Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was seen smoking cigars on Manhattan bench with his friends while the lawyers waited for him inside the court. After pictures of Cohen circulated online, it was discovered that one of his friends photographed was accused of racially abusing a parking attendant who was black.
Cohen’s buddy, Jerry Rotonda, a Deutsche Bank executive, threatened to run the attendant over with his car because she was black.
In 1998, Rotonda, was charged with violating the civil rights of Shirlene Pierce who had placed a $20 ticket on his Audi for an expired meter in Boston. According to press reports from the court case, Rotanda spewed racist slur at the woman.
“I hope I see you crossing the street so I can run your n***** ass over,” he said.
The victim accused Rotonda, who was then 31-years-old, of calling her “a stupid n*****,” saying “I’ll slap that stupid n***** grin off your face.” He also said, “Don’t come to Kenmore Square where decent people live, city n***** scum. Go back to Dorchester where monkey n***** live.”
A year later, Judge Edward Redd of Roxbury District Court found there was enough information to find Rotanda guilty in the civil rights case, however he accepted a request from the bank executive to keep the case going for a year without finding him guilty.
The judge said he should receive “unsupervised probation” for one year, ordered that Rotanda must not make any contact with Pierce, required him to make publically apologize to Pierce in front of her colleagues, and must make a payment of $5,000 to her.
However, the prosecutors in Boston were not pleased with the judge’s decision. They appealed to the state’s supreme judicial court, which discovered that the order to make Rotonda pay Pierce money was apparently not lawful.
After the case was sent back to the lower court, Redd closed it. Surprisingly he didn’t issue any punishment for Rotonda. The Roxbury District Court judge also ordered Pierce to return his $5,000.
Nevertheless, setting him free from all these charges doesn’t change the fact that he was a racist.
Meanwhile, Stormy Daniel’s lawyer has accused one of the friends in the cigar smoking photograph to have unspecified ties with Russia.
“Michael Cohen was videotaped and photographed sitting with a number of men,” Michael Avenatti said. “We believe that a number of those actually had ties, Russian ties, as crazy as that sounds. This story gets more strange and more strange by the day. You couldn’t make this up if you wanted to,” he continued.
Photo of Michael Cohen taken by my NY colleague Lawrence Crook- who reports that he’s sitting outside the Loews Regency now with a group of friends smoking cigars pic.twitter.com/5DzcHpOvE5— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) April 13, 2018
Over the years President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has unflinchingly taken drastic measures to keep his boss’s secrets out of the public eye. But lately, the lawyer has been facing the real price of client loyalty.
No wonder he took a time out and smoked cigars on Manhattan bench with his friends while the lawyers waited for him in the court. In fact, the judge was reportedly upset about his absence.
When your boss is the POTUS, that too Trump, it is hardly surprising that Cohen cared little about the law and order.
According to CNN, Cohen told photographers who captured him smoking cigars with his friends to send all the great pictures they’d taken of him to his mother.
Nevertheless, it has been a tumultuous week for the Trump’s lawyer.
In the beginning of it, the Federal Bureau of Investigationraided the offices and homes of Cohen in a dramatic new development in a series of probes involving close Trump associates.According to Cohen's lawyer Stephen Ryan, federal agents executed search warrants "and seized the privileged communications" between Cohen and his client— Trump, who has been Cohen’s only client for years.
Commander-in-chief’s personal lawyer has been in a center of maelstrom surrounding a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for months now. The latter, has alleged that she had sex once in 2006 with Trump and was paid money shortly before the 2016 U.S. presidential election to keep quiet about it.
More importantly, among the things the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan sought in the raids were information on the origins of a $130,000 payment to Daniels.
Though the status of the relationship between the porn star and the president remains tentative, Trump and Cohen’s lawyers went to court in an effort to stop the Justice Department from reading seized documents. Although Cohen was not technically required to be there, a judge seemed upset that he didn’t appear.
While Cohen enjoyed a beautiful day outside, puffing on a cigar with his friends, his attorney inside the court struggled to answer crucial questions of the judge.
"I need more time to really analyze that question," Cohen attorney says in response to how many clients Cohen had with whom he had attorney-client privilege.— erica orden (@eorden) April 13, 2018
The judge wasn’t pleased with the vague answers, as according to the reporters present in the court, the judge told Cohen’s lawyer“Your inability to answer these questions suggest to me that your client, Mr. Cohen, should be in court with you next time.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, a prosecutor asked the judge to deny Cohen’s emergency stay Friday, saying, “This has clearly been a delay tactic from the outset.”
The judge has summoned Cohen in the coming week.
The 51-year old lawyer, who mostly operates from behind the scenes couldn’t escape the attention of the special counsel and Congressional investigators ever since the news of hush payment to the porn star surfaced.
With the FBI’s raid threatening to expose the details behind those dealings, and ongoing criminal investigation, it is understandable why Trump’s fiercely loyal attorney felt the need to spend a casual afternoon with his friends.
Banner / Thumbnail : REUTERS / Jeenah Moon