“There’s nothing really historic about a white man thinking he should get less time in prison than a black man” @mayawiley discussing Michael Cohen citing DMX in his defense: pic.twitter.com/EhjOMjHkOD
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) December 4, 2018
In a portion of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen‘s recent court filing, he argued why he should not spend any time in prison for his campaign finance, bank fraud, and tax fraud convictions. Law&Crime reported earlier this week that one argument Cohen’s attorneys made was that worse offenses have yielded fairly light sentences. Specifically, they pointed to rapper DMX (real name Earl Simmons), who was sentenced to one year in prison after facing up to five years for tax evasion.
Cohen’s memo cited the case of United States v. Simmons, saying that the rapper “engaged in a ‘brazen, multi-year scheme to fraudulently conceal millions of dollars in income … and avoid paying $1.7 million in taxes.'” The filling detailed DMX’s “scheme” as involving the deposits of money into his managers’ accounts and having them disburse the income, insisting that payment from a reality show not have taxes taken out, failing to file taxes in a year he made millions, and filing a false bankruptcy petition.
The argument that Cohen’s offense wasn’t as bad as DMX’s was dismissed by MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley, who discussed the situation Tuesday on The Beat with Ari Melber. Instead, Wiley focused on race.
“Now, there’s nothing really historic about a white man thinking he should get less time in prison than a black man,” Wiley said. “So if we just stop right there, I think we know exactly what’s going on.”
Nothing in Cohen’s memo mentions race, and the discussion of DMX’s case focused entirely on the nature of the offenses. DMX’s case was not the only example that Cohen gave of another case. He also cited United States v. Doyle, which involved a white art consultant.
[Image via MSNBC screengrab]