US Attorneys’ Manual Updated; Now “Justice Manual”

Department of Justice Announces the Rollout of an Updated United States Attorneys’ Manual: (“The Department of Justice announced the rollout of an updated United States Attorneys’ Manual, now titled the Justice Manual. It is the first comprehensive review and overhaul of the Manual in more than 20 years. The Department-wide effort involved the dedicated work of over 200 Department of Justice employees.”)

Congress Proposes No Charge for Court Records

Proposed Legislation Would Eliminate PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) Fees: (“A new bill before the U.S House of Representatives would prohibit the federal courts from charging for public documents.  The Electronic Court Records Reform Actwould require that documents downloaded from the PACER database be free. Currently, the repository for federal court documents charges up to 10 cents a page.”)

Using Marijuana on Federal Post-Conviction Supervision

Marijuana Use and Supervised Release: (“In July, a young man named Tryan Trotter appeared before Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York, the judge who had previously sentenced Trotter for conspiring to distribute heroin. Trotter had already served his two-year term of imprisonment, but he appeared before Weinstein for a new reason: he was accused of violating the conditions of his supervised release by using marijuana and failing to comply with drug treatment orders. See United States v. Trotter, —F. Supp. 3d—, 2018 WL 3421313 (E.D.N.Y. July 13, 2018). Trotter was of course not the first defendant to smoke marijuana while on supervised release, but what made this case unique was Weinstein’s reaction to this indisputable violation. Instead of sending Trotter back to prison or issuing some other type of sentence for the violation, Judge Weinstein terminated his supervised release.”)

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, Says Trump Told Him to Pay Off Women: (“Michael Cohen told a federal judge that Donald Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women who said they had affairs with the future president, in an effort to keep their claims from swaying the 2016 presidential election. * * * The stunning admission by Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer, directly implicated the president in a federal crime, alleging that Mr. Trump was actively involved in the decisions to try to bury the women’s stories. Mr. Cohen’s plea escalates pressure on a president who has already seen three other associates charged with felonies and a fourth convicted by a jury on Tuesday. * * * Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations, and said he paid $130,000 to adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, and coordinated a $150,000 payment by the publisher of the National Enquirer to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.”)

Jury Convicts Manafort

Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chairman, Guilty of 8 Charges in Fraud Trial: (“Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, was convicted on Tuesday in his financial fraud trial, bringing a dramatic end to a politically charged case that riveted the capital. * * * The verdict was a victory for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose prosecutors introduced extensive evidence that Mr. Manafort hid millions of dollars in foreign accounts to evade taxes and lied to banks repeatedly to obtain $20 million in loans. * * * Mr. Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining 10 counts, and the judge declared a mistrial on those charges.”)