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    Michael Cohen Tag

    Back in July, Kemberlee blogged about CNN's "explosive" report that, according to "sources," President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen claimed the then-presidential candidate knew about the June 2016 meetings at Trump Tower between Donald Trump, Jr., and Russians. Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis appeared on CNN on Wednesday night and directly refuted the story.

    The Michael Cohen court drama continues. We previously wrote about a motion for a protective order filed by attorney Peter Gleason seeking a protective order as to records seized from Michael Cohen that pertained to certain accusers against former NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Court Filing: Trump and Michael Cohen were aware of Schneiderman alleged assaults in 2013.

    Michael Avenatti has been described by the NY Times at the "ringmaster" in the Michael Cohen circus. The fight going on in the SDNY over Avenatti's request for permission to appear in the case certainly is turning into a circus, with the Judge likely to stop the show early next week. For background on the case and the role Avenatti is playing, see these prior posts:

    We reported previously on the court filing by Michael Cohen's attorneys objecting to Michael Avenatti appearing in the case for Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels). Avenatti is required to submit an application for admission pro hac vice, meaning he seeks admission for the purpose of the case since he is not otherwise admitted to the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Such applications usually are routinely granted.

    Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, is a fixture on CNN and also appears to be weaponized by someone to fight battles against Trump on a broader scale with the Stormy Daniels dispute the excuse, not the reason, Avenatti is involved. Most notably, Avenatti recently published what appear, at least in part, to be bank records relating to Michael Cohen. There were problems, including the misidentification of payments to the wrong Michael Cohens (in addition to the right Michael Cohen).

    Judge Kimba Wood has resolved the issue of how files seized from Michael Cohen, which included at least some files related to his (limited) law practice, would be handled. Those records were seized by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York as part of a criminal investigation of Cohen resulting from a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The background on the seizure and legal wrangling are set forth in these prior posts:

    What is known about the Fusion GPS role in stoking and implementing an attempted takedown of candidate and ultimately president Trump is one of the greatest political scandals in memory. But it's a story that only partially has been told. We now know that Russian-Collusion-mania had as its source-fuel Fusion GPS opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The culmination of that effort was the so-called Steele dossier, which was used to obtain FISA court warrants to surveil Carter Page, and by extension, likely other members of the Trump campaign and transition team both in real time and historically.

    The court proceedings regarding the seizure of materials from the law office of Michael Cohen ended yesterday without a formal ruling on the substance of how the case will proceed as to review of seized materials. The issue is whether a so-called "taint team" from DOJ/FBI will review the records first, or whether there will be a Special Master. Contrary to many reports, the request for a Temporary Restraining Order was not denied on the merits, but because it was moot. The TRO request was moot because pending a court ruling on procedures for review of materials, the feds are not reviewing what they seized. That was my understanding from live tweeting of the proceedings, and it's confirmed by a letter the prosecutors filed in court today (pdf.)(emphasis added):

    Oh boy. I admit my jaw dropped when I saw that Fox News host Sean Hannity is the third client of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney, Social media erupted and Twitter-lawyers came out in full force to spin the narrative to their liking. After all, Cohen appeared on Hannity's show a few times like in the featured image. Here are some of the best ones.
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