly made up of “native born taxpayers.”

      this is to “I just regurgitate at night whatever hannity told me in the afternoon” bobbie

  2. Maybe someone from the ABA should sue Rudy G for pretending to be a lawyer on TV. Or at least have a disclaimer on the bottom of the screen that says ” I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on TV” I was told by Trump himself that he only hires the best, the best. Jeezzzz

  3. Is there any truth to the story on FuzzBead that Donald Trump has sex with a hooker on top of the Washington Monument?

  4. “Often the most telling factor is to wait to see who actually sues for defamation.”
    ******************
    After trial by press and lambasting Roy Moore for decades-old unsubstantiated claims of sexual misconduct made during an election, we concluded that the credibility test was whether the truly aggrieved actually sued for defamation. An accuser, Leigh Corfman, sued Moore prompting many on the Left to jump with joy. When Moore counter-sued Corfman for the same thing and then brought another suit for defamation/conspiracy against the other four Pinocchios, all we got were crickets. My question is: Do we need a new test?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/us/politics/roy-moore-lawsuit.html

    1. What has been happening for some time is that people see how the Deep State authoritarians are attacking anyone who runs for office or who supports anyone in which the Deep State doesn’t support, thus good people are declining to run for office or even support those that are.

      In order to over come this there must be large parts of the corrupt leadership of the FBI/DOJ brought up on charges for actively being involved in pushing/aiding this type of criminal behavior.

      IE: Christine Blasey Ford, why hasn’t this rotten b*tch been arrested? Hell it turns out many in her family work or have other ties to the CIA.

      And the Current AG & the past one haven’t done a damn thing about her & her handlers.

        1. The irony of someone using the name Anonymous mocking another referencing the existence of Deep State is, well, rather Deep State-ish

      1. IE: Christine Blasey Ford, why hasn’t this rotten b*tch been arrested? Hell it turns out many in her family work or have other ties to the CIA.

        She’s been estranged from her family-of-origin. One dog that didn’t bark during the whole imbroglio was her father. Partisan Democrats (e.g. Bettykath) were maintaining that the Kavanaughs must have known the Blaseys because the fathers were both members of the Burning Tree Club. Ralph Blasey, Sr. said nothing, and Christine made no claims in re Burning Tree, contending she’d met Kavanaugh’s pal Christopher Garrett at a different club. (Burning Tree has hundreds of members, so it’s perfectly conceivable one didn’t know the other even had their memberships overlapped in time; since family members aren’t permitted on the campus of Burning Tree, Mrs. Blasey and Mrs. Kavanaugh would not have had the occasion to run into each other).

      2. Please post more materials Just. Like. This.

        this is to “this new batch o’ shine puts me right peculiar, I’ll reckon” okie

    2. I generally would prefer that both major US parties die and go to hell, more so the war mongering Progressives than the war mongering GOP.

      That said, I have an open mind and read the entire major story (long) on the subject of Roy Moore’s apparent favoring under age females, when Moore was in his late 20s/early 30s and a highly paid (for the South) public prosecutor.

      That story was the polar opposite of the Kavanaugh hit piece. IMO the Moore story was all or mostly true (the major well written break through article).

      Roy Moore is a useless piece of dung. It was a major GOP blunder to nominate that fool.

  5. BuzzFeed! Stupid BuzzFeed!
    What kind of people call on BuzzFeed?
    Fat kids, skinny kids….
    Kids who climb on rocks.
    Yorkies, Dorkies…
    Even kids with Chickenpox….
    Use BuzzFeed…
    Stupid BuzzFeed.
    The dog… kids like…. to Bite!

  6. We now have fairly good reason to believe that the two law enforcement officials who leaked the story to BuzzFeed are probably FBI agents from the New York Office who are loyal to Giuliani and Trump. The purpose of that leak is to undermine the value of Cohen’s testimony as a cooperating witness with the special counsel’s office.

    We also have good reason to believe that Giuliani pressured the special counsel’s office into making the public statement calling the accuracy of the BuzzFeed story into doubt. Giuliani practically admitted as much in his interview with Jake Tapper.

    But here’s Giuliani’s real angle: Congressional Democrats now need to call off Cohen’s upcoming testimony to Congress. The Republicans on the committee–especially Gym Jordan–are going to do everything in their power to follow Giuliani’s lead and undermine the value of Cohen as a cooperating witness with the special counsel’s office.

    Meanwhile, Giuliani still needs to produce an actual legal strategy to defend Trump. All Giuliani has produced thus far is a media strategy. That’s not going to be good enough. The stakes for Trump are a lot higher than they were for Clinton.

    P. S. Did you know that 1868 was a presidential election year and that Andrew Johnson was impeached and acquitted in 1868? Of course, they didn’t have primary elections back then. And there was no way that any smoke-filled room was going to nominate Andrew Johnson for President in 1868, anyhow. I wonder if Putin would allow Trump bow out of the running for President in 2020.

      1. Guesswork is not knowledge. Guesswork based on a fairly good reason to believe is not knowledge of all motives. However, overstating the claim that was made for the sake of ridiculing only the overstated claim is quite perfectly twisted. Ptom Gnash is either a student of Giuliani or just another dupe of Giuliani.

          1. Dr. Bobblehead,
            Pace yourself; you don’t want to wear yourself out with all the thought you put into your two-word missives.

        1. You often do not qualify your wild speculation as “guesswork”; or even”fairly good reasons”.
          You have repeatedly pretended to have some sort of insider knowledge, with your claims about what Mueller knows, what Trump knows, what Trump knows about what Mueller knows, what Trump thinks Mueller thinks Trump knows, etc.
          It’s ridiculous, and one does not have to be “just another student of Guiliani or just another dupe of Guiliani to”, or of anyone else, to recognize what a pretentious clown you are.

      1. Call it whatever you like. Fake News fits well enough. The leakers gave BuzzFeed the misimpression that the documents and witness statements obtained by SDNY and SCO would prove something well beyond what Cohen said in his allocution (which is a sworn statement) and what Mueller’s office said in their sentencing memo on Cohen. The Fake News machine then garbled the thing into the notion that there supposedly were no documents nor any witness statements obtained by Mueller’s office. But there are documents and witness statements obtained by Mueller’s office. It’s just that that evidence does not warrant the false conclusion that the leakers fed to BuzzFeed.

        It’s another Statue-of-Liberty, double-end-reverse, razzle-dazzle, foobaw play straight from John Madden’s chalk board. If that’s all Giuliani has got, then Trump’s in trouble.

    1. Translation: If not for being setup by the GOP, Cohn would win “Man of the Year” and “Most Honest Ever Political Attorney” awards. Hahahhahahahahahah……Keep dreaming progressive trolls!!!!!!!!!!

      1. tRump only hires the best, has the best words, etc.. Actually, he hires sycophants, hustlers, and ethically-challenged businessmen, all the while thinking he is the smartest person in the room.

      2. Most courageous, too. Now, he can’t testify before Congress because of “threats”.
        Maybe Lisa Bloom will arrainge another much-hyped, main event press conference with Cohen appearing at her office for a scheduled press conference.

    2. Late4Dinner typed: “We now have good reason to believe…”

      “We now have good reason to believe” that progressive trolls are making a good living posting on social media platforms like this one……THANKS THE LAUGH, TROLL!!!

      Other than your own troll post, looking in the mirror to ask who’s the fairest of them all, CARE TO DOCUMENT YOUR ALLEGED “GOOD REASON” HERE FOR THE REST OF HUMANITY?

      1. The New York Office of the FBI planted numerous stories about the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation in The Wall Street Journal during the 2016 election. Giuliani publicly boasted about his connections to the NYO FBI by way of former FBI agents from that office who are still in contact with the active agents from that office. Giuliani also promised an October surprise in the 2016 election.IG Horowitz issued a report showing the numerous unauthorized contacts with journalists that the NYO FBI had during the 2016 campaign. Unfortunately, IG Horowitz refused to name any names nor recommend any disciplinary action against any FBI agents from the NYO. So they’re still at it

      2. Princess Trohar, —She has a necessity to believe certain things are a certain way ; for her, that’s the same as “we now have good reason to believe”.
        They are indistinguishable to her.

    3. Stupid progressive (I know, an oxymoron, my bad, please excuse me) Mr. Dinner never heard of Occam’s Razor: certainly Mr. Dinner, the explanation to the buzz feed article can’t POSSIBLY be that you and your progressive sicko scum bag ilk jumped into bed with Cohn, one of the most disgusting and dishonest P’sOS to appear in the public spotlight?

      How exactly, dear Mr. Dinner, is did the GOP trick every MSM news outlet and DNC leadership into biting on the totally BS BuzzFeed article? Exactly how is THAT the GOP’s fault?

      Why, oh font of wisdom, did you omit that in your dishonest progressive diatribe above, MR. DINNER!

      1. Did you not know, Princess? The glorious free press is a ravenous beast. Did they not tell you, Princess? Trump, himself, has been planting Fake News stories about Trump himself in the glorious free press since the 1970’s. Trump, himself, actually calls a reporter pretending to be somebody else representing Trump then feeds that reporter Fake News about Trump, himself. Perhaps you’ve been imprisoned in your Tower for too long, Princess.

    4. ” But here’s Guiliani’s real angle: Congressional Democrats now need to call off Cohen’s upcoming testimony to Congress”.
      According to L4B, Guiliani is so powerful that he “pressures” both the Special Counsel and the FBI to do his bidding.
      Mueller is in firm control of the SC investigation, and Comey was arguably in control of the FBI when Guiliani’ “made Comey” reopen the Hillary enail investigation in Oct. 2016.
      So, because of L4B’s half-baked theories, and because Cohen will likely face challenging questions in Congressional testimony, L4B says that Cohen’s upcoming testimony needs to be canceled.
      Yeah, right😒.
      And the 2nd round of confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh should have been cancelled because the Democrats did “everything in their power” to destroy him.
      The footnote about the 1868 impeachment of Johnson has nothing to do with the upcoming Cohen testimony or the current political situation.
      And L4B was likely only a small child during the Andrew Johnson impeachment, so she probably does not have a clear memory of it anyway.

      1. !868 was a presidential election year. 2020 is a presidential election year. There’s no reason a president can’t be impeached during an election year. There may be a reason not to impeach a president running for re-election in an election year. Namely, one could delay the impeachment till after the election on the odd chance that the incumbent president wins re-election. And if the incumbent president loses the election, then . . . he could pardon himself on the way out the door.

          1. If Trump loses the 2020 election, then Trump could resign and await a pardon from Pence.
            But Pence might renege.
            So self-pardon remains Trump’s last best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
            Except that Putin will not honor Trump’s self-pardon.
            So entering into a plea agreement with Mueller is still an option for Trump.

            1. When he first came to the mountains his life was far away
              On the road and hangin’ by a song
              But the string’s already broken and he doesn’t really care
              It keeps changin’ fast and it don’t last for long

              But the Colorado rocky mountain high
              I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
              The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
              Rocky mountain high
              (Colorado)
              Rocky mountain high
              (high in Colorado)

  7. Why isn’t Mueller/Viessman & co being investigated for leaking to Buzzfeed, after all it was Buzzfeed & Yahoo that leaked Clinton’s/FBI’s Pissgate Papers that was used to get an illegal search warranty that in turn triggered the Mueller/Viessman/DNC team investigation into Trump World.

    1. Investigating the leak to BuzzFeed is not in the interests of Trump and Giuliani, nor the New York Office of the FBI.

      Do the head-scratching on that one, Oky1.

  8. Why is that convicted liar not in prison? Why is he getting kid glove treatment instead of being Man A Forted?

    1. Michael,

      Notice what Prof Turley doesn’t attack vs what he attacks.

      He’s been all over Manaport’s azz even through the Manafort investigation intentionally started based on a Fraud Upon the Court/Sedition/Espionage, etc., yet Turley says next to nothing those like Mueller/Veissman & Co/FISA court judges & those criminals from DOJ/FBI like Bruce Orh, etc., & their Foreign Govt Spies, UK, Aussie, Russians, etc…

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