Michael Cohen’s Last Hustle: How Trump’s Former Fixer Blew His Final Play

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Below is my column at Foxnews.com on the inevitable collapse of Michael Cohen’s strategy to avoid jail for his extensive criminal conduct as a businessman and a lawyer.  I recently discussed how the filing detailed the windfall payments of over $4 million that Cohen received from companies like AT&T to buy access and influence with Trump.  It was one of Cohen’s last scams.  He ended up keeping the money despite being embroiled in the scandals that led to his demise.  He then scammed thousands of anti-Trump donors on a GoFundMe site for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the promise of turning against Trump.  He never mentioned the millions that he shook down companies for in his cash for access scheme.  In other words, Cohen continue to hustle but, on this occasion, he came up one hustle too short.

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen – who prides himself on being a street-wise fixer and hustler – ran into a problem he couldn’t fix Friday when he was denied the “get out of jail free” card he desperately sought in return for admitting his crimes.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced next week for his guilty pleas to multiple counts of business and tax fraud. He also pleaded guilty to making an excessive contribution to the Trump campaign and to making false statements to Congress regarding Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

Federal prosecutors in New York City and Special Counsel Robert Mueller – who is investigating whether President Trump and/or members of his presidential election campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election – filed sentencing memos Friday recommending prison time for the former Trump lawyer.

According to a sentencing memo from the New York prosecutors, Cohen built his entire professional life through a “pattern of deception” and unrivaled greed.

Cohen’s belated effort to cooperate with prosecutors without a formal agreement was an effort to play Mueller the way he played Trump – making himself useful in the hope of becoming indispensable.

But it looks like this time Cohen will come up one hustle short.

In the 1961 movie classic “The Hustler,” a young pool shark named Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) sought to topple legendary veteran Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) in a high-stakes pool game. A smug Fast Eddie bragged to Minnesota Fats that he “didn’t leave much” on the table, but the seasoned Minnesota Fats dryly responded “you left enough.”

By declaring himself a redemptive sinner, Cohen clearly thought that he had left little on the table to deny him a zero jail time sentence. Earlier, he decided to give up on a chance for a pardon from President Trump and made the play for Mueller.

Cohen publicly implicated Trump in campaign finance violations in the payment of hush money to women Trump allegedly had affairs with (affairs Trump denies).

Cohen apparently thought that delivering on Trump would wipe away a lifetime of deception and fraud. Instead, prosecutors grudgingly accepted a modest reduction in sentencing, but still demanded a “substantial term of imprisonment.”

Cohen is now looking at the loss of this law license, business and freedom. He could spend as much as five years in prison for what the government described as “Cohen’s extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct.”

Cohen ultimately lacked two essential things to make this hustle work.

First and foremost, he lacked credibility. In an earlier column, I called Cohen’s play for no jail time a plea of leniency bordering on lunacy.

Cohen is now looking at the loss of this law license, business and freedom. He could spend as much as five years in prison for what the government described as “Cohen’s extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct.”

As predicted in the column, the prosecutors played back Cohen’s own words when he threatened journalists, students, and others who were deemed as threats to Trump. For example, in 2015 Cohen threatened Daily Beast reporter Tim Mack for running a story critical of Trump.

On a recorded call, Cohen tells Mack: “Mark my words for it, I will make sure that you and I meet one day over in the courthouse and I will take you for every penny you still don’t have, and I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know. Do not even think about going where I know you’re planning on going. And that’s my warning for the day.”

Cohen then goes full mob heavy and warns the reporter to “tread very f—— lightly because what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—— disgusting. … Do you understand me? Don’t think you can hide behind your pen because it’s not going to happen. … I’m more than happy to discuss it with your attorney and with your legal counsel because motherf—– you’re going to need it.”

Prosecutors clearly did not buy the months of public spin by Cohen and his lawyer, Lanny Davis, including raking in almost $180,000 in donations on a GoFundMe page.

The page says: “On July 2, 2018 Michael Cohen declared his independence from Donald Trump and his commitment to tell the truth. .… Michael decided to put his family and his country first. Now Michael needs your financial help.”

On both Fox News and MSNBC, Davis said that Cohen’s moral epiphany came after watching the Helsinki news conference last July in which President Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin in believing Russia’s denial of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that Trump won.

“That shook up Mr. Cohen,” Davis said.

OK, so we are supposed to believe that when President Trump repeated his prior position on Russian interference in 2016 presidential election Cohen suddenly decided that it was time for him to tell the truth about his dealings with a porn star and a Playboy model.

This makes as much sense as mob boss Joe Valachi saying that he decided to flip on the Lucchese crime family after watching “The Sound of Music.”

The prosecutors stated that Cohen’s “description of his actions as arising solely from some ‘personal resolve’ – as opposed to arising from the pendency of criminal charges and the desire for leniency – ignores that Cohen first reached out to meet with (the special counsel) at a time when he knew he was under imminent threat of indictment in this District. As such, any suggestion by Cohen that his meetings with law enforcement reflect a selfless unprompted about-face are overstated.”

Additionally, Cohen needed a Section 5K1.1 letter. That is what a fully cooperating witness receives when he has a deal with prosecutors. However, prosecutors state that Cohen made the “affirmative decision not to become” a true cooperating witness.

Without that letter, Cohen’s modest reduction in his sentence for cooperation has to be partially or wholly erased by two “enhancements” tied to his status as a lawyer and the sophistication of his fraudulent conduct.

The enhancements could still leave Cohen serving most of the five-year sentence. In other words, even with his cooperation, he still left enough for a “substantial” sentence of prison time.

In what Fast Eddie described as his “Church of the Good Hustler,” the only thing that matters in the end is putting balls in the right pockets. However, hubris is often the ruin of many a good player.

Fast Eddie told Minnesota Fats: “You know, I got a hunch, fat man. I got a hunch it’s me from here on in.”

Like Fast Eddy, Cohen was wrong. It never was his game. It was (and remains) Mueller’s game.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public Iiterest law at George Washington University and a practicing criminal defense attorney.

155 thoughts on “Michael Cohen’s Last Hustle: How Trump’s Former Fixer Blew His Final Play”

  1. Professor Turley, this tale is amusing but the bad guys are getting away:

    Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Brennan, Clapper, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzvB87Xnbes

      What a coward. Notice how when faced with someone who makes him uncomfortable he attempts violence and when he realizes he faces an opponent that won’t back down what does he do. He goes straight to the police. The poor little ANTIFA man hides behind his mother’s apron. Wimp.

      Take the gun and his other friends away, this man is nothing more than a weak individual who has to act like the tough man on the block to get his way. He’s fooling only himself.

      1. Ya Darren ,

        That guy like so many others & their fascist Antifa funded by Soros’ groups are delusional creeps.

        This Dwayne Dixon Creep has some other pressing problems,

        1st the District Attorney, even if he turns out to also by a commie type Demo, will be hard pressed not to bring some sort of a Manslaughter charge, plus other charges against him.

        If the DA doesn’t the State or Feds may.

        2nd The gen public now knows who he is, what he looks like & what goes.
        ” Bad Boy, Bad Boy whatcha going to do when the public sees You!”

        Piss his pants again most likely.

        3rd Mr Dixon appears to me to be Liable as hell in cases.

        What Dixon did was far worst then yelling fear in a crowded theater.

        Author & former Navy Seal Matt Bracken was again guest on Owen Shroyer’s War Room show today speaking about this type stuff again.

        I think what I’m hear is the guy driving the car had his own nut job problems, that he/others should be staying away from these paid mobs. Bracken was wondering, just as with the Bundy Ranch & other high profile events just how many (Govt Factions) paid provocateurs were in the crowds?

        Gavin Mcinnes of the Get Off My Lawn Show, was invited by that brand new Far Right group, but he sensed it might be a step up.

        Then they went at him again awhile back when he gave a speech in NYC.

        But we see today groups have still been attacking him & have had his show pulled on 2 of his main platforms.

        I think Matt Bracken comes on about 1:30, for anyone wishing to hear some of the things one can do if they become surrounded by violent crowds like South Central LA decades back or think it was Portland Oregon around a month ago.

        https://www.real.video/5977903898001

      2. Darren, that video is hilarious! Funnier than comedy.

        But is ANTIFA an organized movement with national leadership and chapters? Or is it a franchise anyone can use?

        The so-called Occupy Movement had scattered leadership at best. Black Lives Matters might be another. And White Nationalists. Racists in any town can call themselves White Nationalists.

        So I question if ANTIFA represents a genuine movement in American politics. Any delusional leftist can identify as ANTIFA. Radicals like that are an argument for new emphasis on Social Sciences in public schools.

        When the president, however, tweets irrational attacks every morning. While his staff remains asleep. It creates an atmosphere where irrational is acceptable. Even during daylight hours, Trump utters falsehoods to the cameras.

        Consequently Donald Trump foments an atmosphere stimulating to radicals. It happens when the president appears unmoored from the truth. Truth no longer matters. Truth can be whatever radicals claim.

        For that reason, the presidency was traditionally reserved for experienced professionals.

        1. (PH says: December 10, 2018 at 11:38 PM
          Darren, that video is hilarious! Funnier than comedy. )

          PH, you might wish to reconsider your position on how funny it was.

          What was that a few years ago in Dallas when one of your types buddy k*lled 6 cops in Dallas at “” Peaceful Protest”. Plus/Plus many others.

          There’s no way in hell most people were/are laughing about that type crap.

          I’m not saying you have to, but you might wish to consider some real news sources beyond the odd propagandist crap like WAPO/NYT/CNN, etc.

          And then make some new friends.

          1. Oky1, I used to work with cops, you idiot! No ‘buddy’ of mine is shooting at them. And it’s mindless of you to presume I would applaud that.

            This is a perfect example, Oky1 of how right-wing media dumbs people down. You’re just assuming, for no logical reason, that I sympathize with cop killers. Because I’m a liberal and ‘liberals hate cops’; just mindlessly dumb.

            And for the record CNN is not a source of mine. I have never posted their stories. I don’t have cable TV. But WAPO and NYT cover more hard news that anyone. Their stories are longer and more detailed than anyone else’s. That could be why you don’t like them. You want your news easy.

            1. PH,

              WAPO/NYT/CNN/MCNBC/ABC/ even Fox, Etc are all old dying media that have long been controlled by the American Hating side of the CIA/FBI & some other US intel agencies through programs like operation Mocking Bird..

              So you’re/others parroting Crap like all those stories that Syria was gassing it’s own people even after time after time it was US allies caught funding the gas attacks. False Flag Operation again& again.

              Have to do with you guessed it Russia/Russia/Russia.

              “Oky1, I used to work with cops, you idiot! No ‘buddy’ of mine is shooting at them. And it’s mindless of you to presume I would applaud that. ”

              You Fool!!!

              It was the NYT that posted in it’s paper where & the Time when the Republican Congressmen would be practicing for the congressional ball games so the Nut Job Friend of your friends could go shoot them up… Scilies (sic)almost died & at least 2 Capital Police were wounded.

              I used to be a Liberal Democrat aka A Thomas Jefferson Classical Liberal. Today’s Democratic Party are not Liberals, their Ph’in Commie/Fascist American Hating Trash that need to leave this country or be locked up!

              Case in point one of the 1st things the Commie/fascist Demos are pushing in the house is to Take Away Congress’s 2 Amendment Right to keep guns on capital grounds.

              That always been the first thing authoritarian Commie/Fascist type Nutjobs do, get the guns, kill free speech & seize private property.

              1. Oky1, you’re just a fringe conspiracy monger. Nothing in your comment makes any sense to rational people. It illustrates what I said in my comment to Darren, “Trump foments an atmosphere stimulating to lunatics”.

                1. PH,

                  You read the WAPO & NYT so you feel your friends & you are Rational & Informed even when it’s clear to most others you haven’t a clue as to what’s going on in the real world after reading that BS.

      3. I didn’t know that driver had been chased by an Antifa supporter with a rifle just before he plowed into the crowd. That was important information the media left out.

        That professor sounds like he’s going to cry. Guess he likes to intimidate and threaten others for political purposes, calling people Fascist to get his way, but becomes tearful when asked questions about his behavior.

    1. If a “Stormy Payoff” is baaaad, what are “Pay-For-Play” schemes by Hills and “Orgy Island” visits by Bills?

      To wit,

      “VEROPHARM”

      Joseph Rago –

      “Wall Street Journal Reporter Asks Russia For “Clinton Information” —-Turns Up DEAD 2 Days Later”

      “A Wall Street Journal Editor who was investigating how a Russian
      Pharmaceutical firm could have been purchased in 2014 by an American
      Pharmaceutical firm while Sanctions against Russia existed against such
      business transactions, has been found dead in his New York City
      apartment. The crux of the dead journalists investigation was how
      then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the transaction to be
      finalized, but only AFTER her husband Bill was paid $500,000 for giving
      a speech in Moscow.

      The Russia Consulate General’s office in New York City was contacted
      by Wall Street Journal reporter/editor Joseph Rago who requested a
      Thursday (20 July) in person interview with consular officials regarding
      an upcoming article he was preparing on Hillary Clinton and her links
      to Russia. Rago failed to attend the meeting and was later discovered
      dead in his apartment of as yet “unknown causes” just hours prior to
      this meeting occurring.”

      http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/news/world-news/878-wall-street-journal-reporter-asks-russia-for-clinton-information-2-days-later-turns-up-dead

  2. Cohen is a major figure under media scrutiny and close under FBI and federal marshall control. I don’t know if he’s in or out but it barely matters. He is not an easy mark at this time. IT’s not like the movies where gangs have all these can-do macho siccarios for hire who can take people out willy nilly. this is not Mexico.

    I think you missed my point. The “Mob” whomever you mean by that, organized crime, is not more powerful than the military intelligence establishment. This is a play going on at a lot higher level than “the mob”

    The CIA for example is chartered to lawfully engage in activities overseas that are by definition criminal activities such as espionage and a whole lot that goes along with it, in foreign countries, on taxpayer dollars.

    Now John Brennan ex cia chief and former DNI chief Clapper and some other honchos have already declared their enmity for Trump so he is hardly worried about the far lesser threats of “the mob”

    he has made some enemies at FBI too

    thats my point. you’re speculating that he is worried about a smaller adversary when he has a lot bigger ones

    1. that was directed at an older comment by Enigma, implying that Cohen was beholden to “The mob.” I should have posted it somewhere else, seems out of context here. sorry

  3. from James Howard Kunster’s Cluster F blog

    http://kunstler.com/

    The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler spooged himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory orgasms may prove premature.

    The memos themselves were not all they were cracked up to be. Despite Mr. Mueller turning the screws of federal prosecution on them for months on end, neither Manafort or Cohen has composed the narrative the Special Counsel wants, so the memos were, in effect, an attempt to run some high voltage through the screws, to goose out a last-minute change-of-heart in the two patsies. Manafort has been stuffed into solitary confinement and Cohen threatened with forty years of jail time, Their stoicism so far suggests this is not the triumphal climax that the spinners of RussiaGate seek.

    Mr. Trump’s response to all this has seemed, at best, retiring and ineffectual. He’s actually done next to nothing to fight back, besides some juvenile tweets, issued perhaps to alert his antagonists that he’s paying attention. Given the lack of evidence for the basic predicate of RussiaGate — that the Trump election campaign “colluded” with Russia — and the abundant evidence of crimes against Mr. Trump by his adversaries in prosecuting this fraud, and the legal machinery silently in motion backstage of RussiaGate — there’s a lot of room for the story to flip upside down.

    For instance: the matter of General Flynn, the sacked National Security Advisor, who got his charging memo the week before last. The terms were surprisingly lenient: no jail time. The public, egged-on by the Resistance media, is led to believe that Gen. Flynn handed Mr. Mueller a wooden stake to drive through the Golden Golem’s wicked heart and was aptly rewarded. Gen. Flynn has said almost nothing for more than year and the impression of him in the media is of a completely beaten-down, broken man. I’m sure the ordeal has been grotesque for this once-powerful warrior. But his breakers forget that Gen. Flynn himself was an experienced spook who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, an outfit possibly more secretive and potent than the CIA and the FBI. We might assume that he still has friends and supporters there, and that Gen. Flynn may be sitting on interesting intel of his own on his inquisitors, ranging from the election misdeeds of the FBI and DOJ in 2016 all the way back to the Chief Inquisitor’s (RM’s) actions in the Uranium One scheme that funneled over $150 million into the Clinton Foundation, and also to manifold irregularities in the Obama White House around these matters.

    Gen. Flynn may actually have the goods on the fraud behind his own prosecution — namely, proof of exactly how he was set up by Mr. Obama, in particular his own tapes of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that would show something different than the transcripts Mr. Mueller used to entrap him on Lying-to-Federal-Prosecutors rap. That theory raises the question: why did he not use it in his own defense. The answer may simply be that he didn’t want to rack up $2.5 million in billable hours for defense attorneys and chose instead to tough it out for nearly two years until he could use the information he has. And that means he must wait until final sentencing when his case is complete.

    That appears in the offing, perhaps even before Mr. Mueller releases his much panted-over final report. Of course, Mr. Mueller may have absolutely no idea what Gen. Flynn has got on him — hence the speculation about why the charging memo was so lenient. But that line of reasoning suggests that Gen. Flynn will just forget about the disgrace Mr. Mueller put him through and let bygones be bygones. That’s not how warriors roll. More likely, Gen. Flynn has something more severe in mind. For all of his horse-faced gravitas in the photos of his fleeting sightings, Mr. Mueller does not look to me like a man in a comfortable situation.

    Mr. Comey will be making a return visit to the House committee where, last week, he weaseled his way through seven hours of forgetfulness, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make her long-overdue first appearance to do some ‘splainin’ about the fishy confab she held with Bill Clinton on the Tarmac in Phoenix around the time that Mr. Comey was preparing to drop the “matter” involving Mrs. Clinton in July of 2016.

    Backstage for the moment, there are two other vectors in motion: whatever Mr. Huber is up to in his mission to examine all those FBI / DOJ ? CIA operations against Mr. Trump, and the parallel inquiry of Mr. Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector general. Mr. Huber will be heard from for the first time this week, and Mr. Horowitz’s report is expected soon, too. Finally, there is the Trump card, so to speak: the president’s power to declassify reams of documents that will shed light in all of the dark chambers of this fairy-tale castle. Wait for it….

  4. OT: Richmond got socked in with 13 inches of snow. Been snowplowing all morning and did six driveways in the cul de sac and most of the street. Lots of help from the neighbors but I’m bushed. What did I miss?

    1. Dumocratics good, Tall ,Blond ,Smart White Man Trump Bad, Russia, Russia, Russia says Muler & old media propagandist.

      Same as it was last month, last year, the year before that & the year before that.

      BTW: White Snow, why Hell, That’s Racist! LOL

  5. Another Witch Burns!

    THAT COOL, GUN-LOVING RUSSIAN CHICK..

    WILL PLEAD GUILTY TO BEING A FOREIGN AGENT

    Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist, is poised to plead guilty in a case involving accusations that she was working as an agent for the Kremlin in the United States, according to a new court filing.

    Attorneys for Butina and federal prosecutors jointly requested in court documents Monday that U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan set a time for Butina to withdraw her previous plea of not guilty. They said they could be available for her to enter her plea as early as Tuesday.

    “The parties have resolved this matter,” Butina’s lawyers and D.C.-based prosecutors wrote in their joint filing.

    Butina was accused of working to push the Kremlin’s agenda by forming bonds with National Rifle Association officials and other conservative leaders and making outreach to 2016 presidential candidates.

    Her lawyers had said Butina’s interactions with the NRA and others were typical of an ambitious student anxious to network. But prosecutors said her goal was to advance the foreign policy aims of the Kremlin and that she was acting at the direction of a Russian government official, Alexander Torshin, a former senator who now serves as deputy director of the Russian central bank.

    Butina was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, rather than special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — an indication that Mueller may have determined that her activities did not directly connect to his investigation, which involves scrutinizing any links between Russia and President Trump’s campaign.

    Still, Butina intersected with Trump’s campaign several times before the 2016 election. In June 2015, she wrote a column for an American magazine in which she argued that only the election of a Republican president would result in better ties between the United States and Russia. A month later, at a public town hall event in Las Vegas, she was able to ask a question directly to Trump, inquiring about how he viewed sanctions imposed on Russia after its 2014 invasion of Crimea.

    Butina was then involved with an unsuccessful effort to organize a meeting between Torshin and Trump at an NRA convention in May 2016. Instead, she and Torshin briefly interacted with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, at the event, according to documents turned over to Congress.

    In September 2016, she sought out J.D. Gordon, who had served as a national security adviser to Trump’s campaign and then was given an advisory position on Trump’s transition committee. Emails show the two attended a concert by the rock band Styx and that Butina attended a birthday party for Gordon in October 2016. Gordon has said the contacts were innocuous and ended after the party.

    Butina and Torshin, a lifetime member of the NRA, struck up friendships with several of the organization’s past presidents and were treated as VIPs when they attended the organization’s annual meetings. They twice hosted NRA members in Moscow, including during a December 2015 visit when Torshin arranged for a group of NRA dignitaries to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    Edited from: “Alleged Russian Agent Poised To Plead Guilty In Case Involving Kremlin Attempts To Influence NRA”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. a big nothing burger all over again
      let’s see some other people get persecuted for this kinds of garbage and soon the dockets would be full of tens of thousands of DC politicos. sad

  6. DoD anybody get their tickets yet to see Bill and Hilary speak? I heard there are some great deals on Groupon. Just a couple of hucksters.

  7. Good analysis by Turley. Zoom out and what we have so far are bimbo payments and some obscure 2015 “political synergy” relating to building in Moscow where nothing gets built these days without “political synergy”. Lefty Loony Toons like Adam Shifty are now banking on the bimbo payments totaling $280k vs. Obama campaign finance boo-boo of $2.0 million settled with a fine. Pre-office porn star and playmate trysts by billionaire real estate developer were already baked into the cake before election so if lefty loons try to sell that as high crimes and misdemeanors as part of impeachment proceedings then they are going to get toasted in 2020. Sleazy defendant conspiring with overly zealous persecutors (SDNY & SCO) to include flimsy campaign finance hook in plea and sentencing docs = the real collusion.

    1. A link plus a blurb to whet the appetite of Mr. Check Oil Co. below:

      https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/michael-cohen-s-trump-tower-revelation-could-implicate-trump-bribery-ncna943791

      5 days ago … Trump’s concealment of his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow raise a series of serious questions. … If those facts bear out, they could give rise to federal bribery charges involving the president and a … intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had in fact hacked Democratic Party emails. And …

      1. Dear Ms. Late4HotSticky&StinkyYoga: The link you cite includes the words “opinion” and “nbcnews”. This from the same “news” organization that colluded with DNC on release of Access Hollywood/Billy Bush tape right before crucial 2016 election debate.

        1. Article 2, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    2. Excerpted from the article linked above:

      Cohen’s guilty plea indicates that Trump and his representatives were actively negotiating with the Kremlin over the planned Trump Tower in Moscow throughout the campaign, including “as late as June 2016” — in other words after Trump became the presumptive Republican Party nominee in May of 2016. Thus, Trump’s business entanglements with Russia coincided with Russia’s efforts to interfere in the presidential election and to undermine Hilary Clinton. And, of course, at the same time, Trump the candidate was talking about easing economic sanctions on Russia and generally taking a more favorable foreign policy stance toward Russia.

      [edit]

      Trump apparently could get financing for his Xanadu only from a Russian bank that was under sanctions set by President Barack Obama in 2014; the scheme thus depended on the lifting of the sanctions. This suggests a quid pro quo: Putin’s government, which keenly desired the sanctions to be retired would undertake efforts (including dirty tricks against Hillary Clinton) to help Trump become president. Once elected, Trump would lift the sanctions and also get his tower.

      1. see the thing is: we should ease sanctions and engage in more trade and diplomacy with Russia. if only as part of containing china.

        but Meuller’s got an axe to grind. Cold war 2.o

        1. But should “we” ease sanctions against Russia so that Trump can get Russian banks finance his Trump Tower Moscow?

          Had Trump told the voters in 2016 that he would rescind Obama’s EO sanctions against Russia so that Russian banks could finance his real-estate ventures, it’s possible the voters might have elected Trump, anyhow, at least up until such time as the voters had been duly informed that Russia had hacked the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails and disseminated them through Wikileaks so that Trump could rescind Obama’s EO sanctions against Russia, so that Trump could get Russian banks to finance his real-estate ventures, and so that Trump could grant Julian Assange a pardon for whatever crimes against the United States Assange will never admit to have committed, anyhow. Now how about those sanctions on Iran? Why no Trump Tower Tehran?

          1. I’ll wait to see if there will be Cliff Notes to summarize that c.100 word sentence.
            Maybe the Cliff Notes will also provide answers to the endless stream of rhetorical questions that pepper the Dianese lamguage comments.

    3. Whether manslaughter or intentional campaign law violation, a felony remains a felony. And not to change the subject but what quality of human is a fan of a “quintessential liar, cheater, scammer, and reprobate?” An open question, of course…

      1. Mr. Bill is a devotee of the social dominance hierarchy theory of social animal behavior. For him, Trump is The Tweet Whisperer.

        1. Dear Ms. Late4________. Your resorting to incoherent rambling which does not relate to my comments is clear indication that you have lost yet another argument due to your inability to engage in rational thought & dialogue. “I know you are but what am I”. Good Day Ma’am.

          1. Bill Martin,…
            In a Tweetstorm on Saturday, Trump once again said “It’s time for this Witch hunt to end”.
            This is in addition to his numerous, previous calls to end the witch hunt.
            It’s puzzling that L4B, of all people, is not sympathetic with demands to end witch hunts.

            1. Tom, one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes is, “I think he protests too much”.

              Every cop knows this principle. The guilty ‘squeal like pigs’ when questioned. “How dare you accuse me! I’ll have your badge! I have friends in City Hall. Just one phone call and you’ll be cleaning out your locker. That’s all I have to do. One phone call and you’ll be working as a guard at a goddamn flea market. You hear me..?? Your pension is toast!”

              With his endless howling of ‘witch hunts’, Trump has gone far beyond squealing like a pig; protesting too much indeed.

              1. Police and prosecutors are also suspicious of suspects who DON’T protest their innocence.
                I don’t know what amount of protestation would be the most effective in achieving Trump’s objectives.
                Overall, being under investigation for over two years has taken a toll on Trump.
                Hammering away at Mueller, and accelerating those attacks over the past several months, have eroded confidence in Mueller.
                I mentioned a couple of times before that no one is going to come out of this investigation unscathed, and that includes Mueller himself.
                The days of creating folk heroes like Sam Ervin or Judge Sirica or Howard Baker are long gone.
                ( with his dual hats as judge and prosecutor, Sirica was fortunate to come out of Watergate with his reputation enhanced)

                1. You used the word “hammering” and it reminded me of this epic Lawrence O’Donnell meltdown:

                  “Stop the hammering!!”

                2. No, Tom, you are wrong about public confidence in Mueller being eroded by Trump’s endless whining and protestations of “witch hunt”. Did you see the pro – Mueller demonstrations when Whittaker was insinuated into the post of acting AG? It’s only Trump disciples that have the Kellyanne Pivot “turn the tables” mentality, because, after all, Trump can’t possibly be wrong, and anyone who investigates him deserves to be investigated for doing so, because the only motivation is jealousy or political. Then you have the GOP-led “investigation” in which they forced Comey to sit for 7 hours, going over and over again the same crap about HRC’s e-mails, wasting taxpayer resources in the futile hope of generating some counter-publicity when Trump goes down. Now, you’re trying to argue that by merely investigating Trump and his crimes, Mueller’s “going to get his someday”. Not going to happen.

                  Trump remains the most unpopular POTUS in modern history and he’s well on his way toward being impeached. He’s also mentally ill and delusional, proved by today’s tweet storm in which he claimed his has been the most successful administration in history, and that the protesters in Paris were clamoring for him to lead France. You can almost feel sorry for him, until you consider all of the damage he’s done to the reputation of the U.S. and the presidency. After all, he’s never been accountable to a Board of Directors, and he’s never before been brought to justice for his crimes. He must be bewildered that he can’t bluff, lie, bully or buy his way out of this one.

                  1. James Comey got away with sitting there saying “I don’t recall, I don’t remember, I’m not sure” over 200 times….just like Hillary’s FBI interview where she answered “I don’t recall” about 40 times.

                    Why is that not considered lying to Congress? Or lying to the FBI?

                    James Comey remembers “just enough” to put in his book and go on a national speaking tour to sell his book, but can’t remember anything that happened under his watch as FBI director. How convenient for him.

              2. You forgot “I’m a taxpayer!” as another one of the lines cops like to hear.
                I’d repeat what I heard a cop respond to that protestwhen he was arresting a guy, about 20 years ago…but it would not clear the WordPress language filter.😊

              3. Another famous quote by Emerson suggests a different take on Trump:

                “For nonconformity, the world whips you with its displeasure.”

                I’m rooting for Trump. He’s fighting back hard against the establishment and he’s doing it practically by himself. The media is against him, many Republicans are against him, the Democrats are seeking to destroy him anyway they can.

                For 3 years they’ve been searching and searching for something, anything, to bring Trump down. And this is all they’ve got? It’s called being railroaded.

                1. many Republicans are against him,

                  At this point, the NeverTrump contingent consists (in descending order of consequence) of some opportunists on the staff of the Department of Justice &c., shills employed by the major media to grant emotional validation to Democrats (among them Democrats employed by major media), Ben Sasse, and some vocational and avocational opinion journalists that few people are currently reading. The Weekly Standard is all but tits up. National Review and Hot Air have just enough sensible writers to maintain an audience, an audience who skip over or flip the bird at the NeverTrumpers given space there. The President isn’t losing any sleep over David French and Patrick Frey howling at the moon.

                  1. And now we have James Comey going around in interviews saying everyone needs to vote Trump out of office in 2020 by voting for the Democrat – any Democrat they come up with will do. The nonpartisan chief of the FBI during the 2016 election, who is covering up massive wrongdoing, is now telling people to vote for the Democrat in 2020. And noone has a problem with this?

            2. Round about the cauldron go;
              In the poison’d entrails throw.
              Toad, that under cold stone
              Days and nights has thirty-one
              Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
              Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

              1. It’s one thing for L4B to stir the pot and further implicate herself, but the two other “subjects” of the investigation, mentioned by name by Person #2 in Dec., 2018, are also drawn in deeper as “subjects” of the investigation.

                1. Department of Persecution regulations expressly prohibit Ordeal by Water against any non-posting Witch. There might be a statute of limitations as well.

      2. Your assertion that Trump committed a felony relates to inferences by media and persecutors sentencing documents for desperate defendant. Cohen’s bimbo payments plea was add-on to curry favor with persecutors (SDNY & SCO). Trump has denied any wrong doing – no charges, no plea, no jury trial, nada.

        1. Bill, the president’s lawyer has been revealed as a hustler on the make trying to scam everyone. No legitimate businessman would have a lawyer like that. Cohen reflects Trump’s style. That is clear to every analyst outside the right-wing media bubble.

          1. PH: Cohen fashioned himself as Donald Trump’s Ray Donovan (without baseball bat). He had sleazy side-hustles unrelated to Trump and by the end acted as a sleazy lobbyist selling fake access to Trump. Cohen caught dead to rights on crimes unrelated to Trump. All the more reason to question merits and motive for add-on plea regarding bimbo payments to implicate Trump to save his ass. I have seen no support for Cohen from right-wing media aside from criticism of brown shirts-style raid on his office and home. Yes bad judgement on the part of Trump to use Cohen to deal with some of his legal/bimbo business, but not a crime. If lefty loons had an ounce of brains they would use this to criticize Trump’s judgement vs. an impeachment issue which will have opposite effect (elevate his popularity).

            1. Pour in sow’s blood, that hath eaten
              Her nine farrow; grease that’s sweaten
              From the murderer’s gibbet throw
              Into the flame.

            2. Bill, the timeframe for impeachment is probably too narrow for the election calendar. But chances are impeachable offenses will be documented in the not-so-distant future. And that will be very complicating.

              1. Per PH: “But chances are impeachable offenses will be documented in the not-so-distant future.” So far: bimbo payments. Wake me up when you got something real. Good night.

              2. But chances are impeachable offenses will be documented in the not-so-distant future.

                Peter Shill figures there’s gotta be a pony in all the manure. That’s what keeps him going.

          2. a creepy lawyer but NYC law circles may be a lot creepier than you may realize from your ensconscement in the Golden State Utopia

            especially real estate lawyers, normally a very boring group of lawyers; in NYC, maybe a lot less boring and lot more creepy

            “no legitimate businessman would have X” here X = _____________ fill in the blank whatever you want to smear the business man with.

            having represented quite a few businesses, i feel that I can modestly say, what is legit to them is often not legit to other people

            I think of a politician who owned a bar that used to serve minors and get busted five, ten times a year for it. how did he keep his license? how did he keep his seat for decades? well, not many people knew, and it never made the papers. but a lot of lawyers knew alright.

            a lot of things in the US are a lot more “corrupt” than people in regular jobs realize and now it’s all being hung the neck of DJT and quite unfairly so. Very wrong!

        2. It’s not just a couple of campaign finance violations. It’s a Conspiracy to Defraud the United States that implicates The Trump Organization in addition to Trump. Every detail of the hush-money payments involves an agreement to conceal, by deceptive or dishonest, information to which the FEC is statutorily entitled in order to perform its legitimate governmental function of ensuring the transparency of campaign contributions in federal elections as well as numerous overt acts taken in the furtherance of that conspiracy to defraud the United States. That the underlying campaign finance violations are, themselves, offenses against the United States only adds to the criminal liability for the conspirators. Had Trump only violated the campaign finance laws the way any other ordinary politician would have done, then Trump would not be on the hook for conspiracy to defraud the United States charges that will greet him once he’s no longer a sitting President. Those same charges will be brought against The Trump Organization in the interim. And if Trump thinks that he can pardon his own company, then Trump is in for a very rude awakening.

          1. Dear Late4Yoga: You are now following the new lefty media script: go after Trump for bimbo payments. Script change from Russian collusion. Compare and contrast : Trump $280k to quiet bimbos to protect marriage, family, brand vs. $2.0 million for Obama campaign settled with a fine. My advice to you in addition to taking walk around the block is to live and let go. We are now closer to the 2020 election than 2016 election so maybe Dems should try developing some election game vs trying to back-door ouster of Trump via Kangaroo court.

            1. Ex-Yankees Manager: You are not reading the words that were written. The campaign finance violations are also a Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. That conspiracy implicates The Trump Organization in addition to Trump. There’s no reason that a Limited Liability Corporation can’t be indicted while its sole proprietor is a sitting President. There’s no way that Trump can pardon his own company. If he tries to, anyhow, then Trump is toast. As for the fines, maybe Putin can cover those, as well as everything else that Putin has covered thus far.

            2. Exactly right. If it’s a prosecutable crime for one, then it should be for all, right?

              Obama’s campaign finance violations were never prosecuted – just a $375k fine and not much mention of it in the media.
              Obama’s campaign was also accused of accepting illegal foreign donations via credit card payment over the internet.

              And how about when Barack Obama offering $150k in hush money to Reverend Wright?

              “If you follow MSNBC and CNN, you would think the Michael Cohen “hush money” story is the crime of the century, with the two cable networks mentioning “impeachment” 222 times in one day.

              But back in 2008, then-candidate Barack Hussein Obama was reported to have offered his pastor, Jeremiah ‘G.D. America’ Wright, $150K to stay out of the limelight until after the election.

              And the story was, of course, ignored by most of the MSM.”

            3. And let’s look at Hillary’s money laundering “scheme”:

              “Here’s what you can’t do, which the Clinton machine appeared to do anyway. As the Supreme Court made clear in McCutcheon v. FEC, the JFC may not solicit or accept contributions to circumvent base limits, through “earmarks” and “straw men” that are ultimately excessive — there are five separate prohibitions here.

              On top of that, six-figure donations either never actually passed through state party accounts or were never actually under state party control, which adds false FEC reporting by HVF, state parties, and the DNC to the laundry list.

              Finally, as Donna Brazile and others admitted, the DNC placed the funds under the Clinton campaign’s direct control, a massive breach of campaign finance law that ties the conspiracy together.

              Democratic donors, knowing the funds would end up with Clinton’s campaign, wrote six-figure checks to influence the election — 100 times larger than allowed.”

              https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/the-anatomy-of-hillary-clintons-84-million-money-laundering-scheme/

          1. it’s hopeful and wishful thinking that the DOJ will bring justice to any major figure in the Clinton Crime Clan. but, as the song goes, “Dream on!”

    4. Bill Martin,…
      -I missed the Sunday news shows, but I did see highlights/ segments from the Adam Schiff Show.
      I think it’s a new season or series for him, but his show seems to be played on multiple networks at various times.
      For a while, it looked like the Ace Avennati Show would eclipse the number of appearances by Rep. Schiff, the more established TV fixture.
      Now that demand for Avennati has declined, and Schiff is in line to chair the House Intelligence Committee, the line-up for the next 100+ Schiff episodes in the coming months seems assured.
      As a marathon runner, Schiff is in great shape. His superb conditioning allows him to reach any camera within a c. 26 radius in a relatively short amount of time.
      So the impromptu appearances help add to his totals.
      I don’t know if Rep. Gerald “The Blob” Nadler will use his likely committee chairmanship as a springboard for his own TV show.
      He is at high risk for Natacha/ Anonymous’ fat-shaming; if a somewhat overweight Trump sets her off on cruel fat-shaming binges, what will happen after she sees “more” of the clinically obese Nadler?
      Offhand, I can’t think of any other new TV seasons for established stars like Schiff, or pilot episodes for politicians like Nadler.
      Jeff Flake will be interesting to watch to see if he kicks off a publicity blitz for a potential 2020 campaign.
      Maybe he can duplicate his popularity in Arizona😉😄 on the national stage.

  8. What is rarely stated on this blog, except by a few of us, is that there seems to be no short supply of liars, cheats, scammers, and reprobates at high levels, some of whom have lead exemplary lives earlier in their days, working for Trump. These are the sort Trump has gone to. Trump is the quintessential liar, cheater, scammer, and reprobate. If Trump cannot be nailed for directly having his hand in a crime, there should be no doubt by now that he is indirectly involved in no shortage of crimes.

    1. issac

      agree, and equally discouraging is how many intelligent? people here continue to belittle the search for truth and accountability.
      What do they have to gain by condoning Trump’s behavior? A new job?

      1. Bill

        It is discouraging but understandable. In the oligarchy that is the US system of government, polarization is the key to control. Power is exercised by pitting one side against another. Issues are rarely if ever involved. Trump has mastered this to the tune of 40+% of the population. They may have some ideas regarding how life should be lived, conservatively-what ever that means, or liberally what ever that means. However, once the side and champion have been picked, issues are not important, only defending one’s position. The oligarchs and special interests feed the voters the puppets that protect their interests. They in turn maintain a superficial stance on just about everything. Nothing has really changed from the Obama administration, nothing for the better; but for the sake of defending his power, Trump maintains that the changes have been life size, life saving, life creating, etc. You can’t do this without an endless stream of lies. It helps to have around, liars to support this dance. Some witch hunt….

        1. there is some truth in what you say but Trump actually was an exampe of a lawyer that defied the oligarchic factions of both major parties that want plentiful immigration both legal and illegal, to bring forward a strong agenda against it and be supported by a strong block of populist voters in both parties who are against it.

          he has mostly not been successful in implementing the agenda, however, and meanwhile,

          NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED!

          1. Mr. Kurtz

            One has to keep in mind that the Obama administration set the standard for immigration control: million + undesirables deported, reduction in border crossings, sent troops to the border when needed-quietly, etc. Trump has done nothing more than bellow. As for oligarchs, Trump has been pandering to big coal, big oil, big mining, big oligarchs by rolling back needed environmental regulations, denying human contribution to pollution, etc, etc, etc. All politicians are in the pockets of the special interests and oligarchs. However, Trump wears the pants. If you believe his lies and constant bombast, then he is all you say. However, when you realize that Trump invented lying-Art of The Lie-he is the fox sent to guard the chickens. The sooner we get rid of this bum, the better.

            1. Mr. Kurtz,
              – Isaac will not rest until his work is done.
              He seeks to transform what he sees as an American oligarchy into a ‘”superior” Canadian oligarchy, where 2 familes control 40% of the wealth.
              I thought he had perfected Canada before undertaking his mission to show us here in the U.S. the error of our ways.
              My confidence in him is now shattered😯!

              (😉😄😂)

  9. On August 14th, 2016, Roger Stone sent a Direct Message to Guccifer 2.0 [a.k.a. The GRU] expressing dissatisfaction with the hacked DNC analytics that Guccifer 2.0 had offered Stone. On September 20th, 2016, CrowdStrike discovered that the DNC’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud storage for its data analytics had been illegally accessed and the data analytics stolen. Mueller’s indictment of the 12 GRU officers who hacked and leaked the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails alleges that the GRU also hacked the DNC’s AWS data analytics. As such, it appears as though Stone may have directed the GRU to hack DNC data analytics more useful to Stone than the one’s that Guccifer 2.0 had originally offered Stone a month or so earlier. If it can be shown that the DNC’s hacked AWS data analytics found their way into the hands of the Trump campaign’s contractor, Cambridge Analytica, then a fair number of Trump campaign members and Trump associates, including Roger Stone, could be indicted under both the offense and defraud clauses of 18 USC 371, Conspiracy Against the United States in addition to some of them being indicted for the underlying offense of the hacking under 18 USC 1030 The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

      1. Cambridge Analytica was in contact with Wikileaks in 2016. Wikileaks was in contact with Guccifer 2.0 in 2016. Guccifer 2.0 was 6 out of the 12 GRU officers Mueller indicted for the hack of the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails. The hack of the DCCC included the hack of the AWS cloud storage for the Democratic party’s data analytics. The GRU hacked those data analytics roughly one month after Roger Stone told Guccifer 2.0 that the data analytics that Guccifer 2.0 had already shown Stone were not good enough to get the job done. So the GRU hacked the Democrats’ AWS cloud storage and got the exact sort of data analytics that Stone was looking for. Koinkidenke? If Mueller can show that the Democrats’ AWS data analytics ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, then a fair number of Trump campaign members and Trump associates will be heading for the hoosegow.

  10. It’s amazing that Mr Trump has physically survived this long, considering his long history of illegal consorting and lack of loyalty to other thugs.

    1. The answer to that is simple. In his role as the man selected by the majority of the legal voters to be the Terminator of the Socialist left he had and still has more votes.

      Popularity polls disguised as votes don’t count in Presidential elections.

      He had a good chunk of the Republican Party votes and now even more.

      He had slice of the anti Clinton Vote and now an even greater slice of of the walk aways.who will vote for him or not vote at all.

      He has the potential and very real Independent Constitutional Democrats aka Anti business as usual Pelosi/Schumer votes who at any minute can bolt the DNC and declare as ICDs or whatever name they choose.

      That alone would put Pelosi and the DNC in second place as a minority party – Again. And that faction had the very real expectation of Presidential Support for their platform which the DNC claimed to suppport having none of their own and which they immediately abandoned for business as usual.

      That puts the the ICD’s with Colin Lamb and others as leaders in the position of vote magnets to become the new “other party.”

      He had and has the original and largest voting block of 2016 which took 40% of the 30 percent or so whatever that actually voted. Based on his track record so far. Not just as terminator of the left but in positive accomplishments with the still to be done column blamed solely on the obstructionest do nothing party

      He has the spectre (to the left) of the follow on VP Pence while the left has offered nobody worth considering. which brings us to Pence’s role as tie breaker and the current situation.

      He has Pelosi cornered in a ‘has to do something but hasn’t the votes to do anything corner of her own making using non drying paint. She can if she doesn’t incite the ICD breakaway to cause her rejection as Speaker by simply leaving the DNC (takes about 25 which is her slim margin) she can maybe get something passed in the House of Representatives but CANNOT guarantee the Senate Vote. Nor reconciliation and earmarking.

      Nor can she shut down government but only slow it down and create the image of a permanent 30% cut using her political appointees from Obama as the first ones permanently sent home.

      Worse if the Senate provides a one vote approval she faces a Veto which she can’t over ride. as it taked two thirds of both houses. She can’t guarantee a 50% plus one at this point because of the ICD potential to take over by simply leaving the DNC. Nor cand she nor can Schumer provide a 2/3rds majority in each house.

      A slow down will stop nothing critical that isn’t on auto pilot or otherwise excused from having to shut down or slow down at all.

      And Trump has the abillity to win on legal votes once again

      Now as for impeachment. BFD nothing burger. All that means is IF she can muster 50% plus one is the Senate eventually (no time limit) holds a trial and that means 2/3rds of both to convict.

      The groups I mentioned in the beginning don’t really care and will only enlarge over any of her simiple minded threats and those of Schumers.

      Rock and a hard place so let’s see whst they have to offer. First up to bat is wall funding continues. Second is immigration, starting with DACA which they rejected three times already and third is medical….this time we get to read the bill before it’s voted on and there is nothing the twof them can do from their still wet painted corners.

      They haven’t got the votes and they haven’t got the power.

      They can’t stop the Clinton investigation in the Senate nor are they going to be able to stop DOJ minus it’s left over swamp creature lawyers protecting Comey’s Cronies from being ejected.

      They can’t stop much of anything except maybe a five minute time out for a potty break.

      1. Hurry, log off before the attendants discover you’re violating your internet restriction! They’ll find the meds you’ve been kyping!

        this is to “I demand to be released immediately, my good man” mikey

        1. Michael’s typing skills have greatly improved. There’s still a feint glimmer of hope for the remainder of whatever ails him.

  11. Trump made the decision to leave Cohen out to dry and this decision proved fatal for Cohen and probably, in the longer run, for Trump himself given Cohen’s insider’s knowledge of his business affairs.
    It has been clearly shown here and from the numerous WH departures that no-one can rely on Trump, as has been shown by the resignation (dismissal?) of John Kelly. Trump is incapable of standing by those who show him loyalty – it is built into his psyche – and this will bring about his demise in the long run.
    Top Trump W.H. Departures:
    Yates
    Flynn
    Walsh
    Comey
    Dubke
    Shaub
    McFarland
    Corralo
    Spicer
    Priebus
    Mooch
    Bannon
    Gorka
    Icahn
    Lotter
    Price
    Powell
    Manigault
    Dearborn
    McCabe
    Porter
    Raffel
    Hicks
    Cohn
    Tillerson
    McEntee
    McMaster
    Shulkin
    Anton
    Bossert
    Pruitt
    Short
    Haley
    Sessions
    Kelly
    Ayers

  12. Cohen never had a strategy he trusted and believed that Mueller would let him off the hook for saying whatever was wanted…

    That’s not a strategy
    That’s a jack ass

  13. Cohen’s bid for leniency wasn’t undone by Mueller but by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) which wasn’t about to be satisfied unless Cohen confessed to everything he did or knew about. Cohen is in the same boat as Manafort (and Trump) in that the cost of speaking out about mob activity is more than they are willing to pay.
    Whatever you may think of Manafort and Cohen, they do appear to love their families and aren’t ready to sacrifice them to New York and/or Russian mobsters. Trump’s history with mob families is well documented for anyone interested in looking and Cohen was with him for much of the journey. Manafort is caught up with Russian mobsters who are allegedly more vicious.
    Mueller was willing to settle for the info on Trump, the Trump Organization and the campaign. SDNY wanted more than Cohen was willing to give. We’ll see what happens when the sentence is handed down and 4-5 years is staring him in the face?

    1. Enigma,
      You are correct that Mueller was not the one pressing for a heavy sentence; from what I read, he really went to bat for Cohen at the sentencing hearing.
      I don’t know if Mueller believed in the sincerity of Cohen’s recently discovered internal moral compass, but he seemed so pleased with the goodies that Cohen allegedly delivered that he appeared to strongly advocate on Cohen”s behalf.
      Like you say, we’ll see what happens next week. I haven’t seen Cohen’s friend Felix Sater mentioned very much, but it seems certain that the Special Counsel team was very interested in interviewing Sater.

    2. And that helps Mewler how? Nothing Russian, Nothing about the non crime of collusion just some peripheral whatever that cost 35 million dollars and served only enrich Meuller and his gang of 11 Democrat supporters..Make that socialist progressive supporters. And no more Sessions Wallto protect them.

      1. I’ll go back to my original points. Without votes the left wing extremist socialists can do nothing worth talking about. Nothing Burger try Bichi Burger which is spanish for a naked meat on the plate only except in their case it’s Where’s the Beef?

        1. and that’s just the moderate independent non affiliated self governing citizen opinion … the ones’s that provided most of the anti left anti clinton anti socialist regressive in 2016. Still being ignored by the pollsters. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see that 40% climb to fifty plus in 2020 for one simple reason. You got no bun, no lettuce, no tomato, no sauce and where’s the beef? It’s a nothing bichi burger. disguised as political party with all the parts scattered and divided.

      2. Michael A.,
        Mueller has sent strong signals that, with Cohen’s testimony (and maybe tapes) , he’ll go after Trump for violation of campaign finance laws.
        Given the language of the broad power and wide discretion that Rosenstein gave Mueller, it doesn’t need to be about Russia.
        Rosenstein basically gave Mueller carte blanche to investigate one campaign’s ties to Russia, and just about “anything else” Mueller could dig up, whether related to Russia or not.
        At this point, I don’t know if Mueller is trying to tie in Cohen/ Trump to something “chargeable” relating to Russia…..Cohen has told two different stories about the negotiations for a Trump hotel in Moscow and the dates of those negotiations.
        Those negotiations themselves do not seem to be illegal, but if Mueller can catch Trump or others in a “perjury trap” about the timing of negotiations, or other aspects of testimony about the Moscow hotel deal, he’ll make as much out of that as he can.

        1. Michael A.,
          The last sentence of the 6th? paragraph in The Atlantic article I linked goes back to the wording of Rosenstein’s authorization to Mueller.
          The words “fishing expedition” are not used, but the words that Rosenstein actually did use essentially authorized one.

        2. That’s cute. Leon Jaworski was of the opinion that an indictment of a sitting president was unconstitutional, and persuaded the grand jury reviewing evidence contra the Watergate defendants to not do that. Well, that was then. Now we have Inspector Javert reviving a nonsense argument that an entrepreneurial prosecutor used against John Edwards (failing to get a conviction in the process). I think at least in that case, Edwards donors financed some of the payoff, which didn’t happen here.

          Each successive generation of the prosecutocracy is worse than the last.

      3. Haha. Read the documents yourself, don’t let hannity tell you what they say.

        this is to “I have a ‘hannity was here’ tattoo across my lower back” mikey

      4. Michael – “Nothing Russian Nothing” You obviously didn’t do well in, “Reading With Comprehension.” The unredacted portions (the parts not blacked out) have plenty of Russia all over it. The Washington Post ran an article today indicating 14 people in the Trump campaign/administration/family had communications with Russia. Almost all of whom lied about it. What would you think would be a reasonable number of people having secret communications with Russia that you later lie about, some to the FBI and/or Congress which is a crime?

        1. if we inserted say United Kingdom in the place of Russia then it would all be a big nothing, wouldn’t it? thus this comes down to a revival of Cold War 2.o plain and simple.

          1. You’d make a better case substituting Israel whose hold over Congress is absolute. It it were the UK, Trump would still be guilty of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and bad hair to name a few.
            Ask yourself which is more likely? Some new set of facts is introduced clearing Trump of all charges or almost every day new information comes out as to the depths of Trump’s criminal behavior, not to menmtion new indictments getting closer and closer to “Individual 1?”

            1. You’d make a better case substituting Israel whose hold over Congress is absolute.

              I see BDShole is now another of your sidelines.

              1. I almost forgot because the coverage only lasted a minute. Republicans in Congress actually did conspire with Netanyahu to influence the Election, having him speak before Congress close to the election. I suggested Israel because there is no appetite in Congress (including Democrats) to attack them on anything. They have spied on America and we brush it off as something friends do.
                My comments are not intended as an attack on Israel but a recognition of the total lack of will to confront them on any measure. They rate right next to the NRA, although Martina the Russian spy might rain on their parade when she changes her plea to guilty on some charges and allocates to how she used the NRA to aid Trump.

                1. OK well maybe you get my point. Or I might have said even better said China a country the Democrats have overlooked while they make a bogeyman out of smaller and weaker Russia. In part because of a lot of close political relationships and I’m not talking about Di Fi’s Chinese spy driver I mean more like major lawful donor relationships.

                  The point with respect to all this molehill into mountain magic act by Meuller, about Russia, is fundamentally flawed because they are premised on a perceived need to punish candidate Trump from diplomacy, cooperation, and communication with Russia because it is the appointed adversary. Other candidates will not miss the point: Russia not ok.

                  We did not brush off Pollard. That’s for sure. But this one is not about Israel, really, not even close. And allies do spy on each other not only adversaries and yes the consequences can and should be different and commensurate to the strategic relationship.

                  But where a candidate like Trump has a certain democratic mandate to engage in foreign policy redirection, it’s wrongful for the Establishment to force him into a more adversarial posture when that’s very contrary to the clear electoral message; and to retroactively demonize it

                  I was all in favor of greater diplomacy with Russia long before Trump and whatever supposed naughty things the Russians did with Facebook that I do not even use.

                  1. Trump’s efforts have never been about diplomacy but about money. His relationships with Saudi Arabia and Russia are far more personal in nature than America First. Those countries have propped up his golf courses and real estate ventures for years and now the bill has come due. Trump has no democratic mandate, he didn’t even win the popular vote which I only bring up to refute your claim of a mandate.

                    1. thanks i notice you are kind enough to reply but never address the substance of prior replies. why bother eh?
                      you say he never is about diplomacy, hmm, that’s a very broad statement “never” etc
                      he would make more money by far if he was …. working instead of doing the POTUS gig
                      you guys never seem to get that but hey whatever. keep on thinking whatever pleases yourself

                    2. If you had a globe and none of the countries were labeled, how many do you you think he could correctly identify? He has a long way to go before he gets to diplomacy. Effective diplomacy requires credibility, a deal with Trump is meaningless, ask the people whove done business with him, contractors he hasn’t paid including lawyers. He’s doing pretty much the same thing as POTUS as he did the last several years. He plays a lot of golf, watches tv, wakes up and tweets, and has a lot of “executive time.”

                    3. yes he won the election that is called a democratic mandate
                      the election is not decided by popular vote. back to civics class
                      if you want to change that you can elect politicians who will or you can take up the sword and force the change. …. meanwhile yes he has a democratic mandate so sorry you don’t like it. dont worry time flies soon he will be gone and on with the next thing

    3. Manafort and Cohen, they do appear to love their families and aren’t ready to sacrifice them to New York and/or Russian mobsters.

      Manafort’s business dealings were with Ukrainian politicians. Cohen’s in laws were also out of the Ukraine, not Russia.

        1. Awesome work, enigmainblack.

          I have vague memories of the abject denials of pretty much everything that happened in the 2016 election as though it were all just a hoax and a made-up story and fake news that the Trump Troupers were posting here roughly a year ago or so. Just look at how far along they’ve come. They’re no longer denying that anything happened. Instead, they’re denying that whatever happened is supposedly not a crime. In the end, they will no doubt claim that what the Trump campaign did in 2016 ought not to be a crime. But if they decriminalize Conspiracy to Defraud the United States for Trump, then they decriminalize Conspiracy to Defraud the United States for every candidate from every party for every elected office in the United States. That would almost certainly entail the extinction of The Republican Party at the national level. Methinks they’ll come around . . . eventually.

          1. That’s the advantage of investigating only one political party, especially when a Special Counsel is appointed to prosecute those associated with one party, and only one party.
            Don’t think “extinction” is in the cards, but at least it’s a way of keeping a cloud over one party/ administration for an extended and indefinate period.

          2. As more and more people admit guilt and are under indictment, depending on who you listen to the Washington Post has 14 people talking with Russia and CNN says 16. Trump’s lies about not paying off women and having no business in Russia have now become a “private transaction” and “perfectly legal.” Over a dozen people lying about Russia. Trump himself is an unindicted coconspirator and more indictments to come, And smart people on this board continue to call it a witchhunt?

            1. Had Flynn not gotten caught, had Kushner not been forced to revise his SF86 security clearance forms, had the Trump Tower meeting of June 9th, 2016, not been reported in the press on July 8th, 2017, then Congressional Republicans might not have tacked Obama’s EO sanctions against Russia onto the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of August 2nd, 2017, and there might still have been a tiny sliver of hope for the Trump Tower Moscow Project to be financed by Russian banks that Trump and Mnuchin could have “delisted” from the sanctions.

              But those banks would have had to have entered a consent decree with The U.S. Treasury Department. And Trump and Mnuchin would have had to have certified compliance with that consent decree. And both would have had to have notified Congress of that delisting of those Russian banks. But the minute the first ruble of Russian money would have been transferred to The Trump Organization, The Congressional Republicans almost certainly would have Impeached Trump for Bribery. Or not.

              As it is, Mueller will have to allege a Conspiracy to Defraud the United States against . . . The Trump Organization. Because, even though a corporation is supposedly a person, a corporation is not a sitting President. And if Trump pardons his own company . . . (is that even possible?) . . . One truly wonders what Republicans would do about that.

              1. You hav more faith in Congressional Republicans than I do. Still, as more and more evidence is presented. There is a tipping point. Hard to say what that would be though as several have been ploughed through already.

                1. Admittedly, if Trump pardoned his own or any other corporation, most Republicans would probably regard it as an act of faith. Methinks there would be much kneeling in devout reverence.

            2. “Selective fishing expedition” would be more precise.
              I’m referring to the Special Counsel investigation, not the coven investigation.

              1. Tom – Given that they aren’t supposed to look away from crimes uncovered during the course of the investigation. What crimes do you think Mueller is looking at he isn’t supposed to? Was he really supposed to refuse to look into the Trump business (from which much of the conspiracy flows) because Trump drew a red line?

              2. Enigma,..
                I don’t have the time now to list my objections to the selection of Mueller as SC, the focus of his investigations, and the length of the investigationS.
                I’ve gone over this before, but I don’t expect you or anyone else to commit all of my golden words to memory.😄
                So….I’ll do a summary.
                I don’t expect Mueller to turn away from crimes, or alleged crimes, he’s uncovered.
                Given Rosenstein’s directive to, essentially, dig up whatever he could on Trump and anyone connected with the Trump campaign, and the make-up of partisan, aggressive prosecutors Mueller selected, they was bound to find something.
                ( In some cases, the FBI and other investigators gave the SC a big headstart, a solid foundation at least, to finish building a case).
                There were numerous “unusual features” involved in the 2016 campaign; in the absence of a SC investigation of many of those, it may be that U.S. Attorney Huber and IG Horowitz will be able to fill in some of the gaps that the one-sided Mueller investigation totally ignores.
                E.G., why were strings pulled at DOJ to allow re-entry of Veselnitskaya in June 2016?
                What was the true nature her relationship with Simpson and Fusion GPS?
                I would add that the Ohrs relationships with Steele and Fusion merit close scrutiny as well.
                Who authorized the Steele/ Russian Dossier?
                We finally learned that “the Hillary Campaign” and “the DNC” paid for it; that’s like saying that “the Trump campaign” met
                with Veselnitskaya, as though the “Trump Campaign” were some sort of disembodied entity.
                I think Peter Strzok’s emails,especially in tandem with his public Congressional testimony, gives a pretty good idea of the mentality and behavior at the top levels of the FBI.
                I’ll stop listing specifics here; my view is that when you ” put everything on the table” with respect to the investigation of one campaign, to the exclusion of the other main actor(s) involved in that campaign, it’s a mistake.
                The lame “WhatAboutism” and “Hillary has already been investigated” claims are too bogus to merit a serious response.

    4. oh please you think that these socalled mobsters are more intimidating to DJT who is POTUS, more than the hostility of the combined former heads of FBI and CIA?

      then you aren’t keeping track of who is the biggest socalled “Gang” very well at all!

      the Gang he pissed off that’s coming for him, slow and steady, is the socalled “Deep State” and it makes crime gangs look feeble by comparison. those other petty gangs are far below the Deep state and function only with the Deep State’s willful tolerance

      1. Intimidating to who? The mob can do far more to Cohen, Manafort and their families than Trump can. The unknown secret is how much Congress is beholden to the mob as well or how much the press fears them?

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