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Friday, October 20, 2017

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
by Justin Elliott .

This story has been updated with a response from a spokesman for Marc Kasowitz.

Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal attorney on the Russia case, threatened a stranger in a string of profanity-laden emails Wednesday night.

The man, a retired public relations professional in the western United States who asked not to be identified, read ProPublica’s story this week on Kasowitz and sent the lawyer an email with the subject line: “Resign Now.”

Kasowitz replied with series of angry messages sent between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern time. One read: “I’m on you now.  You are fucking with me now Let’s see who you are Watch your back , bitch.”

In another email, Kasowitz wrote: “Call me.  Don’t be afraid, you piece of shit.  Stand up.  If you don’t call, you’re just afraid.” And later: “I already know where you live, I’m on you.  You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise.  Bro.”

Kasowitz’s spokesman, Michael Sitrick, said Thursday he couldn’t immediately reach Kasowitz for comment.

ProPublica confirmed the man’s phone number matched his stated identity. Technical details in the emails, such as IP addresses and names of intermediate mail servers, also show the emails came from Kasowitz’s firm. In one email, Kasowitz gave the man a cell phone number that is not widely available. We confirmed Kasowitz uses that number.

The exchange began after the man saw our story featured last night on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. We reported that Kasowitz is not seeking a security clearance even though the Russia case involves a significant amount of classified material.

Experts said Kasowitz could have trouble getting a security clearance because of what multiple sources described as a recent history of alcohol abuse. Former employees also said Kasowitz had engaged in behavior that made them uncomfortable.

Since the story was published, his spokesman issued a statement disputing several parts of the story: “Marc Kasowitz has not struggled with alcoholism,” Sitrick wrote. “He has not come into the office intoxicated, attorneys have not had to go across the street to the restaurant during the workday to consult Kasowitz on work matters.”

The rigorous background investigation that goes into getting security clearance also considers “any information relevant to strength of character, honesty, discretion, sound judgment, [and] reliability.”

The exchange of emails Wednesday began at 9:28 p.m. Eastern when the man sent the following message to Kasowitz’s firm account.


You don’t know me. I don’t know you.

But, I believe it is in your interest and the long-term interest of your firm for you to resign from your position advising the President re. pending federal legal matters. No good can come from this and, in fact, your name may be turn out to be a disparaging historical footnote to the presidency of DJT.

Five minutes later, Kasowitz responded with two words:

F*ck you

Fifteen minutes after that, Kasowitz sent a second email:

And you don’t know me, but I will know you

How dare you send me an email like that

I’m on you now. You are fucking with me now

Let’s see who you are

Watch your back , bitch

The man responded politely:

Thank you for your kind reply.

I may be in touch as appropriate.

But Kasowitz continued to harangue him:

[Name redacted] call me. [Number redacted] if you want a conversation. I will have it with you. You are such a piece of shit. Call me. Don’t be afraid, you piece of shit. Stand up. If you don’t call, you’re just afraid. Call me

And then, just 33 minutes after the man’s initial email, Kasowitz sent a fourth response, referring to his own Jewish heritage and the man’s name, which he presumed to be Jewish.

I’m Jewish. I presume you are too. Stop being afraid. Call me. Or give me your number and I will call you. I already know where you live, I’m on you. You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise. Bro.

The man told us that the email exchange disturbed him so greatly he forwarded it to the FBI so there would be a written record in case Kasowitz followed through on the threat.

Experts in the laws on harassment and online threats differed on whether Kasowitz’s emails could put him in legal jeopardy.

When considering whether words constitute a true threat versus protected speech, “the threat has to be credible and the person has to intend to make the victim fear imminent physical harm,” said Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor and author of a book on online harassment.

Citron pointed in particular to Kasowitz’s statements: “I already know where you live” and “you will see me. I promise.” She said: “That’s incredibly troubling language. If I’m a prosecutor I’m going to think hard about that.”

Ron Kuby, a New York lawyer who argued a case that overturned a portion of the state’s harassment law on free speech grounds, said he believed Kasowitz had not violated the law with his missives.

“When Kasowitz says things like ‘I already know where you live’ he is inching closer to the line. But in my view — as someone who despises the Trump administration, but who has litigated these issues — he is well on the legal side of the line.”

For over 15 years, Trump has periodically retained Kasowitz, who has cultivated a tough-guy image.

The New York Times reported this week that the relationship between Kasowitz and the Trump White House had soured and that Kasowitz could resign. Kasowitz’s spokesman told ProPublica Wednesday: “The NYT story is not accurate.” Kasowitz’s firm was also sued for malpractice this week by a former client in a billing dispute.

Update, July 13, 2017: A spokesman for Marc Kasowitz sent ProPublica this statement:

“Mr. Kasowitz, who is tied up with client matters, said he intends to apologize to the writer of the email referenced in today’s ProPublica story. While no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 p.m. was not yet over.  ‘The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner,’ Mr. Kasowitz said.  ‘I intend to send him an email stating just that.  This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can’t.'”

Jeremy Merrill and Jesse Eisinger contributed reporting.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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18 Responses to Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger In Emails: ‘Watch Your Back , Bitch’

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  2. Kasowitz in a fit of Trumpian anger felt juvenile and repugnant enough to respond in a bestial mode. His mobster tone leaves little wonder why he has defended mobsters and has now been retained by a new mobster named Donald Trump.
    Since Kasowitz wants to confront his caller and wishes to be called, will someone get in touch with him so that he can give me his number. I’ll arrange to meet him and see if I can help him out, face-to-face.

  3. The American Bar Association has now allowed 2 Trump lawyers to prove they deserve to be disbarred. First, Conway publicly states that “intent” to commit a crime isn’t a crime. The hell it isn’t.

    Now, Kasowitz engages in threats in black and white and he gets away with this?

    Yank their damn law licenses and disbar them if they cannot undertand the laws in this country.

    First, intent to commit a crime with malice of forethought is a crime. Imagine an armed masked robber walking into Trump Tower and then seeing all the Secret Service backs out the door? You bet your patoots he’d be in court immediately for “intent.”

    Second, you threaten Kasowitz and see how fast he doesn’t make your emails threats make him a few million more bucks.

    And this is what the Republican Party accepts?

    The laugh is when that moron Sessions had a woman arrested for laughing at him, the court threw it out.

    See how far the Trump dictatorship is progressing? Typical copycat intimidation and threats used by Putin.

    • Poor Elle, still spewing you lies and meaningless drivel.
      It’s the Dems who started all the name calling when they started to refer to our honorable President in negative terms. If you’re going to go around calling folks names, then you better be prepared to get called a few names back. Duh!

      I’m still waiting for the state of NJ go in and arrest President Trump. It’s only been 18 months since you posted that it would be any day now.

      • I can’t help but notice that the only time you EVER respond to any of our posts is when the truth bites you and your savior Lard ASS in Chief. There a reason for that?

        Other than that a puke like you has no life worth staying around for?

        You won’t have much longer to wait assface. NY’s AG Eric Schneiderman has already filed a charge of RICO violations and racketeering against Trump.

        We won’t arrest Trump. After the employees he screwed over and the contractors he NEVER paid (a fact shitballs like you love), NJ will have a brand new cement bridge support with Trump doing the Jimmy Hoffa.

        Now be a good like POS and stop masturbating. You can’t take the truth. That’s the only reason you post your stupid, inane responses…AS if we care what a turd like you ever thinks.

        You have as much value as your last bowel movement.

        • Sorry Elle, but once more you post lies. Nope, NY is not doing anything except foaming at the mouth and making false claims like you’ve been doing for many months.
          Nothing will come of your impending doom for our beloved President Trump and if you think otherwise, then you’re just proving how low information you are.

          I notice that dpaano, the self-admitted racist and bigot is the only one who supports you. Wow, what an honor!
          So when you continue to make false claims, do you think it makes you look intelligent? Just like when you claimed to have had over 15 different 30-year careers. Oh my, time for you to fetch your male boss his coffee and run to the post office for him.

          • I notice that I have 22 followers on National Memo. You? Zero. What does that tell our prickface? It tells me you are a Russian spy and I just might report you to the CIA.

            As for NY’s AG Eric Schneiderman, you bet he has a lawsuit against Trump. But then, Trump is king of lawsuits isn’t he pricklydick?

            In fact: NY’s AG is awaiting Mueller’s outing of Trump’s money laundering through Deutschebank which got a $320 million fine for laundering Russian money


            Oh and by the way dicklicker, Trump has a lawsuit in CA too. Read and weep asshat:

          • POORly informed Elle, So you have 22 low information dummies who follow an assistant supply clerk. Just because 22 fools say something is true does’t prove that anything they say is true – such as in your case. The fact that you would even think that having anyone following you would lend credence to your garbage posts speaks volumes about how poorly informed you are!
            Yup, all these fools claim they have filed suits against President Trump, but each and everyone of these meaningless suits will be dismissed and tossed long before they reach President Trump’s desk and you know it.

            All through the election process you claimed that there were thousands of suits against President Trump and he would be hauled off to prison. Ha, Ha, how many of those suits are still around and what became of them!

            I guess you still have not heard that even TNM, and WP and NYT have said that these lawsuits are going nowhere and that the voters are getting pissed at the Dems and will exact revenge on the Dems in the 2018 mid-terms.

            So much for you so called important lawsuits.

            I just love watching a lowly person like you foaming at the mouth and thinking that you can do anything to remove President Trump. Go ahead and keep wasting time and DNC money to accomplish ZILCH!

            You have a raunchy vocabulary, which is why you never got promoted past being an assistant to an office supply clerk. Time for you to fess up!

        • I did my level best to inform you that you were spreading debunked lies straight from Clinton Cash; you refused to believe anything that didn’t fit into your fake narrative. How dare you blame me for your mental defects.

  4. I don’t begrudge him the alcoholism… if I was 45’s lawyer I’d drink during the day too.
    I think the threats are appalling.
    But totally explain why he’s working for the “Bully in Chief”.

    • I believe that the threats have been reported to his bar association or whatever (not a law guy); he might not be a lawyer for much longer – or at least, not a lawyer that’s allowed to practice.

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