Michael Cohen conviction: Cases in former Trump fixer's appeal may not exist, judge says

ByAaron Katersky ABCNews logo
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Michael Cohen testifies against former boss Donald Trump
N.J. Burkett is live with the latest details in Donald Trump's civil fraud case.

NEW YORK -- Former President Donald Trump's onetime fixer Michael Cohen sought an early end to his supervised release based on case law that may not exist, according to a federal judge in New York.

Cohen, who went to federal prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations, cited three decisions in his petition for early termination of supervised release. However, Judge Jesse Furman said, "As far as the Court can tell, none of these cases exist."

Furman said he was not alone in being unable to find cases that Cohen cited. He contacted the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which purportedly affirmed each of the decisions, and the clerk there could not find the cases.

RELATED: Appeals court denies President Trump's 'presidential immunity' argument in E. Jean Carroll case

Cohen's current lawyer, Danya Perry, said she could not find the cases either, writing to the judge, "While several cases were cited in the initial Motion filed by different counsel, undersigned counsel was not engaged at that time and must inform the Court that it has been unable to verify those citations."

Furman ordered Cohen's former lawyer, David Schwartz, to provide copies of the cases he cited by early next week. He also ordered Schwartz to explain whether Cohen himself played any role in the apparent deception.

"If he is unable to do so, Mr. Schwartz shall, by the same date, show cause in writing why he should not be sanctioned," Furman said. "Any such submission shall take the form of a sworn declaration and shall provide, among other things, a thorough explanation of how the motion came to cite cases that do not exist and what role, if any, Mr. Cohen played in drafting or reviewing the motion before it was filed."

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.