Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen tells Tom Arnold he's not guilty of some crimes that he pleaded guilty to – CNBC

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told actor Tom Arnold last month that he is not guilty of some of the crimes to which he pleaded guilty to last year after breaking with Trump.

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The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Arnold recorded Cohen in a March 25 phone call telling him that he did not evade taxes, and saying that a criminal charge related to misstating his financial status for his home equity line of credit was “a lie.”

The paper’s story online included audio portions of that 36-minute call, which the Journal said Arnold had provided. Arnold told the paper he recorded Cohen, who is due to begin serving a three-year prison sentence on May 6, without his knowledge.

“I’m a man all alone, and I shouldn’t be alone anymore after more than 100 hours of testimony,” Cohen said, referring to his cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller, other federal prosecutors and multiple congressional committees.

Cohen, 52, told Arnold on that call that he pleaded guilty to those charges because federal prosecutors in New York City “had me on campaign finance” — another crime that he had pleaded to — and because those prosecutors were targeting his wife.

“I love this woman, and I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap,” Cohen said. “And I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”

The actor has produced a series of online videos entitled “Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold,” which offered viewers “the search for the truth behind the many rumored and potentially damaging recordings of President Donald Trump.”

Cohen, like other criminal defendants, told a judge last year when he pleaded guilty that he was doing so because he was actually guilty of the crimes.

Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis said Wednesday that “Michael has taken responsibility for his crimes and will report to prison to serve his sentence. While he cannot change the past, he is making every effort to reclaim his life and do right by his family and country. He meant no offense by his statements.”

Davis later issued another statement, saying, “Nothing said by Mr. Cohen to Tom Arnold contradicts Mr. Cohen’s previous defense attorney, Guy Petrillo, in his sentencing memorandum to the presiding federal US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III back in December.”

“I would also add the important words used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others, in describing Michael Cohen’s cooperation and testimony as “credible” addressing the “core” issues involved in his investigation,” Davis said.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to eight federal crimes, five of which were for evading personal income taxes, and one connected to his home equity line of credit.

The other crimes were related to Cohen having facilitated hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, to keep them quiet about their claims of having sexual affairs with Trump. Cohen also admitted to lying to Congress about details of an ultimately aborted plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

During his call with Arnold, Cohen complained, “My family’s happiness, and my law license … I lost my business…my insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star?”

“That’s really what this is about.”

Trump has denied having sex with either Daniels or McDougal.

The White House had no immediate comment on the Journal’s story. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment.

Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, blasted Cohen on Twitter.

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Why Facebook is paying a fine of $3 billion to $5 billion (FB)

Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook is estimating that it could be subject to a $3 billion to $5 billion fine by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to the company’s earnings report filed on Wednesday. 
  • The fine could come as a result of Facebook violating a 2011 agreement with the FTC regarding consumer privacy. 
  • As part of that agreement, Facebook agreed to get users’ consent before sharing their data with third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica. It also agreed to take steps to better protect users’ data.
  • The FTC began investigating the social-media giant in March 2018 after news of Facebook’s mishandling of user data in the case of Cambridge Analytica became public. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook said it plans to pay a fine of $3 billion to $5 billion for potentially violating a previous settlement with federal regulators over the social network’s privacy practices. 

“In the first quarter of 2019, we reasonably estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3.0 billion in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices,” Facebook said in its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday.

“The matter remains unresolved, and there can be no assurance as to the timing or the terms of any final outcome,” Facebook said. 

Facebook didn’t provide details about the inquiry or the specific data practices under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

So what is Facebook expecting to pay all this money for? 

The FTC began investigating the social-media giant in March 2018 after its mishandling of user data, according to reports. That incident involved the Trump-linked political-research firm Cambridge Analytica, which misappropriated personal information of tens of millions of Facebook members for use in targeted political ads. 

But that’s just one of many privacy missteps by Facebook in recent years, including a hacking incident that left the personal information of 30 million users exposed. Business Insider’s Rob Price reported this month that Facebook also uploaded the email contact information of 1.5 million new users without informing them or seeking their consent. 

Which of these incidents are covered by the $3 billion to $5 billion fine, and which are not, will be crucial for Facebook and its investors going forward. 

The settlement that Facebook may have violated was reached in 2011 over separate charges of privacy violations. As a part of that agreement — known as a consent decree — Facebook agreed to get users’ consent before sharing their data with third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica. It also agreed to take steps to better protect users’ data.

Reports of the potential fine became public in February, but no figures were given at the time other than estimates that it could be in the “multibillion-dollar” range. Facebook’s call out of the fine in its earnings report confirms earlier estimates, though no definite numbers will be known until a settlement with the FTC is reached or the case goes to trial. 

Facebook finished the first quarter of 2019 with $45 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Shares of Facebook jumped 5% in after-hours trading, to $192, on Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: Facebook expects to be hit with $3-5 billion fine by the FTC, as it beats Wall Street’s revenue expectations for Q1

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TV shows ‘Bones’ and ‘Criminal Minds’ cross political divides, a new study finds – Los Angeles Times

The study also found that, in comparison to a similar study conducted 10 years ago, Americans who were diametrically opposed in 2008 are showing signs of shifting — generally toward moderate views — on nine key issues: environment, regulation of business, privacy around new technologies, public education, guns, marriage, abortion, helping the poor, and tax reductions.

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Man accused of harassing N.D.G. mayor annoying but not criminal, lawyer says – Montreal Gazette

Sue Montgomery “is not even trying to avoid him. How can the court determine she had fear of Robin Edgar?” the defence asks.

Robert "Robin" Edgar waits for his hearing at the courthouse in Montreal on Tuesday February 26, 2019.

Robert “Robin” Edgar waits for his hearing at the courthouse in Montreal Feb. 26, 2019.

Allen McInnis / Montreal Gazette

The lawyer representing a man charged with harassing Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough Mayor Sue Montgomery before and after the most recent municipal election conceded on Wednesday that his client can be annoying, but also argued he never caused her to fear for her safety.

Robert “Robin” Edgar, 59, faces three criminal harassment charges involving incidents that occurred between Oct. 17, 2017, and Aug. 20, 2018, during Montgomery’s election campaign and her work as borough mayor after Nov. 5, 2017. Edgar showed up at debates Montgomery took part in, filmed her and made comments to her during two debates, and later showed up at council meetings to ask rambling questions about her.

As was explained to Quebec Court Judge Flavia Longo during the two-day trial, Edgar’s history with Montgomery dates back at least 18 years. Since 1998, he has held protests outside a Unitarian church in N.D.G. to protest against “clergy abuse.” When members of the church voted to have him removed from the congregation, he asked Montgomery, who attended the same church and was a reporter with the Montreal Gazette at the time, to write about what happened. Montgomery declined to do the story because, she said, Edgar could not provide a coherent reason for his protests. In response, Edgar has, for many years, alleged that Montgomery is part of a coverup of what he is protesting.

Defence lawyer Jordan Trevick said on Wednesday that he could not challenge the basic facts of the case.

“I admit I’d probably be bothered, too, if it happened to me. But is it criminal harassment? No it is not,” Trevick said while adding later, “Whether he is right or wrong, he did not cause her to fear for her safety.

“He might be totally false, but it is still protected under the Charter (of Rights and Freedoms).”

To support his argument, Trevick pointed to an incident that occurred March 18, 2018, when Montgomery showed up for a service on a Sunday and noticed Edgar had put up his usual collection of protest signs and was standing on a sidewalk in front of the place of worship. Montgomery testified she was frustrated at that point and believed Edgar had breached one of the conditions imposed on him when she filed her initial complaint. Edgar recorded her as she knocked down his signs and called the police.

Trevick argued that Montgomery could have chosen to avoid Edgar that day by entering the church by a back entrance.

“She is not even trying to avoid him. How can the court determine she had fear of Mr. Edgar?” Trevick said.

Prosecutor Sarah-Audrey Daigneault countered that any reasonable person would fear for their life, especially when taking into consideration the length of time Edgar has been making his claims.

He was fixated on her. He was obsessed,” Daigneault said. 

“He just had a personal vendetta for her (when he asked his questions at city hall last year).”

The prosector argued that Edgar went beyond his right to free speech and his right to protest and noted that, during the time frame in question, he posted comments about Montgomery on social media on an almost daily basis. At the start of the trial, Montreal police investigator Christopher Audy testified about Edgar’s social media profiles. He noted that, as of Dec. 17, Edgar had sent out more than 243,000 tweets.

“His (Twitter) profile is very voluminous. To give you a comparison, (U.S. President) Donald Trump who is known to tweet a lot, has 41,000 tweets,” Audy said.

Longo said she will deliver her decision on June 13.


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Facebook hired a top State Department lawyer to be its new general counsel (FB)

jennifer newstead facebook

Facebook has finally found a new general counsel — hiring Jennifer Newstead, a top lawyer at the US State Department, to fill the role.

The social network’s previous general counsel, Colin Stretch, originally announced his intention to leave in July 2018. But as the California company lurched from scandal to scandal, he ended up staying on. He will continue to be with Facebook “through the summer to help with the transition,” the company said on Monday.

Newstead most recently served as a legal adviser for the US State Department, “overseeing work on all domestic and international legal issues affecting the conduct of US foreign policy,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the news

She joins Facebook at a time of extreme upheaval. Over the last two years the company has faced successive crises, from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to its role spreading hate speech that fueled genocide in Myanmar. Public attitudes towards big tech — and Facebook specifically — have soured accordingly, with increasing calls for stricter legislation or even antitrust measures.

“I’m excited to be joining Facebook at an important time and working with such a fantastic team,” she said in a statement. “Facebook’s products play an important role in societies around the world. I am looking forward to working with the team and outside experts and regulators on a range of legal issues as we seek to uphold our responsibilities and shared values.”

On Monday, Facebook also announced a new vice president of global communications — John Pinette, the former VP of marketing and communications at Vulcan, who has also worked at Google and Bill Gates’ Gates Ventures. He replaced Caryn Marooney, who announced her exit in February 2019.

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SEE ALSO: Watch Bill Gates tear up the dance floor at a Miami club

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Criminal Minds Season 15 release date, plot, and what to expect – Hiptoro

Criminal Minds season 15 fans are experiencing a bittersweet moment, as the show begins to wrap up its journey of nearly 15 years with the release of the upcoming season.

It appears that the end of the journey will be marked by revisiting some of the earlier stories in the series, going over old case files and reconnecting with criminals and forwards from way back when.

Criminal Minds season 15 theories and speculations

Criminal Minds season 15

Criminal Minds season 15One of the most interesting speculations about the upcoming season is the continuation of the love story between JJ and Reid, which started in the last season. The last few moments of the season finale showed that the two were in fact romantically attracted towards each other.

We are also curious to know how the story of Penelope Garcia will wrap up in Criminal Minds season 15. The character has been a major face since the pilot and we are all curious to know how things end for her.

There was certainly a moment of fear among fans when rumours flew that the show will be canceled after season 14. This was attributed to the fact that the number of episodes in the 14th season was way less than the earlier seasons. The rumour was fueled when CBS did not recommission the 15th season until the beginning of 2019.

Open ending on the horizon?

criminal minds season 15 ending

criminal minds season 15 endingShowrunner Messer talked about how they want to end the season. He said,

“There’s also a way to undo that little ribbon and open it up again and keep telling stories because we’re never going to run out of good guys catching bad guys. I would love to be able to see this brand live on for a very long time.”

We’ll just have to wait until Criminal Minds season 15 airs to see what happens.

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Tim Cook said Apple's fight with the FBI in 2016 was a 'very rigged case,' and he wishes it went to court (AAPL)

tim cook

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed by the visiting Harvard professor Nancy Gibbs at the Time 100 event on Tuesday.
  • Gibbs asked Cook about privacy because of Apple‘s privacy battle with the Justice Department over assisting the FBI in unlocking an iPhone.
  • Cook said he wished the case went to court, calling it “a very rigged case to begin with.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In an interview with the visiting Harvard professor Nancy Gibbs at the Time 100 event on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he wished his company’s fight with the FBI over the ability to unlock an iPhone had actually gone to court.

“Our battle was over whether or not the government could force Apple to create a tool that could put hundreds of millions of people at risk in order to get into a phone — and we said no, the law does not support the government having the authority to do that,” Cook told Gibbs.

In December 2015, the FBI obtained an iPhone 5C used by one of the two people behind the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and injured 22 others. The police killed the two attackers in a shootout, and the FBI was unable to get into the password-protected phone it recovered.

The National Security Agency was unable to unlock it, however, so the FBI asked Apple to help build a new operating system that could be installed on the phone and disable its security features — something Cook at the time called the “software equivalent of cancer.”

Apple opposed the request, citing the security and privacy risks it would pose to other customers, and a hearing was scheduled for March 22.

But just one day before the scheduled hearing, the government said it found a third party that could help unlock the iPhone, and it delayed the hearing. The FBI formally withdrew its request to Apple one week later.

“I wish that case went to court, to be honest,” Cook said on Tuesday. “It was dropped the day before, and now after the inspector-general reports have come out, our worst fears have been confirmed: that it was a very rigged case to begin with.”

san bernardino

The report Cook alluded to, published by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General in March 2018, found that “there were misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions” among people working on the case at the FBI and that Apple’s involvement wasn’t actually necessary in the first place.

The report said the FBI unit that is responsible for exploiting mobile devices — the same unit that ultimately figured out how to unlock the shooter’s iPhone — had not been properly consulted before the FBI issued an order to Apple for assistance.

“This was not the government’s finest hour,” Cook told Gibbs. “I have personally never seen the government apparatus move against a company like it did here in a very dishonest manner. I felt like the naive guy that thought these things didn’t happen. They were trying to prevent a discussion or a dialogue or a debate about this. I hope that we’ve advanced much further than that.”

Cook said privacy has become much more meaningful to mainstream Americans since the incident, and he reaffirmed Apple’s stance on its importance.

“In the world where everything is totally open, people begin to guard what it is they will say,” he said. “Think about where society goes if we’re afraid to tell each other our opinions — if we’re afraid that somebody’s listening, or watching, or monitoring, or we’re under surveillance. This is a bad thing inherently in a very broad way, not to mention the manipulation that can go on with pitting different groups against each other.”

You can watch Cook’s whole interview with Gibbs from the Time 100 event below (Cook’s portion begins about 45 minutes into the video, since the event is ongoing).

SEE ALSO: Apple will help rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral after its massive fire, according to CEO Tim Cook

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'Criminal Minds,' 'Straight Up Steve Austin,' 'Goliath' Now Filming in SCV –

Here’s a roundup of film and television productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka “Hollywood North” for the week of April 22-28, 2019:

· “NCIS” – Television Show

· “Good Trouble” – Television Show

· “Goliath” – Television Show

· “Light as a Feather” – Television Show

· “Criminal Minds” – Television Show

· “Euphoria” – Television Show

· “Straight up Steve Austin” – Television Show (Reality)

· “Extreme Measures” – Television Show (Reality)

· “From the Barrel of a Gun” – Student Film

· “Wendigo” – Student Film

· “Samland” – Feature Film

Santa Clarita had another strong year of location filming in 2018 with the Film Office recording 547 film permits and 1,376 location film days, which generated an estimated economic impact of $32.9 million to the local community.

This is the fifth consecutive calendar year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits, more than 1,300 film days and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone.

Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from filming that takes place on certified sound stages, which do not require a film permit.

“It’s been another great year of filming in Santa Clarita. It’s no wonder why our city is one of the preferred destinations for film production and location filming in the Los Angeles Area,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “Filming remains a critical part of our business community and local economy by supporting high paying jobs and companies involved in the industry.”

More than half of the filming days in 2018 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were from shows locally based in Santa Clarita including “Future Man,” “Good Trouble,” “Goliath,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Shooter,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Untitled Suits Spin-off” and “Westworld.”

TV shows weren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita film locations in 2018. Numerous feature films were also shot in the area last year including “A Quiet Place,” “Bird Box,” “Call of the Wild,” “Captain Marvel,” “Ford vs. Ferrari,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Vice” and more, in addition to countless commercials, music videos, still photo shoots and online content.

Santa Clarita is consistently one of the most filmed places in California because it offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world, more than 20 sound stages, over 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office, low-cost permit fees and expedited permit processing, in addition to being located within the industry’s coveted “30-Mile Zone.”

Several other factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita including the city’s own Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone.

The Santa Clarita Valley has also benefitted tremendously from the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program as numerous approved projects have filmed and continue to do so on location in the area.
For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, please visit or contact the Film Office at 661-284-1425.

For an insider’s view to filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

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Man Who Threatened to Kill Boston Globe Employees Will Plead Guilty, Lawyer Says – The New York Times

A man charged with threatening to kill employees of The Boston Globe last summer will plead guilty to all seven criminal counts against him, his lawyer said on Monday.

The man, Robert D. Chain, made a series of menacing phone calls to the Boston newspaper from his home in California last year, according to court documents. Transcripts of his comments during the calls show that Mr. Chain repeatedly threatened to shoot employees in the head, mentioned President Trump several times and used the phrase “enemy of the people,” which the president has frequently used to describe the news media.

“We will hunt you down and kill you and your dogs,” Mr. Chain said in one of the phone calls, according to court documents.

Mr. Chain, 68, was arrested in August at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Encino. He was charged in federal court in Boston with seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

“Mr. Chain intends to plead guilty to all counts in the indictment and take full responsibility for his actions,” his lawyer, William Weinreb, said in a statement on Monday. “He is anxious to make a full, public apology, expressing his sincere remorse to those he affected.”

The United States attorney’s office in Massachusetts and Mr. Chain’s lawyer declined to comment on Monday about whether any agreement had been reached regarding Mr. Chain’s sentencing.

The Associated Press first reported Mr. Chain’s intention to plead guilty.

The F.B.I. investigated Mr. Chain and found that he owned several firearms and had recently purchased a small-caliber rifle. He did not face criminal charges in connection with weapons possession. After his arrest, he was released on bond, and his next court hearing is scheduled for May 15.

Phone calls to a number associated with Mr. Chain went unanswered on Monday evening.

Mr. Chain began calling The Globe immediately after the newspaper announced on Aug. 10 that it would publish a coordinated editorial response to political attacks on the news media. Federal prosecutors said his threats were in retaliation for that campaign.

Court documents show that in one phone call, Mr. Chain was asked why he was calling.

“As long as you keep attacking the president, the duly elected president of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threats, harass and annoy The Boston Globe, owned by The New York Times, the other fake news,” he replied. (The Times sold The Globe in 2013.)

Media executives have decried the president’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people,” calling it an assault on the First Amendment and warning that it could incite violence by the president’s most ardent supporters in the United States and embolden authoritarian political movements overseas.

Mr. Chain’s phone calls prompted The Globe to bolster its security, and officers with the Boston Police Department were dispatched to the newspaper’s office. Jane Bowman, a Boston Globe spokeswoman, said in a statement after the arrest that the newspaper was grateful to the authorities for investigating the threats.

“We couldn’t have asked for a stronger response,” she said, adding that “while it was unsettling for many of our staffers to be threatened in such a way, nobody — really, nobody — let it get in the way of the important work of this institution.”

In a statement after Mr. Chain’s arrest, the United States attorney, Andrew Lelling, said: “Anyone — regardless of political affiliation — who puts others in fear for their lives will be prosecuted by this office. In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will.”

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