What A Surprise: Donald Trump Has An Unethical Lawyer!

One of these guys is Donald Trump's lawyer. Maybe both...

One of these guys is Donald Trump’s lawyer. Maybe both…

I realize I run the risk, by publishing this opinion, of Donald Trump’s thuggish, boorish, dolt of lawyer trying to “mess [my] life up … for as long as [I’m] on this frickin’ planet,” to put it in his well-measured, restrained and professional parlance. Well, so be it. Seldom do we see any lawyer befoul the image and dignity of his profession like Michael Cohen, Esquire, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, did yesterday responding to a Daily Beast story about the dirty linen aired during Trump’s divorce from Ivana Trump over 20 years ago.

Ivana then compared a sexual encounter with her husband to sexual assault and rape,  and The Daily Beast wrote about it, as if Trump wasn’t doing enough already to make any decent American head to the loo at the sight of him. So Trump appointed Cohen as his media spokesman on the matter—just think: he was the best and most professional of the candidates for the job!—and he said this to The Daily Beast…

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me? You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up … for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet … you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it.”

…as well as this:

“You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse. It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

The first statement is the kind of incivility and unprofessional conduct that some jurisdictions–not New York, of course—have found to be “prejudicial to the administration of justice” when engaged in during the course of litigation. Cohen is not strictly in breach of legal ethics rules by this kind of talk, which is more appropriate coming from a character in a Robert De Niro film—but it is still unethical, and wildly unprofessional.

The second statement, however, is incompetent. I wonder how many spousal abusers heard this pronouncement and proceeded to rape their wives on the authority of  Trump’s legal counsel? You can rape your wife, and it is a crime–rape, in fact— in the vast, vast majority of states. Proclaiming to the media that sexual assault isn’t a crime when it is and has been for a very, very long time? You can’t be a more reckless, irresponsible, incompetent lawyer than that.

Since he was Trump’s choice to speak for him, we can assume, can we not, that Cohen would be at the top of  President-Elect Trumps short lists for Attorney General or White House Counsel?

Groovy.

Any self-respecting Presidential hopeful with a respect for the media and the public would have fired this clod within 20 seconds of hearing his embarrassing comments, but you know—Trump. So Cohen got to issue an apology, and goes the full Pazuzu:

“As an attorney, husband and father there are many injustices that offend me but nothing more than charges of rape or racism. They hit me at my core. Rarely am I surprised by the press, but the gall of this particular reporter to make such a reprehensible and false allegation against Mr. Trump truly stunned me. In my moment of shock and anger, I made an inarticulate comment – which I do not believe — and which I apologize for entirely.”

I suppose it is cruel to point out that this is also an inarticulate comment. Charges of rape or racism offend him even when they are legitimate? Is he apologizing for the comment being inarticulate, or for the fact that he didn’t believe it? If he in the habit of saying things he doesn’t believe while practicing law, that is a breach of the ethics rules: it’s called dishonesty (Rule 8.4). Also, what didn’t he believe? That raping your wife isn’t rape, or that he is going to take journalists to court for reporting Trump’s wife’s allegations, or both?

Pazuzu apologies—that is, when someone claims that words escaped their mouth for no apparent reason, as if they were possessed by Linda Blair’s occupant in “The Exorcist,” the demon Pazuzu— are dishonest apologies, making this a bottom of the barrel, Level 10 on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale. Why would a lawyer emphatically misstate the law in public if he didn’t believe what he was saying was correct? He wouldn’t. Cohen didn’t know what the law is on spousal rape, and believed he was correct.

For anyone who for some bizarre reason isn’t already convinced that Donald Trump is as qualified to be President as the average tolltaker in the Lincoln Tunnel, this is good test. Donald says that he is a tough boss who demands competence and a high level of performance from all employees. If Michael Cohen still has his job by this time next week, you’ll know how seriously to take that claim.

31 thoughts on “What A Surprise: Donald Trump Has An Unethical Lawyer!

  1. “Donald says that he is a tough boss who demands competence and a high level of performance from all employees. If Michael Cohen still has his job by this time next week, you’ll know how seriously to take that claim.”

    I already take it about as seriously as his continued claim he’s worth more than $10B. Donald Trump is more proof that we shouldn’t be barred from using the word “thug”, and also proof that no amount of money can buy class.

  2. So, the guy doesn’t score moxie points for putting a milquetoast reporter in his place like that tranny who threatened to send the other milquetoast from Breitbart “home in an ambulance?”

  3. I’m Michael L. Cohen, and have practiced criminal law in South Florida for 39 years primarily in Palm Beach County, but I do not represents Donald Trump. That’s the other guy, who has not kept up with current criminal law concerning spousal rape. About 40 years ago it may have been the law in some states that it was implied that a spouse consents to having sex with the other, but it has not been the law for a very long time.
    In fact I wrote a recent op ed in the Palm Beach Post, chastising Mr. Trump for attacking Senator John McCain for not being a real war hero. However, I wrote an earlier letter to the Post that was not published stating that the media was helping Mr. Trump’s campaign bid by relentlessly attacking him for being an alleged racist resulting from his comments about some undocumented illegal Mexican immigrants have committed violent acts, which some have, like every other ethnic group legal or illegal.
    I don’t believe Mr. Trump is a racist, because he deals with and employs thousands of people from almost every country in the world, including Mexico. I know people who know and work for him from different backgrounds, and never heard any of them say he treated them poorly for reasons of ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. I met him twice at two of his Mar-A-Lago parties many years ago. I said hi to him twice and he basically ignored me me twice. He may have nodded once in my direction one of those times. He can pick and choose whom every he wants to say hi or talk to.
    Mr. Trump has an ego as big and as long as Wall Street, but you need an ego to run for and be president, but it should be tempered some warm fuzzy feelings and compassion from time to time. His kind of style, is not my kind of style, which is probably whey he has made so much more money than I have. That’s Ok. I respect money making, but I don’t respect bullying tactics, verbal or physical.
    Here is the rub, in attacking Mr. Trump and his surrogates, the media is actually helping his campaign more than hurting it as an unintended consequence by doing the using hyperbolic verbal and written attacks similar to his and his surrogate’s “take no prisoners” attack style.
    Remember, everyone makes mistakes even politicos, lawyers and news media types. It seems that almost everyone is so passionate about their positions, it makes them really angry when some one disagrees
    Michael L. Cohen, Attorney

    • I know people who know and work for him from different backgrounds, and never heard any of them say he treated them poorly for reasons of ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.

      I bet he lets them use his bathroom.

      Calling Trump a racist based on his racist comments (that he freaking doubled down on) isn’t hyperbole. While he may treat individual people of a certain class well, his comments about the class as a whole cannot be denied.

      Remember, everyone makes mistakes even politicos, lawyers and news media types. It seems that almost everyone is so passionate about their positions, it makes them really angry when some one disagrees

      And so, we tend to forgive people who sincerely apologize. When Trump or this attorney do that, you might have a point here.

      • Can you point to some articles that show that Trump is on par with racists in terms of actual racist comments? My google search is only finding the opposite. I realize this could just be more people on the anti-Trump side, so could you help me out.

        Also? Trump’s comments have been claimed to be racist but just calling something racist doesn’t make it so… definitely not racist as actual racist comments.

        You probably missed this exceptional take down of the racism claims.

        • Can you point to some articles that show that Trump is on par with racists in terms of actual racist comments?

          The one set of racist comments and his repeated back of them is good enough for me.

          I did miss the takedown, but a quick skim shows that it’s pretty bad.

          For instance: “there is nothing racist about saying that illegal immigrants are not Mexico’s best. They are overwhemingly poor, uneducated, and have a significant criminal component. If the Mexicans coming into the U.S. were Mexico’s best, you can be sure Mexico wouldn’t be pushing so hard for them to keep coming. Mexico has a border too, you know.”

          Poor and uneducated? Yes. Significant criminal component? Uh, no. Illegal immigrants commit crimes at a significantly lower rate than the general population. Makes sense as they know any crime can get them deported.

          And that’s after Jack does his best to sanitize the actual words Trump uses, words that Trump doubled down on. Trump actually claimed that the majority of people coming are rapists, drug dealers, and, generally, undesirables.

          Then there’s the whole thing that Jack ignores about “Sending people”. Mexico and Latin American countries are not sending people to the U.S. They aren’t pushing people to enter the U.S. That’s complete bullshit. People are coming to the U.S. because it’s a better place for them to live.

          Sorry, but Trump’s comments there were extremely racist.

          • You do know that 100% of illegal immigrants break the law right?

            You do know that saying “such and such a country is sending their people” may be incorrect in that they aren’t actully sending their people. But that isn’t a racist comment, you know that right? You need to get your hypersensitivity levels down about a hundred notches.

            You do know that until Trump asserts that they are criminals because they are Latino, not that they are criminals of Latino origin, he hasn’t made a racist comment.

            Your typical incapacity for rational thought is showing through, though it seems even worse these days.

            • You do know that 100% of illegal immigrants break the law right?

              Yes. They break the law to enter the country. But the “signficiant criminal component” was clearly not referencing that. It was referencing the rapists and drug dealers, as opposed to, the assumed, few, good people.

              You do know that saying “such and such a country is sending their people” may be incorrect in that they aren’t actully sending their people. But that isn’t a racist comment, you know that right? You need to get your hypersensitivity levels down about a hundred notches.

              I agree that phrasing isn’t explictly racist. It’s false, and it’s used to back the false, racist comments that trump was making.

              You do know that until Trump asserts that they are criminals because they are Latino, not that they are criminals of Latino origin, he hasn’t made a racist comment.

              Read between the lines. He’s saying that most of them are criminals, and his reason for them being criminals is that they are coming from Mexico and Latin America. He supposes that some of them might be good, but he thinks the people crossing the border, dark skinned people, are generally bad. He didn’t mention any other illegal immigrants, did he? Only ones that are mainly Latino, who are already stereotyped as rapists and drug dealers. It’s also, again, flat out false that illegal immigrants commit more crimes than the population at large.

              I also referenced Trump’s doubling down:

              “I can never apologize for the truth. I don’t mind apologizing for things. But I can’t apologize for the truth. I said tremendous crime is coming across. Everybody knows that’s true. And it’s happening all the time. So, why, when I mention, all of a sudden I’m a racist. I’m not a racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”

              And

              “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

              The best you can say about Trump’s statements is that 1) they are false, and 2) they could have been said without being racist.

              If Trump had apologized for the way he made his comments, this would have been much less of a deal. We’d be focusing on simply the stupidity of his comments instead of the racial stupidity of his comments. Instead, he doubled down on his comments and added things like this: “I said tremendous crime is coming across. Everybody knows that’s true. And it’s happening all the time. So, why, when I mention, all of a sudden I’m a racist.” When in reality, that’s false, and the people who believe such overlap very heavily with people who are racist.

              • So you had to add the meaning you wanted for Trump to be racist…and add words yourself. You sure are self-deluded. Of course, I thought it would take longer to force you to make a strawman, but you did it quite rapidly.

                Thanks!

                His words most certainly were bait to flush people like you, but his comments weren’t racist for all the reasons I showed. Just saying “racist” doesn’t make it so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.