Michael Cohen Saga
The judge in the Michael Cohen case has appointed Barbara Jones, a former federal judge, as a Special Master to go through the documents seized from Cohen by the FBI and decide which ones are subject to attorney-client privilege.
We’ll have more on this, and on other developments from the federal courtroom where a hearing on the Cohen case has been taking place, shortly…
Following up on Sean Hannity’s claim that he discussed real estate questions with Michael Cohen, The Guardian uncovered that Hannity presides over a real estate empire valued at at least $100 million. This is not surprising. Hannity reportedly makes $36 million a year. He says he invests most of his money in real estate. If he’s making that much and investing in real estate, it would be surprising if his portfolio were any smaller. Read More
We’ve learned so much new information about Michael Cohen just in the last 36 hours – about the Russia mob, how he got the job with Trump – that we decided we needed to do an update on Tuesday’s episode, which had all the Michael Cohen information as of Tuesday. Here’s the new episode and here’s Tuesday’s. If you’ve already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play, it’s already on your device.
Yesterday we noted that Michael Cohen grew up around the Brooklyn social club that served as the headquarters of the bosses of the Russian mob from the 1970s to the 1990s. Today we discussed the role of Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman, an immigrant from Ukraine. Shusterman had been in the taxi business for decades before Cohen got into the business and it was with loans and medallions from Shusterman that Cohen got his start. According to a former federal investigator who spoke to Seth Hettena, Cohen “was given the job with the Trump Org as a favor to Shusterman.” Read More
Yesterday afternoon I had one of those epiphanies about a story I usually have no more than once every few years. It was partly triggered by details I put in this post about Michael Cohen. But it wasn’t about that alone. It was the sum of a dozen developments since the raid on Cohen’s homes and office last Monday. Starting over a year ago we focused our resources tightly on Cohen, Sater and an assortment of lesser capos and goodfellas in the Trump syndicate. Read More
This is one of those facts that’s been sort of hiding in plain sight: The law firm representing Michael Cohen in the federal probe into his financial dealings has been paid recently by Trump’s campaign.
To be clear, those payments may have been for representing Cohen in the Russia investigation, not in the financial probe. Or, conceivably, for something totally different, though that seems unlikely.
Still, these are the lawyers who were fighting this week to shield Trump-Cohen communications from prosecutors. Which raises questions about whose interests are being represented.
Allegra Kirkland explains why it matters.
In today’s podcast, we look into the background of Michael Cohen. TPM first reported last year that Cohen was actually a childhood friend of Felix Sater, whose father was himself a reputed capo in the Mogilevich organized crime syndicate, said to be Russia’s largest and most dangerous. Filling out this picture of how Cohen fell into this milieu we’ve always been focused on the fact that Cohen’s uncle, Morton Levine, owned and ran a Brooklyn social club, El Caribe, which was a well-known meeting spot for members of Italian and Russian organized crime families in the 1970s and 1980s. (Levine, a medical doctor has never been charged with a crime.) But now it turns out there’s a bit more to this story. Read More