Podcast: President Trump’s deepening legal troubles

President Trump’s legal issues continue to mount, including whether he violated campaign finance laws when he allegedly directed his attorney, Micheal Cohen, to pay hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels. In this podcast from NPR, Steve Inskeep talks to Trump supporter Chris Buskirk, who runs the conservative publication American Greatness, about the president possibly being linked to campaign finance violations.

Podcast: How Michael Cohen protects Trump by making legal threats

Michael CohenMichael Cohen, an attorney for President Donald Trump, has a reputation for threatening people, especially journalists, to protect his most precious client. Cohen’s facing a lawsuit from adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims Cohen pressured her into signing a non-disclosure agreement about her alleged affair with Trump. As you may know, Cohen has also had his offices and home raided by the FBI. Now, a recording of Cohen threatening a reporter has been released. NPR‘s Tim Mak, who was working for The Daily Beast in 2015, has released a recording of Cohen making legal threats to him. You can listen to them below.





Podcast: How Michael Avenatti is changing his Trump legal strategy

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, attorney for Donald Trump

Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, with whom President Donald Trump is alleged to have had an affair, is broadening his case against Trump. Avenatti has released a report detailing the business affairs of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen. As you may recall, Cohen facilitated the payment of $130,000 to Daniels to purchase her silence regarding her involvement with Trump. In this podcast from The New Yorker, Adam Davidson talks with Dorothy Wickenden about Avenatti’s aggressive push beyond the hush money scandal to questions about Cohen selling access to the president.

Video: Former US Attorney says Cohen accepting Russian money wasn’t smart

Michael CohenFormer US Attorney Preet Bharara tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper that it’s odd for Trump attorney Michael Cohen to accept almost half a million dollars from a company linked to a Russian oligarch. Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, made the allegations that Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of Renova Group, routed the money to Essential Consultants, LLC, the company that paid hush money to Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged affair with President Donald Trump. Investigators for Robert Mueller have questioned Vekselberg about the payment. Vekselberg is on a list of Russians being sanctioned by the US for activities including election interference.

Video: Jeffrey Toobin says Team Trump not telling truth about Stormy payoff

The tempest surrounding a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels took another wild turn when Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the president didn’t know the details of the payoff. Giuliani also says Trump reimbursed lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment that Cohen claimed he made through a home equity loan, according to CNN. Now, the president is confirming the repayment in a Tweet:

In this video from CNN, analyst and author Jeffrey Toobin says the Trump legal  is shifting its story on the payoff:

Podcast: Examining the case against Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Michael CohenAfter sorting through the players in the case against Micheal Cohen, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers, it’s time to take a more thorough examination of the case itself. FBI agents raided Cohen’s office, home and hotel room and seized a cache of evidence that is now at the center of a fight over which parts of it may be used in the government’s case. National Public Radio produced this podcast about the case against Cohen.

The players in the Cohen case

Michael CohenWhile Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s work investigating the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia continues, much of the attention has been diverted to the FBI’s raid on Micheal Cohen’s office, home and hotel room. Cohen, you’ll recall, is one of Trump’s personal attorneys, and the man who facilitated a payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and may have been involved in the National Enquirer’s “catch and kill” of former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal’s story. Who’s who in this unfolding drama surrounding one of the president’s men? The Atlantic has a “definitive guide” to the key players, as this political drama unfolds.

Video: Attorney-client privilege 101: A lesson for Trump

attorney clientFollowing the FBI raid of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, the president and some conservative commentators have been bemoaning “the death of attorney-client privilege.” However, certain legal circumstances can circumvent attorney-client privilege. Cohen, you may recall, facilitated the payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels, with whom Trump allegedly had an affair. The Washington Post produced this video on attorney-client privilege 101.

Podcast: Trump calls FBI raid of his personal lawyer a ‘total witch hunt’

President Donald Trump vented his rage after the FBI raided the office of his personal attorney Michael Cohen, calling it “disgraceful,” “a total witch hunt,” and a “whole new level of unfairness,” according to NPR. Meanwhile, Politico reports that the FBI raid of Cohen’s office, home and hotel room would not have been done without serious consideration beforehand. The Washington Post reports that agents would have had to clear “a higher than normal bar” to obtain a warrant for the search. NPR has more on the president’s reaction to the raid:


For the latest on the fallout and reaction to the FBI raid, follow The Trial Lawyer magazine on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Parsing Trump’s lawyer’s words about that $130K payment

Just when you thought you’d heard all there was to tell about the payment of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels that President Trump’s personal lawyer “facilitated,” Michael Cohen, the aforementioned attorney, piped up with another statement regarding the alleged affair that all parties deny happened. At The Washington Post, columnist Paul Waldman says Cohen’s latest statement is interesting as much for what it doesn’t say as for what it does. Here’s what Waldman says is the key part from Cohen’s latest statement:

In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly. The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.

Waldman notes that Cohen doesn’t say he used his own money to make the payment; he “used his own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford,” which is Ms. Daniels’ real name. While Cohen takes pains to emphasize “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign” was involved, ethics experts say Cohen may have made an “in-kind” donation to the Trump campaign — implicating himself.

Another interesting thing is that there’s no denial that Trump himself may paid the hush money or reimbursed Cohen for the payment. Still another is this observation by Waldman, “Remember: The president may have had an affair with a porn star who was paid $130,000 in hush money to keep it quiet, and we treat it like it’s the third- or fourth-most scandalous thing that happened this week.”

You can read his complete analysis at The Post.