At this writing, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is awaiting sentencing on Wednesday from the court in the Southern District of New York.
Tuesday, Mark Levin posted this on his Facebook page: “SDNY inclusion of these charges [relating to campaign finance and the payoffs] in the Cohen plea deal was a sleazy political and PR attack against the President. SDNY knew Cohen would plead. It therefore knew its absurd allegations would not be tested in any courtroom. It they were tested, SDNY would be hammered like a nail...They knew they couldn’t charge a sitting President. Thus, they convict the President in the press.”
If this campaign finance “violation” were to be tested in court, it almost certainly would not fare well. We all remember the even sleazier case involving Presidential candidate John Edwards, who had a child with his mistress and raised funds from campaign donors to buy her silence and cover it up while he was running. Just the worst. Even HE wasn’t convicted of violating campaign finance laws.
Levin is right; the allegation of campaign finance violations by Trump is not destined for a courtroom, because in paying his own money to an attorney for non-disclosure agreements, he broke no campaign finance law. (If he did, scores of congressmen facing re-election who accessed their long-secret taxpayer-funded slush fund to settle harassment lawsuits would definitely be facing trial.) This allegation was created specifically for use in the House Judiciary Committee when they start their long-planned impeachment proceedings against the President. Democrats get away with calling it “an impeachable offense” only because impeachment is a political process, not a legal one; they can turn essentially anything into “an impeachable offense.” They don’t need proof to impeach the President, just votes.
But this all started not with campaign finance, but with Russian “collusion” –- remember that? Remember the story about Cohen going to Prague to pay Russian hackers for information on Hillary Clinton, as asserted in the “salacious and unverified” Steele dossier? Back when the Mueller investigation was all about Russia-Russia-Russia, this was the tale that made the rounds. It came to the FBI in three unconfirmed reports passed along by Christopher Steele. Then Mueller reportedly was given the “evidence” that Cohen, accompanied by “three colleagues,” made a secret trip to Prague in the late summer of 2016 to meet with “Kremlin officials” and Russian hackers to arrange “deniable cash payments.
But according to a report by Real Clear Investigations, Cohen appears to have been telling the truth about Prague –- not only that he didn’t go to Prague for the purpose of paying Russian hackers, but that he’s never been to Prague in his life. (His passport testifies not only to that, but also to the fact that he never left the country at all during the time in question.) In other words, the whole thing was made up. As one source put it, “Cohen may be a convicted liar, but he’s not an agent of the Kremlin –- that much is now clear from the court pleadings.” He went on to say that Mueller’s inability to substantiate the Prague rumor dealt a “devastating blow” to the credibility of the dossier, which, as we now know, was presented by the FBI as “verified” information n the FISA application and three renewals to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate.
But never mind that now. We’re looking at campaign finance violations now. We’ve moved on, from one fake story to another.