Even as multiple major news outlets have reported over the past several days that Michael Cohen is preparing to cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors, he decided to try last one bizarre last-ditch swing in court at tilting his legal prospects in his favor. Cohen filed for a restraining order against Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, aimed at preventing Avenatti from mentioning Cohen in television interviews. Not only did it not work, it backfired.
Judge James Otero immediately struck down Michael Cohen’s bonkers request for an immediate restraining order, as expected. But then the judge took things further. In a footnote which was longer than his actual ruling, the judge made a point of telling off Cohen for trying to abuse the system:
“Ex parte applications throw the system out of whack. They impose an unnecessary administrative burden on the court and an unnecessary adversarial burden on opposing counsel who are required to make a hurried response under pressure, usually for no good reason. They demand priority consideration, where such consideration is seldom deserved. In effect, they put the applicant “ahead of the pack,” without cause or justification. Ex parte applications are not intended to save the day for parties who have failed to present requests when they should have, and should not be used as a way to “cut in line” ahead of those litigants awaiting determination of their properly noticed and timely filed motions.”
The judge is obviously blowing off steam here, but this goes further than Michael Cohen merely having to suffer the embarrassment of being told off by the judge. When you try these kinds of antics – particularly in a civil case where it’s not about criminal jeopardy and both sides are simply trying to prove they’re in the right – the last thing you want to do is piss off the judge. This could prompt the judge to begin ruling more aggressively against your future motions. This is a sign that Cohen is now so thoroughly out of options, he’s burning bridges. His day of reckoning is coming very, very soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report