Is Cohen Lying To Save Himself?

Grind for December 4th, 2018
“When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Pretty Please?

The Headline

Michael Cohen’s lawyers ask federal judge for no prison time

The Grind

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to receive his final sentence on December 12th.

In a memorandum submitted to a federal judge last Friday, Cohen’s lawyers asked for no prison time and cited their client’s cooperation with law enforcement:

“Michael’s decision to cooperate required and requires singular determination and personal conviction,” they wrote. Such behavior reflects his “personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical, and thoroughly law abiding life.”

The Background

In August, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges including tax fraud and a violation of campaign finance laws that appeared to implicate Trump.

As part of his plea deal, Cohen is now assisting Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his Russia investigation and helping the NY attorney general’s office with its investigation into the Trump Foundation.

Last week, he made a surprise appearance in a Manhattan courtroom to admit to lying to Congress about plans to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow during Trump’s presidential campaign.

Cohen’s cooperation with Mueller could have massive implications for the way the investigation unfolds – especially if his testimony on the Trump Tower Moscow project contradicts the written information Trump handed to Mueller last month.

Trump insists Cohen is lying about the Moscow project in hopes of receiving a shorter prison sentence.

Cohen’s lawyers insist that he broke the law out of “fierce loyalty” to Trump and should not be imprisoned at age 52. They have also asked the judge to consider his recent confession about lying to Congress before making a final decision.

Hold Your Breath

The Headline

In California, scientists study the effects of wildfire smoke on children

The Grind

A growing body of research suggests that children exposed to wildfire smoke (whether from a single event or multiple events) will have an increased risk of serious health problems later in life.

These findings are not comforting – especially considering the effects climate change is expected to have on the likelihood and size of wildfires in the western United States.

The Details

To study how smoke affects developing lungs, scientists are observing a group of monkeys born outdoors near Sacramento just before the 2008 wildfire season.

By comparing this group of monkeys with others born in California after the smoke had cleared, scientists noticed that monkeys in the first group had reduced lung capacity, reduced lung elasticity, and reduced immune system function.

These changes were noticed around age three.

According to researcher Lisa Miller, exposure to wildfire smoke early in life inhibits the natural growth and development of alveoli (the tiny sacs in our lungs that help us breathe), which increases a person’s risk for lung diseases and infections.

“The adults now have evidence of early interstitial lung disease,” said Miller, referring to the monkeys, “and that’s just exposure to one fire season.”

If wildfire smoke has the same impact on human children, this year’s fires could create an entire generation of lung problems.

Did you know… Brass doorknobs automatically disinfect themselves in about 8 hours.