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Steve Cohen finalizes record deal to purchase Mets – New York Post

Now it is up to the 29 other major league owners to decide whether Steve Cohen will be the next owner of the Mets.

The hedge fund billionaire reached a deal Monday to buy the Mets for between $2.4 billion and $2.45 billion, the highest price ever paid for a North American sports team.

“I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” Cohen said in a statement released by the team.

The next hurdles for Cohen are for him to be vetted by an ownership subcommittee that will then make a recommendation to the larger group whether to accept Cohen into their club. A vote of all owners is expected to come before November and Cohen would need 23 yeses to succeed Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz and become the fourth controlling owner since the franchise’s inception in 1962.

The hedge fund billionaire is a polarizing figure and there are no certainties that he would garner the necessary votes. Cohen’s former hedge fund, SAC Capital, paid a $1.8 billion fine in 2013 to settle insider trading charges. His current company is being sued for gender discrimination.

However, money often wins out and Cohen is worth roughly $14 billion and the record price paid — particularly amid a pandemic — is going to be enticing to other owners who know the value of one franchise impacts all the others.

Steve Cohen
Steve CohenEPA

The Mets have had multiple conversations with fellow owners giving them confidence Cohen will gain approval, a source close to the situation said. However, there are team officials who caution that this is not a layup.

Multiple sources say the deal does not include the Mets television network, SNY.  There was speculation that Cohen might try to include the network in late negotiations, but that appears to not have occurred.

“If SNY had been included, the number would have been even bigger,” one insider said. “Now the Wilpons get to keep that revenue for at least a few more years.”

Insiders also tell The Post that there will be a call with the team’s minority owners on Thursday. Based on the new math of Cohen owning 95 percent and the Wilpons retaining 5 percent, the minority owners are assuming they are being bought out.

Based on the price Cohen is paying, there will likely be little resistance.

Cohen had previously reached an agreement to buy 80 percent of the Mets for $2.6 billion, but that deal fell apart last February over disputes including how much input and influence the Wilpons would continue to wield during a five-year interim period after the sale.

The Mets were then put up for auction. Initially, Cohen did not bid, but then jumped back in. He grew up a Mets fan on Long Island and his passion for the team has not waned — his wife and father-in-law are also avid Met fans. This is Cohen’s white whale and he wanted to own the club.

A consortium assembled by Alex Rodriguez and his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, emerged as the strongest competitor to Cohen. The auction had a last-and-best offer date of Aug. 31.

According to sources, the A-Rod group requested exclusive negotiating rights in the days leading up to Aug. 31 or it would drop out, which it did. The sources said the firm running the auction, Allen and Company, became concerned that the A-Rod group would make that decision public and that would move Cohen to lower his bid. So, the Wilpons and Katz pivoted to Cohen and agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with him.

The Rodriguez/Lopez group has attempted to stay a viable contender ever since. The consortium agreed that it would pay $2.35 billion. Subsequently, the A-Rod group let it be known that Lopez would be the control person, appealing because she would be the first Latina owner of a major sports franchise in North America.

However, despite the anger the Wilpons harbored from the initial sale falling through, they never flinched and stuck with finalizing a deal with Cohen. The price was right and so was the timing — the Wilpons and Katz want to be done with the sale by Dec. 31 for tax purposes. Cohen, who already was a limited partner who owned 8 percent, will now get 95 percent of the team, as long as the other owners vote him in.

Cohen’s current deal is for hundreds of millions less than the terms he initially walked away from, leading one Wall Street insider familiar with Cohen to say, “The pandemic helped lower the price. But the Wilpons underestimated him this whole time and now he’s walking away with his team on his terms.”

Cohen’s candidacy — because of his financial wherewithal — always has been most favored by Mets fans, who have imagined him bringing the club’s payroll up to Yankee ranges … or beyond.

Now it is just up to the other owners to see if that is actually what Cohen would do with the team.

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Cohen Michael

Michael Cohen book details Trump’s racism and toxic family dynamic – The Guardian

Michael Cohen published his memoir of his time as Donald Trumps fixer on Tuesday, greeted by a White House statement calling him a disgraced felon and disbarred lawyer, and a liar.
It was pointed ou…
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Cohen Michael

Michael Cohen offers preview of tell-all Trump book: ‘I know where the skeletons are buried’ – Fox News

Michael Cohen offered a taste of what to expect in his anti-Trump tell-all book “Disloyal, A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”

The book, which is set to be released in September, makes several provocative and salacious claims about his time as Trump’s go-to fixer and lawyer before he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations over hush payments made to women during the 2016 election who alleged having affairs with the then-GOP candidate.

“The President of the United States wanted me dead,” Cohen boldly declared in the forward of his book released on Thursday. “Or, let me say it the way Donald Trump would: He wouldn’t mind if I was dead. That was how Trump talked. Like a mob boss, using language carefully calibrated to convey his desires and demands, while at the same time employing deliberate indirection to insulate himself and avoid actually ordering a hit on his former personal attorney, confidant, consigliere, and, at least in my heart, adopted son.”

Cohen wrote that “the death threats had come by the hundreds” from Trump supporters after he agreed to cooperate in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, writing “All rats deserve to die, I was told. I was a lowlife Judas they were going to hunt down.”

ROSIE O’DONNELL SAYS SHE’S BECOME ‘PEN PALS’ WITH MICHAEL COHEN, VISITED HIM IN PRISON

“For more than a decade, I had been at the center of Trump’s innermost circle. When he came to my son’s bar mitzvah, a generous gesture that I found touching, he told my then thirteen-year-old boy that his Dad was the greatest and that, if he wanted to work at the Trump Organization when he grew up, there would always be a position for him. ‘You’re family,’ Trump said to my son and I. And I f—ing believed him!” Cohen exclaimed.

The former Trump fixer acknowledged he himself used to be a “demented follower” of the celebrity businessman and how he was “willing to do anything for him, including, as I vowed once to a reporter, to take a bullet.”

Cohen recalled the “enormous weight” he felt when he testified before the House Oversight Committee in 2019 and how responsible he felt playing “a central role in creating this new reality” that allowed “a clear and present danger named Donald Trump” to become president. However, he argued that both sides were wrong about whether or not Trump was “Russia-controlled” or that the entire investigation was a “witch hunt.”

“I knew that the reality was much more complicated and dangerous. Trump had colluded with the Russians, but not in the sophisticated ways imagined by his detractors. I also knew that the Mueller investigation was not a witch-hunt. Trump had cheated in the election, with Russian connivance, as you will discover in these pages, because doing anything—and I mean anything—to ‘win’ has always been his business model and way of life,” Cohen explained. “Trump had also continued to pursue a major real estate deal in Moscow during the campaign. He attempted to insinuate himself into the world of President Vladimir Putin and his coterie of corrupt billionaire oligarchs. I know because I personally ran that deal and kept Trump and his children closely informed of all updates, even as the candidate blatantly lied to the American people saying, “there’s no Russian collusion, I have no dealings with Russia…there’s no Russia.”

JUDGE ORDERS MICHAEL COHEN RELEASED TO HOME CONFINEMENT, SAYS IMPRISONMENT WAS ‘RETALIATORY’ OVER PLANNED BOOK 

With his book, Cohen is hoping to “reintroduce” himself to the rest of the country.

“For more than a decade, I was Trump’s first call every morning and his last call every night. I was in and out of Trump’s office on the 26th floor of the Trump Tower as many as fifty times a day, tending to his every demand. Our cell phones had the same address books, our contacts so entwined, overlapping and intimate that part of my job was to deal with the endless queries and requests, however large or small, from Trump’s countless rich and famous acquaintances. I called any and all of the people he spoke to, most often on his behalf as his attorney and emissary, and everyone knew that when I spoke to them, it was as good as if they were talking directly to Trump.”

He continued, “Apart from his wife and children, I knew Trump better than anyone else did. In some ways, I knew him better than even his family did because I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was: a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man… He has no one he trusts to keep his secrets. For ten years, he certainly had me, and I was always there for him, and look what happened to me. I urge you to really consider that fact: Trump has no true friends. He has lived his entire life avoiding and evading taking responsibility for his actions. He crushed or cheated all who stood in his way, but I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them.”

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He vowed as he wrote serving his sentence at Otisville Federal Prison, “This is a book the President of the United States does not want you to read.”

Cohen was released from prison last month amid coronavirus concerns and was ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement. His sentence was supposed to end in November 2021.

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Michael Cohen taken into custody for violating terms of his early release from prison – CNN

(CNN)President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has been taken into custody for violating terms of his early release from prison, his attorney Jeffrey Levine told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Levine said Cohen had been ordered to appear at the federal court in downtown Manhattan to convert his furlough to home confinement but was detained after failing to agree to the terms of the federal location monitoring for the Southern District of New York. He was put in custody in a lower Manhattan correctional facility.
Cohen, Levine said, had been presented with an agreement not to engage with the media through any medium including books — a restriction that would block the release of his forthcoming tell-all about his time working with Trump which he said was “close to completion” earlier this month.
“I’ve never seen any language like this in my life that would strip a person of their First Amendment rights to communicate with the media,” Levine said.
“We made our objections known to the probation officers and we asked what we can do to work it out,” he continued. Levine said he then “received an order and the US Marshals office came with shackles to shackle Michael Cohen.”
Sue Allison, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons, told CNN Thursday that Cohen “refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility.”
Cohen was also reportedly spotted eating at a New York City restaurant recently. When asked if that incident was related to his detainment Thursday, Levine told reporters outside the courthouse, “I would leave that to your viewers.”
“I think it’s probably the language in the agreement, which, again, I don’t know who gets stripped of their First Amendment rights, but it probably has to do with the optics of everything,” he said.
The episode comes after Cohen was released on furlough from prison in late May due to coronavirus fears.
Cohen was serving a three-year sentence in New York after pleading guilty to lying to Congress, tax charges and two campaign finance charges for facilitating hush money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump.
The President has denied having affairs with the women.
A vocal surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen often sparred with reporters and appeared on television to support his longtime client.
But a months-long investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into Cohen exposed that he had acted with Trump and his allies, including David Pecker — the CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc. — to suppress potentially damaging claims against the now-President.
When pleading guilty to his crimes, Cohen implicated the President, telling a federal judge that he had made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who prosecutors identified in court filings as “Individual 1.”
Cohen later refused to commit to not pursuing a possible book deal while testifying before members of the House Oversight Committee in February 2019.
As a result, he was served a cease-and-desist letter while in prison from Charles Harder, an attorney for the Trump Organization, requesting he stop working on the book, two sources previously told CNN.
Among the reasons cited by Harder, they say, is writing the book would violate a confidentiality agreement and a lawyer’s ethical and legal obligations, such as attorney-client privilege.
But, to this point, Cohen has pushed forward with his plans for the book and even floated a release date before the November presidential election.
“…anticipated release date will be late September,” he tweeted earlier this month.
This story has been updated with additional information Thursday.

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