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Tag: attorney

Trump Allies Fear FBI Agents Seized Recorded Conversations in Raid

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was known to record conversations with his clients and associates, stoking fear among the president’s allies that digital audio files were seized in the FBI’s raid of Cohen’s offices and residences earlier this week.

Cohen often recorded phone conversations and replayed them for colleagues, the Washington Post reports

FBI agents seized Cohen’s computers and phones in a raid that sought, among other records, all communications between Cohen and Trump and his campaign aides.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Cohen taped conversations with Trump, who one associate said was aware of Cohen’s practice of recording phone calls because the attorney often played the recordings he had with other top Trump advisers.

“It was his standard practice to do it,” one source told the Post.

Legal experts said recorded conversations would be bad news for Cohen.

“If you are looking for evidence, you can’t do any better than people talking on tape,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor.

Other Stories of Interest

New FBI Director Wray to Reassign Bureau’s Top Lawyer

Top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned as the bureau’s new director, Christopher Wray, begins making changes at the senior levels of the agency.

Baker, whom the Washington Post describes as “one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government,” informed his colleagues that he expects Wray to appoint a new head of the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Wray has chosen Baker’s replacement yet.

Baker told colleagues that his reassignment may not take effect immediately and that the move was not unusual when a new director takes over.

AG Sessions Hires Personal Attorney As Russia Investigation Heats Up

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was only a matter of time.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who failed to disclose meetings with a top Russian official during his confirmation hearing, has retained a personal attorney.

The Washington Post reports that Sessions’ new attorney is Washington lawyer Charles Cooper, a longtime friend in Washington. 

Also this week, Trump’s personal attorney hired a personal attorney for himself.

When Sessions testified last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Cooper was sitting behind the attorney general.

“I do represent the Attorney General, but, as with all clients, do not comment on confidential client matters,” Copper wrote in an email to the Post.

Cooper, a partner with Cooper & Kirk, declined to say why he was retained by Sessions, whose normally sharp memory gets fuzzy when asked about meeting with top Russian officials.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Cooper is “the attorney general’s longtime friend and counsel.”

Cooper even assisted Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Homeland Security Lawyer Sentenced to Month in Jail for Forging Document

justice-dept-photo-with-woman-and-courtBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security lawyer who forged documents in a deportation case was sentenced to one month in prison.

Jonathan Love, a former assistant chief counsel, admitted he made a document appear that a Mexican man was ineligible for deportation relief, the ABA Journal reports. 

Love, 58, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under the color of the law.

Love said he has no idea why he doctored the document.

“Why did I do this? If I truly knew, I would not be standing here in front of you,” Love wrote in a letter to his sentencing magistrate judge. “It was stupid and unnecessary, and the consequences of my actions have tarnished my hard work and dedication to public service for the last 30 years.”

Other Stories of Interest

Four of Clinton’s Top Aides Using Same Attorney in Case of Private E-Mail Server

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four of Hillary Clinton’s closet aides are using the same attorney to represent them in the case of the former secretary of state’s private e-mail server.

It’s an unusual legal strategy that suggests the aides are telling investigators the same story, Politico reports. 

The lawyer is Beth Wilkinson, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Legal experts said the unique strategy carries risks if the four aides end up with different interests.

The FBI plans to soon begin interview top Clinton aides, and the quartet may be among them.

“The premise of employing the same counsel is that they believe there is not likely to be a situation where they start pointing a finger at one another to save their own skins — or perhaps at Secretary Clinton,” said Dan Metcalfe, founding director of the DOJ’s office of information and privacy. “And there’s a sense that if one of them goes down, they all go down. It shows they think they can coordinate the defense to everyone’s benefit.”

FBI: Texas Topless Club Owner Put Hit on Arlington Mayor and Atty

News Report Questions FBI Theory That Anthrax Suspect Tried to Deceive Investigators

A U.S. Army scientist stands near the letters used in the 2001 anthrax attacks (Photo courtesy of FBI and ProPublica)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An investigative report published by ProPublica points to some flaws in the FBI’s conclusion that Ft. Detrick, Md. scientist Bruce Ivins was the culprit who mailed the deadly anthrax in 2001.

The investigation, conducted by ProPublica, PBS and McClatchy Newspapers, attempts to undercut a key theory that Ivins tried to deceive the FBI. The report points to samples Ivins provided from a flask in 2002 to the FBI. The FBI said tests failed to match the anthrax sent through the mail.

Later, the news report said, the FBI  took its own samples from the flask and found matches to the deadly anthrax letters.

Authorities pointed to that as a key piece of evidence against Ivins, saying he was intentionally being deceptive to hide his guilt. Ivins committed suicide in July 2008, just before he was about to be charged.

Rachel Lieber, the lead prosecutor in a case that will never go to trial, thinks that Ivins manipulated his sample to cover his tracks, the news report said.

“If you send something that is supposed to be from the murder weapon, but you send something that doesn’t match, that’s the ultimate act of deception,” the lead prosecutor Rachel Lieber said in the report. “That’s why it’s so important.”

But the news agencies report that they “turned up new evidence that challenges the FBI’s narrative of Ivins as a man with a guilty conscience who was desperately trying to avoid being discovered.”

“Records recently released under the Freedom of Information Act show that Ivins made available a total of four sets of samples from 2002 to 2004, double the number the FBI has disclosed,” the news report said. “And in subsequent FBI tests, three of the four sets ultimately tested positive for the” anthrax.’

The report suggested that the positive samples turned over to the FBI was proof that Ivins was not trying to deceive the FBI.

Paul Kemp, Ivins’ lawyer, said the existence of Ivins’ additional submissions discredits a key aspect of the FBI case, the report said.

“I wish I’d known that at the time,’’ he said.

The Justice Department has repeatedly dismissed any reports challenging its conclusion that Ivins was the culprit. The agency has said that the conclusion was based on multiple factors.

Read full report.

 

Fed Judge Explains Why He Gave Bernie Madoff 150 Years

Bernie Madoff

 
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Manhattan federal  judge who sentenced swindler Bernie Madoff has told the New York Times that he weighed different factors before handing out a 150 year sentence.

Madoff’s lawyer  Ira Lee Sorkin had tried to convince U.S. District Judge Denny Chin,57, to give a far lesser sentence. He cited, according to the Times, Madoff’s move to tell his sons, knowing he’d be turned in. And he argued that Madoff, who was then 71, would live about 13 years. So he asked for 12 “just short of an effective life sentence.” The Times reported that Sorkin also proposed 15 to 20 years.

“It’s a fair argument that you want to give someone some possibility of seeing the light of day,” the judge told the Times, “so that they have some hope, and something to live for.”

He said he immediately rejected a 12 year sentence, but struggled with the idea of dishing out 20 to 25  years before ultimately concluding:

“In the end, I just thought he didn’t deserve it,” he told the Times. “The benefits of giving him hope were far outweighed by all of the other considerations.”

The Times also interviewed Madoff, who commented on the sentence.

“Explain to me who else has received a sentence like that,” Madoff said in a phone interview with the Times from prison in  North Carolina. “I mean, serial killers get a death sentence, but that’s virtually what he gave me.”

“I’m surprised Chin didn’t suggest stoning in the public square,” he added.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

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