Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

The House Hit A New Low, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Raúl Ilargi Meijer reviews the circus that was Michael Cohen’s House of Representatives testimony. From Miejer at theautomaticearth.com:

Perhaps against better judgment, I just can’t keep silent about the Michael Cohen’s in da House show performed on February 27. I was watching it and increasingly fearing for the future of America. We had all been able to read his prepared statement before he opened the party with it, and therefore we all knew there was nothing there. So why did this thing take place, and why were all the cameras and reporters there? Do we live in split realities these days?

Both before and after the gruelling -for the viewer- session, words like ‘explosive’ and bombshell’ were all over, so I thought I’d watch, since I might have missed something, but no, there was nothing, there wasn’t even a there there. Apparently, US House members are by now immune to being revealed as nutcases frantically phishing for evidence of accusations they formerly made but could never prove.

A phishing expedition with a willing whale in the center who sort of volunteered to be harpooned, and still came up with absolutely nothing but blubber. And then like 4 hours of that. There’s never been a more convincing picture of what US politics and media have become. But they’re all entirely impervious to it. They’re discussing nothing for hours on end with millions watching, and they see it as normal.

Now, I’ve been following the decay of the American press ever since Trump entered politics stage right, and I’ve written a hundred thousand words about it, but it really hit home during the Cohen session. Tellingly, the Republican House members were exclusively focusing on Cohen credibility, since he had been caught lying to Congress before, and the Supreme Court just days ago disbarred him.

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Michael Cohen’s Testimony Is Filled With Speculation, Reads Like A Jilted Lover, by Sara Carter

The newest Hail Mary by the get-Trump crowd looks like it will be as successful as all the previous ones. From Sara Carter at saracarter.com:

Michael Cohen’s testimony isn’t exactly the bombshell Democrats professed it to be.

It is filled with speculation. The testimony he is providing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday reads like a jilted lover whose been damaged by a past relationship and one in which the other party, that being President Donald Trump, never fully respected or considered as important.

For Cohen, who was hired by Trump in 2007, this appears to be too much to take. His working relationship with Trump dragged him into the bowels of Washington D.C.’s most brutal investigations into a  President and his campaign that Americans have ever witnessed.

Senior officials within the Obama Administration launched an investigation that targeted Trump and everyone around him nearly three years ago. And for the past two years with the appointment of a Special Counsel it has consumed U.S. politics and national media.

Cohen became one of Mueller’s targets. Why? Because he is a flawed man. He had a past history of lying and took shortcuts in his business dealings that may have never been discovered if he didn’t work for Trump.


The Special Counsel’s office knew this and took advantage of this situation.

This is what Robert Mueller wanted. It was a strategy. Mueller and his team, like all government prosecutors, want to shake the vines all around Trump. They want to make Trump’s life and those around him as uncomfortable as possible. That means anyone who worked on the Trump campaign was a target and Mueller picked the best targets.

The Special Counsel did this hoping to find the smoking gun. They did this to prove that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election. And it is an allegation that has yet to be supported by one shred of evidence.

Virginia Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III’s said it perfectly last May with regard to the trial on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was indicted on tax evasion and fraud:

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” said Ellis to prosecutors. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

Ellis added, that they wanted Manafort “to sing.” He also said Mueller’s team wanted to “turn the screws and get the information you really want.”

A Prosecution in Search of A Crime

It is a prosecution in search of a crime. It is a Special Counsel that is desperate to validate its own existence. There is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or conspired in the 2016 election but Mueller’s team is desperate and have dragged in those close to Trump hoping to find the smoking gun and isolating the president.

Cohen is an extremely flawed witness. He is desperately trying to find the smoking gun that he knows does not exist. In fact, Republican lawmakers discovered that Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, a long time friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton,  ‘pushed’ him to testify before the committee.

He believes his “speculation” about his former boss will be enough to save him.

Under Mueller’s investigation Cohen has become a broken man. The Special Counsel’s office shook Cohen’s weak vines with a vengeance. What dropped from those branches did not reveal a conspiracy with Russia during the campaign but Cohen’s own personal criminal misconduct.

Cohen’s Past Haunts Him

Cohen couldn’t hide his past and Mueller went through everything.

What did Mueller discover? He discovered Cohen had lied to financial institutions to receive large loans and is convicted of five counts of tax evasion.

So Cohen has been desperately fishing. He is one of Mueller’s fishermen. However, he has only caught small fish of speculation. He is not a victim but a cunning businessman who broke the law and has been caught. He has found himself in the mess of a lifetime and desperation has sunk in.

He blames Trump, like a child blaming other children around them for their own transgressions.

Can we believe a man who has been known to lie to save himself from his own criminal misconduct with the hope of reducing his sentence?

In his testimony Cohen admits he has no smoking gun but “suspicions.”

“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen says in his written testimony. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”

Suspicions? That’s not enough.

Cohen is jilted. Why? Because it appears — based on his 20 page testimony — that he blames Trump for everything Mueller has done to him.

Cohen says in his testimony regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting that “sometime in the summer of 2017…Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: ‘The meeting is all set.’ I remember Mr. Trump saying, ‘Ok good…let me know.’

Cohen’s Speculation

This is Cohen’s speculation that Trump was talking to Don Jr. about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. She is also tied to the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid for by a the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump during the campaign. Veselnitskaya had met with the research firm’s founder Glen Simpson before and after the meeting.

Simpson said he and the Russian lawyer never discussed the Don Jr. meeting but anyone with common sense knows that this is highly questionable.

Further Cohen then speculates and spreads rumors about Trump’s relationship with his son Don Jr. Again, why? This testimony is not based on facts. It sounds like the rantings of broken man caught in his own misdeeds and deflecting.

“What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world,” said Cohen. “And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.”

“I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” added Cohen.

This is all speculation and bad mouthing a family that he worked for in confidence for decades. Cohen says himself that it is speculation. His testimony is based on hypotheticals, information already known and his own feelings about Trump.

No New Bombshell

There is no new bombshell in Cohen’s testimony. He calls Trump a cheat, a racist and a conman.

Cohen is throwing a temper tantrum. He is hoping to damage the man he worked for with the hope that the Mueller team will throw him a lifeline.

But the hearings won’t save Cohen. He made his own bad business decisions throughout his life and it appears he doesn’t stop making them.

His testimony against Trump is one of them.

Cohen is a proven conman and a liar.

There is nothing he can say to Congress that will change who he is or was.

Government Indicts Ham Sandwich: Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty

The Mueller investigation is stretching as far as it can stretch to come up with something, anything, on Donald Trump. From Ann Coulter at anncoulter.com:

This week, I will provide readers with a FREE excerpt from Resistance Is Futile!: How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind in order to prove that if you’d bought the book two months ago, you’d already understand the rules of the game. Now that Democrats are about to take control of the House, this is the only book you’ll need until President Trump is out of office.

** ** **

Boring facts can be used to prove big crimes, but in the case of Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s payment to a porn star, what we have is a boring fact being used to prove a boring crime: an alleged violation of the campaign finance laws zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz … Worse: They’re trying to prove a reporting violation.

If Trump paid the $130,000 himself solely to help his campaign — and he wouldn’t have minded at all having a porn star telling the tabloids she’d had sex with him except for the fact that he was running for president — it would be a reporting violation and OH MY GOSH — HE’D HAVE TO PAY A FINE!

Their argument is what if he didn’t pay it himself?! That’s why the media are obsessed with when Cohen emailed Stormy Daniels’ lawyer and from which email address — trying to find bread crumbs that someone else paid Stormy in order to claim it was an illegal campaign contribution — again requiring that the payment be motivated solely by the fact that Trump was running for office.

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Mueller Withheld “Details That Would Exonerate The President” Of Having Kremlin Backchannel, by Tyler Durden

This should come as no surprise. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It appears that special counsel Robert Mueller withheld key information in its plea deal with Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, which would exonerate Trump and undermine the entire purpose of the special counsel, according to Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations.

Cohen pleaded guilty last week to lying to the Senate intelligence committee in 2017 about the Trump Organization’s plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow – telling them under oath that negotiations he was conducting ended five months sooner than they actually did.

Mueller, however, in his nine-page charging document filed with the court seen by Capitol Hill sources, failed to include the fact that Cohen had no direct contacts at the Kremlin – which undercuts any notion that the Trump campaign had a “backchannel” to Putin.

On page 7 of the statement of criminal information filed against Cohen, which is separate from but related to the plea agreement, Mueller mentions that Cohen tried to email Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office on Jan. 14, 2016, and again on Jan. 16, 2016. But Mueller, who personally signed the document, omitted the fact that Cohen did not have any direct points of contact at the Kremlin, and had resorted to sending the emails to a general press mailbox. Sources who have seen these additional emails point out that this omitted information undercuts the idea of a “back channel” and thus the special counsel’s collusion case.RCI

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In Stunning Reversal, Michael Cohen’s Attorney Backpedals On Trump-Russia Claims, by Tyler Durden

SLL called the Michael Cohen allegations a 99 to 1 long shot by Trump’s enemies, and it looks like that assessment of the odds may have been to low. With Lanny Davis’s reversals, the odds just went to 999 to 1. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Lanny Davis – the attorney for Michael Cohen, has massively backpedaled on “confident assertions” that Cohen would share information with investigators that President Trump knew of Russian efforts to undermine Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton – a lifelong friend of Davis’.

The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Davis said in an interview that he is “no longer certain about claims he made to reporters on background and on the record in recent weeks about what Cohen knows about Trump’s awareness of the Russian efforts.

Davis told The Washington Post that he cannot confirm media reports that Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that Trump had advance knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting –WaPo

CNN reported in July that Cohen claimed to have witnessed Trump approving the meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, arranged by an associate of opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

The day after CNN’s report, the Washington Post – using an “anonymous source” they now admit was Davis, peddled the same story that “Cohen had told associates that he witnessed an exchange in which Trump Jr. told his father about an upcoming gathering in which he expected to get information about Clinton,” however the Post didn’t say Trump Jr. told Sr. it was the Russians.

“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said, adding perhaps the most difficult four words for an attorney to utter: “I regret my error.”

In the past week, when asked directly by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether there was information that Trump knew about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya beforehand, Davis said, “No, there’s not.”

In a statement Saturday, a CNN spokeswoman said, “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” –WaPo

To continue reading: In Stunning Reversal, Michael Cohen’s Attorney Backpedals On Trump-Russia Claims

Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight? by Patrick J. Buchanan

The Democrats want to impeach Trump because he won the election, which is outside of the offenses specified in the Constitution. Do they have the stomach for taking it all the way through on a couple of dubious campaign finance infractions? The Republicans faltered on Bill Clinton’s impeachment. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer,” said President Donald Trump ruefully, “I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.” Michael Cohen is no Roy Cohn.

Tuesday, Trump’s ex-lawyer, staring at five years in prison, pled guilty to a campaign violation that may not even be a crime.

Cohen had fronted the cash, $130,000, to pay porn star Stormy Daniels for keeping quiet about a decade-old tryst with Trump. He had also brokered a deal whereby the National Enquirer bought the rights to a story about a Trump affair with a Playboy model, to kill it.

Cohen claims he and Trump thus conspired to violate federal law. But paying girlfriends to keep past indiscretions private is neither a crime nor a campaign violation. And Trump could legally contribute as much as he wished to his own campaign for president.

Would a Democratic House, assuming we get one, really impeach a president for paying hush money to old girlfriends?

Hence the high-fives among never-Trumpers are premature.

But if Cohen’s guilty plea and Tuesday’s conviction of campaign manager Paul Manafort do not imperil Trump today, what they portend is ominous. For Cohen handled Trump’s dealings for more than a decade and has pledged full cooperation with prosecutors from both the Southern District of New York and the Robert Mueller investigation.

Nothing that comes of this collaboration will be helpful to Trump.

Also, Manafort, now a convicted felon facing life in prison, has the most compelling of motives to “flip” and reveal anything that could be useful to Mueller and harmful to Trump.

Then there is the Mueller probe itself.

Twenty-six months after the Watergate break-in, President Nixon had resigned. Twenty-six months after the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails, Mueller has yet to deliver hard evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Putin’s Russia, though this was his mandate.

To continue reading: Do Democrats Want an Impeachment Fight?

The Sh*tocracy and Donald Trump

The latest paroxysms of puerile petulance.

Rick Hasen, a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, said Mr. Cohen’s admission could amount to an “impeachable offense,” particularly if Democrats retake the majority in the House this fall.

The Wall Street Journal, “Cohen Says President Told Him to Pay Women,” August 22, 2018

Mr. Cohen has virtually guaranteed that Democrats will not “retake the majority in the House this fall,” or the Senate either. Setting aside for a moment the legally problematic nature of making out a case for President Trump’s impeachment, is his base more or less likely to show up to the polls if the media and Trump’s legions of enemies are bandying the “I” word? The above quote, and similar quotes from other sources, are fire-em-up locker room fodder, right up there with Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment.

The media and political class vastly overestimate their importance to most Americans. On a stellar night a network newscast is lucky to hit 10 million viewers, or about 3 percent of the American population. Fox, the leading cable news network, gets a little over 2 million viewers, or less than 1 percent. The nation’s leading newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, has a daily average circulation of just over 1 million, or less than one-half of one percent.

It’s a good bet a majority of people in this country can’t name the vice president, a Supreme Court justice, their congressional representative or even one of their senators, their governor, or the anchors on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN or MSNBC. People pay attention to politics and the news media around presidential elections and during crises, but mostly they tune it out. Alternative media commentators fret about the mainstream media’s control of the “narrative.” Such commentary overlooks the fact that most people aren’t listening.

Commentators both mainstream and alternative deplore the “masses’” inattention to all those issues and personalities they find important, but the masses know a few things. In the days of the Soviet Union, when its government had full control of the “narrative” and most everything else, average Ivans and Natashas knew the commissars and apparatchiks were full of shit. It was reflected in the humor: “You pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.” It’s a valuable evolutionary adaptation, this ability to tell when someone’s pissing on your foot and calling it a rainstorm. They may not know who’s the vice president, but that innate mechanism, honed in the school of hard knocks, allows many Americans to separate truth from lies.

Few outside their own little circus will argue that the media and politicians aren’t full of shit. Nobody will argue that Donald Trump is the fulfillment of Diogenes’ quest, but he questioned the shit, mocked the shit-peddlers, and presented an alternative to shit gone stale. When he told Clinton during a debate that she belonged in jail, he was saying what many Americans justifiably believed but were never going to hear from the mainstream shit-peddlers. When he said build a wall, he challenged a consensus that welcomed any brand of immigration “reform” as long as it welcomed any brand of illegal immigrant.

His willingness to say things many people believe, but which never make it to the mainstream, more than his positions on the issues, propelled Trump’s candidacy. Trump’s support came not from dispassionate intellectual analysis, but because he appealed to strong emotions, the strongest of which was: stick it to those assholes in the media and government.

Trump won. So much for the power of mainstream narratives; you can’t fool all the people all the time. Neck-deep in their own manure, the shitocracy went into paroxysms of puerile petulance. Their response: shovel more shit.

Russia-Trump collusion was only meant to be a Clinton talking point, discarded the day after she won. Once she lost, it was the only story the shitocracy had. They’ve tried to run with it, but it pulled up lame when Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity pointed out that DNC servers couldn’t have been remotely hacked, they had to have been leaked via a direct download on site. There’s no Russiagate without a Russian hack.

The conviction of Paul Manafort has been painted as a huge loss for Trump. It’s probably the opposite. The average person has no idea of the ins or outs of Manafort’s case, but there’s no hiding one central fact: fifteen months after his appointment to investigate Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election, Robert Mueller’s big legal “victory” has nothing to do with Trump, Russia, collusion, or the 2016 election. That’s why Trump keeps calling it a witch hunt: the charge resonates.

So now the “smart” money is shifting to “Campaign Finance Violations Impeachment,” going off as a 99 to 1 long shot. As Mark Penn argued at thehill.com, even if Michael Cohen’s story is, for the sake of argument, accepted as true, it’s a huge stretch to call a payment he made to Stormy Daniels and a payment made at his behest by American Media to Karen McDougal campaign contributions. This is true even if the payments helped Trump’s campaign by keeping potential damaging stories from the public. The Federal Election rejected similar arguments in the John Edwards case in 2012.

Talented tweeter Trump immediately noted that Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign paid a $350,000 fine for accepting millions in unreported contributions, but nobody pressed for Obama’s impeachment. Trump has also claimed he didn’t know about Cohen’s payment to Daniels until after it was made, contradicting Cohen’s claim it was directed by Trump. The contradictory stories will never be tested in court under oath and subject to cross-examination, because Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight counts to avoid a trial. (And presumably win some leniency from prosecutors; he’s looking at a long prison sentence.) A sitting president cannot be indicted.

The only forum in which this all could be adjudicated would be an impeachment proceeding. Democratic “prosecutors” would be impeded by Cohen’s tattered reputation and credibility, the hearsay nature of much of his evidence, their own blatantly political motives, and the obvious double standard between the rule of law as applied to Trump and not applied to Obama or Clinton. A fair number of people know a kangaroo court when they see one.

Once a person recognizes the shitocracy for what it is, there’s no reversal. You don’t say to yourself one day: “The media and the politicians are lying sacks of filth,” and the next day: “I think I’ll go back to believing them.” Trump appealed to enough fed up voters to win the election. They won’t bat an eye at Manafort’s verdict or Cohen’s story.

Since the election, with Russiagate, the disclosures about the FBI and the intelligence agencies, the mainstream media’s obvious bias and hostility, and now this week’s “big” news, the ranks of the fed up have only grown. The more shit the shitocracy shovels, the less they’re believed. Microchip us all, put cameras everywhere, track our every electronic move, institute martial law, shut down the internet, ship us off to FEMA camps, and the word will still get out, just as it did in the Soviet Union: they’re full of shit.

Get rid of Trump and he’ll be replaced with a shitocracy turd. That prospect, plus a decent economy, no new wars, progress in a couple of hot spots, eroding support for Democrats among blacks and hispanics, rampant socialist and political correctness lunacy, and what’s undoubtedly going to be a hyperventilated but counterproductive campaign by the mainstream and social media to stoke a blue wave this fall may usher in a red wave instead. The ever-expanding ranks of the cognizant know that America would be irretrievably lost were Trump to be impeached by a kangaroo court on trumped-up charges. They won’t let that happen without a fight.

You Should Be Laughing At Them!

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Fixers, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Fixers fixing things for other fixers who are in a fix. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

If there’s one thing that is exposed in the sorry not-so-fairy tale of former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, it’s that Washington is a city run by fixers. Who often make substantial amounts of money. Many though by no means all, start out as lawyers and figure out that let’s say ‘the edges of what’s legal’ can be quite profitable.

And it helps to know when one steps across that edge, so having attended law school is a bonus. Not so much to stop when stepping across the edge, but to raise one’s fees. There’s a lot of dough waiting at the edge of the law. None of this should surprise any thinking person. Manafort and Cohen are people who think in millions, with an easy few hundred grand thrown in here and there.

But sometimes the fixers happen to come under scrutiny of the law, like when they get entangled in a Special Counsel investigation. Both Manafort and Cohen now rue the day they became involved with Trump, or rather, the day he was elected president and solicited much more severe scrutiny.

Would either ever have been accused of what they face today had Trump lost to Hillary? It’s not too likely. They just gambled and lost. But there are many more just like them who will never be charged with anything. Still, a new fixer name has popped up the last few days who may, down the line, not be so lucky.

And that’s not even because Lanny Davis is a registered foreign agent for Dmytro Firtash, a pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarch wanted by the US government. After all, both Manafort and Cohen have their contacts in that part of the world. Manafort made tens of millions advising then-president Yanukovich in the Ukraine before the US coup dethroned the latter. Cohen’s wife is Ukrainian-American.

Lanny Davis is a lawyer, special counsel even, for the Clintons. Has been for years. Which makes it kind of curious that Michael Cohen would pick him to become his legal representation. But that’s not all Davis is involved in. Like any true fixer, he has his hands in more cookie jars than fit in the average kitchen. Glenn Greenwald wrote this in August 2009 about the health care debate:

Lanny Davis Disease

After Tom Daschle was selected to be Barack Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services and chief health care adviser, Matt Taibbi wrote: “In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle.” One could easily have added: “And then there’s Lanny Davis.” Davis frequently injects himself into political disputes, masquerading as a “political analyst” and Democratic media pundit, yet is unmoored from any discernible political beliefs other than: “I agree with whoever pays me.”

To continue reading: Fixers

WaPo: Despite Talk Of Trump Impeachment After Cohen Betrayal, Charges Unlikely, by Tyler Durden

The mainstream media had better tone down the talk of impeachment after Michael Cohen’s allegations; they’ll drive Trump voters to the polls. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The Washington Post writes on Wednesday that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claim that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of then-candidate Trump may spark calls to impeach, however even if true it “probably will not have any legal consequences for the president while he is in office,” according to legal analysts.

The 51-year-old Cohen, Trump’s lawyer for a decade, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges, including bank fraud totaling “well over $20 million.” The alleged campaign finance violations in connection with paying hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with Trump, however, are at the heart of what many think could be the start of impeachment talks (since that whole Russia thing hasn’t panned out so far). But even if campaign finance laws were broken, WaPo says it may not matter: 

Such an explosive assertion against anyone but the president would suggest that a criminal case could be in the offing, but under long-standing legal interpretations by the Justice Department, the president cannot be charged with a crime.

The department produced legal analyses in 1973 and 2000 concluding that the Constitution does not allow for the criminal indictment of a sitting president. –WaPo

Supporting this notion, special counsel Robert Mueller admitted in May that he will follow DOJ guidance and not indict President Trump as part of the Russia investigation.

All they get to do is write a report,” said Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

 That has forced Trump’s legal team to push off making a decision about whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel — a decision they had hoped to reach by Thursday.  –Fox News

And as far as campaign finance violations go, the Post notes that “[Mueller] determined months ago that allegations of campaign finance violations involving payments to women before the presidential election were outside the scope of his mandate to investigate whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia’s operation to influence the vote.”

To continue reading: WaPo: Despite Talk Of Trump Impeachment After Cohen Betrayal, Charges Unlikely


Cohen’s plea deal is prosecutor’s attempt to set up Trump, by Mark Penn

Another day, another attempt to find something, anything, with which to besmirch and maybe impeach President Trump…and keep the investigators away from the people who might actually have criminal culpability. From Mark Penn at thehill.com:

Here we go, from Russia with love, to campaign finance with love.

Why was Michael Cohen investigated? Because the “Steele dossier” had him making secret trips to meet with Russians that never happened, so his business dealings got a thorough scrubbing and, in the process, he fell into the Paul Manafort bin reserved by the special counsel for squeezing until the juice comes out. We are back to 1998 all over again, with presidents and candidates covering up their alleged marital misdeeds and prosecutors trying to turn legal acts into illegal ones by inventing new crimes.

The plot to get President Trump out of office thickens, as Cohen obviously was his own mini crime syndicate and decided that his betrayals meant he would be better served turning on his old boss to cut the best deal with prosecutors he could rather than holding out and getting the full Manafort treatment. That was clear the minute he hired attorney Lanny Davis, who does not try cases and did past work for Hillary Clinton. Cohen had recorded his client, trying to entrap him, sold information about Trump to corporations for millions of dollars while acting as his lawyer, and did not pay taxes on millions.

The sweetener for the prosecutors, of course, was getting Cohen to plead guilty to campaign violations that were not campaign violations. Money paid to people who come out of the woodwork and shake down people under threat of revealing bad sexual stories are not legitimate campaign expenditures. They are personal expenditures. That is true for both candidates we like and candidates we do not. Just imagine if candidates used campaign funds instead of their own money to pay folks like Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about affairs. They would get indicted for misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes and for tax evasion.

To continue reading: Cohen’s plea deal is prosecutor’s attempt to set up Trump