Michael Cohen’s New Role As The “Liberated” Liar “Speaking Truth To Power”

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on Michael Cohen’s emergence as a witness against President Donald Trump. The man who declared that he would take a bullet for the President just took a plea. In the meantime, Trump friend David Pecker has been given immunity and reportedly implicated Trump in knowing about the hush money payments before they were made.  In what could well be the worst development, Allen  Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, has been granted immunity.  Weisselberg is referred in the tapes Cohen secretly recorded with Trump and could offer highly damaging and detailed evidence of any criminal conduct.

Here is the column:

 

Listening to Lanny Davis discuss his client, Michael Cohen, one would think he had been airlifted out of the clutches of truly dark, sinister forces. Davis told Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that Cohen is now “liberated to tell the truth” and that we are “going to see a liberated Michael Cohen speaking truth to power.” Given his history of false statements and fraudulent dealings, the “liberation” of the former lawyer for Donald Trump is the most remarkable rescue since the raid on Entebbe in Uganda.

His liberation is being cited as the reason Cohen has implicated President Trump in the knowing commission of federal crimes in violation federal election laws to silence alleged former mistresses. This liberation is the result of what Davis previously described as the “new resolve” of Cohen to “reset his life” and try to “tell the truth.”

The problem for Cohen is playing a credible role as both hostage and hostage taker. If what Cohen said in court yesterday is true, then most of what he said for more than a year was demonstrably false. That hardly makes for a compelling witness. However, this is a new and dangerous development for Trump who is left effectively as an unindicted co-conspirator in federal crimes.

That remains a big “if.” For either an indictment or impeachment, critics will need a lot more than a “liberated” or non-liberated Cohen. The new, improved Cohen already has a shaky record. Recently, he made his big play in releasing a tape that he secretly recorded with his client discussing the payment of money to silence one of Trump’s alleged mistresses. He then claimed Trump knew about the meeting in Trump Tower and approved it in advance. If true, Cohen’s account easily could force criminal charges against Donald Trump Jr. for perjury and false statements to federal investigators. It also would contradict the repeated statements of President Trump and his staff.

The shot at Trump and his son fundamentally changed the stakes in the game. He implicated Donald Jr., the same man Cohen praised on July 11, 2017, in his handling of the allegations over the meeting; back then, Cohen declared on Twitter: “So proud of @DonaldJTrumpJr for being open, honest and transparent to the American people. This nonsense needs to stop!”

One year later, Cohen effectively called Donald Jr. a liar and claimed President Trump gave him a green light to sit down with Russians promising dirt on Clinton. In making this play, Cohen added one notable element that gave it added credibility: He said various top aides were in the room when Trump was briefed on the meeting. If he’s lying, it was a reckless detail since he could have simply said Trump disclosed his knowledge in a one-on-one conversation. That way it would simply be his word against Trump’s.

It is still possible that this is a grand conspiracy and someone in that alleged meeting will come forward to support Cohen’s account. However, Cohen is still one witness short on that claimed conspiracy. Of course, Cohen is not the only person yesterday reshaping reality in an implausible image. In a statement, President Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, declared there was “no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.” That is only the case if you ignore the clear import of the government’s filing and the direct implication of Trump by Cohen under oath in open court. Giuliani is correct that the Justice Department went to great lengths not to directly reference Trump either by name or as “the candidate.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Manual encourages prosecutors not to name individuals who are not being indicted, or even implicate such individuals indirectly unless necessary for a complete and accurate narrative. However, the prosecutors did implicate other individuals like David Pecker, CEO of the National Enquirer, who is described as a “chairman” who coordinated with Cohen and members of the campaign to “help deal with negative stories about [Trump’s] relationships with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided.”

The language of the indictment was carefully crafted to avoid such an implication of Trump by the Justice Department – only to have Cohen do so in open court in a prepared statement. Putting aside the effort to shield the president in the indictment, the import is clear and unsettling for the Trump team: This is no immaculate crime described by the Justice Department. The indictment describes an array of individuals who knowingly participated in an alleged conspiracy to violate federal election laws; that would include Pecker, Trump and potentially others. It would be curious if the Justice Department would indict the lawyer but not the other actors in such a crime, particularly someone like Pecker who actually put up the money to keep former Playboy bunny Karen McDougal silent.

This is why Cohen may be both liberated and a liar but still constitute a clear and present danger to Trump. Today, Trump tweeted that “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” However, as bad and corrupt as Trump’s team paints Cohen, there is no escaping the fact that this was the guy that Trump wanted as his lawyer. Indeed, it was only weeks ago that Trump called Cohen his lawyer, directed reporters to him regarding the payment to Daniels, and then had a very public dinner with Cohen at Mar-a-Lago.

For now, Trump is facing a liberated, self-confessed liar. That could change. The fact is that this is no longer just Cohen. In filing this indictment, the Justice Department had to certify that it believed the allegations to be true. That means Pecker and others are now at risk and could present additional risks for Trump. It is a cautionary tale for many where one man’s liberation can easily become another’s incarceration.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

150 thoughts on “Michael Cohen’s New Role As The “Liberated” Liar “Speaking Truth To Power””

  1. “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    You don’t suppose the DOJ will find any criminality in the case of the Hillary Clinton e-mail and server debacle, the $455.7 Million Clinton

    Foundation (Hillary 2001, my family “…came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt,”), the Clinton Crime Family or the

    most prodigious scandal in American political history, the Obama Coup D’etat in America?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    “Sometimes you see what you want to see because it fits the picture you already have in your head. It’s hard to let go of those old

    pictures and see things as they are” -Mrs. Greene”

    ― Tracy Holczer, The Secret Hum of a Daisy

  2. The Cohen plea as a felony basis for impeachment didn’t even last one news spin cycle…and, for good reason.

    The fact is that Cohen was reimbursed for the expenditures related to the NDAs and the reimbursement apparently did not come from the campaign but rather from Trump. Facially, this looks to be a personal donation (barring additional evidence) and a candidate is entitled to make unlimited donations. While there may be agency, corporate, loan/advance and invoicing nuances, it seems unlikely to transformatively alter the above calculus.

    The other pivotal points are the phrases “knowingly and willfully” and “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”. While this may or may not accurately represent Cohen’s intentions, it doesn’t mean that it is indicative of Trump’s intentions. Unless there is corroborative evidence, the first of these phrases is a high bar to clear and Lanny Davis has indicated in interviews that this is likely to come down to Cohen’s word. Hardly awe-inspiring given Cohen’s past statements to the contrary and his credibility as a fact witness. The second is arguably even more difficult to prove as the essential question is if Trump were not running for office would he engage in the same pattern of behavior. In other words, are there other purposes for which Trump might have entered into similar NDA arrangements, such as, familial, reputational and/or commercial interests. Given a long history of similar dalliances prior to his becoming a candidate, Trump has, in fact, consistently used NDAs as a vehicle to manage his exposure. Thus, it becomes virtually impossible (barring additional evidence) to prove that the arrangements under scrutiny were for the principal purpose of influencing the election.

    Given what is known now, this looks to be, at best, a reporting violation which is the responsibility of the campaign. As far as conspiracy, a conspiracy to commit a campaign finance reporting violation is somewhat akin, in the political context, to conspiring to commit a parking violation.

    As far as Cohen alleging that Trump knew of and approved the Trump Tower meeting in advance, Cohen has already walked back that allegation through his attorney.

    There’s certainly no upside to any of this if you’re in the Trump camp and the most serious repercussions may lie in the immunity deals given to Pecker and Weisselberg which may be why prosecutors chose to go down the campaign finance path to begin with–they get access to Trump’s inner circle.

  3. Lanny Davis’ effort to recast Cohen as a patriotic American is laughable. He’s a thug as is the guy whose messes he’s been fixing for a long time.

    1. I’m more interested in the two gentlemen granted immunity (National Inquirer and Trump Organization). If Mueller came to me, at this point, I would ask for immunity even though I had nothing of interest to tell. The questions could be trivia about how these organizations were run. If Trump Org. says money sent to either one of these women from them were funds available to Trump they would be his personal money, so nothing for Mueller. Why The Inquirer is confusing. Would they have to answer even if it damages their businesses or people not involved with Trump at all? If Republicans retain the House and Senate then no impeachment. Fire Mueller and Sessions and everybody else drawing a salary in this whole circus.

      1. The Enquirer and its parent faced liability for violating campaign finance law for the catch and kil payment to McDougal.
        The accountant has got his hands in everything money for Trump. He is a target rich asset.

  4. COHEN ‘WAS’ PRECISELY THE LAWYER TRUMP WANTED AND DESERVED

    If Trump had had any sense of ethics he could have retained a top drawer law firm to handle his legal needs. Instead he preferred the services of a lawyer whose main business was taxi cab medallions.

    Trump preferred the services of Michael Cohen because the latter, like Trump, had no sense of ethics. Cohen was willing to perform any low-ball legal tactic on Trump’s behalf.

    Where a top drawer firm might have counseled, “We don’t ‘do that’, Mister Trump”. Michael Cohen could be depended on to say, ‘Sure, I’ll get on it”. Trump now expects that spirit from everyone in his administration.

    1. Peter Hill, on regards to Trump should’ve hired a top drawer firm! I would suppose that Cohen came “recommended”! Do you notice that Trump is surrounded by Jews. They are all Jews. Cohen is Jewish. His financial advisor Weisselberg is probably Jewish. His son-in-law is Jewish. They are all connected. You don’t do business in New York without the Jews. The Jews run everything. And now that Trump comes out as a sort-of-American nationalist—he has to be put down!

      Lanny Davis is Jewish coaching his buddy Cohen. It’s all Jewish. Senator Schumer, with the schmoozing of the Hate Trump campaign is Jewish. David Pecker is Jewish!

      Look on how the German American Patriot Donald Trump is now being STABBED IN THE BACK!

      History repeats. Who is the one that appointed Mueller? Rod Rosenstein, Jewish.

      You see there is no Virtue, no Rule of Law with them. Western Values are foreign to them.

      1. That seems anti-Semitic? I have news for you, World War II ended in 1945, along with the Nazi reign of terror.

  5. Cohen is a perfect example of the graft and shameful actions of his former boss. And one way or another he will pay the price for acting as Trump’s personal fixer. Cohen and the CFO are the tip of the iceberg. What is becoming very clear, is that anybody that hitched onto this imbecilic man-child has payed the price, and so all of America will, when this investigation is over.

    1. Side note here….Sad that JT has not posted about John McCain yet. Then again he might have gotten a taste of what FOX NEWS you tube channel is going thru.

  6. Enigma,…
    Lanny Davis didn’t describe Cohen as a “liberated, self-confessed liar”.
    For some unknown reason😉, Davis left out the word “liar”.
    As far as the”liberated” part, we’ll have to just wait and see how good of a deal he cut with prosecutors.

    1. Manafort depended on the highly dubious Rick Gates. And Trump depended on the highly dubious Michael Cohen.

        1. Mueller has seized 100MB of documents from Roger Stone associate Andrew Miller related to Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0. Stone’s time in the barrel appears to be scheduled for late September or early October of this year. Hint: Giuliani falsely claims that Mueller can’t indict anyone at all–not even Stone–within sixty days of an election, despite the fact that Stone’s name is not on any ballot in any election for any federal office. That’s what desperation looks like. Gee. I wonder what happens if Mueller can show that Stone knew about the emails that Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 published??? Did you know that it doesn’t matter which emails Stone thought the Russians had any more so than it matters which emails Papadopoulos thought the Russians had any more so than it matters which emails Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort thought the Russians had??? The time remaining for serious head-scratching is running low. How good if The Trump Troupe with quick thinking?

  7. Turley, you allow a pathological liar and disaster as a President to represent America while representing all that is abhorrent, yet you profile Cohen as having less credibility because he got tied in with this lying buffoon. Cohen’s words will only carry weight if they are substantiated by other testimony or proof. What happened to your ‘due course of the law’. Turley is becoming more and more of a scandal monger.

    1. Isaac,
      I didn’t even know that it was JT’s call to “allow (Trump) as a President to represent America”.
      I knew the guy had some influence, but I didn’t think he had a 👍 or a 👎power over whether Trump stays or goes.

      1. From Merriam Webster entry on “allow”:

        3 : admit, concede ·must allow that money causes problems in marriage

        4 a chiefly Southern US and Midland US : to be of the opinion : think

        b dialect : say, state

        c : to express an opinion —usually used with as how or that

          1. Paul – I’m not even arguing the point. The Clintons have lied strategically and when it served their interests, sometimes the country. Donald Trump will lie about who ate the last piece of bacon. In terms of pure volume, Trump is unprecedented. This is me acknowledging that the Clinton’s have lied. Can you acknowledge the same about Trump? If we had to list instances of verifiable lies, you would run out regarding the Clinton’s long before I would about Trump.

            1. enigma – I suggest to you Ann Coulter’s newest book, Resistance is Futile! It is a syllabus in how the Left has manipulated what Trump has said. She backs everything up so there is not problem with accuracy.

              1. I don’t doubt something Trump has said has been manipulated somewhere, he’s an easy target because he lies all the time. This is where “the right” loses all credibility, insisting he doesn’t lie. Most of the proof of his lies come from his own conflicting stories. He “didn’t know anything” about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. How was that manipulated?

                1. “My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some others saying they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

                2. “I thought it would be obvious, but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn’t. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’,” Trump said in a statement that seemed destined to be turned in to a meme.

                  The president continued: “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative. So you can put that in, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.”

    1. “Which is better? A “liberated, self-confessed liar” or a pathological liar that never confesses… just keeps on lying?”

      Do you recognize which one you are? If you can’t then it is difficult to believe you can make a proper determination on anyone else.

  8. What for . in jail you have no expenses. and pleading guilty to a non-crime is in itself a crime under false testimony rules. I’m reminded of Motor Mouth Harris.

    Witness is sworn in the usual truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth…

    Harris gives a campaign speech then at some point after much prodding asks a question and demands a yes or no answer.

    What should the witness do.

    Obviously cannot answer the question truthfully per the witness oath so best to just sit and wait saying nothing until Harri’s time runs out.

  9. How so? Any facts or non false premise theories to back that up? How would you refute the basic laws of the country? Wishfuil thinking based on false premises and fallacious reasoning is fine in the mystic other worlds but has no real place in any society of citizens who are objective thinkers and self governing BUT for those in one of the Collectives well it depends on how you are programmed – daily.

    Facts from the Colective? What am I saying. when did that ever happen?

  10. I wonder why they are bleating for Democracy? It doesn’t exist in our Republic and a Republic system is far superior to a democracy which explains why the founders rejected it nine times. (refer Journals of those who wrote the Constitution over two years.) Besides the Democrats are nowhere near democratic. Republic which is representative after the first step such as elect a Mayor and City Council is defined as of, by, and for the citizens. So I continue to not understand except for one reason for wanting to be regressive instead of progressive.

    Of course it does allow for more control and leads eventually to a one party one leader system

  11. Lanny Davis’ statement about Cohen’s desire to “reset his life” now that Cohen “is liberated to tell the truth” is among the most heartwarming and inspirational examples of a man suddenly motivated by conscious😇 to start “speaking truth to power”.😄😀
    Cohen’s birthday was yesterday, and for those wanting to wish him a belated happy birthday, it would be a nice gesture to contribute to his GoFundMe account.😉😔

    1. Davis also confirmed that no one, himself, Cohen or in their offices is the ‘unknown’ resource used to claim prior knowledge of that meeting. Which leaves Cohen holding the bag.

  12. Allan, As it relates to question that you asked Hollywood Henderson – all that you can expect to hear is crickets.

    1. Hollywood Henderson has won big money twice in the lottery. The most I’ve ever won in a lottery was $15.

      1. Why did you invest your money in a lottery. It’s a losing bet. On average for every dollar paid in less than one dollar is paid out. If you wish you can give me your dollars and I’ll guarantee a return better than the lottery.

  13. What is happening today is nothing more than attempt to destroy a man because some didn’t like the results of an election. Nothing Trump did as President warrants any action much less the actions presently occurring. Since they have been unable to get the President they are going after family, employees, friends, lawyers etc. and from there will continue expanding the search for crimes not even known.

    How long would anyone on this blog hold up if the investigation spread to their children’s actions and everyone else with any sort a relationship? Maybe a child was taking drugs. Suddenly that hits the news and his years of employment come to an end not because of the drug use stopped years before but because of the threat the investigation will extend to the employer. This is intimidation to excess something one doesn’t see in a free society.

    I worry about the way Professor Turley is avoiding the question of everyone’s freedoms being invaded by this malicious attempt to change the results of an election.

    1. Allan: Presidential candidates are strongly advised to ‘decisively win’ elections so there are no lingering doubts about ‘who’ the victor was.

      1. “Allan: Presidential candidates are strongly advised to ‘decisively win’ elections so there are no lingering doubts about ‘who’ the victor was.”

        Where is that stated in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence? Do you just write whatever comes into your mind never thinking or filtering it?

        1. What, Allan..?? You think decisive victories are an abstract concept?

          Hillary’s Popular Vote margin was well within the parameters of a normal victory. So of course Trump’s Electoral College ‘victory’ looks like a fluke. It will go down in history as such. Nothing will ever change that and even Trump knows.

          1. What is the matter Peter, was the question too hard? I’m waiting for your answer as to where in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence the nation was told that a Presidential candidate should ” ‘decisively win’ elections”? I won’t dicuss election outcomes of the past since you seem oblivious to history.

    2. So true.
      And yet, the system is set up so that, since everyone is already a felon, or has some peccadillo they have committed, all they got to do is look, and if you somehow escape a charge, as you say, they go after the ones you love, or acquaint, or rely upon for livelihood.
      It is exactly how the Mafia would do it.
      Given unlimited resources, and the veneer of legality, there is nothing that one can do legally to stop them.
      It is baked into the system; the reason there is no reform, is that they do it relatively rarely and usually to those that society considers reprehensible and therefore garner no public support.
      The closest thing I have seen at an effort to counter something like this are SLAPP statute defenses, but those are usually targeted against private litigants.
      What is needed is a SLAPP type defense against government prosecutors as well.

      1. What better way to act unlawfully than have all costs paid by the taxpayer while holding sovereign immunity? This is not ” exactly how the Mafia would do it”, this is the Mafia.

  14. You are several days out of date, JT. Lanny Davis has walked-back at least one claim against the President supposedly made by Cohen and you didn’t cover that.

  15. Cohen isn’t reliable, obviously. But so what. Evidence matters.

    Just like ridiculous Omarosa, a paper-trail or recordings or the like will have value unto themselves. Whoever offers such information is irrelevant: the information matters.

    The Steak Salesman has acted criminally for decades (one example: the $25 million settlement for defrauding Americans via his fake university), so boo-hoo for the swampy con-man.

    1. Dave, There is no end game to your comments. You just stepped into G Trieste comments on non-presidency issues and as it relates to presidency two terrible potential witnesses who so far have offered up zero information on provable high crimes/misdemeanors. I am guessing your end game is impeachment, but without provable high crimes/misdemeanors that will never garner 67 votes in Senate. So the ending you are hoping for appears to be hopeless. With leaky deep state/Muler team/left press/rats – very likely that provable high crimes/misdemeanors would have been disclosed by now, but that aint the case. Game over.

      1. Turley is correct when he says, “This is no immaculate crime described by the Justice Department. The indictment describes an array of individuals who knowingly participated in an alleged conspiracy to violate federal election laws; that would include Pecker, Trump and potentially others.”
        There are 2 reasons Trump must go. First, he has violated Federal Election laws and engaged in quid pro quo ($500 million Chinese loan on the Balinese resort, his Washington hotel rentals and his Trump Tower sales to foreign dignitaries and oligarchs). He’s a crook.
        More importantly, he endangers our country around the world, schmoozing with dictators and autocrats, creating nuclear threats in N. Korea and Iran and doing God knows what in Syria.
        Whether Hillary or Bernie or Cruz or Rubio or Stein would have made a better POTUS is beside the point. The POTUS we have is a defective narcissistic criminal and must go.

        1. So far you have only regurgitated last years garbage. Any factual comments or will you continue to evade answering?

        2. There have been numerous accusations of illegal or improper loans to Trump from Russian banks or from DeutscheBank.
          Accusations without evidence are a dime a dozen, so it does not appear that the Special Counsel has uncovered anything that incriminates Trump.
          ( Spare me the “it’s coming”, or that the “lack of evidence doesn’t mean that evidence is lacking” crap).
          ^^that isn’t Hollywood’s^^ stunt; it’s favorite of another propaganist here.^^
          The Bank of China and Goldman Sachs are rarely mentioned, but Trump has borrowed from both.
          The claim by Hollywood that Trump “engaged in quid pro quo $500 million Chinese loan on the Balinese resort” is interesting.
          Was slapping tariffs on Chinese imports part of that ” quid pro quo Chinese loan”?

          1. That loan/investment came after Trump did a 180 on claiming China was a currency manipulator and then suddenly not.

            1. Hollywood,.
              – And then hit China with tariffs.
              You may or may not have the the dates of Trumps statements and the date(s) of the Bank of China.
              But you’re grasping at straws trying to show any meaningful quid pro quo Trump-China deal, especially with the tariff/ trade war issue overshadowing anything Trump might have said about currency manipulation.

              1. I wouldn’t call $500 million a “straw.” Meanwhile, Trump’s tariffs are hurting American farmers and manufacturers.

          2. “Accusations without evidence are a dime a dozen, so it does not appear that the Special Counsel has uncovered anything that incriminates Trump.”
            Okay, show us the tax returns.

            1. Ask Mueller….he probably has those returns.
              If there is evidence of criminal offenses uncovered in those returns, I don’t think the Special Counsel team will keep it a secret.

        3. Richard Painter replaced David Brock at CREW.
          He started the emoluments lawsuit against Trump a few days after the inauguration.
          I don’t know if you’ve followed that lawsuit, Hollywood, but it appears to going about as well as Painter’s Senate campaign in Minnesota.

      2. Bill: “…very likely that provable high crimes/misdemeanors would have been disclosed by now, but that aint the case. Game over.“

        The investigation continues. Nowhere near Game Over.

        It was supposed to be wrapped up by “Thanksgiving” last year if I recall. Since then, there have been more indictments and now convictions and plea-deals.

        1. Excuse me Mr. Dave, But there have been exactly Zero indictments/plea deals pertaining to the fantasy Trump-Russia collusion.

          1. Excuse me, but if you read Mueller’s July indictment of the 12 Russian military officers for hacking the DNC and the DCCC, it is apparent that it is only a short step from those hacks to the connection to the Tower meeting and the Trump campaign and Trump asking Russia to give him HRC’s emails. https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download
            In short, Trump’s campaign and its operatives are close to being indicted for conspiring with the Russians. Even Roger Stone is now predicting Don Jr.’s indictment. Read the indictment and think (for a change) before you respond. https://www.justice.gov/file/1080281/download

            1. A leap of faith and a stretch of the imagination are not the same as “a short step”.
              If it helps, you can read the Congressional testimony invented by Lies4Breakfast.
              That should help to make it a shorter step.

              1. Mueller received 100MB of documents related to Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 from Roger Stone associate Andrew Miller. By his own admission, Roger Stone is the unnamed person described in the NSD hacking indictment against the 12 Russian GRU officers who created and controlled the Guccifer 2.0 persona. Three unnamed Florida-based campaign officials were described in the IRA trolling indictment. But they were not described as “unwitting.” People unnamed but described in indictments can be and occasionally are subsequently indicted. And that is but one small step for the rat-schtupper, Roger Stone, whose time in the barrel rapidly approaches, but, therefore, neither a stretch of the imagination nor a leap of faith.

            2. Dear Hollwood Henderson, Now you have really jumped the shark: “…it is apparent that it is only a short step from those hacks to the connection to the Tower meeting and the Trump campaign and Trump asking Russia to give him HRC’s emails…” If there were a connection to the President or Don Jr that would have been stated in said indictment for which you provided DOJ doc link (not once but twice for dramatic effect?). I think your time might be better spent refocusing on those Roswell, New Mexico aliens. You really stepped in it this time Hollywood Henderson.

              1. The connections were stated in both the IRA trolling indictment and the GRU hacking indictment as generic descriptions of unnamed, unindicted co-conspirators. Those connections will be fully explicated with named, indicted co-conspirators. The betting window for abject deniers will then be closed, the starter will fire his pistol and the horses will bolt out from the starting gate leaving poor Tab Lockheed and Krazy Kat Rambler choking on the dust kicked up in their faces.

                1. Ms. Late4Yoga: Muler investigation is not a Netflix series building up to silver bullet ending connecting Trump to Russia collusion. If it was there we would have already known about it from leaky deep state/Muler team/rat(s), etc. Try thinking instead of dreaming.

                  1. Yep. This investigation’s been ongoing for 27 months and the FBI was running informants prior to that. Special prosecutor’s investigations can run on for years compiling reports, working appeals, and prosecuting ancillary figures, but I don’t think you’ll find a single example of one where the indictments of principles hadn’t been secured by this point or a definitive decision hadn’t been made to close the investigation and attend to housekeeping or to attend to ancillary figures only. You could tell the wheels had fallen off the Walsh investigation and the Starr investigation when they began to do strange or blatantly abusive things. (In Starr’s case, indicting Julie Hiatt Steele and taking her to trial was a gross indicator. In Walsh’s the fraudulent indictment of Caspar Weinberger was one). The Sztrok / Mueller investigation is notable for displaying this sort of dementia from day one.

                    1. Surely there’s some sort of Latin phrase for this sort of fallacy.

                      It hasn’t happened yet, therefore it’s not going to happen.

                      It hasn’t ever happened, therefore it’s never going to happen.

                      They haven’t leaked the evidence, therefore they have no evidence.

                      It’s like the inverse of Pascal’s Wager, or something.

                    2. Here’s the form of the Cum Hoc fallacy that comes closest to the mark:

                      Events of type C have always been accompanied by events of type E.
                      Therefore, events of type C cause events of type E.

                      In this case, however, we need a slightly new form as follows:

                      Events of type C have always been accompanied by events of type E.
                      Given that no event of type C has yet occurred, it supposedly follows that
                      No event of type E will yet occur.

                    3. Dear Teaching: Muler and Rosenstein are conveying no Trump-Russia collusion to anybody paying attention. Muler committing so much time and attention to Manafort up to this point is indication that is peak of his prosecutorial actions. Muler had no use for Cohen and fed him to SDNY. Rosenstein made it clear no Americans involved in Russians indictment. Yet lefty loons like Late4HotYoga still hoping and praying for some dramatic ending that will unearth high crimes/misdemeanors that will ultimately result in 67 Senators voting to impeach president. “Dream on!” and “Don’t stop believin’ hold on to that feeling!..”

                    4. Well, then, once you put it its proper form, you have a straightforward fallacy of denying the antecedent.

                      Denying the consequent would be the valid form.

              1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                Which brings us to people on this side of the Atlantic—say, people who knowingly facilitated or participated in the distribution of emails through this mechanism or people who knowingly helped guide the activities of Internet Research Agency trolls. Such people might be inside or outside of the Trump campaign or organization. Their specific activities could all be, in and of themselves, perfectly legal. It’s an interesting question whether they would even need to know their interlocutors were Russian, much less acting at the behest of a foreign intelligence actor. As we read Mueller’s theory under §371, as long as they acted knowingly to join a scheme to deceive the U.S. government to frustrate its enforcement authority and took some action in pursuit of that scheme, they too would be guilty.

                1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                  REP. SCHIFF: “It’s also I think significant that our memo discloses for the first time that the Russians previewed to Papadopoulos that they could help with disseminating these stolen emails. So weeks later when Don Jr. goes into that meeting, when he writes back to those offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, he says, ‘If it’s what I think it is, I would love it.’ And we now know and we can talk publicly about that fact that the campaign, at least George Papadopoulos, was aware both that the Russians had these stolen emails and that they were prepared to help with the dissemination of those emails.”

                  HAYES: “That was one of several things that stuck out to me. Can you speak a little bit more about that? We know that there was this sort of cut out figure that was telling him that the Russians had the emails. Tell us, what did they say further about help in disseminating them?”

                  REP. SCHIFF: “Well, unfortunately, I can’t go beyond what the Department of Justice has authorized us to disclose in the memo, but I think it’s the first time the public’s been able to see one of the links here. And that is we knew from the Papadopoulos plea that the Russians had told the Trump campaign very early on in April 2016 that they were in possession of these stolen emails. We now know that the Department of Justice presented to the FISA Court information that the Russians previewed what they would do with this information, their dissemination of it. So when Donald Trump openly called on the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, they’d be richly rewarded if they released these to the press, his campaign had already been put on notice that the Russians were prepared to do just that and disseminate these stolen emails.”

        2. Dave137 said, “The investigation continues. Nowhere near Game Over.”

          The best estimate for Mueller’s final report is March of 2019. And that’s when the game gets started.

    2. Dave137 said, “Cohen isn’t reliable, obviously. But so what. Evidence matters.”

      Oh thank heavens. Dave137 is back on the blawg. Yippy Kayo Kay-a-yay-ee-ay.

  16. Jon Turley Hype Machine strikes again. Good chance granted immunities are limited to the flimsy non-crime campaign finance add-on guilty pleases of real crimes committed by Cohen (tax/bank fraud). Lanny Boy Davis already acknowledged that Rat Cohen has no meaningful information on Trump Tower meeting. Jon Turley Hype Machine hoping that the clicks just keep on coming, but this is just another non-story headed down dead-end street(s).

  17. The relentless targeting of Trump for things that are not related to his presidency, is a transparent effort to take him down for purely political reasons, a concerted hissy fit with teeth, for his opponents losing the election.
    Their fury about being fundamentally wrong in their certainty of Hillary’s win, their continuing shame and public embarrassment having to continually face this, their steady “boy cries wolf” pronouncements about Trumps demise that never come true, fuels the “anything/everything we can do to destroy Trump” mentality, and the political will that is funneled into prosecutorial zeal to take him down.
    They pretend that the investigations are independent of their political fury, but it is so obvious to everyone that these prosecutions would not exist except for their visceral hatred for Donald Trump.
    The best they can do to attack Trump for peripheral and ancillary acts they assert he has done, and cast those acts as criminal, conflate these otherwise scofflaws that everyone else in the field does, as high crimes and misdemeanors.
    So, they will try, and as I have said before, may find something liable that he has done OUTSIDE of the presidency.
    We all commit three felonies a day, Trump will be no different.

    The real question is, did he do anything improper as president, not whether he was a choir boy all his life.
    Any prosecutor looking long enough and hard enough will be able to indict anyone.

        1. Holllywood, you make the statement “Pathetic rationalization!” That makes everyone wonder what that rationalization is. Why not tell us?

          1. What Trieste said. All the nonsense about lefties wanting a do-over on the election. The election is over. Trump is POTUS. He must go. For health reasons? By voting him and his kind out. By impeachment if there are enough patriotic GOP Senators.

            1. “Trump is POTUS. He must go.”

              Why? I understand you don’t like him. I understand that you may not agree with certain policies. He was voted in despite all the things you dislike about him. Tell us what crime in office he committed that meets the standards of removing a President?

              1. As Bob Bauer says in The Atlantic, “Trump would have his supporters believe that he faces these serious legal problems only because his adversaries wish to dispute the legitimacy of the election. He is deceiving himself or his intended audience, or both. The effect of any criminal conduct on Trump’s victory in 2016 success is a sure topic for political debate and years of scholarly analysis. It is beside the point of the current investigations, which is to determine whether there was such conduct.”
                (Don’t be deceived, Allan.)
                More here. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/08/trumps-contempt-for-the-law-will-be-his-downfall/568564/

                1. Interesting Hollywood says don’t be deceived which is tantamount to saying ‘ignore me.’

                2. “Tell us what crime in office he committed that meets the standards of removing a President?”

                  Hollywood, you quoted an article I am sure you believe said what you think it said but if that were true you would be able to answer the above question instead of quoting an entire article.

                  Read the article again and find the answer to the question above. Then explain it in your own words quoting where in the article that was said. You won’t be able to do that because the answer isn’t there. It is as if you have built half a bridge on one side of the river and the other half on the other side one mile down stream. You have what you believe to be a whole bridge (2 halves make a whole) but you still can’t drive a car across the river.

                  “(Don’t be deceived, Allan.)”

                  Hollywood, I am not easily deceived unless I wish to pretend to be. My livelihood depended and depends on having very strong critical thinking skills not necessary for most working people. Your career may not have required such skills so try using them now and go back to the article and try answering the question.

                  1. Apparently, you can’t read anything longer than one of your tweets, Allan. I’ll greatly simplify it for you so that your critical thinking skills will not be taxed. We’ll put to one side the emoluments violations, the quid pro quo, the nepotism, the Ivanka Chinese trademarks, the Kushner attempts to get loans from Qatar and the Saudis, the self-promotion of his properties and expenses attendant to going to those properties. In and of themselves, these should be impeachable. But let’s not go there. Simply put, we have Trump either on his own or though his intermediaries conspiring with the Russians/Putin/GRU/KGB to hack our election and interfere with it (which continues to this day). We have Trump, Rudy, Conway, et al. obstructing justice through alternative facts, tweets, requests for “loyalty,” threats, firings, lies, etc.

                    1. “Apparently, you can’t read anything longer than one of your tweets, Allan.”

                      I don’t tweet, so what you are saying is ridiculous much like all the accusations you make. It is not my fault that you lack understanding of the law and logic. You need a crime and you need proof. A list of things you don’t like or approve of is neither a crime nor does that list contain proof of a crime.

                      “Simply put, we have Trump either on his own or though his intermediaries conspiring with the Russians/Putin/GRU/KGB to hack our election and interfere with it (which continues to this day). “

                      Where is the proof? You talk a lot and that is fine, but somehow you never seem to get to the proof. Maybe there is no way for you to understand that you have to clearly state the crime and the proof together otherwise you talking has absolutely no meaning.

                    2. Where is the proof?

                      Allan,
                      Do you believe for a moment hollywood and his ilk wouldn’t love to have evidence of a crime? They would be salivating, if for instance Trump or someone from his inner circle had given a $500k speech in Moscow and that money wound up in the Trump foundation? Or if they had paid a foreign actor including Russians to gin up a fake dossier on Hillary that they shopped to the media prior to the election? Especially if they got the FBI to use that to spy on the Clinton campaign under a FISA warrant? They are desperate for that sort of evidence but they have absolutely no interest in where that actual evidence points.

              2. Allan it isn’t going to answer. It isn’t programmed that way. Ad Machina.

                1. You may be right, but let us see if people can use critical thinking skills, not necessarily to agree, rather to create logical debate utilizing the necessary elements.

            2. Which means the Republicans in Name only who are the right wing of the left? And patriotic to whom. Like the socialists which means the USSR?

            3. Trieste is right – the Hilbots are still livid she lost which the neo cons / neo libs are capitalizing on to maintain support and garner donations for DNC

              Berniebots and Leftie Indies not wasting time calling for impeachment.

          2. Depends on what his programmer decides for the day. Hold on may take a while. Probably the same as ‘conservative’ which to the left means anyone who doesn’t agree with them. One nice thing about being an independent self governing citizens even though we did have the largest voting block in 2016 the left does not acknowledge our existence. Now that is Pathetic. 40% and in the end 55% of the real vote to 45% for the losers.

    1. Sad, but true! The DNC thinks an election is only “final” after they’ve won it! The most undemocratic institution constantly bleating for “democracy.”

    2. Hopefully the left will fail in their mid term attempts and another AG will be appointed.

      1. An attempt to oust Sessions would be yet another example of obstruction of justice on Trump’s part. The enabling of that effort by the GOP Senators would be another example of their ongoing hypocrisy.

        1. Sessions recused himself from the so-called Trump-Russia investigation, and Rosenstein and Mueller are running the show as far as investigating Trump.
          It would be a tough case to make that firing Sessions is obstruction of justice.
          I’d have to check to be certain, but I don’t think even Nixon’s firing of his Att. Gen., Deputy Att. Gen., and Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was an element in the obstruction of justice article(s) of impeachment that were being prepared.

          1. I think you’ll find that both Article I and Article II encompass activities that would include Cox’s firing, etc.
            It wouldn’t be a tough case at all. It would be yet another brick on the load that includes the attempt to compromise Comey and the firing of Comey.

            1. Hollywood,..
              – The tapes are what sealed Nixon’s fate.
              Especially the discussions about covering up the role of The Plumbers Unit, John Mitchell, John Dean, ans E. Howard Hunt.
              Nixon cleaned house at the DOJ in October 1973….the Supreme Court ruled against him on the tapes shortly before he resigned in August, 1974.
              I don’t think the House Judiciary Committee prepared the Articles of Impeachment until they had access to the tapes.
              I glanced at those Articles and there is mention of interference with the DOJ, interference with the FBI, interference with Congressional committees, etc.
              The articles aren’t specific in spelling out the particular act(s) relative to the interference; but if Congress was going to impeach Nixon for the Saturday Night Massacre, they could have started those proceedings in October 1973.

              1. Tom,
                You are displaying your ignorance and laziness. The Articles against Nixon were filed July 27, 29, and 30, 1974. He resigned in August. Yes, the tapes pushed him over the edge, but the offenses had already been committed and charged.

                1. Hollywood,…
                  If you were not so busy posting links and giving out reading assignments, you might have time to read the comments of others.
                  You just parroted what I said in the comment you’re replying to, you arrogant jackass.
                  Except for conveniently skipping over the part about the Saturday Night Massacre occuring in October 1973, you just confirmed what I said earlier.
                  Trying reading and understanding the words that are in other conments, you fool.

            1. hollywood – since Sessions has recused himself from the Mueller probe, there is no way Trump can obstruct justice by doing his Constitutional job.

              1. It’s not his constitutional job to fire Sessions when the purpose of that firing is to end the Mueller investigation. That would be still further obstruction of justice.

                1. hollywood – if the President were smart he had his cabinet fill out an undated resignation letter when he appointed them. He just has to fill in the date.

                  1. Given where we are now, it’s past time for using pro forma resignations. Sorry.

                2. It’s not his constitutional job to fire Sessions when the purpose of that firing is to end the Mueller investigation.

                  However it would be his constitutional job to fire Sessions and nominate an AG that will get the SC to put the same effort towards all parties even remotely connected to the 2016 election. As Mueller has proven, follow everything, anywhere it goes and regardless of whether it’s connected to the election or not. If Mueller won’t do it, then either fire him and appoint a new SC, or appoint another SC to do it in parallel.

                  Surely anyone interested in equal justice wouldn’t object to getting to the truth, right?

        2. Hollywood, you keep saying these things but never do you ever state why? What law? What crime? What proof?

          1. My comment above refers to Hollywood’s statement: “An attempt to oust Sessions would be yet another example of obstruction of justice on Trump’s part.”

              1. Hollywood, before you can appropriately utilize your critical thinking skills, whatever they might be, you have to know the law. Apparently you haven’t gotten that far yet. You ought to read about what obstruction of justice means and then read the President’s powers. After that you might want to try using whatever critical thinking skills you have. So far all you have done is repeat claims made by others without you knowing the facts or anything else.

          2. Allan,…
            It’s one thing to harbor “suspicions” or “beliefs” about alleged criminal offenses.
            There’s been an abundant supply of those suspicions and beliefs present in these comments threads going back to at least January 2017.
            These are often unaccompanied by proof, or even credible evidence.
            The standards are different, or should be different, in matters involving actual criminal charges and/ or impeachment.
            The Special Counsel team may or may not finally come up with something incriminating against Trump.
            If they don’t, it won’t be for lack of trying.
            And it won’t be because of a reluctance to exploit Rosenstein’s directive encouraging a fishing expedition far afield of the Trump-Russia issue.
            In the meantime, there will be no shortage of armchair speculation and suspicions and beliefs that gave been on exhibit here, and elsewhere, for months on end.

            1. Tom, suspicions do not create a crime and police do not investigate suspicions. They investigage crimes. If the left wishes to adopt the policy of investigating suspicions then perhaps their “racist tendencies” will prompt them to investigate minorities on the suspicion minorities must have done something wrong.

              Those on the left making all these arguments based on the results of the election haven’t the slightest idea that it is their logic that represses minorities.

          3. Trump admitted the purpose of the Tower meeting was to get dirt on HRC. But earlier, he denied it. Trump tried to get Comey to lay off Flynn. Flynn resigned/was canned for lying to Pence about discussing waiving sanctions under Magnitsky. Trump admitted he fired Comey because of that Russia thing after having Rosenstein come up with a phoney letter about HRC’s emails, etc. After the start of the Manafort trial, Trump tweeted “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!” That is obstruction of justice. Was the one contrary juror aware of that tweet? Regardless, it was an attempt by Trump to interfere in the trial. If Trump fires Sessions it will be because he wants to end Mueller’s work. And you can foresee that if Sessions is canned, Mueller will be not far behind. These actions are all part and parcel of obstruction of justice–interfering with the investigation and trying to end it. And let’s not even get into the constant “witch hunt” and “no collusion” tweets. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you. Go to the Lighthouse for the Blind.

            1. I think that you should team up with Maxine Waters with your “evidence”, Hollywood.
              You’d make a good pair.
              Your ‘belief” that these are all convincing evidence of obstruction doesn’t mean jack****.
              The farther afield this fishing expedition goes from the central purpose of appointing a Special Counsel, and the longer the fishing expeditions stretch on, the harder it will be to find a basis for impeachment.
              In addition to working with Mad Maxine, you can invest in 535 more American flags that you’re wrapped yourself up in, sent them to all members of Congress, and tell them to follow your “patriotic” lead.

            2. “Trump admitted the purpose of the Tower meeting was to get dirt on HRC. But earlier, he denied it.”

              Hollywood, I don’t think your facts are entirely correct but assuming they are, tell us the crime and how whatever you think Trump did was illegal. Is it illegal to get dirt on an opponent? Was dirt gotten on HRC at the meeting? Do you believe in thought crimes?

              “Trump tried to get Comey to lay off Flynn”

              Exactly what did Trump say? Trump has a right to question and ask. He didn’t force or pay Comey to not investigate Flynn. Flynn as you indicate seems to have been fired for lying to Pence. Where was the crime? What you are doing is making crimes out of things you dislike.

              Your end product leaves you without having demonstrated that any crimes were committed by Trump during his campaign or during his term as President. None were. Were any of Trump’s people investigated and found guilty of the crimes they were investigated for? No. They admitted guilt to process crimes (under pressure) which might now be rejected in both cases and likely the crimes they were investigated for weren’t even crimes.

              The rest of you arguments are futuristic, if Trump does such and such he is guilty of whatever. He can legally do some of those things you mention even though you don’t know where the powers of the President begin or end.

              I don’t think you accusations of my being blind strike any chord of realism. The President has a legal right to tweet and say what he thinks. That is a right held by all citizens that you wish to deny to the President of the United States. You do understand the first amendment provides for freedom of speech, right?

    3. You are of course, entitled to your own opinion–no matter how uninformed. However, you are most assuredly not entitled to your own facts. The investigation of the day glo bozo has nothing to do with politics; rather, the investigation is based on probable cause, as all investigations must be. However, since you apparently think that it’s normal for public servants to have the moral and ethical philosophy that the day glo bozo possesses, I would point out that Mueller is a decorated Marine war hero; a long-time public servant who has personally done more in his life for the benefit of this country than every grifter latched onto the day glo bozo ever dreamed about doing combined; and, he’s a Republican, appointed by a Republican. Pro tip: parroting the hannity nonsensical whimsy reveals your lack of intellectual rigor. So sorry for your loss, thanks for playing.

      this is to “ya, he’s an imbecile and probably a traitor, but at least he’s an old white guy” gary

    4. Well done Gary. Elections are for removing Presidents you don’t like. Impeachment is for Presidents that commit high crimes or misdemeanors while in office. This whole effort is progressive damage control and they are losing the battle every day President Trump remains in office. I read yesterday that 3rd quarter GDP is projected to be around 4.6%. Is Obama still holding Trump’s diet coke?

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