Cohen fixing to incriminate Trump: Darcy cartoon
Cohen fixing to incriminate Trump: Darcy cartoon
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The most devastating hour of the Trump presidency, to date, occurred Tuesday afternoon when Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen incriminated the president in a felony, while pleading guilty to eight charges. Then Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was found guilty on eight charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.
Cohen, who once said he would take a bullet for President Trump, instead took a plea deal on eight charges.
Under oath, Cohen said that “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” (understood to be Trump) Cohen made payments to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal to keep their alleged affairs with Trump from influencing the 2016 campaign.
The campaign finance charge Cohen plead guilty states on page 15:
MICHAEL COHEN, the defendant, caused and made the payments described herein in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. In so doing, he contributed with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact and nature of the payments.”
Cohen also plead guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud and one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporation contribution.
In a series of tweets, Cohen’s attorney stated why Cohen took the plea deal, and suggested that if Cohen is guilty, than so his President Trump.
“Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter. This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump.”
“Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payment to two women for the principle purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”
Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator who could be indicted.
Most legal experts agree that if Trump wasn’t president, he also would have been indicted on the same campaign finance charge. At the very least, many said Trump could still be named as an unindicted co-conspirator in Mueller’s report.
Reportedly White House staffers have been telling people that Trump can’t be indicted. But that’s not true.
There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution to prohibit a president from being indicted. The source of the belief that a president can’t be indicted is two modern-era memo’s written by Department of Justice lawyers. But those lawyers worked for the president at the time they were written. It has not been tested by the Supreme Court.
It’s also believed Trump won’t be indicted while president because Mueller allegedly agrees with the DOJ memos that a president can’t be indicted.
Mueller may find Trump’s actions so egregious he could make Trump a test case for indicting a sitting president. Or, I could see Rosenstein threatening a Trump indictment as a way to get Congressional leaders to visit the White House to tell Trump to resign, as happened in the case of Nixon.
Does Cohen have a cooperation deal?
When asked, Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis wouldn’t answer that question. He deferred to Cohen’s other attorney.
Whether Cohen has an undisclosed cooperation agreement, or not, its expected he will be cooperating to one degree of another, and it could be further devastating to the Trump presidency.
Cohen and his lawyers have made it clear he’s willing and anxious to talk with Mueller. But Cohen can also continue to provide damaging information on Trump to to New York’s 6th district prosecutors office, on non-Russian investigation criminal activity. Mueller could be fired, and that would have no impact on 6th district investigations based on information gleaned for Cohen cooperating and the evidence gathered in the FBI raid.
Trump-Giuliani mishandled, underestimated Cohen.
Trump and Giuliani made a huge mistake when they publicly threw Cohen under the bus and didn’t respond to his not subtle entreaties for legal-financial assistance. Cohen rolled out from under the bus and into the arms of prosecutors.
Flynn sentencing delayed.
It just wasn’t a double legal whammy that hit Trump, it was a triple whammy. It was announced the Michael Flynn’s sentencing was once again delayed. That means he’s still providing information to the Mueller investigation.
As bad as it was, the Cohen and Manafort convictions are just the tip of the legal iceberg the Trumptanic is still sliding against. Investigators are still going through the Cohen document horde. Still to come will be the results of Flynn’s testimony and everyone else Mueller interviewed.
The Cohen-Manafort was so bad for Trump he was probably hoping Omarosa would leak another tape