The Friday Whine is a casual email to friends and colleagues and contains two things: An ethics update, and a wine recommendation. If you see text in blue, it is a link to an article or information.
This is Not My Goat
I don’t remember where I first heard it, maybe law school, maybe later, but there’s a thing that goes: this is not my goat, and if it is my goat, I didn’t know it was my goat, and if I knew it was my goat, that’s not my property, and if it is my property, I didn’t kill the goat, and if I did kill the goat, it was in self-defense.
It’s every defense to a crime – That’s not mine, if it is, I had no knowledge, if I had knowledge, I had no control, and if I had knowledge and control, I didn’t do it, and if I did, I had a good reason.
It kind of sounds like this:
So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,… ….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!
1. It was a simple private transaction
2. It wasn’t a campaign contribution
3. Even if it was, it’s not criminal, it’s civil
4. But even if it was civil, it was “done correctly by a lawyer”
5. And if the lawyer made a mistake and it wasn’t “done correctly”, it’s the “lawyer’s liability”
Weird how those silly little things you learn early on, sometimes later become important.
Of course I want to concentrate on 4 and 5.
In layman’s terms – if I violated the law in any way, it’s my lawyer’s fault, because he told me how to do this.
The President then said this, on twitter, to clarify his defense:
I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made.
There’s just one small problem, advice of counsel, is, as I mentioned, a defense, and the only time you need a defense, is when you are a defendant. Prosecutors have to deal with advice of counsel defenses in criminal cases, and they have several options.
1. Determine that the client was an idiot and had no reason to believe they were doing anything wrong and let the client go.
2. Find evidence that the client knew or should have known their conduct was wrong, despite the advice of counsel.
3. Indict the lawyer for using their law license to commit a crime and then indict the client and say “now you can have the guy.
The other issue here, is that there is pretty strong evidence that the President lied about this. That famous interview on Air Force One where he was asked about the hush money payment/campaign finance violation and said “no,” that he “knew about it later…” Appears now that he knew about it earlier, like before it was done.
Michael Cohen’s “liability” is incorrectly characterized by the President. Michael Cohen’s “liability” for conspiring with the President to commit a campaign finance violation is that he’s now a convicted felon and going to prison for three years. He’s also not going to be a lawyer anymore, and his own comments indicate he’s not done talking. At his sentencing he stated that he now had his “freedom” back. Stay tuned for much more from Michael Cohen, without the burden of having to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The President’s thought that this is a civil case is out the door. And if he thinks this is a civil issue, and that Michael Cohen has civil liability for giving bad advice, he can file a malpractice suit.
And subject himself to a deposition.
None of this is really going the way he wants it to go.
“Sitting Around” Wines
I keep recommending this wine, and keep getting great feedback. It’s a winner, and it’s $12.97. Drinks like a $25 Cabernet (that’s a good thing).
Step away from the Kim Crawford and Whitehaven. This is a few more dollars, and one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs.
Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Molly will love this. Sweet, white, cheap. Buy a bunch.
Let me start with this wine has been on the Morton’s by-the-glass wine list. You can tell your people that if it helps you. This Cotes du Rhone is a nice, light red that will go well with just about anything, or anyone.