John Oliver mocks AT&T for paying Michael Cohen to 'understand' Trump's thinking

john oliver michael cohen

  • John Oliver on Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” mocked AT&T for paying Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, for “insights into understanding” Trump’s thinking. 
  • They put their trust in a political novice who turned out to be a total moron and was actually just bilking them for personal gain,” Oliver said of AT&T and the several companies that admitted to paying Cohen.
  • “You want to know how the Trump administration works? Congratulations, you just got a f—ing master class,” he continued. 

John Oliver turned his attention, on the latest episode of “Last Week Tonight,” to the series of controversies surrounding President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. 

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and a lawyer so sh—y, he made Trump say, ‘I need someone good — get me Rudy Giuliani on the phone,'” Oliver joked. 

In January, a Wall Street Journal report revealed that Cohen had facilitated a $130,000 hush payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign to prevent her from coming forward about an alleged affair with Trump.  

Last week, Cohen drew further scrutiny after a report from Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, alleged that Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, accepted payments from corporations that included AT&T, Novartis, and Korea Aerospace Industries. 

Oliver proceeded to mock AT&T, which is currently in a legal battle with the Justice Department over its proposed merger with HBO’s parent company, Time Warner, for the company’s statement addressing the controversy, saying that they paid Cohen to “provide insights into understanding the new administration.”

“If you want to understand this president’s thinking,” Oliver said, “simply have a donkey kick you in the head five times and then watch Fox News for 72 hours straight. That would give you a pretty good idea of what’s going on his mind.”

“These companies got exactly what they paid for, because they wanted to understand how the Trump administration worked, and think about it: They put their trust in a political novice who turned out to be a total moron and was actually just bilking them for personal gain,” Oliver said of Cohen.

“So, you want to know how the Trump administration works? Congratulations, you just got a f—ing master class.”

Watch a clip from the episode below: 

SEE ALSO: The best TV show of 2018 on each network so far — from FX to Netflix to HBO

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'Criminal Minds' Renewed For Season 14 By CBS – Will It Be Series' Last? – Deadline

As usual, the renewal of veteran crime drama Criminal Minds came down to the wire with CBS and lead studio ABC Studios going back and forth on terms. Making things less complicated this time was the fact that all Criminal Minds veteran cast members already had deals for next season.

Also as usual, CBS is not confirming the size of the order or any other details. There had been speculation that the network may renew Criminal Minds for a final 13-episode season but for now, that is just speculation. We will get a better sense when CBS releases its schedule on Wednesday morning.

After a long run at 9 PM, Criminal Minds moved to 10 PM this season. It has improved the time period and is doing well in delayed viewing.

The crime drama ended its 13th season on a cliffhanger, I hear with the blessing of CBS. A cancellation would’ve robbed its loyal fans of a proper ending and would’ve deprived the series of hitting the 300th episode milestone, ending its run with 299.

Now Criminal Minds‘ Season 14 premiere will also mark the show’s 300th episode, giving it an extra promotional juice.

Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Joe Mantegna stars as David Rossi, along with Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss, Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and Daniel Henney as Matt Simmons.

ABC Studios produces in association with CBS Television Studios. Long-time showrunner Erica Messer, Mark Gordon and Breen Frazier executive produce. Jeff Davis was the series creator.

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Supreme Court Upholds Individual Rights In 2 Key Criminal Justice Cases – NPR

The Supreme Court decided two key criminal-justices cases Monday that upheld individual rights.

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The Supreme Court handed down five decisions Monday, and one that could pave a path for legalizing sports gambling throughout the country got most of the attention Monday morning. But the court also decided two important criminal-justice and personal rights cases.

In one, McCoy v. Louisiana, the court ruled by a 6-3 margin in favor of a defendant whose lawyer told a jury that his client was guilty, disregarding the explicit instructions of his client. His lawyer wanted him to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.

“Guaranteeing a defendant the right ‘to have the assistance of counsel for his defense’ is the defendant’s prerogative, not the counsel’s,” the court said in its ruling.

In other words, it’s up to the person accused of a crime how they want to plea, not a lawyer.

In the other, Byrd v. U.S., the court unanimously decided that a driver of a rental car, whose name wasn’t on the rental agreement, still has a reasonable expectation of privacy during a traffic stop. Police found 49 bricks of heroin and body armor in the man’s trunk.

McCoy v. Louisiana

Robert McCoy’s defense attorney told the jury his client was guilty of a triple murder despite the fact that McCoy expressly maintained his innocence. The Supreme Court decided that violated the client’s constitutional right to counsel.

“Guaranteeing a defendant the right ‘to have the ASSISTANCE of Counsel for HIS defence,’ the Sixth Amendment so demands,” the court wrote. “With individual liberty—and, in capital cases, life— at stake, it is the defendant’s prerogative, not counsel’s, to decide on the objective of his defense: to admit guilt in the hope of gaining mercy at the sentencing stage, or to maintain his innocence, leaving it to the State to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

McCoy, was charged with killing three family members in a vain attempt to find his estranged wife, Yolanda. With the help of police, she had fled her Louisiana home after McCoy, at knife point, threatened to kill her. She brought her infant daughter along but left her 17-year-old son with her parents so that he could finish high school and graduate.

A month later, McCoy was arrested and charged with killing his wife’s parents and her son. A 911 tape recorded Yolanda’s mother screaming: “She ain’t here Robert. … I don’t know where she is. … The detectives have her.”

After the sound of a gunshot, the line goes dead.

Despite overwhelming evidence against him, McCoy steadfastly maintained his innocence, alleging that the killings were the product of a drug deal gone bad and that police conspired to frame him, because he supposedly revealed their involvement in drug trafficking. Five months later, state psychiatric experts found McCoy mentally competent to stand trial.

His first lawyers were public defenders, but he fired them for refusing to subpoena his alleged alibi witnesses. His parents then hired Larry English for $5,000. He advised McCoy to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison instead of the death penalty, but McCoy repeatedly refused, insisting that he was innocent. He also refused to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Finally, English embarked on a strategy of conceding his client’s guilt, in hopes of avoiding the death penalty. Indeed, in his opening argument, he told the jury, “There is no way reasonably possible that you can listen to the evidence and not come” to that conclusion. And in his closing, he told the jurors that he had taken the burden of finding and proving guilt off of them and the prosecutor.

The defense lawyer was hoping that the jury would not sentence McCoy to death if he could convince them that McCoy suffered from diminished mental capacity and should therefore only be convicted of second-degree murder. But, as the prosecutor would soon explain to the jury, that defense was legally unavailable to McCoy, because Louisiana allows a diminished capacity argument only if the defendant has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

In any event, the strategy didn’t work. The jury ultimately sentenced McCoy to death. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the decision and an infuriated McCoy, aided by a new lawyer, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that the state had deprived him of his right to counsel.

Byrd v. U.S.

In the age of Zipcar, it’s hardly unusual for a car renter to let his friends or family members drive a car he has leased, without listing those names on the contract.

And the Supreme Court on Monday unanimously agreed with a driver not listed on one of those agreements that he still maintained a reasonable expectation of privacy — and that police needed a warrant to search the vehicle.

Police, who found dozens of bricks of heroin and body armor in the driver’s trunk, argued the man, Terrence Byrd, had no right to privacy given he was not on the rental agreement.

The court disagreed with that argument.

Byrd’s fiancée gave him permission to drive a car she rented, but didn’t list him as one of the drivers.

When police stopped Byrd for a minor traffic violation outside Harrisburg, Pa., he gave officers the rental contract. When they ran his name, they found he had a criminal record and a warrant out for his arrest in neighboring New Jersey.

Without a warrant, they searched the locked trunk of the car, where they found 49 bricks of heroin among Byrd’s possessions.

The Supreme Court held that the man maintained a reasonable expectation of privacy. The court, however, remanded the case to the lower courts to examine whether Byrd had used subterfuge in renting the car and whether that mattered.

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CBS renews 'Criminal Minds,' 'Elementary;' cancels 'Kevin Can Wait,' 'Scorpion' – USA TODAY

CBS renewed four series and canceled three more as it prepares to announce its 2018-19 schedule Wednesday.

Criminal Minds, Elementary, Man With a Plan, Life in Pieces and Instinct, a midseason drama starring Alan Cumming, were all given greenlights for new seasons.

The network also added several new series, including a remake of Magnum, P.I. 

But Kevin Can Wait, which marked King of Queens star Kevin James’ return to the network, won’t return for a third season. Neither will Superior Donuts, the sitcom that stars Judd Hirsch as a coffee-shop owner. And procedural drama Scorpion was stung by cancellation after four seasons.

Following the earlier foregone exits of Wisdom of the Crowd, 9JKL, Living Biblically and early fall casualty Me, Myself and I, that leaves only medical drama Code Black “on the bubble” between renewal and cancellation.

More: ‘Magnum P.I.’ rises again on CBS, with a diverse cast

More: Which network TV series are returning, nearly dead or in limbo? Check out the complete list

Executives not authorized to speak publicly said the fate of Code Black, which started its third season April 25, remains up in the air given its late return.

Kevin had the most ignominious exit. It opened strongly in the fall of 2016, but at the end of its first season the show killed off the wife of James’ lead character, played by Erinn Hayes, in an offscreen car accident, sparking outrage among fans. It then added Leah Remini, James’ Queens co-star, as a series regular and lost much of its ratings luster. 

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36 Judges Call for Defense Lawyer Pay Hikes – urbanmilwaukee

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Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by The original uploader was Sulfur at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by The original uploader was Sulfur at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thirty-six circuit court judges from 18 Wisconsin counties are together publicly supporting a proposal to increase pay for appointed defense lawyers.

“As trial judges, we experience, on a daily basis, the impact that the underfunding of indigent criminal defense has on the quality and integrity of our criminal justice system,” Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Glenn H. Yamahiro wrote to the State Supreme Court. Yamahiro was the main author of the letter and was joined by the other judges.

“These impacts often impede our ability to function effectively and efficiently. We have observed a decline in the quality of representation provided to indigent defendants. Many experienced lawyers have discontinued accepting public defender appointments out of economic necessity. As a result we face an increasing number of inexperienced or underqualified lawyers representing indigent defendants in serious criminal matters.”

Yamahiro and the 35 other judges were commenting on a petition pending before the Supreme Court that seeks to raise from $40 an hour to $100 an hour the amount paid to lawyers appointed by State Public Defender’s Office (SPD) to represent clients who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. The SPD makes the appointments when the office has excessive caseloads or conflicts of interest. The Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on the matter May 16.

“It is imperative that our Supreme Court exercise leadership to address the Constitutional Crisis…because the executive and legislative branches of government have failed to address this problem…over the past 40 years,” Yamahiro wrote.

“We have seen an increasing number of requests for the appointment of new counsel and ineffective assistance of counsel claims,” the letter says. “Cases that we are required to continue based upon ineffective assistance of counsel…have negative impacts on crime victims. In many instances, victims often have to endure additional proceedings such as a resentencing or even retrial, in cases that should be closed. … We believe that it is beyond dispute that the criminal justice system operates at its best when each side has access to quality representation.”

The court must take leadership and address the  because the executive and legislative branches have failed to do so over the past 40 years, he said.

The 35 other judges signing are:

Gretchen Schuldt writes a blog for Wisconsin Justice Initiative, whose mission is “To improve the quality of justice in Wisconsin by educating the public about legal issues and encouraging civic engagement in and debate about the judicial system and its operation.

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