Thursday, July 23, 2020

Judge finds Michael Cohen’s detention was wrong and orders him released

Good for Judge Alvin Hellerstein. The probation officer had Cohen detained when he wouldn’t agree to a gag order (because he was writing a book about President Trump). Cohen sued and said the arrest was retaliatory and violated the First Amendment. The judge agreed. From the Washington Post:
“I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others,” Hellerstein said in a scathing ruling issued Thursday morning. “In 21 years of being a judge and sentencing people and looking at the terms and conditions of supervised release, I have never seen such a clause.”
 The judge also made quick work of Cohen’s lawyer fighting for various conditions:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Rovner argued that Cohen’s lawyer Jeffrey Levine tried to haggle with the probation officer on his requirement that Cohen wear an ankle monitor, saying it was a condition reserved for “violent” convicts. There was nothing wrong with Levine trying to negotiate for his client, the judge said, and the attempt to debate the terms should not have been cause to imprison him.
“What’s an attorney for if he is not going to negotiate an agreement with his client?” the judge said.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether prosecutors intend to appeal.
Danya Perry, one of Cohen’s attorneys, called the ruling a victory for the First Amendment. “This principle transcends politics and we are gratified that the rule of law prevails,” Perry said.
Cohen’s legal team also includes lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union.


Anonymous said...

So the feds go out of their way to add a dubious campaign finance charge, that added nothing to time he was looking it, and quite arguably was done to *embarrass the president. So now they are doing things with the intent to *help the president? And we are talling about *sdny* helping the pres? A place where nobody likes trump?

Totally dont buy it. Better explanation is that they are just jerks and didnt like cohen talking back and the absurdity of him out on the town.

What evidence did the judge have to support his finding? Just that he never saw the media clause before?

I don't buy it. If the judge is right, thats serious impropriety. I say have an evidentiary hearing and get to the bottom of exactly what went down. But absent proof, the suggestion this was intended to protect trump is wild speculation

Anonymous said...

If the roles were reversed and some crass lawyer were slandering Clinton or Obama and threatening to write a tell all book, would the ACLU be by his side?

Anonymous said...

Very rarely do we obtain answers to right wing wacko conspiracy assholes like 7:25. But in case you actually want an answer to your question:

Now the question i have is whether you will go home and kick you dog, or man up and acknowledge you are an idiot (and still perhaps kick your dog)?

Anonymous said...

725 is totally harmless. His opinion is that aclu has a political bias. His opinion doesnt make him crazy and all the other names you called him. What kind of person randomly lashes out at an anonymous, entirely banal blog posting? Thankfully today we have a break from the rain. Get outside and get some sun. Maybe next time contemplate being tolerant of opposing views? Just an idea.

Anonymous said...

Please correct your post. This defendant was Under BOP jurisdiction not probation.

David Oscar Markus said...

There is nothing incorrect about the post. Probation officers had him arrested.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure I’m right He was arrested by BOP. He was under BOP jurisdiction. Although there was some mention of a probation officer affidavit (not petition) he was not on a term of supervised release or bond and therefore coukd be arrested by the probation office.

“The BOP official who ordered Cohen returned to prison, Jon Gustin, told the court in a sworn statement earlier this week that he was unaware Cohen was writing a book and that he had conferred with two members of the executive staff before making the decision.
Michael Cohen’s book to allege Trump made racist comments about Obama and Nelson Mandela, lawsuit says
In his ruling, Hellerstein was fiercely critical of the defense put forth by the Justice Department, which had argued that Cohen was “combative” in a discussion about the house-arrest agreement. A probation officer, Adam Pakula, said in an affidavit that he was unaware Cohen was writing a book at the time he gave him the agreement.“

Anonymous said...

He is not out on probation, but in house-arrest still subject to BOP, supervision.

Media coverage of him dining out in the town didnt go well. Expect this to not be over yet.