Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer ‘used AI tool to cite fake legal cases’

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said he unwittingly passed along to his attorney bogus artificial intelligence-generated legal case citations he got online before they were submitted to a New York judge

Former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen said he unwittingly passed along to his attorney bogus artificial intelligence-generated legal case citations he got online before they were submitted to a New York judge (Credits: AP)

Ex-President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer used an artificial intelligence program to generate bogus legal citations, court documents show.

Michael Cohen admitted in the papers unsealed on Friday that he mistakenly provided his lawyer, David Schwartz, with fake cases invented by Google Bard.

Trump’s one-time ‘fixer’ said he gave the non-existent cases to Schwartz in his effort to end his supervised release sentence early, after pleading guilty in 2018 to tax evasion and campaign finance offenses. Cohen’s attorney passed the phony citations on to federal Judge Jesse Furman.

‘As a non-lawyer, I have not kept up with emerging trends (and related risks) in legal technology and did not realize that Google Bard was a generative text service that, like Chat-GPT, could show citations and descriptions that looked real but were actually not,’ stated Cohen in a declaration to Furman on Thursday.

Michael Cohen said he did not realize his lawyer 'would drop the cases into his submission wholesale without even confirming that they existed'

Michael Cohen said he did not realize his lawyer ‘would drop the cases into his submission wholesale without even confirming that they existed’ (Picture: AP)

Cohen added that he was not aware that Schwartz ‘would drop the cases into his submission wholesale without even confirming that they existed’.

Schwartz in his declaration acknowledged using three citations and not reviewing them because Cohen said another lawyer, Danya Perry, would give suggestions for the motion.

‘I sincerely apologize to the court for not checking these cases personally before submitting them to the court,’ wrote Schwartz.

The three fake cases that were cited were United States v Figueroa-Flores, United States v Ortiz and United States v Amato. Each had summaries and stated they were affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, However, they were blatantly fabricated, as they had excerpts from real cases blended together by AI.

Michel Cohen's AI usage revelation could cast doubt on his testimony against his former boss ex-President Donald Trump in two court cases

Michel Cohen’s AI usage revelation could cast doubt on his testimony against his former boss ex-President Donald Trump in two court cases (Picture: Getty Images)

Cohen’s AI debacle could harbor doubt on his testimony in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal fraud case against Trump, and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil fraud case against him.

One of Trump’s lawyers, Susan Necheles, quickly used the revelation to say it was ‘typical Michael Cohen’.

‘The DA’s office should not be basing a case on him,’ said Necheles, according to The New York 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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