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As you’ve likely heard by now, Tuesday was not exactly a banner day for the Trump administration.
The afternoon saw news that former campaign chair Paul Manafort had been convicted on eight counts of fraud, the most serious of which carry maximum sentences of 30 years in prison.
The second blow came shortly thereafter, with reports that another of the president’s former confidantes might also headed for the slammer.
Attorney Michael Cohen turned on Trump and pled guilty to eight counts of violating federal campaign law.
The president has hinted at pardoning Cohen in the past, but is now attempting to distance himself from his longtime personal lawyer, tweeting:
“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”
Needless to say, it’s all very distressing if you’re one of the president’s supporters … and rather hilarious if you’re one of his enemies.
Stormy Daniels is at the center of the Cohen situation, and considering the extent to which she’s been attacked and villainized by Trump and his supporters, it should come as no surprise that she decided to indulge in a little light gloating last night.
“How ya like me now?!” Daniels tweeted, adding the hashtag #teamstormy.
She didn’t go into any detail with regard to what she’s referring to — but of course, she didn’t need to.
Daniels’ high-profile attorney, Michael Avenatti, also seized the opportunity to spike the football a bit, tweeting:
“We. Are. Coming,” Avenatti himself tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “We are going to end this dumpster fire of a presidency one way or another.”
In a statement issued to NBC News Daniels stated that she felt “vindicated”
“Michael [Avenatti] and I are vindicated and we look forward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong,” Daniels said.
It’s worth noting that Cohen never named Trump in court documents, but instead stated that he was acting on the behest of “a candidate for federal office.”
Shortly after news of the plea deal went public, however, Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, tweeted that his client “stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime.”
So yeah, we think it’s safe to say “the candidate” wasn’t Jill Stein.
Something tells us Stormy will has a lot more vindication coming her way.
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Michael Cohen, who worked for two decades as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, reached a plea deal today with federal prosecutors in court.
In doing so, the man who has often been referred to as the President’s “fixer” implicated the Commander-in-Chief in two major crimes.
Cohen is now on record as saying “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office” he acted to keep information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle.
Cohen has flipped on his long-time client.
The “candidate” referenced above is very obviously Trump (no one is arguing against this) and the coordinated effort about which Cohen is talking has to do with payments made on Trump’s behalf to a pair of women:
1. Karen McDougal.
2. Stormy Daniels.
Trump allegedly carried on affairs with both of these women and, with Cohen’s assistance, arranged for each to be paid off in order to keep them quiet about the sexual intercourse.
Under regular circumstances, this might not be illegal.
A woman is allowed to sign a contract in which she agrees not to disclose details about nearly anything in exchange for a sum of money.
HOWEVER, Cohen says he was instructed by Trump to make these payments specifically so that news of his affairs would not affect the Presidential election.
The deals were made with the explicit cause of influencing the minds of votes and THAT is what makes them potentially against the law.
“I participated in the conduct for the purposes of influencing the election,” Cohen said about his payments to porn star Daniels and ex-Playboy model McDougal.
Yes, he said this in court.
Yes, it’s safe to assume he will testify to this same charge if he must do so again.
And, yes, it’s possible Cohen has tapes of Trump making various admission and issuing certain directives, since one exchange between the attorney and his former client has already been made public.
It depicts Cohen and Trump discussing the payment that will be made to McDougal.
You can listen to it here:
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts during his day in court on Tuesday.
The charges against Cohen include:
Tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump… including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate.
Regarding the charge linked to Daniels, Cohen said the money “was later repaid to me by the candidate.”
Trump, of course, has denied having knowledge that Cohen paid anyone off on his behalf and has certainly denied ever paying him back.
Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, didn’t shy away from directly calling out the president this afternoon.
“If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” he asked in a statement.
That’s a fair question.
Elsewhere this afternoon, Paul Manafort – President Trump’s former campaign chairman, pictured below – was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes by a federal jury in Virginia.
This verdict came about as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Manafort faces a maximum of 80 years in jail after being found guilty on five tax fraud counts, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.
For the record now, Trump’s former national security advisor, lawyer and deputy campaign manager have all pleaded guilty to various federal crimes.
His former campaign manager has been convicted of eight felonies.
Can you imagine all that Mueller and his team would uncover if this weren’t a Rigged Witch Hunt?!?
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Michael Cohen has just dropped a bombshell on America.
Might it serve as the first step toward the impeachment of President Donald Trump?
On Thursday night, CNN reported that the President’s personal lawyer of over two decades is willing to testify to special investigator Robert Mueller that Mr. Trump knew in advance about a meeting in Trump Tower that took place two years ago.
In this June 2016 sit-down – which Donald Trump Jr. and other advisors close to then-candidate Trump have admitted to attending – Russians were expected to offer the campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Emails dug up by The New York Times about a year ago proved that Trump Jr. was made aware ahead of this meeting that the Russians wanted to discuss ways to bring down Clinton.
He responded with enthusiasm to that possibility.
After the meeting was exposed, Trump Jr. and other administration officials went on record with multiple claims that Cohen is now willing to dispute:
1. That the meeting was fruitless and no information about Clinton was brought up.
2. Far more damaging, that President Trump had no idea the meeting took place.
Cohen alleges he was present, along with several other inidividuals, when the elder Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr.
By Cohen’s account, per CNN, Trump gave the green light to this gathering between his campaign staff and representatives from a foreign adversary.
To be clear, Cohen does NOT have any recordings that can back up his claim.
He is simply willing to testify under oath that he witnessed Trump give his son the go-ahead for the Russian pow wow.
This is pertinent because the attorney did tape Trump on numerous occasions back when he met frequently with his famous client; one recently-released tape features Trump and Cohen discussing payment to keep quiet a story about his affair with Karen McDougal.
What is discussed in the video below may violate campaign finance law. Take a listen:
Trump himself has repeatedly pleaded ignorance about this infamous meeting between his advisors and shady folks from Russia.
He has one said on more than one
thousand occasions that there has been NO COLLUSION between his administration and the Vladimir Putin-led regime.
Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.
As always, however, Rudy Giuliani was very happy to speak out and to make things a million times worse for his client, President Trump.
“He’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years,” Rudy Giuliani said to Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” on Thursday night.
This is really the only approach Giuliani and his team can take, we suppose, but it’s an ironic one.
They are saying that the President’s personal attorney and close confidante is a liar.
One can’t help but logically wonder, therefore, just what is was lying about and for whom he was doing said lying.
“I don’t see how he’s got any credibility,” Giuliani added in response to Cohen’s allegation about this Russian meeting.
Several months ago, Cohen’s office was (legally) raised by investigator in New York who had obtained a search warrant.
He’s under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Manhattan due to all the dealings he has been responsible for as the lawyer for Trump.
The June 2016 meeting at the center of this scandal was arranged after a publicist who knew Trump Jr. told him that a senior Russian official “offered to provide the Trump campaign” with damaging information about Clinton.
This email also said this information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump. Jr. responded as follows, in a message made public about a year ago: “if it’s what you say, I love it.”
At the meeting, Trump Jr. was joined by his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman at the time.
The President said on July 12, 2017, that he “only heard about it two or three days ago.”
A week later, Trump repeated that he “didn’t know anything about the meeting” because “nobody told me” about it.
Now, however, Cohen is saying the opposite, that Trump played a key role in approving this meeting and in pushing his staff to collude with the Russians.
Strap in, folks. The ride may just get even bumpier from here on out.
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