Cohen And Manafort Convictions Not About Russia, But Still Trouble For Trump

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Frank Underwood, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,318
    Trophy Points:
    3,591
    Ratings:
    +526
    Member Since:
    June 2001
    The guilt of Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort shows that people on Trump’s team were accustomed to breaking the law.

    WASHINGTON —
    Within the span of just a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon, two of the president’s men sitting in federal courts hundreds of miles apart became convicted felons.

    It was a watershed moment in the presidency of Donald Trump. For the first time in the Trump-Russia investigation, a Trump associate was found guilty of a crime that directly implicates the president. And Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort were brought down not by evidence of Russian collusion, but by a series of tax, banking and campaign finance violations.

    Proving that the president knowingly conspired with Russians to hack the Democrats’ servers, steal damaging information and leak it at politically opportune times was always going to be a challenge for special counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

    But the search for that evidence has brought to light an equally damaging revelation: Trump and his team were accustomed to breaking the law to get what they wanted. The effort to win the presidential election was no different. And just because Manafort and Cohen went down on white-collar crime charges doesn’t mean that Trump is safe — or that Mueller’s investigation won’t eventually lead back to Russia.

    How The Russia Probe Exposed Corruption

    “It’s hubris that oftentimes gets people,” Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor, said of white-collar criminals.

    Mueller’s strategy of focusing on Cohen and Manafort’s white-collar crimes is perfectly reasonable, even in a probe directed at Russian interference in the 2016 election. “It’s not unusual for prosecutors to use charges — Al Capone is the primary example — to bring down a criminal conspiracy in any way they can,” Waxman pointed out.

    “Criminals can get away in the white-collar world with wrongdoing as long as they don’t get too greedy,” he added.

    Manafort and Cohen probably could have continued committing financial crimes and making lots of money for the rest of their working lives if only Trump hadn’t won the election and become ensnared in a special counsel investigation. All three men had engaged in legally dubious business practices for decades without attracting too much scrutiny from federal investigators. It was only after their wrongdoing bled into the realm of hacking and espionage that there was the political will to hold them accountable.

    As a result of Mueller’s digging into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday of eight tax and bank fraud charges. And Cohen pleaded guilty to a series of financial crimes, including paying off two women to keep silent about affairs they claim to have had with Trump ahead of the election.

    What This Means For Trump

    The fall of Manafort and Cohen does not bode well for Trump. Scoring eight guilty convictions against Manafort is a significant credibility boost for Mueller’s team, which has been accused by Trump and his allies of conducting a “witch hunt” against the president. Manafort now appears to be weighing whether he should try to cooperate with Mueller’s team or hold out for a pardon from Trump — a move that might just be too corrupt for even the president’s Republican supporters in Congress to support.

    Constitutionally, a pardon could happen. The only problem, former federal prosecutor Harry Sandick said, is if Trump’s team expressly discussed with Manafort that the purpose of pardoning him was to block the Mueller investigation.

    Cohen’s guilty plea effectively makes Trump an unindicted co-conspirator. Current Justice Department guidelines say a sitting president cannot be indicted — but building a legitimate criminal case against Trump would make it harder for Republicans to stand united in opposition to impeaching the president.

    When President Richard Nixon was named an unindicted co-conspirator by a grand jury, he opted to resign instead of face impeachment proceedings. Trump seems unlikely to step down, however. Any further efforts on his part to block the investigation into his campaign would put the Justice Department in uncharted territory.

    Cohen, who famously bragged that he would take a bullet for his longtime boss, now appears willing to bring Trump down in an effort to minimize his own prison time.

    “If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Cohen’s personal lawyer Lanny Davis tweeted on Tuesday.

    Cohen would be a prosecutor’s “dream cooperator: one who had special insider access to the leader of a powerful, closed, corrupt organization,” former prosecutors Mimi Rocah and Elie Honig wrote last month. “We used to prosecute mafia cases. We both know that in the mob — and perhaps in this White House — the right cooperator can bring down the entire hierarchy.”

    By Wednesday morning, the president was praising Manafort as a “brave man” and bashing Cohen as someone he would not recommend to anyone in search of a good lawyer.

    “[Trump]’s almost sounding like a crime figure. He’s criticizing Cohen for pleading guilty and identifying others who were involved in the crime, and he’s praising Manafort for essentially hanging tough and not talking,” Sandick said. “This kind of talk is damaging.”

    Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entr...trouble-for-trump_us_5b7c9cc9e4b0cd327df79e44
     
  2. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,318
    Trophy Points:
    3,591
    Ratings:
    +526
    Member Since:
    June 2001
    Jimmy Dore: Instead Of Russian Collusion, Mueller Finds That Manafort Didn't Pay Taxes, Cohen Paid A Hooker; "Woo, You Got Em!"

    On 'The Jimmy Dore Show' Ron Placone, Stef Zamorano, and Jimmy Dore discuss an NBC News article which gleefully reported that the conviction of Paul Manafort for tax fraud was the first successful "public test" of Robert Mueller's investigation.

    "The problem with this is, you can't charge the sitting president with a crime, and Trump will never be impeached," Dore said. "Get that out of your head, that will never happen. Well, maybe if they found collusion, like if there was evidence of him being a Manchurian candidate to help Russia at the expense of the U.S., then maybe, maybe, maybe."

    "Manafort convicted on 8 counts; mistrial declared on 10 other charges," NBC News reported this week. "The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian meddling and obstruction of justice by Trump."

    "People see the headlines," Dore said. "If this was the 'first public test of Mueller's investigation into Russia meddling, wow it sounds pretty successful. Everyone is saying this really validates Mueller. But in the article, it says he was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file a report... on foreign accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared in three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and seven counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. So this is what they got him on -- tax fraud and bank fraud."

    "I don't know if you're a regular viewer of this show, but what we've been saying from day one is that yes, of course, Donald Trump and his minions are corrupt, just like most people in DC and Wall Street. They're corrupt, and if you put a special prosecutor on them, you're going to find normal corruption. But I don't understand how this validates the first public test of Mueller's investigation into Russia meddling, because none of this shit is about Russian meddling. None of it. This is about bank fraud and tax fraud that happened before the guy ever worked for Trump."

    "How can that be the headline?"

    "If you put a special prosecutor on anybody in Washington D.C., they're going to find crimes," he said. "I'm old enough to remember a special prosecutor being assigned to Bill Clinton to go investigate a land deal, fast forward a bunch of years and we're talking about did he get a blow job or not in the Oval Office, that is the same thing here."

    "We're supposed to be investigating Russian meddling, we got a guy paying off a hooker, we got a guy committing tax fraud," he said. "There's already an IRS -- why didn't the IRS get him for tax fraud? There's already an SEC and whoever else, why didn't they get Manafort for his bank fraud or the FBI? We already have agencies who are supposed to investigate this stuff. Why do we need a special prosecutor to investigate tax fraud? We don't."

    "We didn't put these people in jail for torture, we're gonna put this guy in jail for paying off a hooker? Are you crazy? Gina Haspel is the head of the CIA, a confirmed torturer, but we're going to put away Cohen for paying off a hooker. This is all wasted political energy."

    "I don't know who else will be reporting it this way," Dore also said. "I'm going to bet some of our favorite lefty shows will not report it this way. They say, 'We got him! they're all corrupt!' Yes, they're all corrupt. Woo, you got him! I can't believe there is gambling here!"

    "They're all friggin' corrupt. Do I have to sit here and show you every headline? ... I can't wait until there is a court case that involves that, and we get to hear why the DNC never got to inspect the DNC server. That's what I'd like to know."

    "To me, that's the headline, Manafort convicted of a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with collusion, Cohen paying off a prostitute," Dore joked.

    "That's like an Onion headline," co-host Ron Placone said. "Two-year investigation with tons of money and tons of resources reveals white color people shady."

    Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/v...es_cohen_paid_a_hooker_--_wow_great_work.html

     
  3. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    4,304
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +5,626
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    Manafort holds the keys to the collusion kingdom, but he's holding out for a pardon -- which is why they need to find a way to charge him with a state crime for which Don Trumpioni can't get him off.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,318
    Trophy Points:
    3,591
    Ratings:
    +526
    Member Since:
    June 2001
    Yes, otherwise it's just wasted energy if Trump can just pardon him. Although such an action would be damaging to Trump, he's proven to be too stupid to care.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    4,304
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +5,626
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    And even the biggest of mobsters are usually taken down over taxes.

    "...and Trump is tweeting out: 'snitches get stitches'..."
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  6. Majorfanofshow

    Majorfanofshow Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Ny
    Ratings:
    +57
    When is it trouble? When is trump going to be impeached and removed? Do you know the next presidential election is in 2020 and all the candidates have to announce spring or summer of next year? If not earlier like day after Election Day this year! So is it going to be 2018 election, trump impeached and removed, 2020 candidates announce. Or might it be 2018 election, 2020 candidates announce, trump is impeached and removed?

    Is the most likely scenario - 2018 election, 2020 candidates announce, mueller orders trump impeached and removed but he isn’t, in 2020 he is defeated and in 2021 trump is indicted tried convicted and eventually does in jail?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018

Share This Page