Saturday, August 25, 2018

Trump is latching on to a popular right-wing talking point about Michael Cohen that experts say is 'nonsense'


  • President Donald Trump has echoed a popular right-wing talking point in recent days.
  • He says the campaign-finance crimes to which his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty aren't crimes.
  • The argument was first made by right-wing radio host Mark Levin.
  • Campaign-finance experts said this argument was "nonsense."

President Donald Trump has echoed a popular right-wing talking point in recent days as his latest defense from the plea deal to which his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen agreed earlier this week.
The campaign-finance crimes Cohen pleaded guilty to? Well, they aren't actually crimes, Trump and others say. It's an argument that campaign-finance experts say is "nonsense."
In cutting a deal with federal prosecutors, Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, and two counts related to campaign-finance violations. Cohen said under oath that Trump directed him to violate campaign-finance laws just before the 2016 presidential election to boost his candidacy.
The latter two charges were in connection to payments to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the porn actress Stormy Daniels to silence their allegations of affairs with Trump. Cohen said that at Trump's direction, he moved to keep both former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels from publicly disclosing damaging information that would hurt Trump's campaign. He said under oath that the payments were for the purpose of benefiting Trump's candidacy.
"Directing" Cohen to commit such a crime would make Trump a co-conspirator, legal experts say.
Prosecutors wrote that they could back up Cohen's admissions through evidence obtained from the FBI's April raids on Cohen's home, office, and hotel room. The evidence, they wrote, included documents, electronic devices, audio recordings made by Cohen, text messages, messages sent on encrypted apps, phone records, and emails.
Later this week, it was revealed that American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, who purchased McDougal's story, and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg were both given immunity to provide testimony in the Cohen investigation.
Focusing on the payments to women, Trump first tweeted that they weren't actually a crime on Wednesday morning.
"Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime," he wrote.


  1. Who are the LIARS???

    Hint: It's not the President and his supporters.

  2. How does this show that trump is not a liar!?

  3. In the context, Trump is not a liar. Trump claims he didn't have advance notice of a meeting. Michael Cohen's lawyer says Trump did have advance notice. Now the lawyer admits to lying. So, in that comtext, Trump is not a liar. He pegged the other said -- correctly -- as liars, as the article demonstrates.

    Now, this lie the lawyer made is not any lie. It's a lie that touches on a central point of the Special Prosecutor's case!!!

    So, in the context of impeachment, indictment, law breaking, Michael Cohen's lawyer's fib takes the cake.

  4. Nope, sorry. Trump claims that he did not not know about the meeting in advance. The lawyer now says that he has no proof that Trump knew about it in advance. That does not mean that Trump will not be shown in the future to have lied about this, as he had about every other aspect of that meeting.

  5. Riiiiiight. You've got logic on your side. You come up a little short on the hard facts side, thought, don't you?

    " the future..." When will that be? During Ivanka's second term as Presidenta?

  6. I actually do not know what will be in the future, not do I pretend to. The prosecutor's office in New York does have the texts, emails, and phone records from Cohen during that time, so the truth will come out one way or the other. The one thing that I do know is that Trump's version of the events surrounding that meeting has already changed multiple times, so his word has no credibility on this manner (or any other, while we are at it).

  7. Agree with you. On all points! But what exactly IS your point? You think you have a candidate who can beat Mr. Trump in two years and who is NOT a conniving, embellishing, smooth talking, pulling-the bag-over-the-eyes, story changing, rule breaking (or at least bending to the breaking point), hip shooting politician?

    You'll get your man in, and then what? ALL YOUR COMPLAINTS WILL BE EXACTLY THE SAME.

    Admit, it, Yehoshua. Your complaint is in reality a complaint against American-style Democracy, not against the current purveyor of lies that this Democracy has engendered with a little help from 60 million voters.

  8. Actually, I don't agree with any of your raving. Other than Bush II, whose decisions led to disaster on many fronts, I think that all other presidents since I have been following politics (starting with Reagan) have been acceptable. On policy, I agree with some more, and some less, but I believe that all of them were competent, knowledgeable, decent, and doing the job with what was best for America in mind. I believe none of those things about Trump.

  9. You said it! At least you implied it.

    Now make it explicit. You think President William Jefferson Clinton was honest?

    Right? Right?

    (I feel like those crowds noticing a man on a ledge who cruelly yell, "Jump!")

  10. Try reading comprehension. I purposefully left "honest" off the list of traits, though Clinton's failings in that regard were more related to his personal life than his running of the country.


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