Patterico's Pontifications

3/21/2023

Nobody But This One Guy Who Was Already Charged With This Would Be Charged With This

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:23 am



Andy McCarthy: “no one who was not Donald Trump would conceivably be charged with this.”

ANDY MCCARTHY: Well, I think it’s clearly a misdemeanor. It’s one that shouldn’t be brought. And the attack on Bragg here, it shouldn’t be a defense of Trump, because it looks like this is a falsification of records. But the attack on Bragg ought to be that no one who was not Donald Trump would conceivably be charged with this. And then with respect to Bragg, the second part, where he’s being super aggressive, even though he’s incredibly not aggressive when it comes to like real crime in New York. This idea of trying to sort of bootstrap campaign finance violations on this, I mean, it’s first of all, most campaign finance laws are federal, which is not what the New York penal code is talking about, he’s apparently going to try to say, well, it could have been a violation of New York’s election law. Did Trump lose New York by like 30 points?

Michael Cohen was not just charged, but also convicted of substantially similar allegations. From the press release announcing his plea agreement:

The plea was entered followed the filing of an eight-count criminal information, which alleged that COHEN concealed more than $4 million in personal income from the IRS, made false statements to a federally-insured financial institution in connection with a $500,000 home equity loan, and, in 2016, caused $280,000 in payments to be made to silence two women who otherwise planned to speak publicly about their alleged affairs with a presidential candidate, thereby intending to influence the 2016 presidential election. COHEN pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III.

. . . .

On February 14, 2017, COHEN sent an executive of the Company (“Executive-1”) the first of his monthly invoices, requesting “[p]ursuant to [a] retainer agreement, . . . payment for services rendered for the months of January and February, 2017.” The invoice listed $35,000 for each of those two months. Executive-1 forwarded the invoice to another executive of the Company (“Executive-2”) the same day by email, and it was approved. Executive-1 forwarded that email to another employee at the Company, stating: “Please pay from the Trust. Post to legal expenses. Put ‘retainer for the months of January and February 2017’ in the description.”

Throughout 2017, COHEN sent to one or more representatives of the Company monthly invoices, which stated, “Pursuant to the retainer agreement, kindly remit payment for services rendered for” the relevant month in 2017, and sought $35,000 per month. The Company accounted for these payments as legal expenses. In truth and in fact, there was no such retainer agreement, and the monthly invoices COHEN submitted were not in connection with any legal services he had provided in 2017.

As Andrew Weissman and Ryan Goodman write in the New York Times:

But does that mean the Manhattan criminal case is an example of selective prosecution — in other words, going after a political enemy for a crime that no one else would be charged with? Not by a long shot. To begin with, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who was instrumental in the scheme, has already pleaded guilty to a federal crime emanating from this conduct and served time for it and other crimes. Federal prosecutors told the court that Mr. Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Mr. Trump (identified as “Individual 1”). It would be anathema to the rule of law not to prosecute the principal for the crime when a lower-level conspirator has been prosecuted.

This is not a case of selective prosecution but of selective outrage on the part of McCarthy and his ilk.

McCarthy is right that “most” campaign finance laws are federal, and Cohen was convicted in federal court. But New York also has laws against misreporting campaign-related expenditures to influence the campaign. It’s a bit odd for an ostensible conservative to complain that an exercise of police power, typically a local issue, is being handled locally and not by the feds. But you say what you gotta say to get on TV, I guess.

167 Responses to “Nobody But This One Guy Who Was Already Charged With This Would Be Charged With This”

  1. There’s a difference between something being established as illegal through a guilty plea and something being established as illegal through a jury trial. Cohen pled guilty to those charges as part of a plea deal encompassing all of the other charges – for which there was a much stronger basis. It was a real “kitchen sink” approach to leverage Cohen as a way to go on and target Trump. In the end, the DoJ wasn’t able to leverage Cohen to target Trump as they were trying to.

    Getting someone to plead guilty to questionable charges as part of a package of solid charges is nothing new. It doesn’t make the questionable charges any more solid just because you had the individual dead to rights on the solid charges.

    Observer (9a89f9)

  2. No one who was not Donald Trump would have gotten himself in this cascade of sleaze to begin with. It’s something out of a Daniel Mainwaring screenplay. Build My Meatloaf High?

    nk (603c4e)

  3. #2

    Paging John Edwards…

    Appalled (136349)

  4. The other McCarthy (D-Bakersfield) hits a foul ball in an attempted straddle: “I don’t think people should protest this, no” I don’t plan on protesting on Trumps behalf, ever, and agree that this might not rise to the level of; “protest needed to combat injustice”, but that is not the standard anymore. Armed man wanted for gun crimes gets shot by police? No one with a vested leadership interest in a type of judicial system change comes out and says: “I don’t think people should protest this, no”. Maybe McCarthy (the lighter weight class McCarthy-D) is trying to reset the public scale of outcry, but it just looks like a straddle. I’ll protest peacefully if I damn well choose to. I believe two things to probably be true: Trump did it, and NYC justice was out to get him for anything. In the spirit of whattaboutismses’ I ponder fat sitting ducks Gaetz and Swalwell

    steveg (15e908)

  5. Three arguments:

    1) Bragg won’t prosecute actual crimes, but throws the book here. The optics suck.

    2) Since the optics suck, this undercuts the real charges that could be brought in DC or Atlanta. The boy cried wolf, and the wolf will take advantage of it.

    3) Cohen was prosecuted and convicted for paying blackmail to someone who had dirt on Trump. Maybe that’s an illegal campaign contribution and maybe it isn’t. Cohen plead guilty to avoid a long sentence, but this also avoided testing the campaign finance law’s reach in this instance. To get the deal he got, he would have plead guilty to anything. and the prosecutor used that to get his headline.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  6. Paging John Edwards…

    Or Gary Hart, or Gary Stubbs, or Ted Kennedy, or Barney Frank, or Arnold Schwartzenegger….

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  7. COHEN concealed more than $4 million in personal income from the IRS.

    For this tax fraud, and the bank fraud, and the campaign finance law violation he was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

    The average jail time for tax fraud is between 3 – 5 years. By itself. Cohen’s plea on the campaign finance charge was purely for the convenience of the special prosecutor.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  8. Here’s my problem with this.

    The prosecution is going to have to rely on unreliable witness to make their case, in:
    a) Michael Cohen
    and
    b) Stephanie Clifford

    Unless someone can helpfully point this out, but there isn’t a slam dunk, smoking gun here.

    Is Alvin Bragg willing to be infamously known as a state prosecutor who indicted and failed to convict a prospective Presidential frontrunner?

    Because, I got new for ya’ll, “the other side” of the partisan divide is going to feel obligated to use the same rationale in the future.

    IS that the kind of future we’re looking at? Because, from where I’m sitting amongst those on the “right”, I don’t think we’re going to be as shy responding “in kind”.

    whembly (d116f3)

  9. Cohen says that Trump conspired with him on the fraudulent billing. Trump will claim that Cohen did this on his own. Reasonable doubt? Cohen is a convicted tax fraud and got a bank loan via a perjured statement. Trump is a known liar. This isn’t DC, so the jury will be diverse (in the correct sense of the word). Voir dire will be interesting as anyone who says they don’t have an opinion of Trump is lying.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  10. I don’t see this as harming Trump — any conviction will be seen as political and an acquittal will give Trump momentum against his REAL felonies in DC and GA.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  11. Yeah, I’d agree with the premise that Trump is in far bigger legal jeopardy in GA and DC.

    But, if those GA/DC prosecutors want to have a chance, they may not want Alvin Bragg to be the 1st to indict Trump. Trump can turn into a martyr, that could make GA (at least) and DC’s job harder.

    whembly (d116f3)

  12. Trump can turn into a martyr

    My point. Trying him on a, um, trumped up charge in NY, by a prosecutor who is not aggressive with actual crime, will play into Trump’s hands.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  13. The DOJ didn’t pursue Trump on Stormy Daniels, even though he was the mastermind who directed his “fixer” to fix the situation, but unless there’s some other felony we don’t know about, I dunno.
    There’s no doubt that Bragg can pursue going after Trump, and there is precedent for indictments for falsifying records, but I’m not sure if he should do it, not unless he has an open-and-shut felony case, for the kind of felony that would actually put him behind bars.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  14. A Little Over the Top:

    ……….
    “Get the military, whatever few are left that are gonna side with the people. You military personnel and you people with guns and badges and law enforcement will succumb to the will of the people,” (far right broadcaster Pete Santilli said in reaction to a potential Trump indictment), in a clip flagged by Right Wing Watch.

    “And ultimately, we demand, we absolutely demand that the criminals, the criminals in this country, if you want them held accountable, the criminals are Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Susan Rice,” he continued. “This entire criminal cabal that came about as a result of the murder of John F. Kennedy, the people that perpetrated the murder of John F. Kennedy, rise up to that.”

    “Military, join us and put all of them up against a concrete wall…and do what we must do to save not just our country, the entire world,” he pleaded.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. There’s a difference between something being established as illegal through a guilty plea and something being established as illegal through a jury trial. Cohen pled guilty to those charges as part of a plea deal encompassing all of the other charges – for which there was a much stronger basis. It was a real “kitchen sink” approach to leverage Cohen as a way to go on and target Trump. In the end, the DoJ wasn’t able to leverage Cohen to target Trump as they were trying to.

    Getting someone to plead guilty to questionable charges as part of a package of solid charges is nothing new. It doesn’t make the questionable charges any more solid just because you had the individual dead to rights on the solid charges.

    You have soundly refuted some different argument. My argument was not that the charge against Cohen was sound because he pled. My argument is that the claim that nobody would ever get charged for this except Trump is refuted by the record, because Cohen was charged. And convicted.

    Patterico (fcc17a)

  16. The DOJ didn’t pursue Trump on Stormy Daniels, even though he was the mastermind who directed his “fixer” to fix the situation, but unless there’s some other felony we don’t know about, I dunno.
    There’s no doubt that Bragg can pursue going after Trump, and there is precedent for indictments for falsifying records, but I’m not sure if he should do it, not unless he has an open-and-shut felony case, for the kind of felony that would actually put him behind bars.

    Totally fair argument, as are the observations that the real cases against Trump lie elsewhere.

    Really, though, the only point of this post was to refute McCarthy’s silly claim that only Trump could ever be charged with a crime like this.

    Patterico (fcc17a)

  17. “the real cases against Trump lie elsewhere.”

    Tactically, does it help or hurt the Georgia prosecution to have this out front? Will the pro-Trump spin create a sympathy factor about something that is ultimately about sex? Or, will the anti-Trump spin create a drip-drip factor that will add pressure on the team to respond and manage the press? It’s hard to know but my gut would lean on that this is not the prosecution to lead off with. This gives team Trump a meme of persecution that can resonate. Give them nothing.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  18. I’ll tell you this, Patterico, Andrew McCarthy, was on the Trump reservation for years, jumped off it after telling his Big Lie too many times, and now he’s back in. Too many times I’ve seen his partisanship get the better of him.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  19. “Significant increase” in threats online ahead of possible Trump indictment
    ……..
    Domestic violent extremists in online postings have warned that prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office would cross a red line if Trump is indicted and it would be met with more violence than the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the sources said. There have also been postings calling for civil war.

    Sources said the threats are mostly aimed at law enforcement, judges and government officials in New York and elsewhere that domestic violent extremists perceive as participants in what they see as a political persecution of Trump.

    A law enforcement source said they are seeing chatter online, with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg being mentioned in a lot of it, but not much mobilization toward violence or protests at this point. But law enforcement sources said the situation could change quickly.
    ………
    New York court officers have jurisdiction inside the Manhattan courthouse, where Trump is expected to appear if he is indicted by the grand jury. The court officers also have jurisdiction over the outside perimeter of the courthouse on Centre Street in downtown Manhattan.

    The NYPD, Secret Service — whose duty it is to protect Trump — as well as the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces are all part of the contingency planning, law enforcement sources said.

    One of the possibilities officials are planning for is possible caravans of protesters who may try to disrupt traffic in Manhattan by closing bridges, tunnels or blocking streets.
    ………
    In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police (are) expected to have extra staffing Tuesday and Wednesday, a source familiar told CBS News.

    A senior congressional source said Capitol Police plan to make an emergency declaration Tuesday ahead of any possible indictment. The declaration allows for mutual aid assistance from other departments, and has been used ahead of other recent protests. The source said there is no specific intelligence they are tracking, but the department is making the declaration proactively.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  20. I’m sorry to disagree, gentlemen. There is no upside to being indicted. Martyrdom is for saints, not Trumps. And somebody had to pull his thumb out of his ass and finally do it, and if it had to be Bragg with the little he’s got, all I have to say is good for Bragg.

    nk (3ccca9)

  21. @18

    I’ll tell you this, Patterico, Andrew McCarthy, was on the Trump reservation for years, jumped off it after telling his Big Lie too many times, and now he’s back in. Too many times I’ve seen his partisanship get the better of him.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/21/2023 @ 1:14 pm

    Maybe it’s a byproduct that most of his articles are behind the paywall at NR… but, no, McCarthy was never on Trump’s reservation. For about 3/4 of the Mueller investigation, he gave every colorable benefit of doubt to Mueller as possible before finally, FINALLY seeing how abusiveness the whole Russian Collusion narrative was, and how damaging long term that it did.

    Furthermore, he has ZERO sympathies of the J6 prosecution, and is on record that he thought most sentenced got light sentencing.

    whembly (d116f3)

  22. You know what all this defeatist talk reminds me of? It reminds me of the guy who called the locksmith because he had locked himself out of his car. And he told the locksmith to hurry up because it looked like rain and he had left the top down.

    nk (3ccca9)

  23. Maybe someone smarter than me can answer this.

    Why would NY prosecution Trump, for his “creative” book keepings regarding his NDA to Clifford, but refuses to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a similar creative book keeping regarding the Steele Dossier?

    whembly (d116f3)

  24. My previous comments may be construed as “defending Trump”.

    But I’ll reiterate, I’d be immensely happy that this knocks him out of the presidential campaigns.

    Can we not get someone around GenX or younger? Please?

    My fear, is that this fans his martyr status and fuels him in the primary as people lashes onto him when he argues that his grievances are the VOTER’S grievances. Say what you will about Trump… but, he’s savvy enough to take anything and “milk it” for it’s worth to turn out votes.

    What can be done to avoid that?

    whembly (d116f3)

  25. Whembly wrote

    Because, I got new for ya’ll, “the other side” of the partisan divide is going to feel obligated to use the same rationale in the future.

    1. Don’t threaten me with a good time.
    2. The prosecution of the Jan 6 Rioters showed; reasonable bail terms, modest charges for most cases, well documented evidence of wrong doing, generous plea deals and sentencing in line with the norms for the convictions. The MAGA still reacted as if it were a grave miscarriage of justice and violation of norms. There’s no fact pattern that the MAGA base will accept as a reasonable if it disadvantages them politically. It’s pointless to worry about. Follow the law and let the chips fall where they may.
    3. I think this specific prosecution should not t have been brought as it may distract from more serious charges against Trump.

    Time123 (8a1361)

  26. @23 Whembly, I think HRC was very good at avoiding breaking these types of laws. Given the amount of investigation that’s happened into her without indictment she’s either innocent of breaking the law, or very good at at.

    Time123 (8a1361)

  27. Any of the lawyers on the board want to explain how this is different from what John Edwards was charged with?

    Time123 (8a1361)

  28. @27

    Any of the lawyers on the board want to explain how this is different from what John Edwards was charged with?

    Time123 (8a1361) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:09 pm

    Not a lawyer 😉

    But going from memory, there was way more evidence of this sort of thing with Edwards. I think it was an actual donor who paid off Edward’s mistress, and that was hidden. There was, again from memory, plenty of contemporaneous communique surround this.

    whembly (d116f3)

  29. In the future? Roy Cohn taught Trump to sue at the drop of a hat, whether he had a case or not, just to harass and put the other person to expense, and Trump has nearly five thousand lawsuits notched on his bedpost.

    nk (3ccca9)

  30. @25

    Whembly wrote

    Because, I got new for ya’ll, “the other side” of the partisan divide is going to feel obligated to use the same rationale in the future.

    1. Don’t threaten me with a good time.

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea having DAs from “red state” and “blue state” retaliating in such fashion.

    2. The prosecution of the Jan 6 Rioters showed; reasonable bail terms, modest charges for most cases, well documented evidence of wrong doing, generous plea deals and sentencing in line with the norms for the convictions. The MAGA still reacted as if it were a grave miscarriage of justice and violation of norms. There’s no fact pattern that the MAGA base will accept as a reasonable if it disadvantages them politically. It’s pointless to worry about. Follow the law and let the chips fall where they may.

    It sucks to them, but FAFO. Just wished the same prosecutorial fervor existed to the great riots of the last few years.

    3. I think this specific prosecution should not t have been brought as it may distract from more serious charges against Trump.

    Time123 (8a1361) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:06 pm

    Agreed.

    whembly (d116f3)

  31. @26

    @23 Whembly, I think HRC was very good at avoiding breaking these types of laws. Given the amount of investigation that’s happened into her without indictment she’s either innocent of breaking the law, or very good at at.

    Time123 (8a1361) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:08 pm

    Or… now hear me out…

    It’s because she’s politically connected and well entrenched in the Democrat machine.

    whembly (d116f3)

  32. Ha, ha, ha! What if Trump asked for a protest and nobody came? Five pro-Trump protesters showed up at the Manhattan courthouse. Twenty anti-Trump.

    nk (3ccca9)

  33. This is what the NY prosecutor has to look forward to, if he indicts on the basis of Stormy Daniels:

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/john-edwards-jurors-evidence-convict/story?id=16473584

    Let Georgia help save the nation again from Trump and Trumpers….

    Appalled (136349)

  34. Patterico – Thanks much for clearing this up. (I have the impression that Andy McCarthy has two modes, law-and-order prosecutor, and partisan — and that he wrote this latest in the partisan mode.)

    Jim Miller (f29931)

  35. The die was cast when the grand jury was convened. It will decide the charges against Trump. If any. It can always issue a No Bill. On any or all of them.

    The Great Grand Jury of the Great State of Georgia which TOTALLY EXONERATED Trump is now getting sued by Trump over its 500 page report which some Georgia prosecutor might or might not use to seek an indictment.

    nk (3ccca9)

  36. What I said about getting their thumbs out.

    nk (3ccca9)

  37. My argument is that the claim that nobody would ever get charged for this except Trump is refuted by the record, because Cohen was charged. And convicted.

    You breeze right past the question of “Was a crime committed?” Sure, he plead guilty to a charge, but he was already getting a lesser sentence for the slam-dunk tax evasion than the average pe3rson serves. He would have plead guilty to flag-burning if it was part of that deal.

    If that payment was not a campaign contribution — something not established at the time — then your entire argument fails. What, besides the strategic confession, makes you think it was? And, if it was, there’s a whole lot of politicians in trouble.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  38. It’s because she’s politically connected and well entrenched in the Democrat machine.

    whembly (d116f3) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:15 pm

    Which explains why she was never prosecuted during the Trump Administration.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  39. Grifters Gonna Grift, Chapter 500:

    Former President Donald Trump asked his followers to sign a petition denouncing his potential arrest in New York. Signing this petition, however, leads people to a page where they’re asked to give $3,300, or other suggested amounts of cash, to his 2024 campaign.

    “They’re trying to intimidate YOU and cancel out YOUR vote!” Trump’s team wrote in a Monday email to supporters seen by Insider.

    “Which is why the Trump for President 2024 campaign is compiling millions and millions of petition signatures from Americans like you CONDEMNING these threats of a possible arrest,” the email said. It also called on “74 million patriots” to answer the call and sign the petition.
    ……….
    Upon clicking the petition link, recipients are taken to a page asking for donations to “help DEFEND our America First movement during these dark times.”

    The message says that supporters can donate any amount, but suggests sums like $500, $1,000, and $3,300, among others.

    Trump did not specify how he intends to use the list of supporters, nor did the website display a tracker of how many signatures had been collected.

    The Trump campaign also said that donations via this form will yield a “1,500%” impact, but doesn’t explain how Trump will do this — he has previously promised donors that he will multiply the effectiveness of their cash donations without evidence.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  40. I admit I may be mistaken — IANAL, and I have a limited attention span for this crap, but as far as I know:

    Cohen was charged with an illegal campaign contribution, to which he plead guilty, along with several serious but unrelated felonies. He was not charged with defrauding Trump (which he did only if Trump was not in cahoots), nor with falsifying his bill

    Trump is not charged with making an illegal campaign contribution, but with fraudulently claiming legal expenses in furtherance of a fraud that Cohen was NOT charged with committing.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  41. Cohen says that there was a conspiracy and scheme, and perhaps there was. But Trump will argue that Cohen defrauded Trump with false bills, and Trump relied on the phony billing as fact. It is in Cohen’s interest to claim that Trump was in on it, and that’s what he does. Which liar is telling the truth?

    Not sure what a jury does with this, and the question of how they view Trump is critical. Are there 12 people in NYC who don’t have an opinion going in?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  42. nk (3ccca9) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:18 pm

    A lot of Trump supporters think his call to arms is a trap:

    In one pro-Trump channel on the encrypted messaging service Telegram devoted to the QAnon conspiracy, a moderator asked the channel’s 212,000 subscribers whether they would protest if Trump is arrested Tuesday. Overwhelmingly, the comments in response — almost 2,000 of them — were in the negative.

    “There is no point in playing into their hands. The rioters will be paid bad actors not Trump supporters. We know what is coming,” wrote one user.

    On Trump’s social media site, Truth Social, British far-right provocateur Paul Joseph Watson polled his 218,000 followers with the question: “Is the potential protest against Trump being arrested a J6-style trap?”

    Of the 1,580 responses, 85% voted “Yes.”

    And on Twitter, Ali Alexander, one of the main pushers of the “Stop The Steal” movement, which claimed the 2020 election was actually won by Trump, warned his more than 175,00 followers:

    “If you protest in New York City, you will be in the single most hostile jurisdiction in the United States. There is no law and order. You have no liberty or rights there. You will be jailed or worse.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  43. On Trump’s social media site, Truth Social, British far-right provocateur Paul Joseph Watson polled his 218,000 followers with the question: “Is the potential protest against Trump being arrested a J6-style trap?”

    Of the 1,580 responses, 85% voted “Yes.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/21/2023 @ 3:37 pm

    And that right there shows the prosecution of J6ers had beneficial repercussions.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  44. The funny thing about all this is, just like Nixon not needing the Watergate Plumbers, because he would have won in a landslide anyway, Trump didn’t need to silence the bimbos. He would have won anyway. Even Trump didn’t realize how powerful his shtick was going to be in 2016!

    Just like he miscalculated then, he is now overestimating the power of his act. Fool me once and all that.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  45. Cohen was charged with an illegal campaign contribution, to which he plead guilty, along with several serious but unrelated felonies. He was not charged with defrauding Trump (which he did only if Trump was not in cahoots), nor with falsifying his bill

    Trump is not charged with making an illegal campaign contribution, but with fraudulently claiming legal expenses in furtherance of a fraud that Cohen was NOT charged with committing.

    My understanding, based on reading news articles and not independent legal research, is that you are correct in your description of the charge against Cohen, but not entirely correct about the potential charge against Trump. As I understand it, prosecutors are considering charging Trump with falsifying business records (a misdemeanor) which is elevated to a felony because the falsification is intended to cover up a second crime: namely, the illegal donation that Cohen made to his campaign. The allegation regarding the crime that elevates it to a felony is a “substantially similar” allegation (which was my wording in the post) to the crime for which Cohen was convicted. One is a state law violation and one is a federal violation, but AFAIK they are substantially similar crimes–which is why Goodman and Weissman wrote that Cohen “pleaded guilty to a federal crime emanating from this conduct.”

    You breeze right past the question of “Was a crime committed?” Sure, he plead guilty to a charge, but he was already getting a lesser sentence for the slam-dunk tax evasion than the average pe3rson serves. He would have plead guilty to flag-burning if it was part of that deal.

    If that payment was not a campaign contribution — something not established at the time — then your entire argument fails. What, besides the strategic confession, makes you think it was? And, if it was, there’s a whole lot of politicians in trouble.

    Well, here again, it’s not “my” entire argument. The point of my post was never to argue that this is a good charge (although I think more of it than most of the Conventional Wisdom crowd on the Twitters), but that Andy McCarthy is engaged in partisan absurdity when he claims that nobody would ever “bootstrap campaign finance violations on this” unless the potential defendant was Donald Trump. Uh . . . it’s already happened.

    As for why this might be considered a campaign finance violation, well, if you’re truly interested in my thoughts on that, I spilled a lot of virtual ink on the topic back in 2018. You might want to go back and read what I said about it then. A little teaser: you may have forgotten that there is at least one secret recording out there of Trump and Cohen talking about hushing up various scandals, including Trump’s affairs, for purposes of the campaign.

    Many have forgotten about that, but I suspect the grand jury heard it.

    The timing of it all is pretty damning.

    I know a former commenter here took issue with me about that, in terms that were not only strong but often even mocking. But his track record turned out to be . . . somewhat less than stellar. In March 2018 he pronounced:

    But I think the effort right now is to simply let the whole thing blow over, and cooler heads inside the White House are telling Trump “Remember Mike Wolff’s book?? Who is talking about that now? Nobody.”

    The same will probably be true with respect to Stormy in 2 weeks.

    ORLY

    That same commenter was last seen losing a January 6 case in federal court.

    Patterico (bf30fd)

  46. FWIW (not much):

    According to the Daily Mail, Trump will be indicted tomorrow but not arraigned until next week.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  47. Survey of Past New York Felony Prosecutions for Falsifying Business Records

    A core crime that the Manhattan District Attorney will likely include in an indictment of former President Donald Trump is “falsifying business records in the first degree,” a felony under New York State law (N.Y. Penal Code § 175.10). Prosecutors and indeed all of us are compelled by the rule of law to consider how such a charge compares to past prosecutions. Are like cases being treated alike?

    Here it appears they are. Prosecution of falsifying business records in the first degree is commonplace and has been used by New York district attorneys’ offices to hold to account a breadth of criminal behavior from the more petty and simple to the more serious and highly organized. ……..
    ………
    In New York, the criminal law on falsifying business records is found at Article 175 of New York’s penal code. The crime of falsifying business records can be committed in the second degree, which is a class A misdemeanor (N.Y. Penal Code § 175.05), or in the first degree, which is a class E felony (N.Y. Penal Code § 175.10).

    An individual is “guilty of falsifying business records in the second degree when, with intent to defraud, he:

    makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise; or

    alters, erases, obliterates, deletes, removes or destroys a true entry in the business records of an enterprise; or

    omits to make a true entry in the business records of an enterprise in violation of a duty to do so which he knows to be imposed upon him by law or by the nature of his position; or

    prevents the making of a true entry or causes the omission thereof in the business records of an enterprise.” N.Y. Penal Code § 175.05

    ………..
    For Trump to be prosecuted for felony violation of falsifying business records, the statute requires the DA to prove not only that Trump is guilty of falsifying business records (a misdemeanor), but that he did so with the intent to commit “another crime,” or aiding or concealing the commission of “another crime.”
    ……….

    Table of cases involving falsification of business records in New York.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  48. Why would NY prosecution Trump, for his “creative” book keepings regarding his NDA to Clifford, but refuses to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a similar creative book keeping regarding the Steele Dossier?

    The FEC actually did something, fining Clinton for misreporting the expense, for falsely claiming legal fees (thus concealing her actions) when it was actually a campaign outlay.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  49. About those J6 “political prisoners”

    “Twenty (20) Jan. 6th inmates were held in D.C. as of Mar. 13, 2023, according to [D.C. corrections’] official list, which @just_security has obtained.” 17 of the 20 are changed with assaulting police officers, & the other 3 with other serious crimes.

    All have gotten appropriate legal representation and due process, although there were one or more in the early days who were ill-treated.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  50. This is not surprising, that Trump would lie to his own lawyers about the classified documents in his possession. If true, the case against Trump for violation of the Espionage Act just became stronger.

    Here’s an update on Evan Corcoran and the crime-fraud exception. The appeals court deadlines are insane, and it tells me they’re ready to rule on compelling him to testify.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  51. He was impeached… twice– as Nancy Pelosi loves to cluck over and over– and all it did was devalue the cache of impeachment and in the end, increase the number of voters for him in 2020 over the 2016 cycle. The history of lawsuits filed against him over decades in NY alone is lengthy; better people have tried to nail him for much worse. So an indictment w/t SoL expired- a NDA over some sexcapades is pretty weak; a long and costly reach for a POTUS mugshot– cheaper to just Photoshop one.

    The way to defeat him is running better candidates at the ballot box; but it won’t lower the heat under the boiling cauldron of populism. Somebody will pick up that banner; then another and another until the major parties get wise to it– and the establishment royalists remain tone deaf to that.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  52. Patterico @45:

    All I am really saying is that this is a mess of a case, and I think that a supposition that Trump is always lying is needed to work through it (which a jury cannot have). And then there’s Cohen. The island of the lie-tellers.

    I think it would be best if the GA case went first, or the J6 case if possible as it disqualifies him for office.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  53. and all it did was…increase the number of voters for him in 2020 over the 2016 cycle.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/21/2023 @ 6:26 pm

    And increase the number of voters for the Democrat by even more than that.

    It’s the one step forward, two steps back strategy.

    People are weary of Trump and MAGA propaganda. It’s just not that entertaining any more.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  54. @44. His history w/t ladies was pretty much a given, lest you forget the 1980s, the Ivana/Marla tabloids and local news stories [one of my most vivid NYC memories was looking down a subway car on the way to work and seeing all the commuters reading the tabloids- the Nooz and Post- w/The Donald, The Georgia Peach and Ivana on the front pages.] It went on for months. If memory serves it was when Stormy was trying to peddle her story w/Melania pregnant that paying the porn star off for the tryst became a hot potato. Lest you forget his dalliances w/t Playboy model, too. No doubt there were others. His behavior was already baked into his bad boy persona. And his presence enhanced by years of being invited into American living rooms on NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ — not unlike Reagan’s image rooted from film and years hosting ‘Death Valley Days.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. @53. You miss the point; we know the fit-of-pique ‘never trumpers’ threw abandoning him for the other guy. Even the rejected ideologues like Kristol said it was better to be a D for a time to defeat DT, not realizing by looking in the mirror, “he met the enemy and he is us.” But DT still drew more voters in the second cycle than the first. It’s not Trump; it’s populism that’s the draw and as long as he barks the appeal of an outsider and the establishment royalists insulated from inflation, high gas prices and haven’t missed a meal, ignore the reason populism keeps boiling, it’s not going away. Another will follow to pick up the banner– and they’ve tasted victory.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  56. A little teaser: you may have forgotten that there is at least one secret recording out there of Trump and Cohen talking about hushing up various scandals, including Trump’s affairs, for purposes of the campaign.

    Indeed. Still, one would have to prove all over again for the first time, that it was a campaign donation. Cohen’s confession does not establish that.

    So, I just went back and looked at your 2018 post. I still have a problem with the concept of “campaign expense.” If any expense that helps a campaign is a “campaign expense” then buying clothes for a Congressman’s wife with campaign money would seem not only legal but required. And yet Duncan Hunter. One should have a better idea of where the lines are.

    I think it’s the three-card-monte maneuvering that was the real problem, but I doubt anyone wants to pay blackmail transparently.

    Whatever. I’m probably missing a lot here, due to insufficient interest, but a case this mixed up is probably burying the lead.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  57. One of the things that’s been seriously offending me about the way a lot on the right are reacting to the January 6 prosecutions is how *normal treatment of suspects* is suddenly offensive and outrageous. Like, it wasn’t outrageous when the feds were treating *other* people this way, just now that it’s *them* — and the outrage doesn’t seem to extend to the notion that this is terrible in general, just that it’s terrible because it’s being done to their people.

    Absolute hypocrites, the lot of them.

    aphrael (2b7a65)

  58. it’s populism that’s the draw

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/21/2023 @ 6:51 pm

    If that’s true, then Trump would have won, wouldn’t he? Instead, the Democrat got more votes than anyone in history. You see, populism has to be more “popular” than the other side to succeed. It wasn’t.

    You can lead a DCSCA to water, but…

    norcal (7b2be1)

  59. In the future? Roy Cohn taught Trump to sue at the drop of a hat, whether he had a case or not, just to harass and put the other person to expense, and Trump has nearly five thousand lawsuits notched on his bedpost.

    nk (3ccca9) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:12 pm

    Where’s My Roy Cohn? should be mandatory viewing for everyone who justifies voting for Trump.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  60. Absolute hypocrites, the lot of them.

    aphrael (2b7a65) — 3/21/2023 @ 7:05 pm

    That’s how cults of personality roll, my friend.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  61. > any conviction will be seen as political

    that’s true of *any* conviction *any* prosecutor is able to obtain against Trump. he was *right* when he said he could shoot someone in broad daylight and his fans wouldn’t care.

    aphrael (2b7a65)

  62. @58. You still don’t get it- his numbers did not drop in the second cycle; they grew. That many royalists, ideologues abandoned their party rather than tough it out is what’s telling. And he hasn’t disappeared from the venue. Populism isn’t going to diminish by running away from it, norcal. The next guy or gal after a Trump will pick it up and carry the banner forward. It’s been building for decades… and they’ve tasted victory.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  63. You still don’t get it- his numbers did not drop in the second cycle; they grew.

    It’s been building for decades… and they’ve tasted victory.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/21/2023 @ 7:18 pm

    You forgot the most important point. The other side grew and built more.

    Now who isn’t getting it?

    norcal (7b2be1)

  64. aphrael

    I think at this point it isn’t about normal treatment, but normal prosecution of subjects that is in question. But to delve into that, we venture out into the disallowed slippery slope of whattaboutismeseses’ code pink, attacks on Supreme Court buildings, federal facilities, everyone gets mad, defensive, confrontational, self righteous, and we all talk past each other- again

    steveg (27fc0d)

  65. @63. You keep missing the point- if rejected, his numbers would have dropped in the second cycle and he’d be in quiet Florida retirement. But they didn’t. And the ideologues and royalist never trumpers hell bent of crushing the rising populism in their party abandoned it for the other guy. His poll numbers are rising again. Goldwater lost in ’64; Reagan picked up the banner, was irrelevant in ’68, but lost by a hair to the party incumbant in ’76– and their numbers kept growing, cycle after cycle until he won in ’80. Until populism is addressed by the establishment royalists, it’s not going away, norcal. And the current weenies don’t know how to do it. It keeps growing. When Trump is gone, another will pick up the banner.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  66. Like, it wasn’t outrageous when the feds were treating *other* people this way

    I’m not sure that’s true. There has always been a contingent, both left and right, that is unhappy with federal high-handedness regarding those accused. There is nothing regarding the J6 defendants that was not said of the Chicago 7.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  67. that’s true of *any* conviction *any* prosecutor is able to obtain against Trump

    No, it’s how a marginal case with messy evidence and dubious legal theories will be seen, versus one where he actually tried to get election results changed, or where he incited a riot.

    Oh, sure, SOME people will see politics if he’s convicted of shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, but the NY case is really messy and very easy to spin as political. The GA case is very clearly over the line.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  68. I think that that the TRUMP show is getting old. It’s run 8 seasons now, and most of the original cast has quit or gone to prison. How much longer will people care. Frankly, dying would be a good career move for him about now.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  69. DC & NY jurys not big fans of trump or is trumpsters. Fox is asking for no jury trial.

    asset (4255d8)

  70. @5 Cohen was prosecuted and convicted for paying blackmail to someone who had dirt on Trump.

    exactly this

    less shorthand McCarthy: “no one who was not, or who could not get, Donald Trump would conceivably be charged with this.”

    JF (acc73c)

  71. “The last count against Michael Greene — obstructing Congress — ended in a hung jury this afternoon.
    Convicted on one misdemeanor.
    Acquitted on 3 felonies.
    Hung jury on 1 felony.”

    https://twitter.com/shipwreckedcrew?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    Colonel Haiku (24fbb7)

  72. @72, but I thought the entire system was so biased that no one could get a fair trial? Does this mean that the Justice system is actually reviewing evidence and deciding cases on based their individual merits?

    Time123 (8a1361)

  73. Broken clock

    NJRob (c11b53)

  74. Haiku,

    Well, good for him. I had looked at the evidence against the first case our erstwhile commenter tried and told John and Dana he was guilty. It appears the jury agreed. I guess the case you’re citing was his second. I never looked at the evidence on that one, but it appears the jury decided the government did not have the goods on that guy.

    He did a lot of whining after having his ass handed to him earlier this year that you can’t get a fair trial in DC. Apparently he will now conclude you can. I wonder whether he will reconsider whether his first client, who went down hard, got a fair trial too.

    (I don’t actually wonder that.)

    Patterico (5e592b)

  75. Yippee-i-o-ki-yay! If we’re talking about the same case, an even dozen Oathkeepers were charged. Six were found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

    The remaining six were charged with the not as serious conspiracy to obstruct and prevent officers from carrying out their duties. Five were found guilty, Greene was acquitted.

    nk (1bb15c)

  76. And the people who sneer at DC juries … I want them to tell me if they ever even showed up for jury duty.

    nk (1bb15c)

  77. @38

    It’s because she’s politically connected and well entrenched in the Democrat machine.

    whembly (d116f3) — 3/21/2023 @ 2:15 pm

    Which explains why she was never prosecuted during the Trump Administration.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/21/2023 @ 3:22 pm

    Indeed.

    whembly (d116f3)

  78. @48

    Why would NY prosecution Trump, for his “creative” book keepings regarding his NDA to Clifford, but refuses to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a similar creative book keeping regarding the Steele Dossier?

    The FEC actually did something, fining Clinton for misreporting the expense, for falsely claiming legal fees (thus concealing her actions) when it was actually a campaign outlay.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 3/21/2023 @ 5:58 pm

    Ah… so, not a felony then.

    whembly (d116f3)

  79. Yeah, Patterico, Shipley seems happy to be doing what he’s doing. Still a bit thin-skinned, but there’s a lot of that going around.

    Colonel Haiku (36a5c2)

  80. Ditto nk #20.

    DRJ (b39202)

  81. DRJ #81: the part that people don’t seem to understand, on both sides, is how what they think is great happening to their opponents can happen to people they like, too.

    Me, I want people with character, conviction, and honesty to run for and hold office. Somewhere along the line (and you see it in many comments here) those qualities are now aligned with “weakness.” Thus, the very weird approval of “character doesn’t matter,” “no convictions necessary,” and “dishonesty is okay”…so long as the Dems are pOwned.

    Who are we? What do we believe? What defines our ethos? Are we consistent in what we believe?

    Silence.

    But when your opponent is always a fascist, or a communist, you aren’t believing in anything. You are simply opposed to someone else who sets the agenda.

    And the Big Money folk in government—the statists—like it that way.

    I’m so depressed.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  82. Hung jury on obstruction:

    Greene, of Indianapolis, Indiana, said he wasn’t a dues-paying member of the Oath Keepers but worked essentially as a contractor, providing security services. He took the witness stand during the seditious conspiracy trial of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and told jurors that Rhodes asked him to come to Washington to help with security operations for events around the Capitol before the riot. Greene didn’t go inside the Capitol and told jurors he never heard anyone discussing plans to do so.

    Greene’s attorney, William Shipley, said Tuesday that “the government’s case was a farce,” adding that “it made no sense and the jury saw it for what it was.”

    Greene was the off-site operations manager. He claimed he provided security services and was not a protester.

    FWIW Both he and the informant are black.

    DRJ (b39202)

  83. But when your opponent is always a fascist, or a communist, you aren’t believing in anything. You are simply opposed to someone else who sets the agenda.

    True.

    DRJ (b39202)

  84. DRJ, it is always easier to tear down than it is to build, to sneer than to create consensus, to shout rather than listen.

    I am now officially old.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  85. Which explains why she was never prosecuted during the Trump Administration.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/21/2023 @ 3:22 pm

    Indeed.

    whembly (d116f3) — 3/22/2023 @ 8:19 am

    Not sure how being a politically connected Democrat protected Hillary from being prosecuted by the Trump Administration, you think it would have made her a target. Remember “Lock her up?” So much for promises made, promises kept.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  86. Large majority in new poll says Trump hush-money allegations are believable
    ……….
    Seventy percent in the Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Tuesday said they find the allegations at the center of the Manhattan district attorney’s probe into the former president to be very or somewhat believable.

    ……..50 percent of Republicans also agreed that the claims against the former president appeared likely, the poll found.

    A slightly smaller portion of Americans in the poll — 62 percent — said it is very or somewhat believable that the former president falsified business records and committed fraud. Legal experts have suggested that Trump could face such charges for allegedly concealing the hush-money payments to Daniels.
    ………
    ……….Eighty percent (of Republicans) said they agreed with the statement that an indictment would be “politically motivated,” compared to 32 percent of Democrats.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  87. Apparently he will now conclude you can. I wonder whether he will reconsider whether his first client, who went down hard, got a fair trial too.

    If he’s representing his client, he has to make noises about grounds for appeal. I don’t think that actual guilt affects that.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  88. @86

    Not sure how being a politically connected Democrat protected Hillary from being prosecuted by the Trump Administration, you think it would have made her a target. Remember “Lock her up?” So much for promises made, promises kept.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/22/2023 @ 9:38 am

    Was she locked up?

    No?

    WHY?

    Once you have the why’s, no compare to Trump’s bruhaha over Clifford’s NDA and Cohen’s “creative” book keeping.

    Put it another way…Hillary’s campaign reported payments to the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie as legal expenses, when in actuality the money was earmarked for paying Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump.

    whembly (d116f3)

  89. Put it another way…Hillary’s campaign reported payments to the Democratic law firm Perkins Coie as legal expenses, when in actuality the money was earmarked for paying Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump.

    whembly (d116f3) — 3/22/2023 @ 10:30 am

    There were lot of other reasons to prosecute the Clintons.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  90. *no compare…

    Jeez, sorry should proof read more.

    whembly (d116f3)

  91. @90

    There were lot of other reasons to prosecute the Clintons.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/22/2023 @ 10:35 am

    Very true.

    Like Trump.

    whembly (d116f3)

  92. Trump’s Last-Ditch Effort to Derail Stormy Daniels Case Misfires
    ………..
    ………..As is required in New York, prosecutors had extended an invitation to Trump to testify, signaling that prosecutors likely planned to ask the grand jury to return an indictment against Trump. But rather than making the risky choice of putting Trump before a grand jury to testify under oath—as well as waiving his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination—Trump’s lawyers asked that attorney Robert Costello be allowed to testify instead.
    ………
    ………Trump’s legal team deployed Costello as their weapon of choice against Cohen. Costello seemed well-situated to attack the former fixer because he had at one point met with Cohen and advised him about what to do about the federal criminal probe into his actions.

    Trump’s legal team apparently reasoned the best way to attack Cohen’s credibility would be to use the very lawyer who had advised him and presumably learned confidences about him while giving that advice.

    But judging from Costello’s statements to the media after his testimony, the strategy seems to have been a dud. Costello complained that prosecutors had tried to limit his testimony and accused them of “cherry-picking” evidence and using it out of context before the grand jury.
    ……..
    ……..Costello’s testimony may end up hurting Trump’s legal defense because it gave prosecutors a free preview of how Trump’s team hopes to attack Cohen’s testimony.

    One can also assume that Costello’s testimony was fashioned to be the strongest attack possible on Cohen’s credibility, as it was Trump’s last chance to try to persuade the grand jury not to indict him. Having heard Costello testify for some two hours, prosecutors are now well versed in exactly how Trump’s defense counsel plan to attack Cohen and have ample time to prepare themselves as well as Cohen for his eventual testimony if Trump is indicted and the case goes to trial.

    The strategy may also have imperiled Costello himself criminally because his original interaction with Cohen may have involved trying to convince Cohen to stay loyal to Trump and possibly imply that such loyalty might be rewarded with a presidential pardon by Trump. Indeed in 2019 federal prosecutors probed this issue, and by testifying now Costello may have waived his own Fifth Amendment privileges against any further probe of his actions. Some legal experts even suggest that Costello may have further endangered Trump if his testimony renews interest in what efforts Trump made to dissuade Cohen from cooperating with criminal probes, which could constitute obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  93. @ Yippee-i-o-ki-yay!

    I was not deriding Shipwrecked. I was deriding the suggestion that there was an upside to being indicted.

    Would you sit in on a game where you only had a one-in-twelve chance, not to win, merely to break even? The odds are always with the house. Trump has been putting up a brave bluff before the cards have been dealt, but Bragg is going to make him ante up.

    nk (1bb15c)

  94. Granted, the only lawsuit I have heard of Trump winning for as long as I have been paying attention is the defamation suit Stormy brought against him in 2018. So … maybe?

    nk (1bb15c)

  95. If I were Trump, I’d prefer to defend the NY case than any of the others. I think he’s got a good chance to win. Now, sure, it’s better to be left alone, but if you gotta get indicted it’s best if they don’t have a good case.

    The NY Times seems to be unconvinced they have one.

    [S]alacious details alone do not make a case. Prosecutors must also work within the law. And the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, may have to pull off a difficult maneuver, connecting the hush-money cover-up — a potential violation of state law — to a federal election.

    The details of any indictment that may be handed up as soon as this week are not yet known, and Mr. Bragg could charge any number of crimes. But there is a possibility that the case will rely on a legal theory that has never been evaluated by a judge.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  96. Not sure how being a politically connected Democrat protected Hillary from being prosecuted by the Trump Administration, you think it would have made her a target. Remember “Lock her up?” So much for promises made, promises kept.
    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/22/2023 @ 9:38 am

    not sure, Rip?

    you would put Hillary in front of a DC jury, would you?

    maybe the Trump administration put a bit more thought into it than you

    JF (3ab321)

  97. I was deriding the suggestion that there was an upside to being indicted.

    FWIW (not much) II:

    Former President Donald Trump reportedly not only welcomes being perp-walked by authorities in Manhattan, but he has been telling those close to him he wants to create as much of a “spectacle” as possible.

    The Guardian and the New York Times ran similar reports detailing Trump’s “behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago” conversations regarding his desire to become a martyr for his own cause. Michael C. Bender and Maggie Haberman write in the Times that Trump “has told friends and associates that he welcomes the idea of being paraded by the authorities before a throng of reporters and news cameras.”
    ……..
    “Trump’s increasing insistence that he wants to be handcuffed behind his back for a perp walk appears to come from various motivations, including that he wants to project defiance in the face of what he sees as an unfair prosecution and that it would galvanize his base for his 2024 presidential campaign,” added (The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell).
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  98. not sure, Rip?

    you would put Hillary in front of a DC jury, would you?

    maybe the Trump administration put a bit more thought into it than you

    JF (3ab321) — 3/22/2023 @ 11:48 am

    I assume she was much more valuable as a punching bag and rally cry than any serious interest in justice on the part of the Trump Administration.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  99. Trump wants the focus on the NY case, which he thinks he’ll win, and not so much on the cases elsewhere that will be much harder on him. First impressions.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  100. Well, it did look on Susan McDougal. How does Trump look in a short pleated skirt and panty hose?

    nk (1bb15c)

  101. it did look *good*

    nk (1bb15c)

  102. Hey, he was just lying about sex.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  103. “Hey, he was just lying about sex.”

    Most people might agree and rally to his defense because they think the important word in that sentence is “sex.” But the important word is “lying.” Trump feels wronged because he thinks the truth is for suckers.

    DRJ (ac77df)

  104. Sudden Cancellation of Trump Grand Jury Sparks Wave of Theories

    ‘Speculation is mounting after the grand jury in the Manhattan-based case revolving around Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels was canceled on Wednesday.

    ‘The jury typically meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays but for an unknown reason did not meet today. High-ranking law enforcement officials told Business Insider that even if the grand jury reconvenes Thursday, any vote for a potential indictment of Trump by week’s end remains unlikely.’

    https://www.newsweek.com/trump-grand-jury-cancellation-theories-1789671

    Trump Grand Jury Meeting Abruptly Canceled

    https://redstate.com/bonchie/2023/03/22/trump-grand-jury-meeting-abruptly-canceled-n719767

    DCSCA (b52c05)

  105. Is the whole Trump organization just a giant check-kiting scheme? Five hundred or so entities just writing checks to each other to cover each other’s checks to support the Trumps’ lifestyle?

    Cohen had to take out a home equity loan because Trump could not write him a check for the $130,000? And then one of the Trump companies had to pay him back in installments?

    Do the Trumps actually have any money?

    nk (1bb15c)

  106. nk (1bb15c) — 3/22/2023 @ 1:08 pm

    Cohen had to take out a home equity loan because Trump could not write him a check for the $130,000?

    Because, if he asked Trump, Trump did not agree it was worth it – and if Trump had thought it was a legitimate campaign expense, then why didn’t he use campaign funds for it? By that time, October, 2016, Trump was not funding most of his campaign, so it wouldn’t have come out of his pocket.

    Cohen did not use any assets he had because he did not want his wife to know.

    It remains unexplained why MC should have done that. Even if he trusted Trump to reimburse him.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  107. . Costello complained that prosecutors had tried to limit his testimony and accused them of “cherry-picking” evidence and using it out of context before the grand jury.……..

    But he said he won the argument (or at least alerted the grand jury and he thought 5 or 6 of them at least were interested in seeing all the emails.

    The prosecutors had said they were hearsay. But Costello said they were business records made in the normal course of doing business and business records were an exception to the hearsay rule.

    Costello says he volunteered things in his testimony.

    There is a key issue of fact here now: Did Trump approve the payment to Stormy Daniels in advance and did he agree it was for campaign purposes?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  108. 45. Patterico (bf30fd) — 3/21/2023 @ 5:02 pm

    A little teaser: you may have forgotten that there is at least one secret recording out there of Trump and Cohen talking about hushing up various scandals, including Trump’s affairs, for purposes of the campaign.

    The recording proves the exact opposite – the proposed reimbursement of the National Enquirer for its purchase of the story of Karen McDougal (which is when Michael Cohen brought in Donald Trump) was not for purposes of the campaign.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/donald-trump-michael-cohen-to-buy-david-pecker-national-enquirers-file-of-trump-stories.html

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-team-devising-plan-buy-back-bad-stories/story?id=57501381

    Just weeks before the election, Cohen secretly recorded a conversation with Trump and according to The Times, the two men seemed to discuss buying the Enquirer’s Trump files from Pecker.

    “I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen was heard saying in the recording, which ABC News independently obtained.

    On the recording, Trump and Cohen sound worried that the information could fall into the wrong hands if Pecker left the Enquirer or worse.

    “And it’s all the stuff,” Cohen says.

    “… Thinking about that,” Trump says.

    “All the stuff because you never know where that company — you never know where he’s going to be,” Cohen says.

    “[INAUDIBLE] …could get hit by a truck,” Trump says.

    “Correct. So I’m all over that,” Cohen says.

    Now
    when
    is David Pecker possibly going to get hit by a truck? *

    This conversation took place in October, 2016.

    Before the election, or after the election??

    This was not in anticipation of the 2020 election – that’s looking too far ahead and too narrow a purpose.

    Now the lawyers for American Media were worried that their payment to Susan McDougal might be considered an illegal corporate campaign contribution (besides being over the limit for an individual)

    But the National Enquirer had been protecting Donald Trump for over 20 years.
    —————–
    * Sic – the usual expression is “hit by a bus”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  109. The best laid plans of mice and men. Remember the prosecution of the chicago 8/9? Political trials unless it is out and out graft usually don’t go well. Jan. 6 defendants cop pleas because they faced all black juries in D.C. NYC da was hoping to get similar jury in NYC. Conservatives never had a problem with overcharging until it was them! What goes around finally comes around. Of the last 6 republican presidents did any of them not commit treason and sedition besides ford. Nixon with south vietnam. Reagan/ bush with Iran and Iran/contra. Dubya 9-11 might just be criminal negligence ;but certainly Iraq war. Trump at least jan.6 maybe other things.

    asset (2ca8b2)

  110. 2. nk (603c4e) — 3/21/2023 @ 9:40 am

    No one who was not Donald Trump would have gotten himself in this cascade of sleaze to begin with.

    That is true, assuming you mean the whole slew of stuff, not just this thing. We’ve got the lying to retain documents – the thing he is most likely to be guilty of; the pressure to change the 2020 election results – where he probably didn’t cross the line into soliciting election fraud; and the storming of the Capitol (where he was probably roped into somebody else’s conspiracy without knowing it – he wanted to go to the Capitol at the time of the
    riot) He’s got a bunch of other, more personal stuff, over the years. Lawsuits and lawsuits.

    Well, Nixon could have, maybe. (none of it having any relationship to sex, though)

    Bill Clinton, could, and did, successfully cover up most of the things that could have gotten him in trouble.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  111. 9. Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/21/2023 @ 11:35 am

    Cohen says that Trump conspired with him on the fraudulent billing.

    It is not a crime for a lawyer to submit a false reason for a bill for the records. And if everybody involved knew what the real story was, there’s no fraud. Is altering business records the same as making incorrect entries in the first place?

    Trump will claim that Cohen did this on his own.

    Make the payment, and he is so claiming.

    Remaining to be explained: Why did Michael Cohen do this? Even if he is telling the truth, why did he do this (lay out such an enormous sum of money) Why did Trump agree to reimburse him after the fact? Or did he? Or did Allen Weisselberg just get Trump to pay out the money (write checks made out to Michael Cohen) without explaining to Donald Trump the real reason why he should pay Michael Cohen this money?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  112. Patterico (fcc17a) — 3/21/2023 @ 12:35 pm

    My argument is that the claim that nobody would ever get charged for this except Trump is refuted by the record, because Cohen was charged. And convicted.

    I would say that that doesn’t really count, but you have a point. And there’s also a difference between the candidate being charged and a third party being charged. And it’s also the same case. And a crime being agreed to in a plea bargain is not the same thing as someone being charged with a crime against his will.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  113. aphrael (2b7a65) — 3/21/2023 @ 7:05 pm

    Like, it wasn’t outrageous when the feds were treating *other* people this way, just now that it’s *them* — and the outrage doesn’t seem to extend to the notion that this is terrible in general, just that it’s terrible because it’s being done to their people.

    Absolute hypocrites, the lot of them.

    The outrage generators. Most of the common Trump folks are probably not aware that anybody else was ever treated the same way.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  114. Appeals Court Orders Trump Lawyer to Hand Over Records in Documents Inquiry
    ………
    The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia came after a lightning round of filings that began on Tuesday evening when Mr. Trump sought an order to stop the lawyer, M. Evan Corcoran, from handing over documents to investigators.
    ………
    The fight in Washington over Mr. Corcoran’s level of compliance in the documents case suggests that the prosecutors are working to assemble evidence that Mr. Trump could have committed a crime in defying the government’s efforts to reclaim the classified materials he took with him after leaving the White House.
    ……..
    On Friday, Judge (Beryl) Howell issued a ruling saying that the government had indeed met the threshold to invoke the crime-fraud exception and that prosecutors had made a preliminary case that Mr. Trump had violated the law in the documents case. As part of her decision, she ordered Mr. Corcoran to turn over most of the legal documents he had tried to withhold and return to the grand jury to more fully answer the prosecutors’ questions.

    But on Tuesday night, as Mr. Corcoran began preparing to comply with the judge’s order, lawyers for Mr. Trump asked the appeals court to stay the ruling as they sought to reverse parts or all of her decision. The appeals court granted an initial temporary stay of the ruling and set an unusually aggressive schedule for the case, telling Mr. Trump to file papers by midnight and the government to file a response by 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

    Even though the case has now passed through two different courts and generated several dueling rounds of papers, it still remains unclear precisely what crime the government believes might have been committed — or who might have committed it.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  115. 23. whembly (d116f3) — 3/21/2023 @ 1:48 pm

    Why would NY prosecution Trump, for his “creative” book keepings regarding his NDA to Clifford, but refuses to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a similar creative book keeping regarding the Steele Dossier?

    1. I’m not sure they had jurisdiction.

    2. The case wasn’t handed to them on a silver platter. This is only being prosecuted – maybe – because this what Michael Cohen came up with. So it lives.

    And, if I remember correctly, the lower sentence he was supposed to get was conditional on this being used in a prosecution, or maybe by Congress and it never was. Michael Cohen never was a co-operating witness in anything.

    3. It’s not “similar creative book keeping”

    In Trump’s case, if the facts are as Michael Cohen says, it’s not running campaign expenses through the campaign. In Hillary’s case, it’s misreporting the > purpose of some campaign expenses. And campaign records are not business records.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  116. Trump feels wronged because he thinks the truth is for suckers.

    He might be right.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  117. Why did Michael Cohen do this? Even if he is telling the truth, why did he do this (lay out such an enormous sum of money) Why did Trump agree to reimburse him after the fact?

    Cohen was acting on Trump’s behalf when he paid Stormy with the understanding his reimbursement could then be classified as “legal fees.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  118. Can this be proven to a jury so dull as to have no prior opinions about Donald Trump?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  119. Mr. Trump could have committed a crime in defying the government’s efforts to reclaim the classified materials he took with him after leaving the White House.

    I think that’s where you have the strongest case.

    It’s still only something like contempt of court, and the Espionage Act of 1917 wasn’t written with this kind of situation in mind. It wasn’t till 1978 till a law was passed declaring all presidential records government property. (because of Nixon)

    The Georgia case is more serious, if Trump had solicited election fraud but I don’t think he did because he never claimed anything else other than that the vote results weren’t legitimate.

    The false electors scheme is more of a legal ploy than an attempt to commit fraud.

    Even trying to get elected officials to reject votes is more unconstitutional than illegal.

    The Jan 6 events could be more serious, if he really knew and intended that a riot take place, but I don’t think he did and I think the January 6 committee proved, with the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, that he didn’t, even though they didn’t understand that that’s what his attempting to go to the Capitol proved..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  120. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/22/2023 @ 2:27 pm

    Cohen was acting on Trump’s behalf when he paid Stormy with the understanding his reimbursement could then be classified as “legal fees.”

    That’s a factual dispute. And why would he do such a thing? Isn’t it more logical that Trump refused to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000,and that, for some unknown reason, Michael Cohen did it on his own? If he didn’t do it on his own, still, why would he rely on a verbal promise by Trump to secretly pay him back? There’s a mystery here.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  121. “I swear to God..I don’t have anything on Trump”

    -Michael Cohen to Robert Costello in April2018, according to his testimony

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  122. Can this be proven to a jury so dull as to have no prior opinions about Donald Trump?

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/22/2023 @ 2:31 pm

    It’s not a question of having no opinions, but can they put their opinions aside. Probably not.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  123. And why would he do such a thing? Isn’t it more logical that Trump refused to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000,and that, for some unknown reason, Michael Cohen did it on his own? If he didn’t do it on his own, still, why would he rely on a verbal promise by Trump to secretly pay him back? There’s a mystery here.

    Not really a mystery. Cohen was Trump’s fixer and gofer, and provided plausible deniability. For Trump to buy someone off with chump change (he is a billionaire, after all) is easy to understand. Believing that Cohen acted on his own without Trump’s knowledge assumes facts not in evidence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  124. Are the walls still closing in?

    frosty (a78d29)

  125. Believing that Cohen acted on his own without Trump’s knowledge assumes facts not in evidence.

    Well, it’s not like they let you or me on the jury, so maybe those jurors decide to believe nice Mr Trump.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  126. It’s not a question of having no opinions, but can they put their opinions aside. Probably not.

    There was a case trying Nazis in (?) Chicago, where the jurors had to swear they had never heard of the second world war.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  127. If there is a trial … jurors could decide no one is worth believing. That makes a conviction unlikely but it could go either way, depending on who the jurors like the least. (Some jurors are also influenced by their opinions of the attorneys.)

    But that is true in the public arena, too. The public may like what they see or they may not. If there is no bad publicity, Trump wins no matter what happens. I think that will happen with his biggest fans who never tire of the drama.

    DRJ (b39202)

  128. If there is no such thing as bad publicity …

    DRJ (b39202)

  129. Are the walls still closing in?

    They must be. Trump is talking about going for a walk.

    nk (1bb15c)

  130. If there is a trial, I know it will be in New York but does anyone know where in New York? What will the jury pool be like?

    DRJ (b39202)

  131. Bragg is the Manhattan DA, so the trial should be at the Manhattan Criminal Court. It’s in south Manhattan but I assume the jury pool draws from the whole borough. Not quite D.C., but certainly not Trump country. IIRC he lost Manhattan by 60 or 70 pts.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  132. LOL

    Michael Cohen claimed he was not reimbursed by Donald Trump or his organization for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels in a 2018 letter to federal authorities, contradicting his recent grand jury testimony.

    The bombshell document, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, could throw a wrench in the works of prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Trump over the payments.

    Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and the star witness in the case over which Trump reportedly faces imminent arrest, claims that Trump got him to pay $130,000 to Daniels to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with the real estate mogul, just days before the 2016 presidential election.

    He says Trump reimbursed him with personal funds, and later pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law over the hush money.

    After canceling today’s session, the grand jury has been asked to return at noon Thursday, when prosecutors ‘may present one more witness,’ a court official told DailyMail.com.

    The letter appears to be in direct conflict with Cohen’s sworn testimony to Congress given a year later.

    JF (79b5b0)

  133. Trump will have so many many motions before there is any trial, notably a change of venue. He won most counties in 2020 and NY county was his worst, so he probably has an argument. Unlike the feds, they don’t have to try him in the district in which the crime is committed.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  134. Trump’s problem is that it’s The Big City, not Possum Flats. The jury will hear Cohen’s evidence, and nod knowingly. It will then hear from Trump, and sneer knowingly: “Yeah, right!”

    nk (1bb15c)

  135. Off topic

    Amnesty International Admits Ukraine is Using Children as Human Shields

    But, but, but…Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian government are the good guys who we should support and arm…

    Horatio (d4fbe5)

  136. Horatio:

    If you click through the links, you’ll find this is not fresh news, but a highly propagandistic gloss on a controversial report Amnesty issued in August 2022. I do not have the time to bother linking to the back and forth about that thing. Google is your friend —you can find the disputation easy enough.

    Appalled (ca8862)

  137. New York is a multi-layered system, but as far as I could find out, jurors are provided by way of New York County which is co-existent with the Borough of Manhattan, and motions for a change of venue are heard by the Appellate Division, First Department, of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

    Wenn Herr Trump says he cannot get a fair trial,
    The Appellate Court will smile, smile, smile

    Is there any doubt in any person’s mind that all the publicity surrounding the case has been generated by Trump himself? He even got his homies in Congress to try and provoke Bragg into talking out of turn. And all Bragg would need to do is turn on the court’s computer listing the hundreds of cases that Trump himself has brought in Manhattan.

    nk (1bb15c)

  138. Is there any doubt in any person’s mind that all the publicity surrounding the case has been generated by Trump himself?

    Especially since Trump is the only one claiming (without evidence) that he would be indicted this week.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  139. Thank you, lurker and nk.

    DRJ (b39202)

  140. nk (1bb15c) — 3/23/2023 @ 6:53 am

    Is there any doubt in any person’s mind that all the publicity surrounding the case has been generated by Trump himself?

    No, there isn’t, if you use the right definition of the word “all,” meaning all this tremendous publicity.

    There’s no way there would be all this publicity if Trump hadn’t declared on TruthSocial that he was going to be arrested on Tuesday. Even if he;d been indicted, there wouldn’t be so much publicity, as there would be if it happens now.

    But there was some publicity before, and if there hadn’t been some other publicity, and leaks to the press, it never would have gone viral.’

    But even that could be coming from Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/09/nyregion/trump-potential-criminal-charges-bragg.html

    In New York, potential defendants have the right to answer questions in the grand jury before they are indicted, but they rarely testify, and Mr. Trump is likely to decline the offer. His lawyers could also meet privately with the prosecutors in hopes of fending off criminal charges.

    But not entirely:

    The district attorney’s office has already questioned at least six other people before the grand jury, according to several other people with knowledge of the inquiry.

    S

    Sammy Finkelman (77bca1)

  141. At the insistence of prosecutors, in February 2019, Michael Cohen signed a waiver of attorney-client privilege with regard to Robert Costello (and others? There was at least one other lawyer involved – a civil lawyer) while saying he didn’t concult him much.

    Sammy Finkelman (77bca1)

  142. The grand jury did not meet at all Wednesday, and the meeting for today was also cancelled.

    Reportedly, the DA’s office was waiting for a rebuttal witness, who definitely would not be available yesterday, and only possibly today.

    Reportedly, there are ADAs in Braggs office who are not at all fans of Trump who are “shaking their heads” about this case, and Bragg himself is questioning the people who are gung ho on this about whether they are really sure they have a case. The DA’s office denied to the New York Post that he got concerned following Costello’s testimony.

    He dropped a previous case about Trump, about the Trump organization, and some prosecutors connected with that investigation resigned, That was the case that New York State Attorney General Leticia James had investigated civilly and it was sort of turned over to him or possible criminal charges.

    In the end, he merely reached a plea agreement with Allen Weisselberg, whch gave him a 5-month jail sentence,

    Sammy Finkelman (77bca1)

  143. Screw the pooch, Democrats!

    Colonel Haiku (b8f801)

  144. Trumpworld discovers that criminals sometimes lie

    If Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are to be believed, the prospect that the former president will soon be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury suffered a potentially fatal blow Wednesday. The father-son duo each hyped a newly uncovered letter sent on behalf of Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen that denied Cohen violated campaign finance laws during the 2016 election.
    ……..
    At issue is whether Cohen’s payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels violated federal campaign finance laws. Just as a campaign staffer can’t spend $130,000 on positive television ads promoting the candidate without reporting it to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), an agent of a campaign (that is, someone working on the campaign’s behalf) can’t spend the same amount to keep a negative news story from being seen by voters without reporting it.

    You can see the loophole here: If the payment wasn’t meant to affect the election, then it wouldn’t need to be reported. That’s why former North Carolina senator John Edwards (D) was not convicted of campaign-finance violations; his similar payment was arguably not related to his political efforts. And in the letter made public this week, that’s what attorneys for Cohen argued to the FEC: The payment wasn’t a campaign contribution and it wasn’t reimbursed by the Trump Organization.
    ……….
    The letter is dated Feb. 8, 2018. News of the Daniels payment had been broken by the Wall Street Journal less than a month prior. Cohen was still working for Trump and scrambling to conceal the details of the payment. In early April, federal investigators searched Cohen’s home and office, kicking off a legal fight in which Cohen attempted to prevent the government from using material as evidence because, he claimed, it was covered by his attorney-client relationship with Trump.

    ………By the summer of 2018, though, Cohen had given up the fight. He pleaded guilty to several federal crimes on Aug. 21, 2018, including a campaign-finance violation related to the Daniels payment. His confession wasn’t the government’s only evidence, certainly, but it’s useful for the point at hand: What Cohen’s lawyers said in a non-sworn letter in February 2018 on Cohen’s behalf was contradicted in a sworn statement from Cohen six months later.

    What’s more, another attorney for Trump, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, admitted that the money Cohen spent had been repaid by the Trump Organization. So that part of the February letter, too, was later undermined by admissions from within Trump’s own camp.

    That repayment is why Trump is now at risk of indictment. ………
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  145. The jury will hear Cohen’s evidence, and nod knowingly. It will then hear from Trump, and sneer knowingly: “Yeah, right!”

    Any defense attorney worth [Trump not paying him] will ask each potential juror “Do you have any preconceived opinion of Donald Trump?” and dismiss for cause any who say yes.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  146. @137:

    Thanks for that link, Rob. Checked my wife’s eyedrops (she’s just had eye surgery). No EzriCare or Delsam Pharma drops.

    Here’s the CDC link.

    https://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/crpa-artificial-tears.html

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  147. It will then hear from Trump, and sneer knowingly: “Yeah, right!”

    Trump would be an idiot to testify.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  148. The judge will ask each potential juror “Do you have any preconceived opinion of Donald Trump regarding this case?”, and dismiss for cause then ask any who say yes, “Will you put it aside and render a fair and impartial verdict based solely on the evidence you see and hear in this courtroom?”

    nk (bb1548)

  149. “Will you put it aside and render a fair and impartial verdict based solely on the evidence you see and hear in this courtroom?”

    *snicker*

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  150. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/22/2023 @ 3:56 pm

    Cohen was Trump’s fixer and gofer, and provided plausible deniability. For Trump to buy someone off with chump change (he is a billionaire, after all) is easy to understand. Believing that Cohen acted on his own without Trump’s knowledge assumes facts not in evidence.

    According to both versions, Cohen used his own money without obtaining the funds in advance, and that is the mystery.

    It’s almost as big a mystery why Cohen would lay out the money – this was not chump change for him – as it would be to pay on his own without getting approval from Trump in advance, and just hoping he’d manage to convince Trump to pay him back. (he doesn’t have Trump on tape agreeing to reimburse him)

    What could explain one could explain the other.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  151. LOL

    Michael Cohen claimed he was not reimbursed by Donald Trump or his organization for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels in a 2018 letter to federal authorities, contradicting his recent grand jury testimony.

    The bombshell document, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, could throw a wrench in the works of prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Trump over the payments.

    Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and the star witness in the case over which Trump reportedly faces imminent arrest, claims that Trump got him to pay $130,000 to Daniels to keep her quiet about her alleged affair with the real estate mogul, just days before the 2016 presidential election.

    He says Trump reimbursed him with personal funds, and later pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance law over the hush money.

    After canceling today’s session, the grand jury has been asked to return at noon Thursday, when prosecutors ‘may present one more witness,’ a court official told DailyMail.com.

    The letter appears to be in direct conflict with Cohen’s sworn testimony to Congress given a year later.

    JF (79b5b0) — 3/22/2023 @ 8:05 pm

    That’s some gotcha. The convicted liar lied before he told the truth. Here’s Trump admitting he made the payment.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  152. lurker (cd7cd4) — 3/23/2023 @ 6:32 pm

    keep hope alive, lurker

    guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt might just work in front of a NYC jury

    don’t give up

    JF (e68188)

  153. I said nothing about Trump’s legal guilt or innocence, JF. I merely refuted your insinuation that Trump didn’t make the payment. But do keep moving those goalposts.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  154. lurker (cd7cd4) — 3/23/2023 @ 8:43 pm

    no one can read your mind, lurker

    but obviously you can read mine

    JF (d3ad2b)

  155. I’m sorry, JF, that wasn’t your point? What was it?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  156. see @71

    JF (d3ad2b)

  157. That’s not inconsistent with the natural reading of @134 being that Trump didn’t make the payment, which is how I read it. And that interpretation of your comment is what I was saying, not an attempt to read your mind.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  158. Maybe the grand jury doesn’t want to issue a bill. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

    DRJ (0abb72)

  159. Maybe the grand jury doesn’t want to issue a bill. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

    Would indicate that there’s some reasonable doubt.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  160. How long until we hear “Trump Vindicated!” from Mar-a-lago.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  161. The privilege obstruction strategy keeps disintegrating. Earlier this week, it was Corcoran. Today, it’s Trump’s inner circle.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  162. Are you all saying that Trump is not a ham sandwich?

    The flagon with the dragon has the pellet with the poison.
    The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
    [Hi, felipe!]

    Many people have said that Bragg’s theory of the case is as convoluted as Trump’s scheme and that a jury would have trouble understanding it.

    nk (acdccf)

  163. They Might Be Walls!

    Colonel Haiku (23076a)

  164. According to both versions, Cohen used his own money without obtaining the funds in advance, and that is the mystery.

    Maybe to you.

    Rip Murdock (ac65cf)


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