Michael Cohen defense attorney Guy Petrillo took a moment to toss a barb at Manhattan federal prosecutors during his client’s sentencing hearing, pondering aloud about the “strident tone” of the government’s sentencing memo.
“I’m not going to overly speculate about what’s going on here,” Petrillo said. “A little bit of pride at not being the center of attention?”
“Who knows,” he added, before taking a long pause. “Not for me to say.”
Cohen’s attorney took the dig at Southern District of New York prosecutors in the context of a dispute over whether Cohen’s decision not to sign a formal, ongoing cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors.
“Power to the Southern District,” Petrillo said. “They want to build a bigger case than they’ve already made. God bless them.”
Nicholas Roos, an SDNY federal prosecutor told the court after Petrillo’s remarks that Cohen, in spite of his attorney’s “hypothesizing,” “can’t have it both ways” in terms of getting the benefits of cooperating in terms of a reduced sentence without signing the agreement.
“To do so would send the wrong message,” Roos added, saying that Cohen’s crimes were characterized by “deception, brazenness, and greed” and that they incurred “tremendous societal costs.”