Congress and Cohen Build The Case For Collateral Crimes

Below is my column in the BBC on the growing threats to President Donald Trump from allegations of collateral crimes after the testimony of Michael Cohen.

Here is the column:

“Let me… introduce myself.” 

Those words by Michael Cohen may have been the least needed portion of his testimony. He is truly a man who needs no introduction. 

What he needs is a reputation. Well, a good reputation anyway. 

Trump’s fixer was appearing less than 24 hours after being disbarred as a lawyer and a few weeks before he goes to jail for three years. 

So, let’s look at the messenger

While Cohen tried to portray himself as the redemptive sinner, few who knew Cohen bought the act. Cohen is a serial liar and thug-for-hire whose lack of legal skill was only surpassed by his lack of legal ethics. 

His testimony seemed to flail madly in every direction. He called Trump “a racist”, “a conman,” and “a cheat”. 

He was eager to recount how Trump lied about bone spurs to get out of Vietnam. He then reminded everyone that Trump attacked a real war hero, John McCain, for getting captured. He worked in how Trump got him to lie to the First Lady about his affairs.

It was riveting but largely irrelevant to the criminal allegations. 

The Republicans and the White House worked hard to establish the obvious – that Cohen is a convicted perjurer and con man. 

The evidence

Cohen is no daisy but he can still be a danger. He brought documents, including cheques signed by Trump, to bolster his claims of a pattern of criminal and dishonest practices. 

Virtually all of these allegations were far removed from the collusion allegations that led to the special counsel investigation and concerned Trump’s businesses.T

Most of the examples that Cohen gave of Trump lying about his affairs or wealth or dealings were gratuitous and immaterial to criminal charges. 

It is not a crime to lie to the public or the media. If it were, most of the members of the committee would be serving time next to Trump. 

The WikiLeaks connection

One disclosure described as a “bombshell” was Cohen recounting that he heard Trump confidante Roger Stone tell Trump over the phone that he had spoken to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that WikiLeaks was about to dump a massive number of hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton and her campaign. 

Stone and WikiLeaks deny this account. However, the real problem is the date. Cohen said that this occurred just before the Democratic National Convention. That would put the call from mid- to late July 2016. However, WikiLeaks was already known to have the emails and was publicly teasing their release at least a month before. 

Moreover, there is nothing criminal in Stone or Trump wanting to see the emails or relishing their release. Cohen’s account of Trump’s delight at the news is hardly surprising – he publicly called on the Russians to release any hacked emails. F

Additionally, Trump was not the only one seeking dirt from foreign sources. While the campaign falsely denied funding the controversial “Steele dossier”, Clinton’s campaign later admitted that it paid a former British spy to gather information on Trump from foreign sources, including Russian intelligence.

Indeed, Cohen expressly said that he had no evidence of collusion with the Russians.

The hush money

Cohen also repeated his allegation that Trump encouraged him to arrange for the payment of hush money to a Playboy model and a porn star to bury news of his affairs. 

Cohen showed up bearing cheques with Trump’s signature – signed when he was president and still denying prior knowledge of the payments. 

This could amount to a campaign finance violation, but such violations are rarely charged as criminal matters and have had mixed success in prosecutions. 

The inflated assets

Where Cohen may have caused new problems for Trump was his accounting of dishonest business practices from using his charity to pay portraits of himself for his own benefit or misrepresenting assets in communications with insurance companies and banks. 

This included a curious series of asset reports that Cohen said were given to Deutsche Bank in a move to acquire the Buffalo Bills NFL team. 

Trump’s stated value seemed to jump from $4.56bn in 2012 to $8.66bn in 2013. 

It is not clear what that asset increase was based on and whether the figures were put into any formal loan documents. However, any misrepresentation of wealth and liabilities can form the basis of bank fraud allegations. 

What is clear is that Trump is looking at a growing threat not from the special counsel’s investigation into Russian collusion, but the investigation into his business practices by the US Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

And attacking Cohen’s lack of credibility will not change bank records. 

From Cohn to Cohen

Trump has been quoted about his respect for Roy Cohn, who was the right-hand man to Joe McCarthy during the “Red Scare” period. He was widely viewed as an unethical and vile human being. He was also Trump’s lawyer. 

In March 2016, Trump reportedly asked in frustration: “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” That man would prove to be Michael Cohen who had the same sense of freedom from rules of ethics or law. 

Like Cohn, Cohen was known to threaten and bully people into submission. Like Cohn, Cohen would be disbarred for his unethical acts. 

Many believe that Cohn was the person who taught Trump to never admit fault and always counterpunch. Cohn once said: “I bring out the worst in my enemies and that’s how I get them to defeat themselves.” 

In the end, Cohn died a disbarred lawyer being pursued by the IRS for millions. Cohen is now a disbarred lawyer who is going to prison for, among other things, five counts of tax evasion. 

Of course, Trump has no need to ask “where’s my Michael Cohen” in the coming months. He will be in the federal penitentiary.

And the I-word

After the hearing in the House Oversight Committee, Democratic Chairman Elijah Cummings stated that he now believes that Trump not only committed crimes but “it appears that [Trump] did” commit crimes in office. 

If true, Trump may be not only looking at a political push for impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. 

But criminal charges after he leaves office.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and served as the last lead defence counsel in an impeachment in the US Senate

119 thoughts on “Congress and Cohen Build The Case For Collateral Crimes”

    1. I wonder if Trump answered this question from Mueller as transcribed by Jay Sekulow and leaked to The NYT:

      What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?

        1. Objection. Irrelevant. Did Trump answer the question? If so, then Trump may have committed perjury. If not, then Trump did not commit perjury on that question. The credibility of The NYT has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of whether Trump may or may not have committed perjury on that question..

          1. “The credibility of The NYT has nothing whatsoever to do with the question of whether Trump may or may not have committed perjury”

            Diane in your mind the credibility of the news media is all important as you seem to believe what they say despite the truth.

  1. Below, in which The Qatar Investment Authority claims that it had no idea that they were bailing out Kushner’s debt-ridden 666 Fifth Avenue property:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-qatar-fund-kushner-insight/qatar-revamps-investment-strategy-after-kushner-building-bailout-idUSKCN1Q00W3

    Feb 11, 2019 … When news emerged that Qatar may have unwittingly helped bail out a New York skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald …

    If QIA is “Corporation A” challenging a subpoena from Mueller before The SCOTUS, then Mueller already knows from NSA signal intelligence what bank records he’s going to get from QIA. And that means that the purpose of the subpoena is to avoid using classified information at trial.

    Trial? What trial? Yes! That is the question. Isn’t it?

    You see, Mueller has not yet finished making his prosecution and declination decisions. And that means that all of Trump’s bull-shot about waiting for Mueller’s report to be filed with AG Barr any day now, maybe even by the end this week, is just that; bull-shot. OTOH, it’s still possible that QIA is not “Corporation A.” But I wouldn’t count on it any more than I would count Mueller filing his report with Barr by the end of this week. SCOTUS decision first. Bank records second. Kushner indictment third”?” Mueller’s report fourth. Or not. What do you think?

  2. Trump in his own words at CPAC:

    “So now we’re waiting for a report, and we’ll find out … who we’re dealing with,” Trump said. “We’re waiting for a report by people that weren’t elected.”

    “You put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn’t be there, and all of a sudden, they’re trying to take you out with bull-shot, OK,” he added.

    [end excerpt]

    Waiting for a report from people who shouldn’t be there and weren’t elected who are trying to take Trump out with bull-shot all of a sudden and we’ll find out who we’re dealing with??? But he just said they shouldn’t be there, they weren’t elected and they’re trying to take him out with bull-shot. And he’s waiting for a report to find out who he’s dealing with???

    Mueller should stiff Trump on the report Trump’s waiting for and issue a subpoena for Trump’s grand jury testimony, instead, so that Trump can find out who Trump’s dealing with. Trump’s assertion of executive privilege for The President-Elect during the transition is . . . total bull-shot.

  3. Cohen will be getting out of jail about half way through Trumps 2nd term. That should be about the time when President Trump is naming RBG’s replacement. Won’t that be timely.

    1. It all depends upon how long it takes for The SCOTUS to uphold Mueller’s subpoena for Trump’s video-taped testimony to Mueller’s grand jury. It is inevitable. But Trump could drag it out for the remainder of his one and only term in office.

  4. When politicians devote time and resources toward attacking President Trump they are not as often attacking the American Public. So at least in that respect there exists some benefit in their fool’s errands.

      1. Mr. Smith can’t tell the difference anymore between attacking Trump versus attacking the American Public. Evidently, Trump IS the American Public so far as Mr. Smith is concerned. It’s almost sort of the exact opposite of Mr. Smith’s routine advice to stop investing so much of ourselves in the political fortunes of mere politicians. Except that, Trump, apparently, might not be a politician in Mr. Smith’s view, either.

  5. NOW WE KNOW WHY TRUMP WON’T SHOW HIS TAXES

    Trump was either worth less than he claimed. Or Trump shifted numbers in such a way as to look poorer than he was for purposes of ‘taxable income’. Either way, Trump had good reason to keep his taxes secret.

    Had Trump’s income looked small, his ability to borrow might have been diminished. That could have been a problem had he lost the election.

    Cohen’s testimony regarding the shifting of assets validates those Democrats who want to see Trump’s taxes. Those tax returns could be very illuminating.

    1. PETER IGNORANT HOW BANKS LOAN MONEY

      “Had Trump’s income looked small, his ability to borrow might have been diminished.”

      Peter Shill, banks can ask for one’s IRS forms and a lot of other things when providing a loan. Do you have any idea of what you are talking about?

      1. Alan, if Trump can show his taxes to banks, then surely the people can see them. There shouldn’t be any secret.

        1. “Alan, if Trump can show his taxes to banks, then surely the people can see them. There shouldn’t be any secret.”

          Peter you show your weenie to your girlfriend, does that entitle everyone to a look?

          Banks have their own methods of figuring out to whom and what to loan. The loan process is based on risk assessment. The higher the risk the higher the interest payments and the more security.

          If person X owns a building valued at $10M and permits person Y to use the building as collateral for a $1M loan the bank will not be too concerned about how much money Y earns or how much wealth Y has accumulated.

    2. most major real estate development loans are non-recourse. this should not really matter.

      1. Kurtz I wish I thought of saying that. Trump liked to hedge his bets and liked to offset any personal risk even though it cost him equity.

          1. “He especially loved not paying the little guys.”

            Anon, that is what you say, but without proof. I’m sure there are those that he has held back money on, but did they complete the contract as stated? You don’t know and neither do I. One thing we both know is that people work for Trump so they must consider it a good deal for themselves and even some people that had a major dispute with Trump did business with him again.

              1. Anon, you are in construction. Then you know that frequently corners are cut and people shouldn’t be paid for those cut corners. When good business people carefully watch what is being built they have to monitor every aspect to make sure less expensive material isn’t being used and those doing the construction live up to the deal. They frequently don’t and that is why there are holdbacks and the like which is what Trump likely held back.

                Construction people have lawyers as well and they sign onto contracts and can sometimes have their legal fees paid by the other side. You have been in construction so you know you have been burned and have burned others. It is a two way street where both parties have to be aware. Can’t blame Trump for living in that world. Can’t blame you either.

                1. Small time subs – the kind Trump preyed on – do not have lawyers. Quality control is done through the honesty of the subs and on-site supervisors representing the owner, and including architects who are sworn to fairness by their professional code. If you are at the end of the project and you think materials were substituted, you make them change the work. Trump has a habit of not paying or beating down small guys to take nickels on the dollar. LOOK IT UP!

                  Sorry, but I do not burn anyone. You are ignoring Trump’s record and you don’t know what you are talking about.

                  1. “Small time subs – the kind Trump preyed on”

                    Anon, you are so full of bull. You don’t know which party screwed the other and nor do I, but you will pretend you have knowledge that you don’t because that is your nature. Small time subs don’t work directly for Trump on large buildings.

                    I understand there have been some complaints by some subs at Mar a Lago. I don’t know who is responsible but a lot of work in Florida is shoddy. Maybe you expect to be paid for shoddy work but I wouldn’t pay for it and apparently neither does Trump. A lot of work is over billed. You might expect that type of bill to be paid but I wouldn’t.

                    The funny thing is that people still work for him. Why? Apparently they believe that despite what you wish to claim they are better off working for him than not. Based on how you think if I hired you for a large project I would have you initial every line of the contract and provide an extensive penalty clause for delays or shoddy work due to you not complying with the contract.

                    1. Allan’s only response is insults and then complains when he gets them back.

                      No, Florida has one of, if not the toughest codes in the nation as well as one of if not the toughest licensing requirements in the nation. You don’t get a license without passing rigorous testing, including financial responsibility requirements and work is done at a high level or it fails. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE F…. YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, except defending the cheat and liar who conned you.

                      As I explained to Allan the easy mark, the way it’s done is non-conforming work – all projects have specifications and appropriate codes governing work and oversight during construction. If work is not satisfactory, you require it to be changed, you don’t later pretend it’s an excuse for non-payment. Do you think you can get away with not paying your bill at a stay in Trump Washington because the mattress wasn’t firm enough? Are you crazy?

                      As to me, I’ve been doing this for 30+ years and never been sued. I work for people with money and have been taken by jerk-offs like Trump twice. They were wealthy and new that being in debt to you is power, not weakness. The middle class people hate to be in debt and think owing money means they are in trouble. The wealthy know the opposite is true and know how to use it to get their way. You think it’s an accident that Trump calls himself “the king of debt”?

                      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

                    2. “No, Florida has one of, if not the toughest codes in the nation as well as one of if not the toughest licensing requirements in the nation.”

                      It sounds like you work in Florida and are defending shoddyness, but you could also just be running your mouth and not know diddly-sh1t. Compare NY to Fl regulations. Those are the two major places Trump resides. But it appears you want to run away from your statement “Small time subs – the kind Trump preyed on”. I have news for you. Small time subs don’t work directly for Trump on large buildings or are you going to tell me he pays each one individually? I am waiting.

                      You can say what you want about Florida licensing but like everything you say your word has to be questioned because you never deal with the facts or provide proof. Being a contractor in Florida isn’t a big deal. You are claiming expertise “As to me, I’ve been doing this for 30+ years and never been sued.” but to be honest I don’t believe you have the expertise you think you have though I believe the 30+ years. People don’t generally sue for lousy work, but you are demonstrating that you are involved in small bit parts. Trump builds skyscrapers and if you were working there you would working for one of the other contractors and paid by them not by Trump.

                      You can quote all the hit pieces you want, but when we start to add up the anecdotes and match them to hundreds of projects suddenly a few complaints that will always be heard become relatively meaningless. In fact why not focus on just one of his skyscrapers in NY and show us all the suits and complaints. At the same time list the thousands of people involved in that one job along with so many that were satisfied that they worked for Trump again. You are just used to people paying for shoddy work.

                    3. Anon, you are correct, I know nothing about you except what you have told me about your 30+ years in construction where you think you learned everything there is to know. The truth of the matter is that you are a small fish and what you know about Trump comes from hit pieces on the net.You have these fantasies that in building a skyscraper Trump would hire you and pay you directly along with thousands of others to build that skyscraper. Your fantassy continues that he would nickel and dime you when in fact you would be paid by a company he hired, not by him directly.

                      All you can do is repeat your mantra “Trump is liar and cheat,”, but when asked to take any one of his skyscrapers where thousnds are employed and actually demonstrate your claim you really can’t do it. Why? Because in every large adventure of that nature where thousands are employed you will always come up with a few that complain even if it wasn’t his fault.The fact is that trades people don’t return to work for a business that doesn’t pay its bills. Tradespeople work with the assumption that they will be better off. If your fantassy was true and Trump didn’t pay, no one would work for him, but as we see whenever he built a skyscraper in NY there was a full crew. That tells us you are fabricating what you say because your political beliefs tell you that anyone not marching to the tune of the Democratic Party is a liar and a cheat. That represents a small mind, but that is something blantantly obvious.

                    4. Allan can have the last word on this one, I can’t argue with somebody who makes s..t up about anything, but especially.me. Let’s at least wait for Turley to do an article about me in The Hill.

                    5. Anon, it seems you can’t make up your mind about continuing the discussion. Apparently when you run out of your so called proof that never existed in the first place you figure that is the time to end the discussion. After your proof is debunked what else can you do? Then if you can dig up something else to say you do so.

                      “As a matter of fact, there is always another small timer who hasn’t learned they might be trusting someone who doesn’t deserve that trust.”

                      Another ridiculous statement by a small mind that doesn’t deserve the attention he gets. He also doesn’t get the point. Trump doesn’t hire thousands of small timers to build a skyscraper. He hires large companies that pay the men. This isn’t a one time thing as Trump has built many properties.

                    6. Sorry, but PS. The article I posted references small timers who were screwed by Trump. As a matter of fact, there is always another small timer who hasn’t learned they might be trusting someone who doesn’t deserve that trust.

                      Allan is a perfect example of this principle.

        1. what you said was equally relevant especially the weenie thing.

          we see the Democrats whining about Trump often in a way that shows general ignorance about business. For example, they generally refer to his bankruptcies, when, actually, “his” bankruptcies, were bks of business entities he was connected to, not his own personal bks.

          Here that topic is explained

          https://www.thesimpledollar.com/donald-trump-bankruptcies-corporate-and-personal-debt/

          yes, in bankruptcies unsecured creditors get screwed. i am a worker too and have had my own hard work squashed down in bks. it stinks that banks always get first dibs but we would have no banks and no capitalism without “secured lending.”

          hence, it’s a necessary evil. sorry folks, it’s like complaining about rain,. it’s necessary to make the crops grow!

  6. JT stated, “What he needs is a reputation. Well, a good reputation anyway.”

    The FBI uses snitches who have information….Period…In exchange for a deal

    NEW YORK MOB HIT MAN SAMMY “THE BULL” GRAVANO RELEASED FROM ARIZONA PRISON
    JOHN GOTTI’S UNDERBOSS, WHO TURNED GOVERNMENT WITNESS, CONFESSED TO 19 MURDERS.

    Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, once John Gotti’s loyal underboss until he flipped and joined the feds. Gravano, who once said he was inspired to a life of Mob crime after seeing The Godfather, served as the Gambino family’s brutal bite to Gotti’s bark. Though an eighth-grade dropout, he made millions in the mobbed-up construction businesses of New York City. He was among the plotters when Gotti decided to murder then-boss “Big Paul” Castellano in December 1985 – and was seated alongside Gotti when the hit went down.

    1. Sammy said Gotti broke a rule in hitting a boss, so he broke a rule too, in snitching on him.

      Sammy had a point. I bet a clever lawyer gave him that idea. Whose lawyer, who knows?

  7. Anyone who believes the Democrats didn’t schedule Cohen’s testimony to undermine Trump’s talks with Kim is dumber than a box of rocks. The timing also demonstrates that Cummings is exactly what Marc Lamont Hill called MLK III and Jim Brown.

    1. If in U.S., tRump would have staged some fake emergency to gobble up media coverage, so yea. It is the big leagues and dems have some bats.

    2. The talks had no chance and everyone smarter than a box of rocks knew it. Trump’s own appointed intelligence heads told him, so what’s his excuse?

  8. Any payment to Cohen AFTER the campaign would not be a campaign finace law violation – atleast not by Trump.

    Nor would it be a campaign finance law violation if the payment was made by Trump not the campaign.

    And in fact every former FEC head has said recently and in the past that it would not be a campaign finance law violation if it was paid for from the campaign.

    If you do not like the law change it.

    1. The service for which the expenditure was made was provided during the campaign for the purpose of electioneering communications during a US election. There are rules for corporate expenditures during campaigns that hinge largely upon the tax filing status of the corporation making the campaign expenditure. If Trump wasn’t such cheapo, skin-flint, tight-wad, he probably would be free and clear of any criminal intent. But since Trump used the Trump Organization to make that campaign expenditure; Trump has unnecessarily laid his own corporation bare to a criminal charge of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. And Trump’s ham-fisted effort retroactively to “rebrand” that corporate campaign expenditure as a monthly retainer for legal fees has already been roundly rejected by the same U. S. Court that accepted Cohen’s guilty plea to the campaign finance violation on the grounds that no such monthly retainer agreement existed at the time nor came into existence later.

      BTW, that was one of the material facts to which Cohen brought the attention of Congress to bolster Cohen’s testimonial claim that Trump is a con man and a cheat.

      1. Correction: Because Trump used the Trump Organization to reimburse Cohen, therefore it was not a campaign expenditure, but an illegal campaign contribution. Unless there’s a loophole in the tax filing status that the Trump Organization uses. Then it might be a legal campaign contribution. But I doubt it. Because that would’ve let Cohen off the hook for that contribution, too. Whereas, Cohen’s going to be going to jail soon for three years because of that illegal campaign contribution.

        1. ” Cohen’s going to be going to jail soon for three years because of that illegal campaign contribution.”

          Cohen is going to jail for a lot of reasons and will be serving a lot less time than he should. Lying about the supposed “campaign contribution” would be his crime not the transfer of money which was totally legal. It didn’t come from campaign funds.

  9. Financial fraud requires an actual harm to someone.

    On financial representations that are of consequnce banks and insurance companies do their own due dilligence.

    I have had to provide banks and insujrance companies with financials for a wide variety of purposes – for those that matter – I could not get away with misrepresenting them – the institutions involved were going to be able to check. And my business was far smaller than Trump’s.

    There are other times when there was room for exageration – When I am providing a list of clients and projects to a new prosepect, I am not going to be conservative in any of my estimates.

    This is not fraud. The client is harmed if I can not deliver, not if the scope of my last two projects turned out to be smaller than reported.

    Actual fraud of consequence nearly always results in a failure and lawsuit.

    If I lie to a bank or insurance company about my assets, the VICTIM will be ME.
    If I can not pay the premiums or loan payments – I LOSE. If something goes wrong and I need the insurance I will be found out and the insurance company will refuse to pay.

    Banks and insurance companies do their due diligence – when THEY are going to be harmed for your Fraud, more rarely when YOU are.

    Nothing Cohen said – if true is actual evidence of a crime. Details will matter, and the details nearly certainly will assure this is NOT a crime.

    We are all far to easily convinced by allegations of fraud in areas we are unfamiliar with.

    Every misrepresentation or exageration is NOT fraud.

    1. Some of us (not all of us) just some of us are far too easily convinced that the representations that one makes to a bank or an insurance company do not have to be same as the representations that one makes to The Internal Revenue Service or to the State of New York. As though the State of New York and the IRS were somehow forbidden from asking banks and insurance companies any questions at all about the representations that one had made to those banks or insurance companies. And then there’s the rest of us who realize the former amongst us are only far too easily convinced of the foregoing phantasms whilst posting blustery comments on a blawg.

  10. Can there be any form of life lower than an informer? Cohen is a piece of human refuse, waiting to be carted away – a little nobody with not a very good education or background.

    Clearly, Trump exercised neither taste nor reason when he retained this lying, thieving animal.

    1. Personally I thought Cohen’s testimony went well for Trump.

      The most harmful thing that Cohen said regarding Trump was “I was hired by Donald Trump”

      That is pretty much it.

      1. Self-evidently, you had your mind made up to think exactly what you’d already decided to think before you went ahead on actually thought it.

  11. “However, any misrepresentation of wealth and liabilities”

    I own x property and I think it is worth y dollars certainly isn’t misrepresentation

    (Roy Cohn) “He was also Trump’s lawyer.”

    Roy Cohn was godfather to RFK’s first child.

    “Cummings stated that he now believes”

    Should anyone believe Cummings?

    1. What we are learning is that some very smart people are entirely clueless about business.

      All misresprentations are not fraud. Turley should no better.

      Actual financial fraud requires and actual harm. Multi-billion dollar institutions that have actually been harmed tend not to require help from Congress or DOJ to protect themselves.

      Everyone would be wise to remember that for something to be a crime – there is supposed to be real harm.

      If you can not find an harm – there is not likely a crime.

      1. The Statue of Liberty never tires of committing scope fallacies. Check this one out: “All misresprentations are not fraud.” Listen up, Tiara Boy. The sentence that you were looking for there goes “Some misrepresentations are not fraud.” For instance, your own misrepresentations are not fraud. They’re just idiosyncrasies.

    2. The Abstract Theorist said, “I own x property and I think it is worth y dollars certainly isn’t misrepresentation.”

      Did you make that representation on your local, State or federal taxes in just such a way as to be consistent with that same representation that you also made to your bank and your insurance company?

      But, but, but . . . There’s exactly one and only one representation at a time. Not two, not three, not four nor more different representations. Keep your eye on the painted lady. Now you see her. Now you don’t. Oops. Where’d she go? Nothing up the Abstract Theorist’s sleeve. Then check the palm of your hand, Abstract Theorist. Come on, now. Let’s see it. If we have to turn you upside down and shake it loose from up out of wherever you stashed it.

      1. “Did you make that representation on your local, State or federal taxes ”

        Diane, I know this subject is way to difficult for you and goes over your head. The tax forms ask for specific answers and not a valuation which is quite variable. Is that so difficult to understand? The bank can request all sorts of information before providing a loan including your IRS forms which don’t provide that much information.

    3. No, I think Joe McCarthy was a godfather. McCarthy was represented by Roy Cohn. Roy Cohn and RFK had a dispute when RFK was on his staff and RFK quit. I have seen some internet writings that confuse this godfather issue through imprecise grammer.

      But McCarthy was Irish Catholic like the Kennedys. Roy Cohn was Jewish. Roy would not have been a godfather for that reason alone. For a while the Kennedys were tight with McCarthy. but not Cohn, I think, on the contrary.

      1. “No, I think Joe McCarthy was a godfather. ”

        You are totally right Kurtz, I had a brain freeze. Thanks.

        1. it’s a very interesting set of details, the social connections between Joe McCarthy and the Kennedys……. in the old days, anti-communism was important in the Democrat party. In the Post Soviet era, it seems like sometimes, the opposite.

          1. Yes, in the old times Democrats were more true to themselves but today one can’t tell. Just look at the Green Deal that Democrats have flocked to, many of them knowing it is BS. Though McCarthy wasn’t the nicest guy he was basically correct and frequently gets blamed for a lot of things he had nothing to do with.

  12. Change the names of Trump’s antagonists from Dems to Russians and, given the same level of insanity, outright maliciousness and obstruction of American interests, we’d be storming Moscow at dawn. As it is, we write these homegrown (mostly) fools off as misguided opposition. Maybe we ought to rethink our position.

    1. mespo…..I still have a “Kill a Commie for Mommie” T-shirt that I bought in ’68.
      I’ll dust it off for the Moscow Campaign.
      We ride at daybreak, y’all!

      1. I’ve got one of Nixon entitled “tanned, rested and ready.” Sounds like a uniform to me.

    2. Well go invade Russia then, just like Napoleon did. Try to avoid the Pripet marshes, though. And try to be through with Putin before Winter. We will patiently await your return with as many yellow ribbons as we can keep safe from the depredations of squirrels.

      1. L4D:

        The Mujahideen did pretty well against their Red Menace but I get the point. Let’s then do a warm up against the fifth column we have right at home. Good thoughts.

        1. Touche, Counselor. A healthy dose of my own medicine administered with the exact same excessively literal spirit in which I doled it out. Bad vibrations.

    3. I agree. They are intentional saboteurs of American security. They are promoting invasion by illegal immigrants anticipating that the future Democrat wins will be easy, and the native population thus more easily plundered. They are a pack of thieves, essentially, clever ones.

      The way to deal with a pack of thieves, is by equal cleverness, and superior organization and force. Force is the last element however, it starts with cleverness and organization. Otherwise the force is probably not going to work anyhow.

      1. Trump, Kushner, Flynn and whole bunch of Republicans have plans to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia without requiring Saudi Arabia to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Saudi Arabia fully intends to refine its own nuclear fuel. That will also allow them to refine weapons grade plutonium.

        As I’m sure you know, 15 out of the 19 September Eleventh terrorists were citizens of Saudi Arabia. And Trump wants to enable The Saudis become a nuclear power because Westinghouse, who makes the nuclear reactors, also invested in the company that bailed out Kushner’s albatross property 666 Fifth Avenue.

        Meanwhile, Matlock agreed with Mespo that, “‘They’ [Dems] are intentional saboteurs of American security.” Evidently, Matlock and Mespo believe that Trump selling the foreign policy of the United States to foreign potentates for personal, financial gain is something else other than the “intentional sabotage of American security.” But what else besides intentional sabotage might bribery, graft and official corruption be?

        D’oh! Of course, selling the vital national security interests of the United States of America for personal, financial gain IS the vital national security interest of America, according to Matlock and Mespo.

  13. The Democrats have no candidate who can beat the President in 2020. These attacks will continue until he leaves on the completion of his second term in office. The Democrats are a lost political organization and have hit rock bottom.

    1. Oh Great One:
      “The Democrats are a lost political organization and have hit rock bottom.”
      ****************************
      Dems are the new “Dr. No” of the political set. Much like the Repubs incessant attacks on Obama without any accomplishments to show for it, it’s ultimately a self-defeating strategy. Trump will win another term like Obama won and will usher in a new political paradigm. Carry on.

      1. There are differences – Republicans opposed destructive policies of Obama, and Obama presided over an anemic economy that left us all worse than we should be. Deomcrats just oppose anything that Trump supports without any thought.

        And Though Trump exagerates the gains in our econmy it is still inarguably 50% better than it was under Obama.

  14. As with every criminal racket, those offering evidence against Trump from the inside will perforce be convicted criminals. This President has operated for so long within such a tiny bubble of fixers, henchmen and yes-men that the only people who CAN offer evidence against him are convicted criminals. Rather than fall upon their fainting couches and reach for the smelling salts at the thought of having to listen to the testimony of convicted criminals, Republicans ought to ask themselves how and why this President wound up with so many liars and criminals in his employ.

    1. That argument can be made equally about people who are innocent.

      Only a few have attacked Cohen specifically because he is a convicted liar.
      I think Jordan was wrong to go after Cohen as he did – not because what he was saying was wrong, but because it was self evident

      And because the only damage Cohen did was character assassination – which democrats may confuse with evidence but it is not.
      For the most part Cohen refuted the majority of charges against Trump.

      The greatest damage Cohen does is saying that he worked for Trump for a decade.

      1. What you call character assassination, prosecutors call testimony about a defendant’s state of mind going to that defendant’s motive and intent, which are held to elements of a crime.

        If Trump would agree to answer Mueller’s questions (all of them–not just the one’s about events prior to Trump becoming President Elect) then Mueller could finish up with prosecution and declination decisions vis-a-vis Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr. and a few other loose-end figures and file his confidential report with AG Barr.

        Otherwise, Mueller will have little choice but to subpoena Trump’s video-taped testimony before Mueller’s grand jury. And that could drag things out for quite some time–possibly the remainder of Trump’s one and only term of office.

  15. As a neighbor that used to live in New York city said – there is a reason less than 10% of the voters voted for trump – they knew how sleazy he was – they also could not believe anyone voted for trump – as for looking at Clinton’s and Obama – the repubs had a continuous investigation of some sort of joke – how soon some people forget – remember trumps constant complaints when Obama went golfing? and now seems to me trump has been on the course more in two years than Obama in 8 years – so where is the outrage now??

    1. As a neighbor that used to live in New York city said – there is a reason less than 10% of the voters voted for trump –

      Trump won 18% of the vote in the Five Boroughs of the City of New York. The shares for other Republican candidates have been as follows:

      Romney: 15.4%
      McCain: 20.0%
      Bush (2004): 24%
      Bush (2000): 18.2%
      Dole: 16.7%

      To anyone remotely familiar with the political culture of New York City (home of Shelly Siver), the notion that the voters therein have an allergy to sleaze sounds unreal.

      1. I’ll see your Shelly Siver and raise you one Dennis Hastert. Your game is pretty easy Princess.

        1. Your game is pretty easy Princess.

          First you have to understand what I’m saying, and it went over your adolescent head.

          1. You rebutted captnmike’s comment by showing that New Yorkers don’t vote for any Republicans.

            YNOT rebutted your rebuttal by noting that sleazy characters like Trump are hardly confined to New York City or to The Democratic Party.

            Now who the blazes is Shelly Silver, anyhow? A sleazy New York Democrat?

            1. There are two “Shelly” Silvers, only one of whom is named Shelly Silver and the other, Sheldon Silver. The second Shelly Silver is the sleazy New York Democrat and a man. The first Shelly Silver is an artist and a woman who uses fictional and documentary film to explore issues of cultural identity. OMG. You’ve literally “overwritten” the woman.

  16. Ahhhh yes wretched child, have your tantrum if you are that hysterical, nasty Alma, but first we must hang all the Republican’t politicians, for they have proven themselves to be nothing but Traitors of the first water…..

    1. Alma is Pavlovian. And she’s hardly the only one around here with that particular conditioned reflex.

  17. Have you ever seen a crime committed by Mueller, Clinton or Obama that JT doesn’t choose to ignore?

  18. I wish to God that all of these who are so concerned about the letter of the law would have turned that spotlight on the clintons and the obama administration with such diligence. One can surely smell far worse emanating from all areas of the swamp and to be so consumed now, at this time while 2009-2016 seemed to go totally un-noticed reeks of hypocrisy at the least.

    If we are going to dig deep for crimes of any nature let us start with the clintons, at least.

    1. Like every Republican on the House Oversight Committee, not a word in defense of Trump or suggestion of actual innocence. Just find someone else to attack.

      1. Are you still driving your black friends and relatives to get their abortions, to push the black abortion rate ever higher above the current measly 45% rate?

        1. Enigma, see what Princess wrote?

          Her comment essentially amounts to hate speech, pure and simple.

          And we’re supposed to feel guilty about that conservative getting punched in Berkeley?

          Every day on this blog one can see hate speech from loyal Trump supporters. No comment of their’s can be too mean when it comes to ‘baby killers’.

          1. “Every day on this blog one can see hate speech from loyal Trump supporters.”
            ******************
            Let’s define terms: “Hate speech” is what you call commentary you don’t like and don’t have the intellectual candle power to refute. This debate crutch is used as an epithet by all manner of condescending twerps like faux oppressed undergraduates, folks who want to nanny adults, race hoaxsters and Peter H. It has great currency in never-never lands like college campuses, pussy-hat rallies and Democratic Party conventions but no where else. There is no prohibition against it in this country though some petty tryrants try to make you believe offending someone is tantamount to a criminal offense. Thankfully, it’s not and is in fact constitutional protected.

            1. Mespo, if you think Princess’ comments are appropriate, then you’re part of the problem. Enigma wrote nothing to deserve such a viscous reply.

              1. Peter, you and Enigma have written terribly viscous falsehoods. Heck, Enigma called Trump a racist for a non-incident that happened about 2 decades before Trump was born.

                1. Mr. H is one of the most gentlemanly commenters on Res Ipsa Loquitur.

                  Enigmainblack is the finest role model for keeping one’s cool under fire that this blawg could ever hope to have.

                  And then there’s . . . FUBARAllan and Her Highness, The Cartoon Princess.

                  You’re really jonesing heavily for Squeeky, now. Aren’t you Sluggo?

                  1. i am glad diverse people I don’t agree with, come here to dialogue,
                    such as Peter and Enigma.
                    I would be sad if they quit! I look forward to our chats.

                    I don’t feel quite the same about some others.

                  2. Diane, you are a Stalinist so of course those that slander and libel others are right up your alley.

                    1. FUBARAllan said, “. . . Stalinist . . . slander and libel . . .”

                      Post it sideways up your alley, Sluggo.

                    2. “Post it sideways up your alley,”

                      Place what you say anywhere in any direction Diane, and it always veers hard Stalinist left.

              2. Peter H:

                I don’t think they’re appropriate — though they do point up the racism behind the “abortion question.” I just think they’re protected and I have the right to take them or leave them without castigating her with weak name-calling. Enigma doesn’t need my help to defend himself.

                1. I’m more and more pro abort all the time. Took me a while to figure it out.

                  Margaret Sanger nailed it in 1921

                  “the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.””

                  Exactly!

          2. PETER ADVOCATES VIOLENCE AGAINST CONSERVATIVES

            Someone said something Peter didn’t like so immediately he called it hate speech and believes that is a reason any conservative can be assaulted at any time and any place.

            Doesn’t he sound like a brownshirt?

      2. I heard some defense – but that is not relevant.

        The purpose of legislative committees is investigating for legislation or investigation for government oversight.

        There was ZIPO, NADA related to that in this hearing.

        All I heard was Cohen deny anything that was the actual business of congress and engage in character assassination regarding things that were none of congresses business.

        It is not Democrats job to attack Trump, nor republicans to defend him.

        The comittee is there to find truth in areas that are actually congresses business.

        I heard none of that.

        1. The Crowned Equivocator chuffered, “The purpose of legislative committees is investigating for government oversight. It is not Democrats job to attack Trump.”

          And yet, by your own admission, it is the job of Democrats to investigate Trump for the purpose of government oversight. Because all the Republicans did with that same committee was to attack the FBI, the DoJ and the Russia investigation for two straight years.

          Oh! But that’s what you really meant by government oversight. Isn’t it? Investigating the investigators is government oversight. Investigating Trump is “attacking” Trump. Not investigating Trump for the purpose of government oversight.

          Thou art preposterous. Get a looser fitting tiara, already, Crowned Equivocator.

        2. dhlii – There were some lines of inquiry that needn’t have been pursued. I wasn’t able to watch it all and can’t say how much time was spent in each area. Cohen seemed intent on portraying Trump as a racist. I don’t know how much time committee members spent on that but it would have been a complete waste of time. Not that I don’t have an opinion on that subject, but that hearing wasn’t the place.
          now the allegations that the President is a tax cheat and committed insurance fraud, campaign finance violations, money laundering, and pursuing his financial interests which are opposed to those of the nation. For every thing that was none of their business, there were a dozen that are.

        3. Mob rule, masquerading as a professional inquiry, because the scope of the Mueller probe was “too narrow”..piffle.

    2. The left is not concerned with the letter of the law.

      Following the law carefully leaves Clinton and Obama and their ilk Guilty and Trump innocent.

      The left is only concerned about magic law – the law where anything your political enemies do is wrong and when you do the same it is good.

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