Patterico's Pontifications

8/21/2018

Reports: Michael Cohen Pleading Guilty Today (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:37 pm

New York Times:

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s combative former lawyer and fixer, on Tuesday reached a plea agreement with prosecutors investigating payments he made to women on behalf of Mr. Trump, a deal that does not include cooperation with federal authorities, two people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Cohen is expected to plead guilty to multiple counts of bank and tax fraud charges and campaign finance violations. For months, prosecutors in New York have been investigating him for those crimes and focusing on his role in helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

The United States attorney’s office announced that there would be a “proceeding of interest” in a case against a defendant identified only as John Doe, language that almost always indicates a guilty plea. One person with knowledge of the matter said the proceeding would be the guilty plea by Mr. Cohen.

So, he’s definitely not cooperating, then? The story says: not so fast. We don’t know.

The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

Mr. Mueller could in the future seek a reduction in Mr. Cohen’s sentence if he substantially assists the special counsel’s investigation.

As of the time this post was published, it’s not inconceivable that Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort could both end the day as convicted felons. How about that.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

UPDATE regarding Michael Cohen via the NYT:

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges. He made the extraordinary admission that he arranged payments to two women “at the direction of the candidate,” referring to Mr. Trump, to secure their silence about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments were “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.

Mr. Cohen also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, bringing to a close a monthslong investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors who examined his personal business dealings and his role in helping to arrange financial deals with women connected to Mr. Trump.

UPDATE regarding Paul Manafort via NRO:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday afternoon on eight counts of financial crimes, while Judge T. S. Ellis declared a mistrial on ten other counts for which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. Each count carries with it a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, meaning he now faces up to 240 years behind bars.

Manafort has also been charged by Mueller with seven counts of obstruction of justice, failure to register as a foreign agent, and conspiracy to launder money. The trial on those charges is expected to start next month.

President Trump just landed in West Virginia for a Make America Great Again rally and responded to reporters:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to the news that his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, his former longtime lawyer and fixer, were now both felons.

“Paul Manafort is a good man… it doesn’t involve me but it’s a very sad thing… it had nothing to do with Russian collusion,” Trump told reporters during a campaign trip to West Virginia. Trump pointedly ignored any mention of Cohen, who implicated Trump in two counts of felony campaign finance violations.

–Update by Dana

295 Responses to “Reports: Michael Cohen Pleading Guilty Today (UPDATE ADDED)”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Remember when Cohen boasted that he was going to take “an extended vacation” thanks to Stormy breaking her NDA?

    “The more I’m thinking about it, I might even take an extended vacation on her dime.”

    Do you suppose the plea deal lets him choose between Otisville and Ray Brook?

    Dave (445e97)

  3. Let’s see…

    Nothing to do with Trump

    Whatabout (random other thing)

    Illegal investigation

    Colonel Klink (4ad376)

  4. So far, the jury has reached verdicts on eight counts (I assume guilty verdicts) and the other ten are still out there.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  5. “Whatabout (random other thing)”

    Waiting for narciso to drop a cryptic statement and a broken url

    Content:
    Counts 1-5. Tax evasion 2012-2016
    Count 6 false statement to financial institution Feb 2015-April 2016
    Count 7 willful cause of unlawful corporate contribution June 2016-Oct. 2016
    Count 8 excessive campaign contribution on Oct. 27, 2016

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  6. Paul Montagu (9dcfd2) — 8/21/2018 @ 1:30 pm

    Guilty on 8.

    Dave (445e97)

  7. And what does that have to do with russia, who did he lobby, podesta and Weber did the lobbying, for same Russian interests, vitter has taken up the mantle for the latter.

    Narciso (0da37e)

  8. AND WHAT ABOUT CHAPPAQUIDDICK?

    Dave (445e97)

  9. The best thing those guys could do now is re-register as Democrats.

    AZ Bob (885937)

  10. Trump’s tweet claiming total exoneration in the RIGGED WITCH-HUNT, even as his two caporegimes are simultaneously carted off to the federal pen incoming in 3…, 2…., 1…..

    Dave (445e97)

  11. And my assumption is correct. Since I’m on a roll, I’ll also assume that Mueller is going to retry the ten counts that were hung, and that he’ll nailed on most of those, too. At least for the eight convictions, the rules finally did apply to Manafort. He sort of reminds me of Nick Cage in that movie.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  12. Manafort has been convicted on eight counts, mistrial on the other ten

    aphrael (39545e)

  13. “How about that.”

    Spanky’s getting a hard lesson about the long arm of the law. I bet he’s shaking in those golf pants now!

    Tillman (d34303)

  14. Manafort guilty on 8 counts; Cohen pleads guilty to 8 counts– two directly related to he President of the United States. And so it begins…

    “The best people.”

    History rhymes…

    John N. Mitchell, Attorney General of the United States who resigned to become Director of Committee to Re-elect the President, convicted of perjury about his involvement in the Watergate break-in. Served 19 months of a one- to four-year sentence.
    Richard Kleindienst, Attorney General, convicted of “refusing to answer questions” (contempt of court); given one month in jail.
    Jeb Stuart Magruder, Deputy Director of Committee to Re-elect the President, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to the burglary, and was sentenced to 10 months to four years in prison, of which he served 7 months before being paroled.
    Frederick C. LaRue, Advisor to John Mitchell, convicted of obstruction of justice. He served four and a half months.
    H. R. Haldeman, Chief of Staff for Nixon, convicted of conspiracy to the burglary, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Served 18 months in prison.
    John Ehrlichman, Counsel to Nixon, convicted of conspiracy to the burglary, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Served 18 months in prison.
    Egil Krogh, aide to John Ehrlichman, sentenced to six months for his part in the Daniel Ellsberg case.
    John W. Dean III, counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice, later reduced to felony offenses and sentenced to time already served, which totaled 4 months.
    Dwight L. Chapin, deputy assistant to Nixon, convicted of perjury.
    Maurice Stans, United States Secretary of Commerce who resigned to become Finance Chairman of Committee to Re-elect the President, convicted of multiple counts of illegal campaigning, fined $5,000 (in 1975 – $22,700 today).
    Herbert W. Kalmbach, personal attorney to Nixon, convicted of illegal campaigning. Served 191 days in prison and fined $10,000 (in 1974 – $49,600 today).
    Charles W. Colson, special counsel to Nixon, convicted of obstruction of justice. Served 7 months in Federal Maxwell Prison.
    Herbert L. Porter, aide to the Committee to Re-elect the President. Convicted of perjury.
    G. Gordon Liddy, Special Investigations Group, convicted of masterminding the burglary, original sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
    Served ​4 1⁄2 years in federal prison.
    E. Howard Hunt, security consultant, convicted of masterminding and overseeing the burglary, original sentence of up to 35 years in prison.
    Served 33 months in prison.
    James W. McCord Jr., convicted of six charges of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping.
    Served 2 months in prison.
    Virgilio Gonzalez, convicted of burglary, original sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
    Served 13 months in prison.
    Bernard Barker, convicted of burglary, original sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
    Served 18 months in prison.
    Eugenio Martínez, convicted of burglary, original sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
    Served 15 months in prison.
    Frank Sturgis, convicted of burglary, original sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
    Served 10 months in prison.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  15. According to CNN, Cohen says he violated the campaign finance laws at the direction of … Donald J. Trump.

    Dave (445e97)

  16. Breaking: Manafort found guilty of 8 counts; jury deadlocked on 10 others and a mistrial declared over them.

    I didn’t know there were so many separate counts. I was guessing that the deadlock was pver nto checking the box on having a foreign bank account.

    He waa found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of hiding foreign bank accounts.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  17. In other news, illegal alien charged w/murder of Iowa co-ed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Media intimidation works and you’re fine with It, even threatening a judge, gotta break some eggs for that omelet.

    Narciso (0da37e)

  19. 15. Dave (445e97) — 8/21/2018 @ 2:09 pm

    15.According to CNN, Cohen says he violated the campaign finance laws at the direction of … Donald J. Trump.

    What would be the point of it?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  20. @15. An ‘unindicted co-conspirator’!?!?

    History rhymes…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. “… in coordination and at the direction of …”

    Dave (445e97)

  22. @18. The endless whine of the Colludin’ Cuban. Bitter dregs. Life lesson: never trust the Irish.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  23. Bothg guilty on 8 counts:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/paul-manafort-found-guilty-eight-counts

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/michael-cohen-to-plead-guilty-to-criminal-charges-1534875978

    Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea includes an admission that he violated campaign-finance laws by paying $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film star professionally known as Stormy Daniels, a month before the election.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  24. He also said he paid off Daniels at Trump’s instruction for the purpose of influencing the election

    aphrael (39545e)

  25. Now that two of Trump’s people have been convicted today, I’ll further assume that Trump will be on a tweet storm bender, using lots of words like “RIGGED!” and “WITCH HUNT!” and “17 ANGRY DEMOCRATS!”

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  26. 22, how? I thought Cohen was a J and Manafort a Manaforte

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  27. So did the Iowa sheriff dept of record sit on the body and perp until an opportune time i.e. to take heat off of other stories.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  28. @26. Hannity is neither. Nor was Kennedy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. ” … in coordination and at the direction of … ”
    ” … for the principal purpose of influencing the election … “

    Dave (445e97)

  30. I’m disappointed… what happened to teh Russian Collusion ???

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  31. Trump flies to Charleston.
    Nixon flew to Cairo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. On that note,Colonel, it’s rinky dink stuff one assumes with Noo Yawker, on the other hand maybe Pences personal exposure to the forthcoming Tibbetts case hardens him up in a weak area and has people reassured about decoupling from the big circus train.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  33. “According to CNN…”

    Now there’s a place to hang your hat.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  34. @30. You’re red-faced, Helstinki. Own it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. Sure seems odd that the prosecution would go to great lengths to impugn Cohen as a habitual, pathological liar with a plan to then resurrect him as a witness to support their schiffshow.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  36. Why worry about all the felonies, nothing to do with Russia.

    I’m mean who cares that “only the best people” are going to prison, it’s not prison time for conspiracy to defraud the US about Russia, it’s a conspiracy to defraud the US about a bunch of other stuff, that’s totally cool.

    Colonel Klink (d2f953)

  37. But… but… Russia!!!

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  38. DCSCA uses the Nixon narrative, but Harding-to-Coolidge might be the history that rhymes.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  39. @38. “I am not a crook!” rhymes well enough.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  40. I’ve updated the post:

    UPDATE regarding Michael Cohen via the NYT:

    Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges. He made the extraordinary admission that he arranged payments to two women “at the direction of the candidate,” referring to Mr. Trump, to secure their silence about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Cohen told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments were “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.

    Mr. Cohen also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, bringing to a close a monthslong investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors who examined his personal business dealings and his role in helping to arrange financial deals with women connected to Mr. Trump.

    UPDATE regarding Paul Manafort via NRO:

    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday afternoon on eight counts of financial crimes, while Judge T. S. Ellis declared a mistrial on ten other counts for which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

    Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. Each count carries with it a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, meaning he now faces up to 240 years behind bars.

    Manafort has also been charged by Mueller with seven counts of obstruction of justice, failure to register as a foreign agent, and conspiracy to launder money. The trial on those charges is expected to start next month.

    President Trump just landed in West Virginia for a Make America Great Again rally and responded to reporters:

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to the news that his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, his former longtime lawyer and fixer, were now both felons.

    “Paul Manafort is a good man… it doesn’t involve me but it’s a very sad thing… it had nothing to do with Russian collusion,” Trump told reporters during a campaign trip to West Virginia. Trump pointedly ignored any mention of Cohen, who implicated Trump in two counts of felony campaign finance violations.

    Dana (023079)

  41. I called DJT’s high water mark a week or so ago. Cohen’s conviction directly implicates DJT. Most of the faithful will find reasons to continue to fully support him. However, a significant erosion will commence.

    Manaforte goes to trial on DJT-related matters next. He does so as a convicted felon. Here again, a further erosion of support will manifest.

    What say you, Melania? Ivanka?

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  42. “Paul Manafort is a good man… it doesn’t involve me but it’s a very sad thing… it had nothing to do with Russian collusion,” Trump told reporters during a campaign trip to West Virginia. Trump pointedly ignored any mention of Cohen, who implicated Trump in two counts of felony campaign finance violations.

    Meh. In his televised tarmac ramble, he also spouted Manafort worked for both Dole and Reagan. They’re in this, too, eh, Captain? You’re surrounded by disloyal officers. Wait ’til your third First Mate files for divorce, too…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. And Al Capone was brought down on tax evasion. They couldn’t get ‘im on being a murdering gangster, but that was in writing – in black and white.

    Tillman (d34303)

  44. So when is the LBJ March 31,1968-like announcement?

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  45. Manaforte’s “activities” were several years up to and including 2014.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  46. The jury found Manaforte filed false income tax returns in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and in 2014. He was also found guilty of one count of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts in 2012. All of this was before Trump’s campaign.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  47. The DC district trial for Manafort that begins next month includes 7 counts through 2017, plus witness tampering in 2018.

    Colonel Klink (4b8b7c)

  48. Keep in mind that it was not a crime for the candidate to use his own money to pay off Daniels. Candidates can spend whatever they want on their own campaigns.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  49. Campaign finance laws, handled like traffic tickets at worst when Democrats are implicated.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  50. Derp State.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  51. Yep! Why, to hear old drunku tell it , Manafart’s justa li’l ol’ cuddly bear, now ain’t he?

    Tillman (d34303)

  52. If it is even possible to get a change of venue, one would think trying to get the hell out of the DC area would be first on the list.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  53. And the fact that he said it was for the purpose of influencing the election is not surprising because he had to admit to facts establishing each element of the offense, and intent to influence the election is an element so he had to make that admission.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  54. Tillie… teh victory mince is tried and true in the dens of iniquity you frequent, but it will not work around here…

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  55. And the hits just keep on coming:

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, wife indicted on corruption charges in California

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and his wife, Margaret, were indicted on charges of illegally converting campaign funds for personal expenses and filing false records, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/21/rep-duncan-hunter-wife-indicted

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. Bum link, aspca… EPIC BarcaLounger FAIL…

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  57. “Keep in mind that it was not a crime for the candidate to use his own money to pay off Daniels. Candidates can spend whatever they want on their own campaigns.“

    As former-FEC chair Bradley Smith has mentioned numerous times…

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  58. @56. Bum link, Fox News. That’s REDundant, Helstinki.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. @44. More like the evening of August 8, 1974 TeeVee Spectacular!

    http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BouCsOqMzEM

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. So the bum link means it didn’t happen, or something. Here’s the actual link.

    Derp state is right, the entire Trump campaign team was the derp state, and that derp state community is going to jail at a rate not seen since Nixon.

    Not Russia, so it’s all fine, wait, there have been 28 indictments directly against Russian’s? Yup, so the dominoes are falling, this is being built exactly like an organized crime case.

    Colonel Klink (c4624c)

  61. Cobra Kai dojo takes one in the ribcage! But the 2nd place guy is PLO, so no sweat, just a quick appointee should do it.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  62. DCSCA, I wouldn’t put it past 45 to do a prank resignation or exaggerated demise.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  63. It always helps to read the text of the actual charging document and not the press reporting. Can’t get too in depth on my phone but IMO there is less there than meets the eye, and while there is likely no chance of charging a trump while he is in office, on the same facts they could indict the National Enquirer CEO – but they chose not to. Hmmm.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  64. Crooked Manafort is convicted today. Joining Crooked Cohen, Crooked Flynn and Crooked Papadopolous…. and their guilty pleas.

    Drain the Swamp! Drain the Swamp!

    noel (96c84f)

  65. Don’t forget, we still have 1+ hour of Spanky open-mic free-style tonight, live from West Virginia!

    Dave (445e97)

  66. swc, 3/26/18:

    “the idea that Mueller or anyone else would chase this down as a campaign law violation is laughable”

    “The idea this a possible criminal violation of campaign finance laws is TDS catnip, nothing more.”

    “Edwards was over-reach. Cohen would be over-reach too.”

    Leviticus (f38321)

  67. “When these companies come in… the European Union, very nice people… I say “Jean-Claude, we’d like to renegotiate these deals…”

    LOL

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  68. That’s junkers the one with the Nazi relative and a sex and spy scandal, makes you wonder what would slow advancement in the EU.

    narciso (d1f714)

  69. This is why you should never pay blackmail. Never, never, never! Tell the police, tell your wife, set up a sting to send the erohw and her mpip to jail.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. @65. Remember your David Frye/Dick Nixon:

    “Six times I submitted my resignation. Six times I turned it down.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  71. Can’t get too in depth on my phone but IMO there is less there than meets the eye

    Small screen.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. *pmip*

    nk (dbc370)

  73. Iceslim Gerb, pmip

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  74. 70 – it’s easy to get a defendant to go for a nothin-burger campaign finance charge when you have him by the balls for millions in unpaid taxes.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  75. 70 – and there is a big difference in charging the contributor and charging the campaign. As turned out to be me the case in Edwards.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  76. If it was “easy,” how was this “overreach”?

    Leviticus (f38321)

  77. This is all leading to an October stunt. I’d say surprise but come on.

    It definitely should take some of the fun out of this that though Trump’s campaign was obviously deeply corrupt, as is the GOP, the entire investigation really is a political activity too, and probably also corrupt.

    I guess Bannon (also corrupt) is sitting back and laughing about it.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  78. 80 it took the appointment of a special counsel/mook? Pretty expensive…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  79. A true cunning stunt…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  80. They’ve been pulling stunts since when operation crossfire hurricane was opened up even earlier, depending on when mifsud and helper were first contacted.

    narciso (d1f714)

  81. The campaign finance charge was a throw-in. May have been a condition of the plea.

    Attempting to charge that offense when the defendant is not pleading guilty is a different matter.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  82. Leviticus – I don’t expect you to understand “stat keeping” in federal prosecutions but it does exist. Prosecutors and investigators – their offices – do keep track of the cases, charges, and convictions they get in specific areas of the law. Tax violations only get credited to the IRS. Bank fraud gets credited to the FBI. The campaign finance charges can get credited to the FBI, or maybe some other organization. A lot of times when you see a hodgepodge of disparate changes like against Cohen in an information, it’s done so that every agency that helped gets a stat out of the case. It’s how they justify manpower and resources.

    Shipwreckedcrew (807aff)

  83. Notice how the media, NeverTrump and teh Democrats all pick up the federal prosecution’s cudgel and run with it.

    IOW, teh Establishment. Sorry asses.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  84. Whereas they make every excuse in the world for Hillary’s clear violations of statute,

    Narciso (9b9220)

  85. Yep… F Herr Mueller… F Rosengeech… F teh lot of ‘em.

    Colonel Haiku (236f6f)

  86. “The campaign finance charge was a throw-in. May have been a condition of the plea.”

    – swc

    I’m assuming this is more AUSA insider information? How do you know that?

    Leviticus (f38321)

  87. Should we assume that federal prosecutors regularly corrce defendants to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit?

    Leviticus (f38321)

  88. There is some poetic justice here; it’s the lawyer who’ll go to jail for paying off women he never touched on direction of his client who in the end, has screwed all three of them.

    Well played, Captain, sir!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. Nobody cites plea bargains as precedent. Nothing spent out of the campaign… nothing done with the campaign…

    Now Herr Mueller is chasing the Manhattan Madame. Mueller is not supposed to be political. But there he is.

    And dumbass Cohen has Lanny Davis for a lawyer who counsels him to plead guilty to two possible campaign finance things that aren’t even crimes, which the Feds desperately needed.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  90. Yeah, Cohen, Flynn, Papadoc, Gates, and van der Zwaan, all pleaded guilty just for kicks. Because going to prison is cool, they’re big fans of ‘Orange is the New Black’ so why not.

    Colonel Klink (9a6c27)

  91. Should we assume that federal prosecutors regularly coerce defendants to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit?

    Only in about 85% of prosecutions that result in conviction. By threatening to roll the dice on more serious charges if the defendant demands trial.

    nk (dbc370)

  92. Top Tier of the FBI under investigation… a mole on the deputy AG’s Office whose wife was working for Fusion GPS… yeah… they stink up the place.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  93. Well he got his previous client, out of an extradition request crafted by Lisa page, the whole thing was miss chalupa promise around aug 2016.

    Narciso (9b9220)

  94. “Papadoc, Gates, and van der Zwaan”… what a combined 6 months between them?

    Klown.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  95. Gates stole from his partner, but he was immunized along with the accountant and the banker, it’s an odd twist on musical chairs

    Narciso (9b9220)

  96. But all that is irrelevant. Maybe Manafort’s slimeness is all his, but Cohen’s finagling with the payoff to the hooker is all on Trump. Cohen only did what Trump ordered him to do.

    nk (dbc370)

  97. It just amuses me about lanny Davis last client and he got a whole catch of grantees to say this was an ok bloke or however that translates in Czech, but there’s no curiosity about that.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  98. Sentencing hasn’t happened yet, but the federal minimums for their combined charges are a combined 26 years if all sentences were served concurrently, which is likely. Of course, you could have looked it up too, but why bother, but sure, live your truth.

    Colonel Klink (9a6c27)

  99. nk is correct. Trump’s been caught doing dishonest, unethical, stupid things many times, so I can’t say I’m surprised the same crew will defend and even deny what Trump’s apparently directed his lawyer to do. Of course, to care about these matters is to be exhausted by them. I guess I’ll just wait for the impeachment, which is definitely coming.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  100. And the democrats used every agency of the government, every state resource against him, this case wouldn’t have arisen without said intervention,

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  101. And remember, Trump was married to a supermodel when he did these things. He has some kind of compulsive mental problem that he couldn’t just be glad to remain loyal to his vows. He’s a loser no matter the incredible amount of wealth and power he has acquired. I know these views are quaint but I gotta wonder what went wrong with this guy that made him like he is, and of course how that problem actually led him to reach such heights on our society. He’d do anything for more, even now, and that’s obviously reason for concern.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  102. And the democrats used every agency of the government, every state resource against him, this case wouldn’t have arisen without said intervention,

    Narciso (2e8f38) — 8/21/2018 @ 7:23 pm

    Wake up. Start paying attention. Trump is obviously and ridiculously corrupt. He’s not a victim here.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  103. Whaaa whatabout the democrats. You mean like John Edwards who was prosecuted for literally the exact same FEC violation.

    Colonel Klink (9a6c27)

  104. Hard to imagine the msm is rated lower than lawyers. Just proof attorneys can fix anything. No profession has caused more harm to this country than the lawyers involved in the Obama, Clinton racket.

    mg (9e54f8)

  105. mg, lawyers can do an awful lot of harm. They can do a lot of good too. Like Trump they are a symptom of our cultural breakdown.

    There is such a narcissism in our social media. No need to even elaborate. And there’s a nihilism to much of it too. Tinder’s a good example. The rot in our values is extensive and I do not think Trump would have been able to get 1% of the vote 20 years ago, solely based on how he treats women. And of course the argument for Trump is that his opponents are ‘cucks.’ Men who aren’t real men like Trump I guess.

    How many Christian men out there wince every time they defend Trump, feeling that guilt in their hearts, but for some reason they don’t listen to that? Listen to it. Reject this clown now and demand the GOP impeach him tomorrow morning, first thing. There is no downside because the same jackasses will be saying ‘binary choice’ ten minutes after he’s gone.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  106. “And the democrats used every agency of the government, every state resource against him, this case wouldn’t have arisen without said intervention”

    You guys are the most whiny crybabies imaginable. You have the presidency and majorities in congress and the supreme court, and you have to invent the “deep state” to explain why your leadership are incompetent, corrupt fools.

    You’re suckers. You’ll believe anything so long as it “triggers the libs.”

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  107. We were suckers for letting Nixon step down, and the price then was the boat people, the reeducation camps year zero and down the road the fall of the Shah, for what so we can make ourselves feel better, that’s funny.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  108. Yes I know the 1973 oil shock had a fair bit to do with It, which wouldn’t have happened if the Soviets had not sensed weakness, because this is what democrats have done when they are not actually counseling treason, yes had to move from involuntary manskaughter.

    Narciso (2e8f38)

  109. “Letting Nixon step down” Ha…haha..haaahaaaheehaahe…gulp…haahehaha…snort. He was being impeached by a Republican lead Congress. Quit or you’re fired, because tapes. They are a magnetically encoded medium for recording data, historically for storing sound or video recordings.

    Ah, millennials, so proud of being so very very dumb.

    Colonel Klink (4bf39a)

  110. If your going to commit crimes it pays to be a Democrat.

    “In a hearing Tuesday, Tanya Chutkan, an Obama-appointed federal judge, gave Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Pakistani IT staffer Imran Awan no jail time because he has already “suffered enough.” Awan will only serve 3 months of supervised release.”

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  111. I don’t think Narciso is a millennial. I think he’s actually very smart and insightful, and probably has a good point about the tragic consequences of Nixon’s downfall. If you think about it, we live in a completely different (and worse) world now.

    And I guess his message might be to worry about what’s going to happen if Trump is followed by another Carter. The next democrat president is not going to have a good relationship with Russia, you betcha. Can’t say I know what’s going to happen. But it’s interesting to think about.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  112. @114 Nate Ogden

    What is the usual sentence for lying on a loan application?

    Davethulhu (fddbc4)

  113. What is the usual sentence for lying on a loan application?

    Congress passes TARP and bails out the rich jerkoffs who invested in the junk ahem excuse me “subprime” mortgages to the tune of $700 billion.

    nk (dbc370)

  114. 115. I don’t think Narciso is a millennial. I think he’s actually very smart and insightful, and probably has a good point about the tragic consequences of Nixon’s downfall. If you think about it, we live in a completely different (and worse) world now.

    Pfft. And if only Marina had rolled over for a quickie.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. Mr. Cohen told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments were “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.

    So, Trump said: “I want you to pay their blackmail money so that voters can be convinced to vote for me.”

    This is pretty weak gruel.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  116. AND WHAT ABOUT CHAPPAQUIDDICK?

    If Manafort had been found guilty on that, too, you’d be blaming it on Trump.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  117. Dave the underpants gnome:

    1. Manafort guilty of tax fraud.
    2. ???
    3. IMPEACH TRUMP

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  118. 15.According to CNN, Cohen says he violated the campaign finance laws at the direction of … Donald J. Trump.

    No, he said he paid off the women on the direction of Trump. The rest of it is just Cohen’s bullsh1t. To call a blackmail payment “violating the campaign finance laws” is something you would need a VERY compliant judge for.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  119. So far all we have is the usual wank from the usual wankers. People who are not even pretending to think rationally. They just have a party line and are spewing it in the hope repetition convinces morons.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  120. Well when the Executive and Legislative Branches fall face first in the mud, it’s good to know we can count on our trusty Judicial Branch to show some honor and backbone. Thank God for the Judicial Branch!
    Yes, it still feels odd to say this to someone I’ve essentially argued with for years, but hat’s off to you Pat, and your branch of government, for rising above all the noisy lies and keeping us grounded in reality.

    Tillman (d34303)

  121. The rest of it is just Cohen’s bullsh1t

    But Kevin, Cohen has recordings. He might not have to ask anyone to believe his word. But you may have to eat yours.
    We don’t know what Cohen has recorded, yet. So you know not of what you speak.

    Tillman (d34303)

  122. IOW, teh Establishment.

    In other words, the rule of law.

    Once upon a time, Republicans supported putting people who break the law in jail. I’m sure of it…

    Dave (445e97)

  123. MAGA: My Attorney Got Arrested.

    Tillman (d34303)

  124. Dave the underpants gnome:

    1. Manafort guilty of tax fraud.
    2. ???
    3. IMPEACH TRUMP

    More like

    1. Cohen says Trump conspired to commit federal felony.
    2. High crime and misdemeanor
    3. IMPEACH TRUMP

    Patterico (df6fc2)

  125. I’m all for impeachment. That will kill the Republican Party. Hip-hip-hooray. And then build a new mint. Rushmore with bill, Hillary and Obama. Mittens would vote for it along with family booooosh.

    mg (9e54f8)

  126. Mnt.

    mg (9e54f8)

  127. Impeaching Trump would be *almost* the best possible thing that could happen to the Republican party.

    Then we could have a president who’s:

    a) honest,
    b) sane,
    c) competent,
    d) conservative, and
    e) not in a committed relationship with Vladimir Putin

    Dave (445e97)

  128. If your going to commit crimes it pays to be a Democrat

    You + are = you’re

    The apostrophe stands in for the “a”

    Learn it. Live it.

    It’s like third or fourth grade stuff. You can stand head and shoulders above the other Trumpers.

    Patterico (df6fc2)

  129. Deplorable have had enough of Republican ilk. The neocons have a ba

    mg (9e54f8)

  130. The neocons have a base of 16.

    mg (9e54f8)

  131. The witch hunt caught a witch.

    Patterico (df6fc2)

  132. Fuck the king.

    Patterico (df6fc2)

  133. The neocons have a base of 16.

    We do have the advantage of not being incarcerated, though…

    Dave (7f91aa)

  134. Off the deep end. TDS is alive and well. Destroy the country to destroy Trump. Good luck on your socialist revolution.

    NJRob (b00189)

  135. Since campaign finance violations matter suddenly, when is Obama going to jail for turning off the security requirement to his website allowing foreign donations?

    Oh sorry, breaking the law while leftist just means you’re, “guilty as sin. Free as a bird.”

    NJRob (b00189)

  136. Since campaign finance violations matter suddenly, when is Obama going to jail for turning off the security requirement to his website allowing foreign donations?

    If only there were someone in a position of government authority whose job was to see that the laws are faithfully executed!

    Dave (7f91aa)

  137. “1. Cohen says Trump conspired to commit federal felony.
    2. High crime and misdemeanor
    3. IMPEACH TRUMP”

    Cohen claimed Trump instructed him to make an offer neither of them understood as a federal felony until his lawyer told him to use that exact language.

    “The witch hunt caught a witch.”

    To be more accurate, The Infinite Discovery Posse caught a bridge troll after yelling nonstop about how they were gonna catch them witches while burning down several unrelated houses and fields in the process.

    “F*** the king.”

    VERFICKT PAUL VON HINDENBURG, yelled the Weimar antifa.

    Steppe Nomad (673bee)

  138. Maybe trump could for an SA or SS to deal with the media, politicians and prosecutors. it worked in germany why not here? I am sure trump supporters would gladly join to dish it out instead of just taking it. What better way to deal with vermin in the media.

    wendell (c166ff)

  139. Trump could just re-appoint Eric Holder to be the dom in the White House-media relationship, though Sam Hyde would probably be a better choice at this point.

    Steppe Nomad (3a659d)

  140. The self promoting neocons will never have Americas back and their voter turnout will prove it. Exceptional times. Cheers.

    mg (9e54f8)

  141. And in any case, why would you need the SS or the SA to kill journalists when the Salvatruchas will do it for a comparatively small fee? Long as America ends up as Mexico Norte, you may as well enjoy the fringe benefits!

    Steppe Nomad (00e23d)

  142. So Trump is to be impeached and removed because he allegedly directed Cohen to pay off Stormy for the affair so he could be elected President. Meanwhile, Bubba used government resources to obstruct justice in hiding his affair with Lewinsky, lied under oath about it and Democrats juuuuuust can’t make themselves vote for impeachment then because they are strapping on the kneedpads to save abortion on demand. I would also note that Obama’s campaign in 2008 played hide the ball with $2 million dollars worth of illegal contributions and got a mere fine of $375,000 for dragging out the case until after Obama was safely re-elected in 2013. Couldn’t someone in DOJ make a case that an investigation of the Obama campaign was needed to determine if the hide the ball actions were done to “influence the election?” Democrats in the House and Senate have some strange new respect for the rule of law and the integrity of the campaign finance system *Sark*

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  143. It’s a campaign finance violation if Cohen paid off the erohw with his own money without expectation of being paid back by Trump. I doan theenk so ees wha hoppen, senores.

    nk (dbc370)

  144. We saw the egregious cost that dem lawfare wrought on the 70s, they basically struck out in the 80s pitching for the Sandinista and they hit a double in Iraq hence the Islamic state, that’s the big picture. And this was mostly because they couldn’t stomach that Nixon had unmasked a Soviet spy in the heart of their government.

    Narciso (c9c566)

  145. NK – I think you mean with the expectation that Trump would reimburse him. If campaign money was used, that’s probably a violation of the law. There’s reporting that Trump reimbursed with a $35,000 monthly retainer. If it’s personal funds, I think Trump is in the clear. John Edwards got snagged because he induced his campaign finance chair to solicit funding from Bunny Mellon to help cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter and Edwards was also paying Hunter with campaign funds to do a documentary and video work.Which probably was a way for him to pay her for the horizontal mambo while the wife was dying from cancer. Also strange how the mainstream media wasn’t interested in covering the issue until Edwards admitted the affair and had a love child with Hunter.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  146. ://mobile.twitter.com/marklevinshow/status/1032245552841478144

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  147. So in retrospect, corey lewandowski wasn’t so bad you’re saying.

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  148. 136 guess quoting this would get moderated. Isn’t doing this to the king what started this? For the sake of the Republic stop doing this to the king.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  149. No, I meant “if Cohen paid off the erohw with his own money without expectation of being paid back by Trump”. Coupled with his claim that it was to influence the election, it would be an illegal contribution since it exceeded the $5,400 limit. If the expectation was that it was an advance or short term loan and that Trump would reimburse him, then it was not a donation, political or any other kind, and not illegal.

    Is there any evidence that Cohen was paid back by the campaign and not from Trump’s own money?

    It is not generally illegal or unethical for lawyers to advance costs or make loans to clients. It is illegal for lawyers to use their client funds trust accounts to launder money or hide illegal payments. Is there any evidence of that?

    nk (dbc370)

  150. 131 you forgot accomplishes nothing and loses in 2020. I personally have had enough of good person Republicans that don’t win and don’t advance the agenda. 6 years from now after Trump has fixed our trade deals and reduced our immigration issues you can have your Pence or similar Republican.

    Thanks for the grammar lesson, there are known known and unknown unknowns, your and you’re are the first, that’s not the issue but hopefully the dig brought you some gratification.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  151. So lanny Davis. Is setting up a gofund me page, well if it worked for strzok and mccabe…

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  152. What a crock.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  153. Watching former sane people – who used to know better – join the Long March of The Left is enlightening. It’s good to learn what their “principles” actually amount to.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  154. It’s just another day ending in y;

    https://www.steynonline.com/8773/the-priorities-of-us-justice

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  155. Narciso, for a second I swore the Wayans brothers, acting as prison library patrons, were redoing one of their famous In Living Color skits…only thing missing was the”, magy brutha” at the end of the tweet.

    urbanleftbehind (cc7e6a)

  156. Prep to join the Long March of the Left…

    https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1031933269938294785/DDFgLlUx?format=jpg&name=600×314

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  157. Oh and you missed the punchline of the Hunter matter, kid who wants to replace him is the son of one of those black September lads Jeremy Corbyn finally admitted he paid tribute to.

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  158. So this deal was negotiated back in April, when the times was lying about the Palestinians having a martyr fund.

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  159. If the expectation was that it was an advance or short term loan and that Trump would reimburse him, then it was not a donation, political or any other kind, and not illegal.

    No, that’s not how it works.

    According to the FEC website:

    A loan, including a loan to the campaign from a member of the candidate’s family, is considered a contribution to the extent of the outstanding balance of the loan. (Bank loans, however, are not considered contributions if made in the ordinary course of business and on a basis that assures repayment.)

    An unpaid loan, when added to other contributions from the same contributor, must not exceed the contribution limit. Repayments made on the loan reduce the amount of the contribution. Once repaid in full, a loan no longer counts against the contributor’s contribution limit. However, a loan exceeding the limit is unlawful even if it is repaid in full.

    Besides being reported as a contribution, a loan must be continuously reported until it is fully repaid.

    So there were multiple problems with Cohen’s loan:

    1) It exceeded the individual limit at the time it was made, and could never have been legal (“a loan exceeding the limit is unlawful even if it is repaid in full”), and
    2) It was never reported

    Obviously if people could secretly loan money to campaigns without declaring them, and then secretly be repaid (or not), it would defeat the entire framework of transparency that the campaign finance laws attempt to enforce.

    Dave (445e97)

  160. If a candidate chooses to make a settlement with someone or have them sign a nondisclosure agreement, that is not illegal. For example, say a candidate says, ‘Get a nondisclosure agreement, pay the funds out of my pocket, because I don’t want this person to attack me during the campaign for something that occurred before the campaign.’ That’s perfectly legal. That’s not a campaign expenditure. Things not related to running a campaign are not campaign expenditures, they are personal expenditures. Even if paying someone to go away might potentially help your campaign, such an expense made with non-campaign funds is not a campaign contribution.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  161. So Trump is to be impeached and removed because he allegedly directed Cohen to pay off Stormy for the affair so he could be elected President. Meanwhile, Bubba used government resources to obstruct justice in hiding his affair with Lewinsky, lied under oath about it and Democrats juuuuuust can’t make themselves vote for impeachment

    Back during the Lewinski affair, I remember thinking “Damn, I wish we (the GOP) could elect a president even sleazier than Bill Clinton; someone who would conspire with his crooked lawyer to commit multiple felonies to silence the prostitutes he frequented continuously.”

    Dave (445e97)

  162. What if Trump reimburses Cohen tomorrow out of his personal account

    steveg (a9dcab)

  163. 165, Narciso, it is just as likely that the SD-NY USAG office and Powieshiek(sp?) County Sheriffs were playing a game of press conference chicken (i.e. just as the Cohen deal may have been worked out in April, the Tibbetts case could have been basically solved several days ago).

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  164. When you stretch the law to “get” a political opponent, it’s rarely possible to return the law to its original shape. Which brings us to Stormy Daniels.

    Shortly before the 2016 election, one of President Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, arranged a $130,000 payment to the porn star in return for silence about a 2006 affair she claimed to have had with Mr. Trump. (Both the president and Mr. Cohen have denied the affair; Mr. Trump has said he did not know of the payment to Ms. Daniels until this February.)

    Not satisfied with an old-fashioned sex scandal—perhaps because the president seems impervious to that—some want to turn this into a violation of campaign-finance law. Trevor Potter, a former member of the Federal Election Commission told “60 Minutes” the payment was “a $130,000 in-kind contribution by Cohen to the Trump campaign, which is about $126,500 above what he’s allowed to give.” The FBI raided Mr. Cohen’s office, home and hotel room Monday. They reportedly seized records related to the payment and are investigating possible violations of campaign-finance laws.

    But let’s remember a basic principle of such laws: Not everything that might benefit a candidate is a campaign expense.

    Campaign-finance law aims to prevent corruption. For this reason, the FEC has a longstanding ban on “personal use” of campaign funds. Such use would give campaign contributions a material value beyond helping to elect the candidate—the essence of a bribe.

    FEC regulations explain that the campaign cannot pay expenses that would exist “irrespective” of the campaign, even if it might help win election. At the same time, obligations that would not exist “but for” the campaign must be paid from campaign funds.

    If paying hush money is a campaign expense, a candidate would be required to make that payment with campaign funds. How ironic, given that using campaign funds as hush money was one of the articles of impeachment in the Watergate scandal, which gave rise to modern campaign-finance law.

    When the FEC adopted these regulations, it specifically rejected a rule under which campaign contributions could fund an expenditure “related to” a candidacy. The FEC was concerned that would make it too easy for candidates to use campaign funds for personal benefit. Personal debts, for example, are “related to” the campaign—if unpaid, the candidate’s reputation might suffer. A Rolex watch, a new suit, or a haircut might help a candidate look good on the trail.

    If the Trump Organization paid bonuses to employees, it might improve Mr. Trump’s image, helping his re-election prospects. Could those bonuses be paid with campaign funds? Every charitable expenditure made by the Clinton Foundation arguably assisted Hillary’s run for president. Campaign expenditures? The Clintons famously conducted polls on where to vacation. The polls were probably campaign expenses, but how about the trips?

    And how about Stormy? There are many reasons, including personal and commercial ones, why Mr. Trump might want to keep allegations of extramarital affairs out of the press. Ms. Daniels claims that when she first tried to sell her story in 2011, she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot: “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.” If true, it shows that her silence was desired long before Mr. Trump ran. The New Yorker published a story claiming to provide “a detailed look at how Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs . . . out of the press.” If true, this also suggests a pattern outside the campaign.

    Campaign contributions should not become politicians’ personal slush funds. Many ardent anti-Trumpers sincerely believe that the president is a threat to the rule of law. The real threat to the rule of law, however, comes from abusing laws to “get” a political opponent. Some matters are for voters to decide.

    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/stormy-weather-for-campaign-finance-laws-1523398987

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  165. Dan moldea who later ended up working for Larry flynt against ken starr who did him a favor not so long before was trying to implicate Reagan in mcas mob ties, nice try juche dave.

    Narciso (78a4a1)

  166. Bill raped his victims.

    mg (9e54f8)

  167. From Bradley Smith, former Chair of the FEC.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  168. Did a fellow passenger say “my…, you look like that Sarah Huckabee Sanders chick”?
    http://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/redneck-woman-singer-gretchen-wilson-arrested-airplane-disturbance-see-doozy-mug-shot-151124792.html

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  169. “The REAL threat to the Rule of Law…”

    Chew on that for a while, CONDave.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  170. Lanny Davis is Cohens lawyer! Move along nothing to see here. Hilary said so davie boi.

    mg (9e54f8)

  171. MPPGA!!!

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  172. Or at least, not suck quite so much.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  173. President Trump cannot keep his pants zipped. This stopped being news around divorce number one. That there were payments made to keep things quiet is not especially surprising though it is disappointing.

    We couldn’t get it together enough to successfully eject a President who did all this *and* lied about it under oath. Now we’re supposed to have the vapours when they come up with a lesser offence? Sorry, but no. You don’t get to beat up the GOP for being nasty moral scolds for decades and then turn around and beat them up for not having high enough moral standards.

    Talented scoundrels don’t have an ideological bias. Right now, the premier one in the country is carrying the GOP banner. There is zero evidence that the next left-wing politico with zipper problems will be held to a higher standard of behavior than Clinton was. We can’t have two standards of justice.

    TMLutas (099c30)

  174. Steppe at #145, I dont think you want to overchlorinate the pool when some strategic placed strainers might do. How about I send this guy’s resume to you.

    TMLutas- welcome fellow urbanophiler, btw.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  175. Cohen says Trump conspired to commit federal felony.

    More like “Prosecutor tells Cohen that if he claims that ‘Trump conspired to commit federal felony’ things will go better for him.”

    If he claimed that Trump was born in Kenya, would that justify impeachment? There are many reasons to pay off a blackmailer and EVEN IF the motivation was to avoid scandal during a campaign, that is not “illegal campaign finance” unless you really want it to be.

    I’m gonna say this again: an attempt to impeach Trump on the basis of this kind of trumped-up innuendo and wild-assed twisting of facts will lead to a civil war, or something indistinguishable from.

    This not only will not satisfy the Trumpalos, it won’t satisfy people like me who think he’s a dick.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  176. So Trump instructed his fixer, Cohen, to arrange hush money payments to one or more bimbos to keep them quite. No campaign funds were used, the money came exclusively from Trump’s own assets.

    Consequently, it’s obvious that Mueller has it all wrong: Trump didn’t pay hush money to his bimbos to influence the election, he paid hush money to keep them from influencing the election.

    Which isn’t illegal. It’s only a campaign finance infraction to use campaign contributions to pay off bimbos.

    Cohen’s guilty plea to his participation in a “crime” which isn’t actually a criminal offence at all is an indictment of his lawyer, Lanny Davis, for professional incompetence, and possibly grounds for an appeal.

    ropelight (6a1927)

  177. Prediction: it will slowly dawn on NeverTrumpinistas that these alleged campaign finance law violations don’t amount to much… thereby acting as a desiccant on their wildest fevered wet dreams.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  178. Patterico,

    Would you say the case for impeaching Obama over any of several things was better than this? How about impeaching Clinton for perjury? Does Trump get the same “it was about sex” exception?

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  179. Haiku–

    It is a wonder that the Trump-haters think the Trump-lovers are unable to recognize reality, while ignoring the beam in their own eye.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  180. Dave @ 168 – the thing that irritates the crap outta me from the Never-Trumpers (Full Disclosure – I was a Cruz man during the primaries and didnt think much of Trump’s tweets, antics, demeanor, etc) now is the expectation that our side has the be Mr. Pristine and the Dems are allowed to get away with eons of crap. Never Trumpers spew rule of law crap during Dem scandals, but when it gets swept under the rug with slaps on the wrist or nothing, you bend the knee and tug the forelock to the Beltway pundits and when a Republican gets in the same pickle, you bloviate all over yourself about the need to be the Shining Pure Knight, like the second coming of Mitt Romney’s Soul.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  181. The witch hunt caught a witch.

    It caught two tax evaders and bank fraudsters. One of them pled guilty to something that he might well have been acquitted of, since it’s a wild stretch of the law and semantics, but I’m gonna bet that he’ll get leniency on his actual crimes as a result. It’s not like an extra felony will change much for him.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  182. Y’all can speculate all you want. You’ll know it’s bad news for Trump when the stock market tanks. Sank down 60 points today but bouncing back to -20 or so as wait-and-see is moderating fear-and-loathing.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  183. Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, made the extraordinary admission in court on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to keep them from speaking publicly about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

    Blackmail payments are not, in themselves, a crime. Extorting them is. Trump is the victim here.

    Mr. Cohen acknowledged the illegal payments while pleading guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges, a litany of crimes that revealed both his shadowy involvement in Mr. Trump’s circle and his own corrupt business dealings.

    IOW, he agreed with the prosecutor’s assertion that these were illegal payments, while pleading guilty to other, actual, crimes that the prosecutor had him dead-nuts on. He was going to do what? Piss off the prosecutor?

    He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” implicating the president in a federal crime.

    If the candidate had directed him to buy a pizza, this would be equally a crime under this “logic.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/nyregion/michael-cohen-plea-deal-trump.html

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  184. Sank down 60 points today but bouncing back to -20 or so as wait-and-see is moderating fear-and-loathing.

    SIXTY whole POINTS! My GOD that’s nearly a meltdown!

    /sarc

    60 points on 25,000 is a couple parts in a thousand. Do you go to the doctor when your temperature is 98.63 degrees?

    Tanking? Really?

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  185. 187… they follow their fearless host’s lead, Kevin.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  186. 190… is skorcher flying too close to teh Sun?

    Tune in tomorrow, lol…

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  187. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ0ORLU_Q3E

    This is the left you’re supporting.

    https://twitter.com/MattWolking
    Asked about Mollie Tibbetts being murdered by an illegal immigrant, Elizabeth Warren says “I know this is hard” for her family, but they “have to remember” that we need to focus on “real problems” like illegal immigrants not being able to see to their kids

    NJRob (b00189)

  188. “I wish we (the GOP)”

    Pull the other one.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  189. These chumps are like a bad Monty P bit…

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  190. ConDave… Pet Molester…

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  191. 60 points on 25,000 is a couple parts in a thousand. Do you go to the doctor when your temperature is 98.63 degrees?

    Tanking? Really?

    Yeah, that’s my point. It’s no big deal. You’ll know it’s a big deal when it really tanks. I was using the word “tank” ironically. Sheesh.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  192. By itself, Trump’s co-conspiring with Cohen to break a federal law shouldn’t be enough to impeach, IMO, even if the Dems win the House. It’s really up to what’s in Mueller’s report to Rosy, which hopefully we’ll see sooner than later.

    MAGA: My Attorney Got Arrested.

    Ha!

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  193. People who root for the other tribe are still tribal. They just switched sides.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  194. I think Scorcher was being sarcastic. Could be wrong.

    NJRob (b00189)

  195. The Fix was in…

    “A federal judge declined to give jail time to former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan Tuesday, saying he has “suffered enough” at the hands of politicians “at the highest levels of government.” In addition, the Department of Justice said it did not find any evidence that supported criminal charges.

    Imran choked back tears, saying, “We want to thank the prosecution, the FBI and the Capitol Police,” while his lawyer submitted a letter referring to President Donald Trump, Sen. Chuck Grassley and other Republications as “deranged,” “pathetic” and “without a shred of decency.”

    Judge Tanya Chutkin gave Imran three months of supervised release. Imran’s attorney had hoped to avoid the supervision, indicating Imran wanted to go back to Pakistan: “By ending this today, you will allow Hina to build her family wherever she chooses and allow Imran to visit his father’s grave and secure his legacy,” the attorney said.

    The lawyer, former Hillary Clinton aide Chris Gowen, said Imran was motivated by love for his father, who was dying in Virginia when Imran flew to Pakistan. Imran, he said, was in a “panic” to get money to urgently build a charity hospital, described in court as a “women’s shelter.” He described the urgent moves as “securing his father’s legacy.”

    The story is at odds with a 2009 Pakistani newspaper article, police reports and lawsuits in Pakistan, as well as interviews.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/21/imran-awan-no-jail-time-hospital/

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  196. #200, Paul M, what federal law do you assume Trump co-conspired with Cohen to break?

    ropelight (6a1927)

  197. I was wrong. He was being ironic. Well played.

    NJRob (b00189)

  198. I think Scorcher was being sarcastic. Could be wrong.

    Yeah, might not have been the right word per se…Sarcasm, irony take your pick. You do know the difference, right? When a man does it, it’s sarcasm. When God does it, it’s irony.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  199. Judge Tanya Chutkin… appointed by Barky 0bama in 2014.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  200. From Jamaica, she’s bumbaclot

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  201. Lanny Davis practically giddy over his client having pled guilty.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  202. @204 Haiku

    What sentence would you expect for lying on a loan application?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  203. the thing that irritates the crap outta me from the Never-Trumpers […] now is the expectation that our side has the be Mr. Pristine and the Dems are allowed to get away with eons of crap. Never Trumpers spew rule of law crap during Dem scandals, but when it gets swept under the rug with slaps on the wrist or nothing, you bend the knee and tug the forelock to the Beltway pundits and when a Republican gets in the same pickle, you bloviate all over yourself about the need to be the Shining Pure Knight, like the second coming of Mitt Romney’s Soul.

    In other words, we stand by our principles regardless of who they’re being applied to. Guilty as charged.

    The argument that behaving morally imposed some electoral handicap on the pre-Trump GOP is demonstrably false. In the six years between January 2009 and January 2015, the Republican party gained over 1000 seats in congress, state houses and governors’ mansions, and it didn’t require becoming Trumpian liars, perverts, traitors and felons to do it.

    Dave (445e97)

  204. she was a lawyer with ties to fusion, and theranos,

    narciso (d1f714)

  205. this guy is still clueless, or have we revised:

    https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1032085715583160320

    narciso (d1f714)

  206. well that’s patently obvious, he should just withdraw the nomination,

    https://twitter.com/davidharsanyi/status/1032059574306648065

    narciso (d1f714)

  207. What sentence would you expect for lying on a loan application?

    Davethulhu (fab944) — 8/22/2018 @ 9:49 am

    Look forward to you loading the jails with those who lied on their sub-prime mortgage applications. Please start the line at your house.

    NJRob (b00189)

  208. Paul M, what federal law do you assume Trump co-conspired with Cohen to break?

    I didn’t “assume”. Quote:

    Count Seven of the Information charges the defendant with willfully causing an unlawful
    corporate contribution, from at least in or about June 2016, up to and including in or about October
    2016, in violation of 52 U.S.C. 3011801) 35 30109(d)(1)(A), and 18 U.S.C. Count Seven
    carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years; a maximum term of supervised release of 3
    years; a maximum fine of $250,000, twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the offense, or
    twice the gross pecuniary loss to persons other than the defendant resulting from the offense; and
    a $100 mandatory special assessment.
    Count Eight of the Information charges the defendant with making an excessive campaign
    contribution, on or about October 27, 2016, in violation of 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(1)(A),
    30116(a)(7) 3r. 30109(d)(l)(A), and 18 U.S.C. Count Eight carries a maximum term of
    imprisonment of 5 years; a maximum term of supervised release of 3 years; a maximum fine of
    $250,000, twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the offense, or twice the gross pecuniary
    loss to persons other than the defendant resulting from the offense, and a $100 mandatory special
    assessment.

    And now we know how Trump is going to play this. The serially lying president is going to call Cohen a serial liar.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  209. 211… as if that’s all the Awans did…

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  210. Organized Crime Boss Donald J. Trump pays homage to convicted felon “brave man” Paul Manafort today:

    I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!

    Ken White:

    “Nothing to see [here], just the President of the United States praising omertà.”

    Allahpundit:

    Remember, a core plank of his campaign was “law and order.” Now it’s “don’t cooperate with law enforcement.”

    Dave (445e97)

  211. No new taxes is the neocon battle cry, oh wait that was another total f-up by team rino. The Republican Party is a cesspool of stink.

    mg (9e54f8)

  212. well they did craft an unusually complicated tax bill, but at least they got those appropriation bills in on time, oh wait,

    narciso (d1f714)

  213. @219 Haiku

    That’s all he was convicted of. The rest was wingnut conspiracy theory. So, back to my question, what sentence would you say would be appropriate for lying on a loan application?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  214. No new taxes is the neocon battle cry, oh wait that was another total f-up by team rino. The Republican Party is a cesspool of stink.

    That’s because they distract GOP voters with the taxing part but stay way far away from focusing on the real problem, the spending. They have their own sacred cows that they want the rest of the country to pay for or have subsidized in such a obfuscated way that no one can tell that they’re robbing the country. As Nixon said, “We’re all Keynesians now”. Speak for yourself, Dickie.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  215. How yesterday’s convictions played on American Pravda.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  216. samizdat, Pravda is what bezos and the times are for, they covered for Hillary Clinton with a full set of sheets, not a pillow,

    narciso (d1f714)

  217. Here is the way the prosecutor described the crime in the charging document — which in his case was an Information, meaning it did not go through the grand jury. In this instance, the language was written by the prosecutor, and if ok’d by the defendant, that was it.

    Despite the cover and article features to the agreement, its principal purpose, as understood by those involved, including MICHAEL COHEN, the defendant, was to suppress Woman-l’story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.

    So Michael Cohen admits that in his understanding the “principal purpose” of the agreement with Actress 1 was to influence the election.

    Cohen has not agreed to cooperate or testify. His admission in this plea agreement cannot be used against anyone else. So at this point there is nothing which we know about that can be used to prove the “principal purpose” of the agreement as “understood” by any of the others involved.

    35. MICHAEL COHEN, the defendant, caused and made the payments described herein, in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. In so doing, he coordinated with one or more members of the campaign, including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments

    .

    Similar problem — if you don’t have Cohen’s cooperation, there is going to be a lack of evidence about the “coordination” involved, and the purpose.

    Nothing in Cohen’s plea agreement introduces any new facts. The mechanics of the payoffs to the two women have been reported for weeks and/or months.

    For loans to be considered as campaign contributions, they must be made to the “campaign”. If Trump has a pattern and practice of trying to suppress unflattering press about his extra-marital activities — and I think the record is pretty clear that he does — then it’s going to be difficult to separate his “private” intentions from his “campaign” intentions. That’s why, as to the candidate, these are particularly difficult charges to prove — and this is an area of campaign finance law that is largely untested in the appellate courts. One reason for that is that these issues are generally handled as civil enforcement actions by the FEC, and not criminal cases by DOJ.

    Cohen was cooked on some pretty serious tax evasion problems, and the bank fraud count is the most serious offense under both the statutes and the guidelines.

    The plea agreement — and any subsequent sentence — are going to be driven by the bank fraud count.
    The sentence in a bank fraud case is driven by amount of loss — or intended loss — suffered by the bank. The loss from the charge in the information is pretty minor — meaning the sentence under the guidelines won’t be very significant.

    The risk that Cohen was facing was in the continued digging by the investigators into past credit transactions he was involved with. There may be much larger bank fraud episodes that could be uncovered. By pleading guilty now, the government basically shuts down the investigation into him, and all crimes they know about, or all crimes they could have uncovered by continuing to investigate, get rolled up into one package.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  218. The Republican Party was in charge of spending a half billion on getting Jebby booooooosh elected. OMG what a bunch of traitorous fools the Republican Party is.

    mg (9e54f8)

  219. Similar problem — if you don’t have Cohen’s cooperation, there is going to be a lack of evidence about the “coordination” involved, and the purpose.

    Yeah, it’s not like they seized a truckload of documents and recordings from him or anything.

    Dave (445e97)

  220. #218, Paul M, please see my comment at # 184, especially the concluding paragraph, which covers the fact that hush money payoffs are not violations of campaign finance laws unless the funds are derived from campaign contributions.

    Trump’s hush money was paid from his own corporate accounts which is seperate and distinct from compaign contributions. Hence, no violation.

    ropelight (6a1927)

  221. 229 — Dave — don’t pretend to understand the rules of evidence, and admissible records in a federal criminal case.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  222. Cohen has not agreed to cooperate or testify.

    He does not have a choice if subpoenaed by a grand jury, does he?

    Sure, he could invoke his right against self-incrimination, but he’s already pleaded guilty to the crimes in question, and the plea agreement explicitly rules out other charges being brought in relation to those offenses.

    Please gratuitously insult me a few times, and then explain how Cohen could refuse to cooperate if subpoenaed by a grand jury in connection with charges 7 and 8 of his plea deal.

    Dave (445e97)

  223. Cohen can take the Fifth — he doesn’t have to explain why.

    He can simply indicate that further statements on his part about the matters in question might expose him to further jeopardy.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  224. And Cohen is not someone a prosecutor would want to build a “he said/he said” case upon.

    This won’t be a “swearing to tell the truth” context like a false statement charge when you have the defendant on one side and two FBI agents on the other.

    Cohen can testify about what he claims people said in meetings or phone calls, but it’s just his version, nothing more.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  225. Trump-tweet this morning… “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”

    Donald, Donald, Donald. That advice wasn’t necessary. The rest of us had come to that conclusion a while back.

    noel (96c84f)

  226. And Cohen is not someone a prosecutor would want to build a “he said/he said” case upon.

    This won’t be a “swearing to tell the truth” context like a false statement charge when you have the defendant on one side and two FBI agents on the other.

    Cohen can testify about what he claims people said in meetings or phone calls, but it’s just his version, nothing more.

    I guess we’ll have to see.

    There is contemporaneous evidence and recordings, and there are also the original attorney(s) for the two women, who (as far as I’m aware) have no credibility issues.

    Dave (445e97)

  227. the thing that irritates the crap outta me from the Never-Trumpers […] now is the expectation that our side has the be Mr. Pristine and the Dems are allowed to get away with eons of crap. Never Trumpers spew rule of law crap during Dem scandals, but when it gets swept under the rug with slaps on the wrist or nothing, you bend the knee and tug the forelock to the Beltway pundits and when a Republican gets in the same pickle, you bloviate all over yourself about the need to be the Shining Pure Knight, like the second coming of Mitt Romney’s Soul.

    In other words, we stand by our principles regardless of who they’re being applied to. Guilty as charged.

    The argument that behaving morally imposed some electoral handicap on the pre-Trump GOP is demonstrably false. In the six years between January 2009 and January 2015, the Republican party gained over 1000 seats in congress, state houses and governors’ mansions, and it didn’t require becoming Trumpian liars, perverts, traitors and felons to do it.e,

    Exactly what was gained by the increase of seats? You still got Obamacare, you still got Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you still had increased government regulation, you had the whitewash of Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Clinton’s email server,the atrocious Iran deal, etc. What you got was GOP-e mandarins saying one thing to their voters, promising to crack down and fight the Obama agenda and then doing a Kabuki surrender and letting themselves get rolled all in the name of “comity”.

    If it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that Trump broke the law, he should quit or get impeached. I don’t see the evidence there yet. You have the word of a fixer who was had by the short and curlies on federal and state tax fraud and is possibly copping to campaign finance laws and implicating Trump out of desperation to reduce his sentence on the tax fraud.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  228. Politically its going to be very interesting to see how establishment GOP senators react to what seems to be a relatively transparent effort by the Dem establishment, led by long-time Clinton loyalist Lanny Davis, to ride a former Trump confidant out to help himself and maybe get some revenge for feeling abandoned, as an effort to impeach Trump.

    The House effort — even if it flips to the Dems in Nov — will mean nothing if there aren’t 67 Senators willing to convict on an impeachment charge.

    Clinton turned the entire effort upside down in 1998. After the release of the Starr report in Sept 1998, the mid-term elections were fought out over the possible impeachment of Clinton. The GOP majority in the house lost 5 seats in the Nov. midterm elections.

    Clinton was impeached by the lame duck House in Dec. 1998, and the trial in the Senate began in January 1999. That trial ended 17 votes short of conviction on Feb. 12, 1999. Not a single democrat voted guilty on either of the two counts of impeachment.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  229. It was interesting to me that none of the paperwork associated with the Cohen plea has Lanny Davis’ name on it as Cohen’s attorney.

    Yet Lanny Davis has been ubiquitous in the press for 24 hours talking about the plea and what it means.

    He’s QUOTED in the NY Post today saying:

    “Mr. Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest to the special counsel and is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows,” Davis told the network.

    “Not just about the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election, which the Trump Tower meeting was all about, but also knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.”

    How could the Dems write a script better than this? It’s like Hillary’s wet dream.

    And that’s why it all should be taken with a grain of salt at this point.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  230. Paul M, please see my comment at # 184, especially the concluding paragraph, which covers the fact that hush money payoffs are not violations of campaign finance laws unless the funds are derived from campaign contributions.

    You asked “what federal law” and I gave you a link. Your issue seems to be whether or not his acts applied to said law, and judge and the AUSA basically said “yes, they do”. The charging document and plea deal–which Mr. Cohen signed, thus denoting acceptance–expressly stated, with cites, that he violated campaign finance laws. The matter is settled. All that’s left is the sentencing, which I’m sure will be contingent on his cooperation.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  231. 236 Dave – you think the attorneys for the two women are going to offer testimony on the thinking of Trump and the CEO of the National Enquirer? You think they all sat around having cocktails and talking about their respective motivations for 1) soliciting payments, and 2) making those payments??

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  232. 240 — Paul: in a plea agreement, the judge does not weigh in on whether an “aggressive” use of a statute to criminalize particular conduct is correct or not.

    Cohen said he extended funding to make the payments. He says he did so to benefit the campaign and influence the election.

    That makes it true as to Cohen — that doesn’t make it true as to anyone else, nor does it prevent anyone else from challenging the application of the statute in a particular circumstance or based on a discreet set of facts.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  233. Exactly what was gained by the increase of seats? You still got Obamacare, you still got Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you still had increased government regulation, you had the whitewash of Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Clinton’s email server,the atrocious Iran deal, etc. What you got was GOP-e mandarins saying one thing to their voters, promising to crack down and fight the Obama agenda and then doing a Kabuki surrender and letting themselves get rolled all in the name of “comity”.

    Interesting version of history, but it bears no relation to reality.

    Obamacare and Dodd-Frank (with the CFPB) both passed in 2010, when the Democrats had their brief lock on congress.

    Starting in 2011, the GOP blocked every aspect of Obama’s legislative agenda. The budget deficit
    fell from 9.8% of GDP to 3.2% of GDP. Inflation-adjusted spending was flat between 2011 and 2016, even decreasing slightly in some years.

    The GOP investigated and exposed all the Obama scandals you mentioned; in some cases they also took him to court. Short of staging a coup, it’s unclear what else you think the should have done. Impeaching Obama had zero chance of success, and would have been political suicide.

    Unfortunately, rather than completing the Democrats’ rout by electing a conservative capable of leading, we flushed all those victories down the toilet with the pathetic imbecile Trump.

    Dave (445e97)

  234. Paul Montagu, correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see anything in the plea agreement that expressly requires Cohen to cooperate or testify on the campaign finance issue as a condition of his sentence. He has the option of doing so, but it’s not required as part of his guilty plea. So his utterances in court about Trump directing him to make the hush payments in order to protect his campaign are a political cudgel. Useful for the Democrats to make hay in order to win enough seats in the House and Senate and legally suspect otherwise.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  235. That makes it true as to Cohen — that doesn’t make it true as to anyone else…

    If it’s proven beyond reasonable that Trump ordered his attorney to make these hush-money payments, then it’s an easy leap to conclude that Trump was a co-conspirator, but ultimately that’s up to Congress to judge. It’s not clear to me who else would challenge Counts 7 and 8. Rosy? Mueller? I doubt either would.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  236. Dave – You make my point perfectly clear. The GOP-e were content to do nothing more than showboat. Did they ever demand a special counsel for all the above scandals? Nope, that’s “political suicide”.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  237. Paul Montagu, correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see anything in the plea agreement that expressly requires Cohen to cooperate or testify on the campaign finance issue as a condition of his sentence.

    That’s true, but is it not also true that the prosecution gets a vote on sentencing? They can recommend to the judge the minimum to a throw-the-book-at-the-defendant penalty, no?

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  238. @243 Dave

    The answer, of course, is “the Deep State.”

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  239. you think the attorneys for the two women are going to offer testimony on the thinking of Trump and the CEO of the National Enquirer?

    The degree to which the election was or was not a primary consideration in the negotiations and agreements reached seems very relevant to that thinking, so yes.

    Dave (445e97)

  240. It says they agree to a stipulated range of 46 to 63 months and agree that the judge can depart from that guidance. My interpretation of that is if the judge decides to throw the book, the defense can’t complain but neither will the prosecutor ask the judge to go higher than the agreed time; barring, of course, any further shenanigans by Cohen. I wonder how often federal judges throw out a plea bargain? My guess is not very often, but I could be wrong.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  241. 247 — no that’s not the way sentencing works. The sentencing guidelines establish a recommended range for a possible sentence based on the facts of the case.

    The judge is typically going to sentence within that range. The government can ask for a sentence at the top of the range, while the defendant will ask for a sentence at the bottom of the range.

    In this case the range will likely be a spread of only about 12 months from top to bottom.

    The statutory “maximum” is not in play — that’s why press accounts saying things like “he faces 30 years in prison” are all ignorant hogwash.

    If he had an agreement to testify in exchange for a lighter sentence than provided by the guidelines — call a sentencing “departure” — that agreement must be reflected in the plea agreement. You cannot keep that secret from the Court when you enter into a plea agreement. One of the questions a judge must ask is whether there are any agreements between the Govt and the Def other than those set forth in the written plea agreement. So you can’t have a “side deal” to testify, and keep that out of the plea agreement.

    IMO not agreeing to such a deal reflects one of two possibilities:

    1) the prosecutors think he’s worthless as a witness because of all his credibility problems, so they didn’t offer him a cooperation agreement; or
    2) the prosecutors don’t need him to cooperate because they don’t have any intention of pushing this theory of criminal culpability further by pursuing either the National Enquirer or Trump where they lack the admissions that Cohen gave them as to himself.

    Trump will never pardon him — unlike Manafort who was prosecuted on an old case that was resurrected for the sole purpose of trying to squeeze him for info about Trump — Cohen’s problems are all more recent, and his tax problems have nothing to do with Trump or trying to squeeze him to cooperate against Trump.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  242. You make my point perfectly clear. The GOP-e were content to do nothing more than showboat. Did they ever demand a special counsel for all the above scandals?

    You make my point perfectly (again) too. Your narrative is based on alternative facts instead of reality.

    They did demand appointment of special counsels, many times.

    Pressing for Leak Inquiry by a Special Counsel

    Lindsey Graham Calls for Special Counsel on Fox News Targeting

    House Adopts H RES 565 Calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service (26 Dems voted in favor)

    Sen. John Cornyn: Special counsel needed in Clinton email case ‘now more than ever’

    But as you are no doubt aware, only the executive branch, not congress, has the power to appoint special counsels, so I don’t understand how this isn’t “showboating”.

    Dave (445e97)

  243. But. Nothing happened, that is the point, and there is no spe ail prosecutor for any of these Violations of statutes

    narciso (d1f714)

  244. 245 — a plea agreement is not “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” because it can’t be used to prove anything.

    It’s an admission by Cohen — meaning the prosecutors don’t have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    They still have that problem with regard to anyone else who might have been involved.

    Consider the National Enquirer. The statute says a corporation cannot make direct contributions to a candidate’s campaign.

    The theory of the prosecution seems to be that in buying the story of Woman 1, and then agreeing to sell the rights to the story to Trump, they were “contributing” to the campaign.

    But the CEO could easily take the position “Trump is a friend of mine, he’s been a source of great material for our publications for 3 decades, maintaining a friendly relationship with him is “good business” for a tabloid publication such as ours, and we had an arrangement with him to run stories past his representative and offer them a “catch and kill” opportunity. In exchange for that, he remained a friendly and valuable source of material for our publications in the years ahead — and there was a chance he might become President which would make that relationship even more valuable to my publications.”

    Against that you have Cohen’s story about motives.

    Tell me how you get a jury to “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” when that’s the state of the evidence before a jury.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  245. Dave – to me, demands made publicly without doing anything more legally or legislatively is showboating. They had the votes in the House and in the Senate after 2010 to shut down business in the House/Senate until a special counsel was appointed; especially in the case of Benghazi and the email server. They stood by and let the Obama Admin whitewash both of those fiascos.

    CygnusAnalogMan (9c66ec)

  246. Tell me how you get a jury to “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” when that’s the state of the evidence before a jury.

    It depends on what’s in Cohen’s contemporaneous tapes, emails and correspondence.

    A good analogy is the Trump Tower collusion meeting; we know from the emails preceding the meeting that it was arranged for the sole and express purpose of obtaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton, highly valuable to Trump’s presidential campaign, from the Russian government.

    Admittedly, it would have been possible for someone more artful and intelligent than Trump’s son to have better concealed the purpose of the meeting, perhaps even to the point where one could reasonably believe more innocent explanations.

    Likewise, Cohen and his co-conspirators might have been careful in what they communicated about the payments, but then again, they might not have. Cohen is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed, and neither, by a long shot, is Donald Trump.

    Dave (445e97)

  247. Dave — do you doubt for a minute that if there was such a tape, email, or other correspondence, that Lanny Davis would have been silent about it for this long? He would certainly be aware of it as Cohen’s attorney and spokesman, yet nothing has surfaced in that regard for how many months now?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  248. By that logic, would he have been aware of the tape that has emerged, months before it emerged?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  249. 212 Dave, with those 1000 seats what was accomplished? Nothing. Still had open borders, health insurance system still barreling to implosion, military still gutted, huge trade deficits, poor job market. Victory is not occupying the seat, victory is advancing conservative solutions.

    Democrats have some how mastered advancing their agenda even when in the minority. Mainly due to conservatives happy with failure as long as they have a good seat.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  250. “I’m having a hard time finding stories. The only thing in the news is the stuff making the NeverTrumpers have their first erections since they first saw a strapping young cabana boy mount their wives.”

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  251. And, in response to a comment by Leviticus yesterday that I wasn’t able to get back to prior to now, the bank fraud and campaign finance counts are almost irrelevant for sentencing purposes, so there is no benefit to the case in terms of sentencing by having thrown one of them in — although because the bank fraud count has a 30 year maximum sentence, it did add one level to his base offense level under the guidelines — making it 7 rather than 6 under Sec. 2B1.1

    But the driver of the sentence is the tax loss under the tax counts.

    The parties agreed that the financial loss for purposes of sentencing is between $1.5 million and $3.5 million under the guidelines, and that results in a 16 level increase in the offense level.

    The tax fraud reflected in the Information sets the lost tax revenue as $1.49 million. So the loss from the bank fraud (only relating to the HELCO based on the Information), and campaign finance charge (not certain how that was quantified), only need to be $10,000 or more to get the number over $1.5 million in order to get the 16 level increase.

    That’s why I said that once they had him cooked on the tax charges — and that part of the case looks pretty strong — the rest of the charges are just “window dressing” for the press release. They made no difference to Cohen in terms of how much time he will serve for the tax case, so there was no “downside” to pleading guilty to them if that was a condition to entering into the plea agreement set by the government.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  252. Dave, with those 1000 seats what was accomplished? Nothing. Still had open borders, health insurance system still barreling to implosion, military still gutted, huge trade deficits, poor job market. Victory is not occupying the seat, victory is advancing conservative solutions.

    I this explained already. The budget deficit fell from 9.8% of GDP to 3.2% of GDP. Obama accomplished nothing in his last six years. The military was not “gutted”. Huge trade deficits mean we are rich. The unemployment rate has improved steadily for the last eight years.

    A great deal was accomplished; all was to elect a sane, competent conservative president in 2016, but some people decided it was more important to “own the libs” than to govern the country responsibly.

    Dave (445e97)

  253. 258 — Davis became Cohen’s attorney about the same time as the first Cohen tape emerged.

    Avenetti has been talking about “other evidence” for weeks/months.

    Avenetti got his start in politics as a foot soldier for Rahm Emanuel during the Clinton years.

    Lanny Davis rose to fame as one of the most effective Clinton spinners in the media.

    Do you really think all these events have happened independent of each other, starting with Avenetti becoming the attorney for the two women?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  254. *all that was left was to elect

    Dave (445e97)

  255. “IMO not agreeing to such a deal reflects one of two possibilities:

    1) the prosecutors think he’s worthless as a witness because of all his credibility problems, so they didn’t offer him a cooperation agreement; or
    2) the prosecutors don’t need him to cooperate because they don’t have any intention of pushing this theory of criminal culpability further by pursuing either the National Enquirer or Trump where they lack the admissions that Cohen gave them as to himself.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Is it not a third possibility that Cohen has refused to be obligated to cooperate, while still preserving his ability to cooperate – if, say, he doesn’t receive a presidential pardon? A public statement that he is not obligated to testify effectively preserves his leverage: he still has a card left to play.

    Lanny Davis’s tweet re: “If this was a crime for Cohen, how was it not a crime for Trump?” is (in my opinion) about as clear an ultimatum as he could issue.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  256. Sentencing isn’t until mid-December. The ultimatum has been issued by Lanny Davis. If Trump doesn’t pardon Cohen between now and mid-December, Cohen could still cooperate (voluntarily, not as a condition of his plea) in exchange for help at sentencing.

    If Cohen had publicly agreed to cooperate from the outset, he still would have had to do some jail time, and there is no way Trump would have pardoned him, regardless of the outcome for Trump. Now, Trump has to make a choice re: a pardon, and Cohen still has a chance of avoiding jail time altogether.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  257. a plea agreement is not “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” because it can’t be used to prove anything.

    I didn’t say such thing. I said that if it’s proven beyond doubt that Trump ordered Cohen to make the payments, then Congress may well judge Trump on it.

    Paul Montagu (9dcfd2)

  258. “do you doubt for a minute that if there was such a tape, email, or other correspondence, that Lanny Davis would have been silent about it for this long? He would certainly be aware of it as Cohen’s attorney and spokesman, yet nothing has surfaced in that regard for how many months now?”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Why in the world would Lanny Davis disclose such information when maintaining its secrecy is his client’s only chance of a pardon? What would it gain his client to be vocal about it, at this juncture?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  259. It seems that you’re assuming Davis is motivated by anti-Trump malice. I am assuming that he is motivated by his duties as an attorney.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  260. We’ve known Davis reputation for 20 years, he doesn’t counsel any other clients falling on their swords.

    Narciso (bdb72f)

  261. So now, for some reason, you assume that he is doing just that? That he’s convincing Cohen to take a plea deal without trying to leverage a very-leveragable pardon?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  262. 265 — Davis’ statement is a perfect example of why this is a political effort, not a legal effort.

    There are a lot of ways it’s not a crime for Trump. And it’s only a crime for Cohen because of Cohen’s admissions regarding his state of mind.

    Cohen’s admissions regarding his state of mind are not evidence of Trump’s state of mind.

    Cohen was going down for tax fraud. Admitting or denying the campaign finance charge wasn’t going to change the outcome of the plea agreement on the tax fraud counts.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  263. 266 — If Trump pardons Cohen, he gets impeached.

    Cohen committed tax fraud from 2012 to 2016 by not declaring as income interest he was being paid for loans he made to holders of his taxi medallions.

    There is no basis for him to pardon Cohen. Nothing about the prosecution looks politically motivated — which distinguishes him from Manafort.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  264. “There is no basis for him to pardon Cohen. Nothing about the prosecution looks politically motivated — which distinguishes him from Manafort.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    How does it distinguish him from Dinesh D’Souza?

    “Cohen’s admissions regarding his state of mind are not evidence of Trump’s state of mind.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Is Cohen somehow prohibited from offering his testimony regarding Trump’s state of mind? Or other testimony based on his personal knowledge, which bears directly on Trump’s state of mind? If a defendant’s admissions regarding the state of his or her own mind were the only way to prove state of mind under the FRE, we could drastically reduce this country’s AUSA workforce.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  265. 274 — cohen can testify about what trump said, or what trump did which cohen personally observed. he cannot testify about what trump was thinking — i.e., state of mind.

    re D’Souza there was a very strong case to be made that he was the victim of selective prosecution by the Obama DOJ, and the reason he was singled-out was his strident and public opposition to Obama policies.

    it was a straw-donor case, where he in effect contributed 25,000 to a candidate in NY who lost the election by 46 points. DD contributed the max of $5000, and reimbursed four others after they each contributed $5000.

    This prosecution needed to be viewed through the lens of the Obama campaign having accepted more than $2 million in campaign donations from people who could not legally donate — and then dragged its feet in returning those illegal contributions such that the campaign was fined $375,000 —- and no one was prosecuted for those “crimes.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  266. “cohen can testify about what trump said, or what trump did which cohen personally observed.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Yep. Testimony like “Mr. Trump told me that he didn’t want these women to be a distraction for the voters, but that he didn’t want the money to lead back to him either – so I should pay them whatever amount they were asking for, and we would sort everything out sometime after the election was over.”

    You don’t think such testimony, if believed by a jury, would satisfy the state of mind element? Or do you not think that Cohen has corroboration of such an exchange? Or both, perhaps?

    My point is, I think testimony along these lines presents serious risk to Trump.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  267. Yep. Testimony like “Mr. Trump told me that he didn’t want these women to be a distraction for the voters, but that he didn’t want the money to lead back to him either – so I should pay them whatever amount they were asking for, and we would sort everything out sometime after the election was over.”

    You don’t think such testimony, if believed by a jury, would satisfy the state of mind element?

    A federal prosecutor does not rest a case on such a thin reed — that a horribly compromised cooperator’s self-serving testimony about what a defendant said must be believed by the jury in order to get a conviction.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  268. “My point is, I think testimony along these lines presents serious risk to Trump.“

    If it’s a DC jury, you may have a point. The testimony of a ham sammich would also suffice.

    Colonel Haiku (ec669d)

  269. 276 — my point is that as a prosecutor i would never build a case that required the jury to believe Cohen’s version of events involving what Trump supposedly said to him.

    What you are concerned about is that the “stink” off the vicious CX that Cohen is going to undergo basically contaminates everything else in your case.

    You never bet your entire case on a single witness who you know is going to get crucified on CX.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  270. I quoted Andrea Griswold’s statement to the court in the other thread.

    She says they have lots of evidence beyond Cohen’s word.

    We don’t know to what extent the evidence says what she claims, but she mentions many different types of evidence.

    Dave (445e97)

  271. “A federal prosecutor does not rest a case on such a thin reed — that a horribly compromised cooperator’s self-serving testimony about what a defendant said must be believed by the jury in order to get a conviction.“

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Right, right – I can’t think of a single recent high-profile example related to this issue where a Federal Prosecutor has hinged a case on a horribly compromised cooperator’s self-serving testimony about what a defendant said.

    But, they’re never gonna indict Cohen over this nothing-burger overreach anyway, so this is all theoretical.

    Leviticus (304063)

  272. If anyone could help me out with some recent examples, I’d really appreciate it.

    Leviticus (304063)

  273. It would be overreach. Even if Dave’s FEC FUQ is the criminal law on which the jury would be instructed (doubtful) and not merely the FEC administrative law position, the case would revolve around whether Cohen already had the payoff money in his retainer from Trump or got it, or part of it, afterwards. I think that’s pretty much of a nothing-burger overreach to bring a criminal prosecution on.

    nk (dbc370)

  274. If one steals a car, how long does that person have to return the car to its parking spot to avoid being subject to prosecution?

    A crime is committed when all of the elements are met, no?

    Trump has placed himself in a position where he and Cohen could end up in a swearing match – possibly with tiebreaker evidence! – about the key element of a crime.

    Leviticus (304063)

  275. I’ve defended those cases when the statute included the element “to permanently deprive”. The answer to your question is: “Before you’re caught.” (It was still joyriding/trespass to motor vehicle.) It’s also the law of attempt and conspiracy. It is a defense to have voluntarily nullified your efforts before the crime was completed.

    nk (dbc370)

  276. I think the (or another) key element here, though, is whether Trump cared about what the voters learned or what his wife, family and friends learned.

    nk (dbc370)

  277. Alan dershewitz has pointed out the right is upset because the deep state is using legal tactics against conservatives that are normally used on non conservatives. Usually conservatives get mercy and forgiveness and non conservatives get law and order especially non conservative minorities. What went around has finally come around. Get used to it conservatives. especial after the next election!

    wendell (2e43bb)

  278. Right, right – I can’t think of a single recent high-profile example related to this issue where a Federal Prosecutor has hinged a case on a horribly compromised cooperator’s self-serving testimony about what a defendant said.

    Is this a reference to the Manafort trial? If so, you just received the patented Patterico Puzzled Look. The government had a lot more than Gates. They had documents. Documents galore.

    But maybe you’re talking about something else…

    Patterico (115b1f)

  279. Alan dershewitz has pointed out the right is upset because the deep state is using legal tactics against conservatives that are normally used on non conservatives.

    I’m with Ken White:

    Patterico (115b1f)

  280. LOL at the Tucker Face in that tweet — which reminds me of another recent Ken White witticism, in which he called the Tucker Face “that spaniel-doing-calculus face.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  281. I am indeed talking about the Manafort trial. Of course the feds had documents and other witnesses – and of course the feds would have documents and other witnesses if they decided to build a case against trump around Cohen’s testimony as to Trump’s state of mind. But the idea that feds are either a) too incompetent or b) too principled to build a successful prosecution around a star witness with heavily compromised credibility is laughable.

    Leviticus (304063)

  282. Like it or not, prosecutors have to use criminals as witnesses sometimes. They should be sure that the witness is telling the truth and that the witness’s testimony is corroborated. But there’s nothing wrong with doing that.

    Note that the single holdout juror was dubious about the extra 10 counts that hung 11-1 precisely because they depended more on the testimony of Gates. That means that there were 8 counts where, as the prosecutor argued, the documents were the star witness.

    (And by the way, those ten counts are going to get dumped. Bet on it. No way they’re retrying those. They don’t need to. This was an unadulterated victory for Mueller on every practical level.)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  283. “Alan dershewitz has pointed out the right is upset because the deep state is using legal tactics against conservatives that are normally used on non conservatives.”

    When have Liberals been investigated like this? I’m upset because Liberals are never subject to these tactics. They handed immunity out like candy in the email investigation. Where was the raid to secure Hillary’s email server full of Top Secret data? Missing evidence in IRS and DNC server cases.

    Can you name one non conservative that got this treatment?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  284. Can you name one non conservative that got this treatment?

    The Whitewater investigation of the Clintons went on for six years, resulting in conviction of 15 people for 40 crimes. Starting as an investigation into shady real estate deals, the investigation later shifted to unrelated topics like the president’s marital infidelity.

    I don’t think you can argue that Whitewater, which went on more than three times as long as Mueller’s investigation has so far, and directly involved itself with the president’s intimate sexual relations, was any less severe or intrusive.

    I think the Whitewater/Lewinski investigation was necessary, just as the investigation of the traitor Trump and his corrupt henchmen is necessary.

    Dave (445e97)

  285. “the investigation later shifted to unrelated topics like the president’s marital infidelity.”

    This is BS, he was investigated for lying under oath. Had he not lied in his testimony his cigar habit would not have been investigated by Starr.

    What evidence has Trump hid or refused to turn over? That investigation dragged on because the Clintons obstructed it. The missing billing records that magically turn up the day after statue of limitations, anyone ever held to account for those?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)


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