Barely A Lawyer (And Not For Long)

An attorney representing Michael Cohen has filed a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the federal court in the Southern District of New York which seeks to bar prosecutors from reviewing material seized from Cohen’s office, home and hotel room under an “attorney-client privilege.” In response, the Justice Department filed a 22-page document stating that the recent searches were the result of a “months long criminal investigation” into Cohen, and were seeking evidence of crimes, including mail fraud, wire fraud and possible election law violations. Government attorneys further stated that many of the crimes under investigation have nothing to do with Cohen’s work as an attorney, but much to do with Cohen’s business dealings. Furthermore, authorities searched several email accounts used by Cohen, and from that review determined that Cohen was performing “little to no legal work,” suggesting that Cohen is barely a lawyer. Cohen’s education and business activities offer compelling evidence of the government’s assertion.

Michael Cohen graduated from Cooley Law School in 1991 and began working as Donald Trump’s “fixer” shortly after 1995. The American Bar Association (ABA) has been trying to close Cooley for several years. The association has claimed that Cooley’s admission standards fall below ABA standards, and as a result, many graduates have no reasonable chance of obtaining a diploma, or of passing bar exams administered by the states. Consequently, the student ends up with a mountain of debt, and no career. Or, they end up like Cohen, with a career that has little to do with actual legal work.

Cooley went to federal court and requested a gag order against the ABA for the negative criticism, but Senior District Judge Arthur Tarnow not only denied the request, but also stated that the ABA was required to publish their findings to comply with U.S. Department of Education rules.

Now, the ghost of Richard Nixon might be seen floating through the White House. It has been reported that some of the materials seized from Cohen’s premises included taped conversations with several individuals. Some of those conversations will undoubtedly include Donald Trump. It would appear that Cohen will be heard using his omerta-like pledge of loyalty to Trump to prove a macho image while using strong arm tactics in shaking down  adversaries.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is also a lawyer, called Cohen an “idiot” for taping conversations. And Michael Avenatti (a highly-skilled lawyer who has been eating Cohen’s lunch in the Stormy Daniels matter for weeks) labeled the taping effort “beyond stupid.”

It should be remembered that reporter Megyn Kelly was forced to hire a security detail for a year after Cohen issued his “Let’s gut her” remark following Kelly’s challenging question involving misogyny to Donald Trump at the first Republican presidential debate.  Such threats and intimidation have no place in a legitimate lawyer’s tool kit. Indeed, Michael Cohen will be disbarred, just like Trump’s original fixer Roy Cohn. But he is facing much larger problems than losing a license to practice law.

If they haven’t done so already, it is time for Las Vegas bookmakers to start taking bets on whether or not Donald Trump will go to prison. He is a subject of investigation by Robert Mueller, and now appears to be implicated in criminal activities by recorded conversations with a soon-to-be alleged criminal. But the most condemning allegations will come from an old nemesis: New York State Attorney General Eric Schniederman. There is no presidential pardon available for state law violations.