Cohen, Manafort guilty, increased jeopardy for Trump

The Jury in the Paula Manafort trial returning eight guilty verdicts was bad for Manafort, who could also face retrial on the other ten charges and has another trial booked in next month on yet more charges.

On it’s own I don’t think it would have been particularly bad for Donald Trump, despite him having had Manafort manage his campaign for three months in 2016. The offending was prior to this association.

But there was a near simultaneous double whammy, with Trump’ ex personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to eight charges in an agreement with prosecutors that will ‘limit’ his sentence to somewhere between four and six years in prison.

This on top of the Manafort verdicts looks bad for Trump, with the total whammy amounting to more than the sum of the parts.

And it gets worse, as Cohen has implicated trump in illegal actions during the election campaign.

Fox News: Michael Cohen admits violating campaign finance laws in plea deal, agrees to 3-5 year sentence

The precise range of sentence varies in reports, but it’s somewhere around that. For someone with no priors, used to a good standard of living and with a young family, that is a substantial penalty.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, admitted Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.

In entering the plea, Cohen did not specifically name the two women or even Trump, recounting instead that he worked with an “unnamed candidate.” But the amounts and the dates all lined up with the payments made to Daniels and McDougal.

In a statement, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said: “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen. It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.”

Guilani seems to be fibbing or mistaken. Trump wasn’t named as co-conspirator in court, but he was by Cohen’s lawyer afterwards.

Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said his client had pleaded guilty “so that his family can move on to the next chapter.

“This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump,” Davis added. “Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”

Separately, Davis told Fox News that Cohen’s involvement in the Trump-Russia investigation does not end with the plea deal, but in fact “it is only the beginning.”

Davis added that Cohen will speak with whoever is investigating the president to make sure the truth about Trump gets out.

Cohen has been labelled a rat by Trump supporters, so they are obviously concerned about where this might go.

MSNBC:  Cohen more than happy to tell Mueller all that he knows: attorney

Lanny Davis, attorney for former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen, tells Rachel Maddow that Cohen has knowledge that should be of interest to Robert Mueller and he is happy to tell Mueller what he knows…

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

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

So Trump may be sweating on that for a while, until Cohen reveals everything he knows, and until Mueller plays his next legal hand. It looks certain that this saga is far from at it’s conclusion.

This puts Trump in potentially very tricky position. I doubt he will be charged or any serious attempt will be made to impeach him while president, but it must be getting increasingly difficult for Republicans to continue supporting Trump or tolerating his fecklessness and recklessness, especially those who face mid term elections in November.

There will be some interest in how Trump responds on Twitter overnight. He has been becoming more verbose with his claims, fibs and attacks lately – this could push him further, or he could heed advice and at least become somewhat more cautious.

27 Comments

  1. While Fox continue with their normal cheer leading for Trump, they are also covering the latest happenings.

  2. David

     /  August 22, 2018

    The Manafort thing is nowhere near Trump or the campaign and the 8 counts he was found guilty while bad there really wasnt any other verdict possible, he signed his tax return and it was incorrect that they couldnt get him on the other 10 probably gives him some hope for his next trial on similar charges.
    What should annoy the Trump haters that even with all this hanging over Manafort he clearly had nothing on Trump, perhaps because there is nothing so had to take his lumps in court. Manafort would have done a deal if had anything that could help Mueller and Russia collusion.

  3. David

     /  August 22, 2018

    Cohen,s is more of a problem but unless there is a tape of Trump specifically saying pay her off to save my campaign there isnt a lot there. Cohen has already said Trump had nothing to do with the payment, he has falsified tax returns, loan applications so is hardly the worlds most trustworthy witness.
    If Trump has ever paid off a porn star to keep quiet then it becomes just his normal behavior rather than a campaign expense unlike say John Edwards who literally was caught asking a donor to pay off his mistress, hung jury and no retrial. I would be surprised if he hasnt paid off dozens of them over the years. One also needs to remember St Obama was given a slap over the wrist and had to re state a few million of campaign naughtiness.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  August 22, 2018

      MAGA – My Attorney Got Arrested

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  August 22, 2018

      Bullshit lame-arsed claims masquerading as insight.

      You’ll die with your lips still glued to trump’s arse.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  August 22, 2018

        @David, not Patz 😁

      • Corky

         /  August 23, 2018

        You have it bad, Joe. Why so? Did President Trumpy upset your worldview; insult your sensibilities? Or is the thought of Trumpy walking free irking you? Like I said yesterday..and you need to understand this…win or lose..Trumpy has won. He has change the world forever.
        That insight is still inbound for many people.

  4. duperez

     /  August 22, 2018

    Live at 10.00pm

    “Its a legal landslide like no other in the history of the Presidency.”

    http://www.livenewson.com/american/msnbc.html

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 22, 2018

    Definitely a bad day for BLOTUS. A day that leaves him named in federal court as an unindicted co-conspirator in federal crimes

    And a big day for Mueller who has once again highlighted the criminal conduct of the people BLOTUS surrounds himself with. Today has seriously insulated Mueller’s investigations from more obstruction.

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  August 22, 2018

    What’s that rumbling in the background?

  7. artcroft

     /  August 23, 2018

    Manafort is counting on a presidential pardon. If that isn’t forth coming he’ll cut a deal.

    • A presidential pardon for someone who was Trump’s campaign manager would look bad (except to dedicated Trump fans).

      • artcroft

         /  August 23, 2018

        I agree but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  August 23, 2018

      Judge Ellis will be doing the sentencing. Word is something like 10-15 years, but that depends on how many other guilty verdicts Manny has before then (Manafort defends another 7 charges mid-September in DC).

      In all of the trump-related news, I just want to add that the Manafort verdict is least a small bit of justice for all of the people all over the world who suffered for his almost sociopathic support for dictators like Marcos, Savimbi and Mobutu.

      He sought out the worst of the worst and helped them murder and torture, all for the sake of his rugs and ostrich skin jackets.

  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 23, 2018

    overnight developments:

    in light of Cohen’s public disclosures New York state subpoenas Cohen for relevant information in their investigation of the trump foundation

    http://www.13abc.com/content/news/Pres-Trumps-former-lawyer-pleads-guilty-implicates-president-491449401.html

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 23, 2018
    • Griff.

       /  August 23, 2018

      You think such a partisan piece of fluff is dispassionate and analytical?
      You are sooo a easily manipulated .
      Go baaa baaa for Trump sheepie it would have as much weight as your links to right wing trump cult hack jobs.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 23, 2018

        Froth off, Griff. Comments like that are just useless farts. If you disagree with something she says figure it out and say what and how and we can think about it.

  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 23, 2018

    Fox news reporting Trump said he will consider pardoning Manafort. Presumably will wait till the court cases are over though.

    • sorethumb

       /  August 23, 2018

      I heard them talking about it on The Panel. Sounds like The Donald will survive.
      Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!