Manafort and Cohen: what does it mean?

August 22, 2018

On Tuesday afternoon, on the heels of a jury verdict --- well, partial verdict --- in the Paul Manafort trial that could send Manafort to prison for the rest of his life even though it had nothing to do with Donald Trump or Russian collusion, it was revealed that Michael Cohen had accepted a plea deal in a case that had been moved by the special counsel to the Southern District of New York.  That prompted President Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, to issue this statement:  “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.”

Back in March, Cohen said in a Vanity Fair interview that Trump didn’t know he’d paid Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) $130,000 out of his own pocket.  He had said the same thing to the New York Times a month earlier.  Significantly, Cohen’s plea deal departs from what he’d previously claimed and from what Giuliani has said about no campaign laws being broken, because it specifies that he broke the law to influence the 2016 election at the direction of “a candidate.”  But Cohen’s statements, as legal expert Andrew C. McCarthy noted on Sean Hannity’s Tuesday show, have been “all over the map.”  He theorized that the Cohen case had ended up in the Southern District of New York because Mueller didn’t think it would advance his “Russia” investigation.  Cohen hasn’t entered into a cooperation agreement, he explained, but rather a straight-up guilty plea.  If Cohen were regarded as a valuable witness or cooperator, he said, we’d be seeing “a very different kind of plea agreement.”  I’m assuming he means one that doesn’t call for any jail time.


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McCarthy told him, “Sean, I don’t think anybody objective could look at the way that the Clinton email investigation was handled and the way the Trump campaign has been pursued and say that there’s a single standard of justice.  I just don’t see how that could be.”  At the same time, he doesn’t want Mueller taking the reins on that when the U.S. attorney general in Utah is already looking into it.  “I’d rather see them do it than see Mueller do it,” he says.  “I think Mueller should stay focused on what he’s doing and bring it to an end.”

 

It can’t be said enough:  As far as we’ve come in this investigation, with people being sent to prison to perhaps rot there, nothing ties President Trump with any attempt by Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.  On the other hand, plenty of evidence ties Hillary Clinton with Russians who contributed to the fictional “dossier” compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele for the purpose of interfering in the 2016 election.  As I said yesterday, if you’re looking for evidence of a two-tiered justice system, Hillary is “Exhibit A.”  But I agree with McCarthy that Mueller shouldn’t take over the Hillary case –- I don’t TRUST him to take over that case.

 

Speaking of Hillary, Mark Levin, on his Tuesday radio show, pointed out that longtime Clinton general counsel Lanny Davis (who just HAPPENS by COMPLETE COINCIDENCE to be representing Michael Cohen) had Cohen plead guilty to two campaign finance violations that don’t actually exist.  Besides that, such a plea bargain is a deal made with “a criminal who doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison” (in other words, not very believable) and applies only to his specific case.  Since it hasn’t be adjudicated, it can’t be cited as precedent to use against Trump.

 

He explained that according to campaign law, if someone spends his own money, or even corporate money, on something that occurs not as a result of the campaign, it is not a campaign expenditure, even if it might affect the outcome of the election.  For example, maybe a candidate wants to pay off a lot of debt, get a new wardrobe or have extensive dental work and reimburses the payment with his own money.  Those are not campaign expenditures, even if they might help win the candidate some votes.  According to Levin, even if Trump directed Cohen to make payments to Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement, it’s legal for him to do so.



Alan Dershowitz had a slightly different take:  if the payment is originally made by someone else, a case might be made that it's technically an unreported campaign contribution (which he likened to "jaywalking"), even if it's reimbursed later.

 

Of course, either way, it doesn’t matter to those who hate Trump, including those on the special counsel team.  They’ll just go with what they’ve got and use it any way they can.

 

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/21/mark-levin-hannity-cohen/

 

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Comments 1-25 of 46

  • Bob Ennis

    08/23/2018 11:51 AM

    Your description of what the Democrats are poised to do in the event of Mueller, et al being fired is truly scary. Hard to believe that the US has come to this point.

  • Terry Parrett

    08/23/2018 11:19 AM

    The flailing and rationalizing by you and the rest of the GOP sycophants is hilarious to watch. The constant moving of the goalposts, the justification, just precious. Nothing is more entertaining than watching "Christians" deny every tenet of faith they claim to believe in, simply to prop up a Golden (or Orange) Idol. You guys are the best!

  • Mackie Braden

    08/23/2018 11:06 AM

    I’m beyond frustrated; why hasn’t Trump fired Rosenstein and Sessions? This might have been avoided had there been a way to throw a stump in Mueller’s dastardly path even weeks ago.
    And why hasn’t Sessions been so shamed by now that he hasn’t resigned? Why has he not come to the President’s aid in any way, this having nothing to do with Russia?
    Every day I grit my teeth and wait for the next big attack. My stomach thinks that we are pre-election again.
    The President must have a plan, but I can’t conceive of what it might be. Enlighten us, Mike. PLEASE.

  • Doug Morgan

    08/23/2018 10:43 AM

    Pray for Trump!! God has to be holding him up because there is no human being that could take that kind of pressure and keep going. I believe they will get him, especially if there happens to be a blue wave in November.

    Re: Barbara Swallow's comment, I have Norton and know for a fact they scrutinize and block my conservative emails. I've contacted them and they deny it but it IS happening. I would change but I am so embedded with them.

  • Cathy Proffitt

    08/23/2018 10:26 AM

    Why can no one prosecute Hillary for any of her numerous criminal activities? And the fact that "the Clinton Dead Pool" is treated as a joke, is mind boggling. What would it take to bring justice? Does anyone really care? I'm just amazed. I know God will take care of them in the end but in the meantime, it just continues with no consequence.

  • Barbara Swallow

    08/23/2018 08:15 AM

    This is not about your post. I am writing this because you said "I read them". Help me understand why Fox News and OANN come up on my computer, my daughters computer and the computer of others with a warning of "Unsecure"??? I have tested this over and over, all Liberal News comes up as "Secure". Fox Business comes up as secure, thank goodness but not Fox News. I have AVG and my daughter has Norton. Her default is Google or Microsoft Edge. Mine is either Opera, Google or Internet Explorer, I change around. Is the left behind this or am I not understanding this??? Also I wonder if Fox knows they come up as "Unsecure" on many computers??? Will you tell them? Thanks

  • Anne Odendhal

    08/23/2018 04:07 AM

    Mike this is frightening enough to keep me awake when I need to be sleeping.
    Help lord help!

  • Rick Jones

    08/22/2018 10:37 PM

    I really hope to see you run for President again and make Sara your running mate!

  • Jeffrey Tubello

    08/22/2018 09:49 PM

    Do you believe we will ever see the people on the Democratic side rounded up and sent to jail as well? What can we, the people, do to get moving in this direction as well?

  • Reissa Reedy

    08/22/2018 09:42 PM

    Not encouraging for anyone to enter the political arena. Sad.

  • Anthony R Silverence

    08/22/2018 07:21 PM

    Mike, I would really like it if you would speak about the Current ANTI TRUMP Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Who's brother, Chris Cuomo works for CNN. Andrew Cuomo ALSO had TWO of the TOP PEOPLE in HIS administration in trouble. His Attorney General who was alleged to be an advocate for Abused women and was arrested for abusing several women and his Right hand man, Joe Percoco who was running a pay for play deal with State Contractors. Cuomo is corrupt and neither his brother or CNN talks about it.

  • David Wallin

    08/22/2018 06:35 PM

    I know you to be a Christian, but I struggle with additional new allegations by Playboy women in addition to Stormy who says she's received money to keep quiet while Levin and even you and your daughter say he has not done anything wrong. Does it matter if what happen with those women was in Russia? I don't think so. My President Trump has to carry his OWN load to continue to have the moral force to govern those in the judiciary who have allowed Bill & Hillary to get away with murder and sex crimes. When the pot calls the kettle black, who wins? The devil cuz confusion is all that is left for the general public to consume & hope declines. Being RIGHT doesn't mean anything any more. NAMVET Purple Heart Eagle Scout Dave Wallin who also happens to be an x-con for CCW. Whatever I once was no longer matters and neither does it matter with Trump. As much as my wife of 44 years and I are saddened by yesterday's news with Cohen and Manafort's conviction, I believe Trump should resign and let Pence try to piece us back together. And I know for certain, he has problems too that greatly upset me. Cohen's flip has changed my mind and I am Baptist, not Catholic.

  • ED ALLEN

    08/22/2018 06:26 PM

    I hope more eyes will be open to the truth than opinions.

  • Hal Baumbach

    08/22/2018 06:19 PM

    Doing something illegal to affect an election? That seems like a very unusual statement. Fraud comes to mind. Telling people lies to get them to donate to your campaign should be considered fraud which should be illegal. Look at all the different things politicians do to get elected. Some politicians do just about everything but kill their opponent to get elected. What they are doing right now to Trump should be illegal, and why are they not stopping it?

  • Barbara Weston

    08/22/2018 06:04 PM

    Socialism is a frightening word that the DEMS are backing. It's the last step down towards communism, ultimately dictatorship. How frightening and unaware these people are that back the Democratic party and their horrific leaders that promote violence. Obviously the don't listen reason or even care about our Great United States of America.
    We need to back our President Trump and his agenda. Build the wall, stop the silly immigration policy we have in force now, and protect our ICE against violence. Stop allowing media to report fake news. No news is much better than fake news.

  • Joel Solow

    08/22/2018 05:59 PM

    Isn't there something about bearing false witness?

  • William Tait

    08/22/2018 05:57 PM

    Trump will Pardon him.
    Might want to go chech these 2 out but link was huge on Judge Jeanine so It is just search info.

    Judge Jeanine rips ‘cleaner’ Robert Mueller over Benghazi, Trump investigation

    Fox Host Provides Liberal Pundits a Legal Lesson on Cohen's Admissions
    http://americanactionnews.com/articles/fox-host-provides-liberal-pundits-a-legal-lesson-on-cohen-s-admissions#6hFCEmtJrCGGDYIo.99

  • Sherry Mayszak

    08/22/2018 05:32 PM

    Hi Mike, I love your tweets! You have a great sense of humor. I’m worried about all this bad press for President Trump. The man gave up a great life to better our country and now he’s being crucified. Please keep up the positive tweets for Trump! Your daughter is an inspiration!

  • Ken Ziembo

    08/22/2018 05:31 PM

    Can you tel how and why the CLINTONISTA Lanny Davis became Cohen's Lawyer? That guy would defend the Clinton Crime Foundation and yet got on the news today and well you know.
    I sure would like to know how that happened. Cohen, Trump, Me and my dog would know better than to have the opposition Lanny Davis defend this.
    Thank you for your input Governor, continue to receive HIS blessings.
    Ken Ziembo

  • David Colonna

    08/22/2018 04:54 PM

    Cohen was very smart. he hired a clinton cartel lawyer.. Ole lanny has been on fox news a lot today and free to spew is
    insinuations about Pres Trump with NO!!! serious rebuttals.... Hopefully Hannity and Dobbs can put some light on lanny
    and defend Pres Trump tonight (8-22-18)

  • Tammy Farnam

    08/22/2018 04:00 PM

    I'm so tired of this witchhunt and the money being spent on it. Go to Hillary and arrest her! There's your real collusion story, plus many other laws she's broken over the years (there's quite a few). I DID NOT have a Russian agent in the poling booth with me when I voted for Trump and I'm sure no one else did either. It's just rediculous! CIA do the same thing around the world - intelligence agencies jobs! I'm sure Russia isn't the only ones who tried to meddle in our elections or that tapped into Hillary's email cause I mean who is really dumb enough to use their personal electronics for our National Security? It's time for our President to be able to relax and not have this breathing down his neck every day. He has accomplished so much for America despite what they are doing. If you ask me, that's one great man!

  • Richard Edler

    08/22/2018 03:21 PM

    It is so sad to see people so money hungry and using the Trump presidency for their gain from media to so-called authors. In addition, it is sad to see grown adults have so much greed and not be able to take care of their own finances aka Cohen who would rather protect himself than do what is truthful and right for our country. Just because you are a lawyer and have your own business does not mean you know how to handle finances. Hence, personal finance should be a mandated course for everyone. It is tragic to see Summers spin his story for the Clintons. Again. Why do we keep seeing one-sided Justice? Where is truth and equality? Lawyers are ruining our country! Greed is rampant and will destroy all we hold dear. Sarah did a terrific job once again at the press conference where no one cared about Mollie or so many hard working Americans. Same press diatribe and lies we are sick of listening to. America is suffering. Will we survive? So tired of the Clintons and Soros and Obamas and their need to own our country and make us slaves along with other elites and nefarious countries. We must prevail for our children and our future!

  • David Colonna

    08/22/2018 03:19 PM

    Mike,
    Anyone with a brain would be able to see the double standards between any/all liberal Democrats vs Republicans. The liberals get off scout free and continue to fool their own constituents and followers. It truly is disheartenting for us law abiding US citizens to see all this corruption and double standards. Thank goodness we have the almighty power, God on our side revealing all this, but unfortunately we will see the sheep and the goats being separated before the end times and you know what side we are on.

  • ED SMITH

    08/22/2018 03:14 PM

    Sorry Mary , but the two tier justice system is one for Republicans and a get out of jail free card for Democrats...

  • Cynthia Carpenter

    08/22/2018 03:03 PM

    HOW is it that Mrs. Clinton is
    STILL
    a free woman?

    With more than enough criminal activity to prosecute?