Michael Cowen Caught Using Fictional AI-Generated Legal Citation 

Daily Report December 30,2023

Former President Donald Trump’s Manhattan case got a huge boost after a key witness in the case was caught using fictitious legal citations generated by an artificial intelligence program in court filings.

According to court papers unsealed Friday, Michael Cohen —former personal lawyer to Trump— said he accidentally gave his lawyers the ai-generated legal citation. He also said he did not know that his lawyers would submit his fake citations to the court without confirming their validity.

Cohen’s lawyer, David Schwartz, used the citation in a motion for an early end to the court’s supervision of his case after serving prison time and complying with the conditions of his release.

“The three citations in Mr. Cohen’s case appear to be hallucinations created by the Bard chatbot, taking bits and pieces of actual cases and combining them with robotic imagination. Mr. Schwartz then wove them into the motion he submitted to Judge Furmanm,”  The New York Times wrote.

According to The Times, Cohen signed a sworn declaration that he did not know that Google Bard, like ChatGPT, was a generative text service that could show citations and descriptions that looked real but were fake. Cohen pleaded with federal Judge Jesse M. Furman to exercise “discretion and mercy.”

Cohen’s latest legal saga could undermine his testimony in the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against former President Trump.

“The episode could have implications for a Manhattan criminal case against Mr. Trump in which Mr. Cohen is expected to be the star witness. The former president’s lawyers have long attacked Mr. Cohen as a serial fabulist; now, they say they have a brand-new example,” The Times wrote.

Bragg made history when he became the first person to bring criminal charges against a former president of the United States. The Manhattan DA charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in violation of a state law. Bragg accused the former president of falsifying business records with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime. The charges are related to Trump’s hush money payment to Adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Michael Cowen facilitated the payments to Daniels, and is expected to be Bragg’s star witness against Trump.

Trump’s lawyer, Susan R. Necheles, maintains the revelation is “typical Michael Cohen” and that the Brag should not be basing a case on him.

“The D.A.’s office should not be basing a case on him,” Necheles said, according to the Times. “He’s an admitted perjurer and has pled guilty to multiple felonies and this is just an additional indication of his lack of character and ongoing criminality.”

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