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Michael Cohen Files for Restraining Order to Silence Michael Avenatti

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Avenatti Has Become Known for His Ubiquitous Appearance on Cable News

President Donald Trump’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen filed for a restraining order Thursday night against Michael Avenatti to prevent him from speaking publicly about the case of his client, Stormy Daniels.

The legal motion was first reported by Emily Jane Fox of Vanity Fair.

Avenatti represents Daniels, a porn star whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in her lawsuit against Cohen and Trump which aims to overturn a hush money agreement she signed to stay quiet about an affair she says she had with the president. Avenatti has become a staple of cable news in recent months and frequently criticizes Trump and Cohen on air.

The court documents read as follows:

Defendant Michael Cohen (“Mr. Cohen”) will and hereby does move ex parte for an order restraining Plaintiff’s counsel of record, Michael Avenatti, from communicating with the pros and/or public regarding the merits of this case.

As this Court has probably already surmised, Ms. Avenatti’s actions are mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity. Mr. Avenatti’s publicity tour, wherein he routinely denigrates Mr. Cohen with claims of alleged criminal conduct, is contrary to the California Rules of Professional Conduct, likely to result in Mr. Cohen being deprived of his right to a fair trial, and threatens to turn what should be a solemn Federal Court proceeding into a media circus.

Avenatti responded to the motion on Twitter in short order.

“The motion for a gag order is a complete joke and baseless,” he said. “Mr. Cohen and Brent Blakely can’t deal with the truth, the facts, and the law, so they have to resort to unethical, meritless motions. This must be their birthday present to Mr. Trump.”

 

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Trump Administration Claims Reuniting Families Is a ‘Burden.’

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A detention facility in McAllen, Texas

As part of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Administration officials have admitted that it would take too much effort to reunite families the government separated before it implemented its zero-tolerance policy towards asylum seekers and others that the government enacted last April.

The administration also does not refute a report from the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services released in January that claims “thousands” more families had been separated that had previously been mentioned, and that family separations were ongoing prior to the formal introduction of the policies that have led to 2,800 children being separated from their families from April to June of 2018. 

HHS has also said that they simply do not know how many children have been separated from their parents — and that because no one implemented any form of record keeping on these separations, it would be an undue “burden” to do so.

Jallyn Sualog,  deputy director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said that, “In my judgment, ORR does not have the requisite staff for such a project,” indicating that it would take 100 analysis from the ORR without full eight-hour days somewhere between 7-15 months to “even begin reconciling” the requisite data.

“The Trump administration’s response is a shocking concession that it can’t easily find thousands of children it ripped from parents and doesn’t even think it’s worth the time to locate each of them,” said ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt, via a statement. “The administration also doesn’t dispute that separations are ongoing in significant numbers.”

A Federal Court required that the government reunify all separated families with 30 days last June. By September, the government told the court it has reunified or released 2,167 of the total 2,551 children under 5 that had been separated from parents. It is unclear how many more children may now me wholly lost within the system.

Public Domain image by US Customs and BorderPatrol via Wikimedia Commons 

 

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Republican Claims Blacks and Whites Were Lynched at Equal Rates in MLK Day Message

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A Colorado state representative chose Martin Luther King Jr. day to promote a blatant and racist falsehood.

The Greeley Tribune reports that Rep. Lori Saine claimed blacks and whites were lynched for being Republican in similar numbers.

Saine made the statements Friday on the floor of the Colorado House. She posted footage of her speech to Facebook Monday, and noted that it was meant to bolster House District 49 Rep. Perry Buck, who tried to introduce a resolution honoring King.

“How could I honor Martin Luther King today without shining a light on injustice myself?” Saine said. “My colleagues, how can you redeem your marginalized voice by marginalizing ours? Our march toward justice is not over when a colleague of ours is barred from introducing a resolution on this floor because of the color of her skin.”

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Ted Cruz Questions Need for Notes From Trump-Putin Translator

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Ted Cruz on Meet The Press

In a discussion on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) claims it is “premature” to ask for a transcript from a translator who attended a private meeting between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. 

The Washington Post reported yesterday that there exists no detailed record of the five meetings the president has had with the Russian President, and that Trump has gone to “extraordinary lengths” to prevent any word of his discussions become public. This included confiscating the notes of the interpreter, and disallowing them from discussing the meetings with anyone else, including other officials in the administration.

Questions have swirled around Trump and his connections with Russia since his campaign, with the FBI, and later Robert Mueller, actively examining ties between the President and the government of Russia.

Never the less, Cruz remains nonplussed, feeling that it is “premature” to subpoena the translator’s notes. 

“I think it’s premature for that,” said Cruz. “I’ve seen the allegations. I want to find out a little bit more about what happened there. I want to learn more than just the allegations in the press.”

“Listen, I would say if you compare, objectively, President Trump’s policies to Russia to President Obama’s policies to Russia, by any measure, President Obama was much easier — was much more gentle on Russia,” added Cruz.

Trump  did sign a bill passed through congress in 2017, designed to enforce sanctions against Russia, only to bypass the deadline to enact those same sanctions. He has also moved to reduce US presence in Syria, seem as a move that will benefit Russia and their allies over US interests.

Cruz ran against Trump in the 2016 election, and was at the receiving end of some of the president’s  sharpest barbs. Trump promoted a conspiracy theory that Cruz’s own father had a hand in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and also attacked the appearance of his wife. 

Nevertheless, Cruz has shown himself to be loyal to Trump as president.

View the full exchange below:

Image via screen capture from video source.

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