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Old 21 August 2018, 07:35 PM
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Default Michael Cohen in talks to plead guilty to criminal charges

CNN's version of the story is here.
Quote:
The details of the plea are still being negotiated, the sources cautioned, and talks could fall apart. The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Cohen for potential bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations. If talks fall apart, federal prosecutors are expected to indict Cohen.
As part of the plea deal under discussion, Cohen is not expected to cooperate with the government, one source said. However, by pleading guilty both Cohen and prosecutors would avoid the spectacle and uncertainty of a trial.
Why they would cut him a deal without cooperation doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, unless the Manafort trial has spooked them into just trying to get the guilty pleas.
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Old 21 August 2018, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
Why they would cut him a deal without cooperation doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, unless the Manafort trial has spooked them into just trying to get the guilty pleas.
Stories are starting to appear on the major news outlets that a tentative deal has been made. As to the questions about why prosecutors were willing to do so without cooperation, a reporter (Paula Reid) on CBS News was just asked that very question, and her response was a pretty straight-forward, "Because Cohen isn't considered a reliable witness, they don't feel they need his cooperation."

~Psihala
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Old 21 August 2018, 08:58 PM
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Also, if he isn't going to be required to cooperate with the investigation, Trump has no incentive to pardon him to prevent his testimony.
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Old 21 August 2018, 09:56 PM
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In the meantime...

Paul Manafort found guilty on eight counts

Quote:
President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes, a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud.

But jurors were unable to reach a verdict on 10 charges, and Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts.
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  #5  
Old 21 August 2018, 10:16 PM
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House of cards about to tumble down? I hope and pray so.
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  #6  
Old 22 August 2018, 12:04 AM
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Default Michael Cohen admits violating campaign finance laws 'at direction of' Trump

Michael Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal attorney, admitted Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018...osecutors.html
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Old 22 August 2018, 02:05 PM
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Obviously Hillary Clinton needs to be locked up to stop this massive crime wave! Probably Bill too! And Obama needs to be deported back to Kenya!
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Old 22 August 2018, 06:52 PM
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I just heard on NPR that Cohen's lawyer has said Cohen would not accept a presidential pardon, because he views Trump as corrupt. That's a little rich, but it also must drive Trump nuts. I heard a story -- I think on The Daily, that detailed the pardon and commutations he's given, and what the context was. It seemed to suggest that when Trump is stymied or frustrated by things not going his way, he dashes off a pardon, which is the one thing he can do by fiat. The only thing that can stop him from pardoning someone for federal offenses is . . . if the person doesn't accept the pardon.
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Old 22 August 2018, 07:05 PM
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If this is true, then I give Cohen some credit for actually sacrificing his chance at freedom just to irritate Trump. Time will tell.
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  #10  
Old 22 August 2018, 07:12 PM
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My guess would be that as part of the deal he plead out to, he was told that these federal charges will be it, unless he is pardoned. If he accepts a pardon, well the state of New York will be having some words, and the President can't get him out of that.
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Old 22 August 2018, 07:28 PM
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You can read the deal here. The plea includes this part:
Quote:
It is further agreed that should the conviction(s) following the defendant's plea(s) of guilty pursuant to this Agreement be vacated for any reason, then any prosecution that is not time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations on the date of the signing of this agreement (including any counts that the Government has agreed to dismiss at sentencing pursuant to this Agreement) may be commenced or reinstated against the defendant, notwithstanding the expiration of the statute of limitations between the signing of this Agreement and the commencement or reinstatement of such prosecution.
But I do not believe that a pardon constitutes a vacated sentence.

ETA: And even if it did, it wouldn't matter. Trump could just as easily grant Cohen a blanket pardon for both the offenses he pled guilty to and the ones that were set aside as part of the plea.
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Old 22 August 2018, 07:47 PM
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But Trump can't pardon for state crimes. That clause seems exactly like what I was thinking of. The question is whether a pardon would be a vacated sentence. I think it isn't, as there was some question when Arpaio was pardoned as to whether or not the sentence would be vacated. (I'm not sure how or if that was decided.)
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Old 22 August 2018, 08:03 PM
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The state of New York or other federal agencies can be having words whether or not Cohen accepts a pardon, the agreement is only binding on the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

ETA: There may be a handshake agreement that the state of New York won't prosecute under their laws for the crimes that were part of the plea deal or there may be a double-jeopardy issue with both the federal government and state governments prosecuting the same crimes. Not sure about that. I'm just pointing out that the plea agreement itself doesn't say anything about the state of New York can or cannot do regarding prosecution.
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Old 22 August 2018, 11:58 PM
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The agreement concerns vacatur of his convictions, not sentences. [/Nitpick]. But a pardon doesn't vacate convictions, so I'm not sure what the effect of that provision is.

And there is no double jeopardy issue if the prosecutions are by separate sovereigns, which the state and federal government are.
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Old 23 August 2018, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
But a pardon doesn't vacate convictions, so I'm not sure what the effect of that provision is.
I'm guessing it is a standard clause in plea agreements similar to the contract clause that says something like, "If any provision of this Agreement shall be determined to be void, invalid, unenforceable or illegal for any reason, the validity and enforceability of all of the remaining provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby."

ETA: Similar in that it accounts for situations where a key part of an agreement is changed due to actions from neither party. Not similar at all in action as one invalidates everything and the other validates the rest.
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  #16  
Old 23 August 2018, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
And there is no double jeopardy issue if the prosecutions are by separate sovereigns, which the state and federal government are.
There might be an issue soon, though.
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  #17  
Old 23 August 2018, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfresh View Post
Obviously Hillary Clinton needs to be locked up to stop this massive crime wave! Probably Bill too! And Obama needs to be deported back to Kenya!
Well, quite - I just read part of Cohen's statement:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...fort-explained

Quote:
In open court, Cohen said that “in coordination with, and at the direction of, a candidate for federal office” he had made hush agreements with two women “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.
Notice that he doesn't say which candidate for federal office! It could well have been Hillary!
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  #18  
Old 23 August 2018, 01:59 PM
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Read This!

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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Notice that he doesn't say which candidate for federal office! It could well have been Hillary!
You're probably making a joke, but just in case anyone's concerned, rest assured the court papers make it clear it was Trump.
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  #19  
Old 23 August 2018, 03:06 PM
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I didn't see this one on the national news yet, but a relatively-local-to-me site has it:

New York state subpoenas Cohen in Trump Foundation probe



Quote:
Investigators in New York state have issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of their criminal probe into the Trump Foundation.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax department confirmed the subpoena to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
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  #20  
Old 23 August 2018, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
Probably not. The court is usually very reluctant to reverse previous rulings.
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