Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, has been disbarred by the Appellate Division, First Department’s grievance committee in Manhattan, following his guilty pleas to federal felony charges earlier this year.
Multiple sources were initially able to confirm the contents of the order for the New York Law Journal. The order’s release was not official; it was postdated to be released on Feb. 28. As a result of the postdated order being released earlier than expected, the First Department opted to make public the order on Tuesday.
The panel of Justices Dianne Renwick, Sallie Manzanet-Daniels, Angela Mazzarelli, Jeffery Oing, and Peter Moulton found that Cohen’s guilty pleas to tax evasion, campaign finance law violations, and lying to Congress resulted in him being disbarred under New York State law.
“A conviction of a federal felony triggers disbarment by operation of law if the offense would constitute a felony if committed under New York law,” the panel wrote in its letter. The panel noted that lying to Congress would constitute a felony offense of offering a false instrument under state law.
Cohen did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the panel, the department’s attorney grievance committee began proceedings to disbar Cohen in October, after he pleaded guilty in August to the tax evasion and campaign finance charges brought by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
As that process was proceeding, Cohen pleaded guilty to the additional charges of lying to Congress, brought by the Office of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III in Manhattan federal court.
Cohen was sentenced on both charges in December.
Following the actions in federal court, the First Department was asked to consolidate the previous request for disbarment with a new one based on Cohen’s second conviction. According to the panel, Cohen was served with a document regarding the motions, but never bothered to respond.
The panel noted that the analogous law convictions are supported by a plea taken and the text of the indictment. As the state false instrument and federal lying to Congress crimes are parallel, Cohen’s pleading to the one was the equivalent to the other. The panel declined to go further to look at Cohen’s prior conviction.
Susan DeSantis and Jason Grant contributed to this report.