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Manafort and Cohen convictions don’t change much politically

Manafort and Cohen convictions don’t change much politically

The reason none of this will hurt Trump is that it’s all baked into the cake.

#TheResistance thinks they got him.

The convictions of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are it. Trump’s gonna go.

Not so fast.

The Manafort conviction doesn’t even tangentially involve Trump or the Trump campaign in any wrongdoing. Manafort was prosecuted because he made the wrong life decision to affiliate with the Trump campaign to help manage the anticipated convention floor flight. But for that decision, Manafort never would have been targeted by prosecutors on charges previously ignored by federal investigators. That Manafort was prosecuted because he knew Trump does not implicate Trump in the wrongdoing.

The Michael Cohen plea deal is potentially more problematic. Cohen said he made the payments to buy the silence of two women with the knowledge and at the direction of a federal candidate (Trump). That contradicts Cohen prior versions. But assuming it’s provable, it’s not clear that the payments were illegal. The issue is whether they constituted unreported campaign contributions, which is not a slam dunk for prosecutors. In the plea deal the issue was not litigated – Cohen agreed to it because the prosecution had him on more serious tax and fraud charges, so adding in the campaign finance issues was at no cost to Cohen.

John Hinderaker summed it up well:

It is not illegal to pay someone to remain silent. The theory here is that the money paid to Clifford was an illegal campaign contribution. Since Cohen says he made the payment to Clifford at Trump’s direction, Mueller is trying to ensnare Trump in that “crime.” To my knowledge, there is no legal authority on whether paying a woman to keep her mouth shut constitutes a campaign contribution. It strikes me as a foolish interpretation of the law, and forcing Cohen to plead guilty to the “crime” of paying off Ms. Clifford doesn’t transform it into a crime.

The reason none of this will hurt Trump is that it’s all baked into the cake.

There isn’t much about Trump’s personality or conduct that wasn’t exposed prior to the 2016 election, including alleged Russian collusion.

People who hated Trump before still hate him. People who loved Trump before, still love him. People who care most about the economy still care most about the economy.

People who viewed the 2016 election as the Flight 93 Election also view the 2018 and 2020 elections as Flight 93 elections (and they are).

It’s August 21. This will not be a big election issue.

Donald Trump famously said that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose supporters.

We’re not even approaching that territory.

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Colonel Travis | August 21, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Yepper doodles.

    Not. A. Single. Mind. Changed.

      Anonamom in reply to Andy. | August 22, 2018 at 9:56 am

      I don’t disagree with you, but changing minds was never the objective. The Left has fired up the base by having convicted a “Trump crony,” so they’ll be baying for more heads. I fear that this will serve as justification to expand this current witch hunt and will simply further entrench the weaponization of our justice system. Given the complexities of (and contradictions within) our banking, tax, and campaign finance laws, it would be the unusual person who could completely AVOID making a mistake. Add in a politically motivated prosecutor and any person associated with a political figure disapproved by the entrenched bureaucrats can be targeted.

      Our political system is seriously out of whack, and I‘m afraid that the convictions of Manafort and Cohen will accelerate its descent.

        Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to Anonamom. | August 22, 2018 at 10:59 am

        They are starting to bring the witches to ground. There will be a lot more.

        Trump employed witches his whole life – not to skirt technicalities, but to get around legal impediments to what he wanted to do. This is about his whole career. Only someone who is willfully blind or believes the ends justify the means could claim otherwise.

        Your argument is just rationalization. At the very least, so called conservatives have abandoned any claim that they believe in the rule of law and have turned to whataboutism. There is no going back.

        Perhaps the Professor is right. Trump’s base knew he was a grifter and voted for his anyway.

          alaskabob in reply to Mighty_WHrIGHTY. | August 22, 2018 at 12:04 pm

          Just avoid calling it political revenge when cleaning out the dirt means many Dems are booted.

          MarkSmith in reply to Mighty_WHrIGHTY. | August 22, 2018 at 1:53 pm

          I think most people that voted for Trump knew that he had to have dirty connections to build hotels in NYC and Las Vegas.

          I think most people that voted for Trump knew he had women issues, come on, beauty pageant owner!

          I wish people would stop pretending that the corporate welfare Senators and Congressmen are clean.

          We wanted transparency and we are getting it with Trump. Just think about all the hush money that will be exposed because of this stupid game the Dems. are playing.

          The true bigots, racists, foreign collaborators, government fraudsters continue to be exposed and their rules applied to them. Just look at how the Nuke options has failed them on judges.

          Even Al Gore is biting his like on Global Warming.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Mighty_WHrIGHTY. | August 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          “I think most people that voted for Trump knew that he had to have dirty connections to build hotels in NYC and Las Vegas.”

          Note though that the last time that I stayed there, the Trump property in Las Vegas did not have a gaming license, and those are the ones that are hard to get. On the flip side, Steve Wynn, whom many believe was mafia funded, did get gaming licenses (apparently in his wife’s name though, at least for his namesake property).

      Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to Andy. | August 22, 2018 at 10:41 am

      Whistling past the grave yard.

Yet, the left is celebrating like it’s Christmas in August.
Kathy Griffin celebrated with a topless “dance”.

I love Trump even more….

I can’t wait for him to pardon Manafort, Flynn and anyone else these bastards have squeezed…

I want them all fired, I want them in jail

We have to win 2018 so that he can fire the traitor elf, and rosey the scumbag Then get a new AG who immediately fires Mueller

Go volunteer, talk to friends and relatives, get the vote out as if your life depends on it… because it does…

    When the hell is going to fire that quisling Sessions??

    AmandaFitz in reply to gonzotx. | August 22, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Compare the “penalty” proposed for Amran Imran, the “I.T.” aide for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for charges similar to those of Paul Manafort, and the penalty proposed for Manafort.

    The obvious takeaway is that ANYONE associated with Trump (look out, President Trump’s tailor, barber, chef, etc.) is being “investigated” by Mueller’s team and WILL be prosecuted for SOMETHING, ANYTHING!

There is still plenty of time for Cohen to compose. I would bet he is taking “music” lessons as we speak.

Too bad he didn’t have firm ties to the mob… he would be a lot quieter.

    AmandaFitz in reply to alaskabob. | August 22, 2018 at 8:17 am

    There’s something VERY fishy about the way that Lanny Davis is “representing” Cohen- doesn’t seem like legal representation to me, but more like advocacy for Mueller and the Democrats. It’s very odd.

    oldgoat36 in reply to alaskabob. | August 22, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Cohen changing his words is highly problematic, it speaks to his credibility on pretty much everything he says now.

    I smell something rotten in the works with him, I have a feeling they are dangling some immunity at him if he “cooperates”, or even if he invents stories to go with what Herr Mueller wants.

    Given the low sums, comparatively for the “hush” money paid, I also question the claims being made. Not that I don’t believe Trump would sleep around, but when someone is a billionaire, you are only getting 1 or 2 hundred grand to not tell, even though Stormy did, while not… That just doesn’t smell right either, not when another was paying out over a million in hush money for an affair.

    Mueller is in the hate Trump camp, he is also dirty in the affairs which President Hillary would have kept in the dark.

    This still looks like a sentence awaiting a crime to be manufactured to fit, rather than there being a crime committed that is being investigated. Cohen recorded things with Trump, so unless there is a tape, which doesn’t sound as bad as the one released which said so little, I doubt any normal jury would see anything to what he says as being anything other than fabrications to get himself off. The whole “I wouldn’t accept a pardon” bit by Cohen is a poor way of trying to prop up his credibility, and that would be wiped out by any deal he made with Herr Mueller.

Kathy Griffin is a pig

Doesn’t even click on their sites

Well, if he could shoot someone.. might I suggest Mueller?

People who never knew of Paul Manafort prior to now are ecstatic because he was convicted, justice served and all that. Do these people hang out in federal courthouses, praying for the convictions of defendants, so that justice can be served? Do they follow random cases so that their hearts will feel less heavy if people are convicted of the same charges? Anything that could hurt and preferably bring down Trump is all that matters. That there is justice. Hillary should have said on the campaign trail that she could have her own government server in her house and blatantly destroy evidence and she still would not lose any voters. Oh wait, that wasn’t hyperbole…

    Matt_SE in reply to willow. | August 21, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    There’s another class of people who irritate me even more: the “if he’s guilty, he must go to jail” crowd, no matter the context of his trial.

    The fact that Mueller has been on a fishing expedition doesn’t seem to occur to them, or that literally everyone is probably guilty of something.

    These people will be like lambs to the slaughter when government finally turns on them, which doesn’t seem that far away.

      Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to Matt_SE. | August 22, 2018 at 11:17 am


      Everyone is guilty of something defense.

      That explains why there are no guilty people in prison. Trump should simply open the prison gates.

      One good things comes out of this. At least no conservative will ever again give a lecture on how morality is not relative. Apparently, the new standard is that it is okay to elect a grifter if he does what you think is right.

        “Nothing new there” – Bill Clinton

          Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm

          Thanks, you made my point.

          Do I need to remind you that Clinton was never charged with anything related to ‘Whitewater’. Are you aware that Starr was packing up when the ‘Right’ unearthed a stained dress?

          In a sense Trump is lucky. I suspect that any woman who found Trump’s semen on her dress would quickly throw it out.

          Fen in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 5:08 pm

          Hardly. Your point was that this is a new thing. Mine was that people were already doing it waaay back in 1998, 20 years ago. Please try to keep up.

          Then you deflect, likely because you soon so much you’ve gone noseblind and can no longer recognize the truth – the Clinton obstruction and perjury was a violation of Paula Jones civil rights (discovery), and the blue semen stained dress was brought forth not by Republicans but by Lewinsky, a registered Democrat and Bill’s #1 fan.

          But thanks for playing. We’re sending you home with this set of steak knives.

        kenoshamarge in reply to Mighty_WHrIGHTY. | August 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        What a bunch of hyperbolic nonsense you wrong: At the very least, so called conservatives have abandoned any claim that they believe in the rule of law and have turned to whataboutism. There is no going back.

        That’s your spin and your take. Not necessarily truth or even rationality.

        I personally did not vote for Trump – have been happily surprised that he is better than I had thought or hoped and am glad every day that he, for all his flaws is in the White House instead of evil, corrupt, criminal hag Hillary.

        Some days I cheer “Good Trump” and other days I want to hit “Bad Trump” across the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.

        I often wonder these days, as a right-leaning Independent how it is that the so-called “conservatives” who spend endless hours attacking Trump and his supporters think that their behavior helps to “conserve” anything.

          Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to kenoshamarge. | August 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm

          Yes, hit him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. He is no more mischievous than an unhousebroken puppy – and as cute, too!

          He is a grifter and carnival bozo. One thing I learned about grifters is that they can’t stop. You are the mark. The rest of us are just collateral damage.

I’m surprised the professor said this.
We all know that Manafort and Cohen aren’t being prosecuted because of connections to Trump illegalities. The fear was always that they would be prosecuted FOR OTHER REASONS, then forced to invent something on Trump.

Mueller now has about 2 months to torture them into a false confession that can lead to a Trump indictment. But on second thought, he might just wait until a month AFTER the election: the voters might solve his problem for him, and even if they don’t the example of Nixon’s post-election resignation remains.

    Matt_SE in reply to Matt_SE. | August 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    P.S. Doing it after the election also deflects a bit of blame for overt politicization of the process. Doing before the election attracts those charges instead.

    txvet2 in reply to Matt_SE. | August 22, 2018 at 12:46 am

    With all of this furor over these two sleazebags, it seems that people have forgotten that Mueller has asked for yet another extension on Flynn’s sentencing. Still trying for that smoking stogie.

      Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to txvet2. | August 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

      They cannot be sleazebags. Trump only hires the best. Perhaps you meant the best sleazebags?

        alaskabob in reply to Mighty_WHrIGHTY. | August 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

        Repubs go to jail, low level Dems get offed to cover for their leaders.

          Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to alaskabob. | August 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm

          Wow, the dems are that ruthless; but they don’t have any power. Bob, something in your equation doesn’t compute.

        Trump hired a lot of people he didn’t know for the simple reason that non-members of the swamp don’t know all the players and he had to rely on the advice of others. That’s how he ended up with Sessions, Rosenstein, and Comey “in charge” of “justice”. However, neither of these particular sleazebags had or have anything to do with the administration proper, nor do they have anything at all to do with “Russian collusion”, which, to date, remains exclusively a Democrat activity.

          Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to txvet2. | August 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm

          Trump sold his soul to the Russians when no one else was in the market. The rest of you sold your souls to him for a short term gain.

          txvet2 in reply to txvet2. | August 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

          Ah, yes. When all else fails, just spout the biggest lie and pretend you’ve made a point. You haven’t.

          Barry in reply to txvet2. | August 23, 2018 at 11:00 pm

          “Trump sold his soul to the Russians”

          Commies like you sold your soul to the Russians a hundred years ago. You make up BS while hiding the plain truth, you’re a commie to the core. You love all commie dictators and desire the same here. You’re paid to spread your communist drivel, paid by a commie cabal.

“anafort was prosecuted because he made the wrong life decision to affiliate with the Trump campaign to help manage the anticipated convention floor flight.”

Exactly. Our criminal courts are now advancing political agendas with the bystanders subjected to collateral damage.

Worse, our courts know this and they allow this to happen. The woman with the blindfold now uses optics to enhance her view of justice.

    It is Sessions, single-handedly destroying the republic by protecting hillary clinton, wasserman-schultz and the rest of the swamp while the swamp attacks and intimidates any opposition.

    How’d have thought he’d be the ultimate rat?

    There’s a special place in hell for sessions, and he couldnt get there soon enough.

    Manafort was was found guilty for eight charges that should have been handled by an IRS audit. It’s a simple paperwork issue. Intent is not an issue. Were required documents filed or not? Was the information correct or not? There was nothing requiring a jury.

    Mueller over-charged Manafort with ten more charges to justify a jury trial to stir up the media with a foggy case based on the testimony of the doomed pathological liar Rick Gates, a desperate Hail Mary pass that was intercepted by the defense when they listed Gates on their witness list.

    All of these crimes were committed by Gates who was Manafort’s tax advisor. This was another embarrassing failure for Team Mueller. Now the usual kooks are out there chanting “Lock him up!” Theater of the absurd.

Please speak to the Awan plea deal today. Bank fraud. Nothing more. Bank fraud… and the judge gave him probation. Same day DOJ got convictions on Manafort for Bank Fraud and 30 years.

Democrats get away with all manner of disturbing crimes and coverups. We have two or three justice systems.

This will lead to violence. When fair people no longer believe they’ll get a fair hearing. We’re there. I’m there. If I can , for the first time in my life say, and mean it, that I do not trust the DOJ or the FBI. As in.. I do not trust them. I am not claiming or predicting I will commit violence. No. But the left is committing violence ( lock professor Antifa) and they are committing fraud and they are conspiring.. and yet… nothing.

Today’s events… the two verdicts against Trump associates… and the Awan joke of a sentence rile me to my core.

I’m so old I remember when Obama’s campaign was fined over $300000 for campaign violations.

    IIRC that was for about $2 million in improper/illegal campaign contributions. Obviously if that is your idea of an “old” situation, you are truly a young woman. 🙂

    Colonel Travis in reply to Leslie Eastman. | August 21, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Just like Hillary and the DNC failed to disclose the purpose of the funding of the Steele dossier. They called it “legal services” on the FEC report instead of “we’re looking for fake $#!% in Russia to rig my election.”

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. It doesn’t matter what the law actually says.

Mueller is going to use Cohen as an excuse to either announce a big indictment against trump in October, or he’s going to make a big speech about how he’s guilty but he can’t indict him until Congress impeaches him, and demand that they do it.

Mueller has nothing, he’s trying to goad Trump into firing him.

    inspectorudy in reply to Olinser. | August 22, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Mueller cannot indict anyone. All he can do is turn in his report to Rosenstein. It is then up to the DoJ to decide what to do next. According to Allen Dershowitz, paying someone to keep quiet is the same as funding your own campaign. It’s your money and you can do with it as you see fit if it is for your campaign. Then the mouse said, “But what about not reporting it?”. That is a fineable offense but not criminal. obama and his campaign FAILED to report millions of dollars and they were fined not charged with a crime. It is only when you give money to another person to give to someone who is running, ala Denesh Disousa, that it can be criminal. Even then it was pure payback by obama for the movie Denesh made about what a lousy POTUS he was.

Lannie Davis sold his client out. Hill and Bill’s favorite legal mouthpiece not only had his client enter a guilty plea to a non-crime and in the process attempt to imply a criminal conspiracy, but he then issued a statement which almost seemed to have been written by the DNC.

IF Mueller believed the BS about this involving criminal campaign finance violations and Trump, he’d never have let the case go to the Southern District of NY.

    The client knew what he was signing up for. Let’s not be naive.

      Edward in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Not naieve, he hired prominent Democrat Davis to negotiate with the Democrats in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and, failing negotiations, represent him before the arguable 12 Democrats (plus 2 Democrat Alternates) on the NY City Jury.

      If I ever had the bad luck to be on trial in NY City, I’d probably not be hiring a prominent Republican as my lawyer either.

      Edward in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Forgot to add that I don’t think he expected Davis to negotiate a deal where he had to sign off on a plea of Guilty to non-crimes, but in the end he decided he had no choice but agree in order to avoid trial on real criminal counts.

    Close The Fed in reply to Edward. | August 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Re: Edward: I have to agree, but what I want to know is: WHAT train of THOUGHT led to Cohen hiring Lanny Davis? I mean, in what universe, with the climate in the D.C. and around the country, do you hire Lanny Davis when the dems are gunning for Trump’s impeachment?

    Utterly baffling.

      To me, there is only one explanation:

      Cohen is guilty of crimes, unrelated to Trump. He knew he would be caught since they would scrutinize him for political reasons. So, he hired a democrat fixer that he believed would help him with the real problems in exchange for his political help.

      Seems clear.

        Tom Servo in reply to Barry. | August 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

        yeah, I agree. I don’t really understand what was going on with the NYC taxi medallions, but that entire field looks like a cesspool of corruption.

      Elzorro in reply to Close The Fed. | August 22, 2018 at 4:38 am

      Cohen is a democrat crook. That should explain it. Lanny got him as good a deal as he could get. Trump hired him to work with the democrat crooks in NYC. Now he will be disbarred? Maybe? 3 to 5? The Sessions DOJ now has all of Trumps legal records to play with. If anything is amiss they will launder the evidence somehow to make it admissible. He would of been safe if he was not Trumps lawyer.

        Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to Elzorro. | August 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

        I so much enjoy this myth that Trump was an honest man who had no choice but to get down in the muck and mire to conduct his business. For 1 thing, Trump’s limited success was tied to his facility in using corruption to his advantage.

        The 2nd thing is that many of Trump’s ventures had nothing to do with the mafia, unions or NYC politicos. Trump U comes to mind. Trump put some sheep on his 2 NJ golf courses and claimed they were farms! Was that forced by the mafia, the unions or NYC politicos?

        Why was he pissing around in Moscow if he had the US by the tail? Do you understand that the ‘Trump SoHo’ was not built by Trump and isn’t in SoHo!

        BTW, the idea that NYC is corrupt went from truth to myth many years ago. I dare you to try to pay off a cop to beat a ticket or a building inspector to fake an inspection. A few years ago there were a some corrupt elevator inspectors. They all got to live in the Big House.

          More BS from a paid commie.

          The good news – Trump must be the squeaky cleanest politician to ever hold office. The government has spent vast sums of money to try and find he missed paying a parking ticket and they come up with zero, zip, nada.

          Zero, not a damn thing. Nothing. Get it? You’re FOS.

    Ghost Rider in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 1:50 am

    I think Lanny Davis got exactly what he wanted out of this…. another media narrative to use against Trump, and another reason for his buddies to pursue impeachment against Trump. Certainly arguable whether he represented Cohen’s interests very well, but I believe he achieved his ultimate goal.

    Elzorro in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 3:46 am

    3 to 5 and he will be disbarred. Lanny also got him to plead guilty to a crime that was not even a crime in order to go after President Trump.

    Gersh204 in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Davis probably represented Cohen gratis. The media platform the case gave him and the DNC was enough payment. I should have not been surprised by his statement yesterday, but I was.

My concern, such as it is, was always about a common set of ground rules. Supposedly it is not illegal to pay someone to be silent. That is going to have to be proven. We have an assertion from many camps that paying someone to be silent in a way that benefits a candidate is illegal the instant it breaches the personal direct contribution limit. As this would appear to be news to former FEC chairmen, past presidential candidates and campaign managers, and so on and so forth, there seems to be great doubt that such payments are legal, so long as a candidate might in some way benefit.

Well? Who sorts this out, and how?

    Evidently, paying off a blackmail by your attorney is a FEC violation. And NDA’s?? Naw, totally voidable!

    Close The Fed in reply to JBourque. | August 21, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Someone posted on a prior thread that Edwards was acquitted over the payments to his mistress who bore him a child. If so, I would have thought THAT would have settled it. Seriously.

      He wasn’t acquitted. He just wasn’t retried.

      Also, that was with campaign money. Is there some new legal theory by which Trump can’t pay his own money for a legal settlement, it’s a de-facto campaign contribution even though the money goes straight from Trump to the expense? It’s clear as mud.

        Close The Fed in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 12:36 am

        JBourque, I apologize; I don’t remember the details of those allegations. I stand corrected.

        RodFC in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 2:19 am

        He was acquitted on one count. Deadlocked on the rest. They never retried. However the law has not been tested, because the jury is not supposed to make finding of laws, just finding of facts. They found the facts did not support his breaking the law he supposedly broke. So the law was not legally challenged.

    inspectorudy in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 2:46 am

    A candidate can give him/her self as much money as they want and it is not a violation. There is no law against how much a candidate can give themselves. Paying someone off is just a self-contribution and who is to say, other than the liar Cohen, that it was to pay them off? How about services rendered? This will not end in impeachment. Nor will it end with any indictments. This is just a meth high for the left and once reality sets in they will find a new “Thing” to get Trump on. It will not stop until he is out of office, in 6 more years!

      “Paying someone off is just a self-contribution…” If that were true (that the payment was made from personal funds solely to get her to shut up before the election and was a “self contribution”) then it would be a violation of the campaign finance laws because the purpose of the payment was to influence the election. As someone famously has said (repeatedly) words mean things.

        alaskabob in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

        Every thing can influence an election.

        Tom Servo in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

        Except that there are no limits on what a candidate can self contribute. There is a reporting requirement, but violation of that is subject to a $500 fine per count. Not jail time.

          $500 fine x2 ? I bet Trump owes more in parking tickets.

 hell, now I’ve done it. Mueller to subpoena Motor Vehicle Records. Parking attendant flips. Trump doomed.

          Barry in reply to Tom Servo. | August 23, 2018 at 11:11 pm

          “I bet Trump owes more in parking tickets.”

          Apparently not. With the government spending millions of dollars looking for dirt, they have nothing, not even a parking ticket unpaid.

    Edward in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 7:43 am

    As I point out below, the issue is “…in a way that benefits a candidate…”. According to lawyers knowledgeable about campaign finance statutes and regulations, benefiting the candidacy must be the only reason for the payment. It can’t even be the “primary” reason with some secondary benefit to the person as that removes it from being a even a civil violation. Needless to day the Left will dispute that, but there hasn’t been a test of the issue in court and the Left isn’t planning on a legal test, but a political test.

      Fen in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Are you certain? Someone used this example – you buy tickets to a play and while there do little photo op with supporters in the rope line. You don’t have to report that as a campaign expense. Even though they post their photos to FB and “influence” the election.

      If I buy a pair of cowboy boots for a debate in Texas because I want to look taller, influencing the election, am I required to report it as a campaign expense?

      As for a payoff to buy the silence of a mistress, how do you prove it influences the election? The pussy grabbing tape was out there, no one believed the man with a 3rd wife was holy, and they voted for him anyway.

Since we’re talking about selectively prosecuting based on political affiliation, I would like to remind everyone that the Bicycle Lock Thug got 3 years probation on 7 felony counts.

If you are Antifa, you can attack Trump supporters with lethal force mutltiple times and not spend a day in jail.

Assume usual “do we have a red line” rant in this space 😉

    Fen in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    At 5:05

    “The felony battery charges were dismissed and the allegation that he caused serious bodily injury were stricken”

Agree with OP, not much shift. If the Dems get the House, they will go after Trump on _Fill_In_Blank_Articles of Impeachment anyway.

They won’t expect the Senate to convict or remove him, they’ll just impeach anyway to weaken him and distract him from draining the swamp.

Silver lining re Cohen: I doubt Trump will be so naive about sitting down for an interview with Mueller now. This may actually spook him into evading the perjury trap.

The congress has a special fund to pay off their own sex cases on the QT.

It is not a legal campaign expense, so one can neither take any potion credit as a contribution for tax deductions, nor expend the money for a tax free purchase. The money spent by the candidate for such an expenditure must be after tax dollars.
Therefore this cannot be campaign fraud.
To be more precise, this type of expenditure is specifically outlawed as a campaign expense. Under any and all circumstances.

    That’s a problem.

    I’ve been trying to make sense of this. Is a candidate allowed to pay for a private legal settlement with campaign money? You say no. Is he allowed to pay (or reimburse with this setup) with his own personal money? The anti-Trump crusaders say no and SDNY prosecutors seem to agree, because that is “for the purpose of influencing an election”.

    Then a candidate is not permitted to enter any financial settlement at all? He is deprived of his rights in the courts? What perverse outcome is this?

      Edward in reply to JBourque. | August 22, 2018 at 7:15 am

      According to a few lawyers who either work on campaign finance law or have researched the law, the law provides it is absolutely illegal to pay such a payment out of campaign funds. Further it is illegal if the sole purpose of a payment out of personal funds is to have an impact on the election. However, the statute and regulations provide that if there is a secondary or dual purpose to the payment, then it is not a violation of campaign finance laws. Trump has made such payments in the past, before he was a candidate for any elective office. He did so to protect his personal and business “reputation”.

      Not to mention that campaign finance violations are civil issues (witness the Obama campaign having to pay $300,000.00 fine for $2 million in proven improper/illegal campaign contributions). These violations can become criminal if the government can prove the person(s) “knowingly and willfully” violated the campaign finance statute. Several lawyers knowledgeable state that the law and regulations are so convoluted that it is virtually impossible to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Edward in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 7:23 am

        Forgot to add that the purpose of this seems to be setting up a situation for a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives where the Democrats can use this as a basis for one, or more, Article(s) of Impeachment. Bringing Articles of Impeachment requires absolutely no actual criminal act, the House majority voting for any given Article get to determine what constitutes “High crimes and misdemeanors”. Impeachment and subsequent Senate Trial are political acts.

        Close The Fed in reply to Edward. | August 22, 2018 at 8:02 am

        Re: Edward’s comments on campaign finance law.

        The more complicated the law is, the easier it is to hang your political opponent at your leisure. All this caterwauling that we need campaign finance reform, etc., is merely a method for incumbents to protect themselves. If anyone thinks John McCain wanted it for some lofty reason, you’re mistaken.

Time for the Cardinal Richelieu quote ‘If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.’

Well, the economy is booming, everyone has a job. stocks soaring, what to do? Impeach the guy who led us to it. Brilliant.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Elzorro. | August 22, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Then whey would claim that the booming economy was Obama’s legacy and otherwise take credit for all that Trump has accomplished. When the economy tanked, they would claim that was Trump’s fault.

HAHA! That John Hinderaker take was perhaps the stupidest thing he’s written yet. “It’s not illegal to pay off a woman.”

Boy–LEGAL INSURRECTION buys that crap? So the pay-off went from “no” to “yes” after the pussy tape–and, hey? Don’t see anything there. This is like West World!

“No one will care about Trump’s corruption–it’s baked in!” Yeah, with Congressmen going down for various crimes, the cabinet full of graft, and apologists for Roy Moore all over the party–no, I don’t think this’ll shake anyone.

That’s not the thing to be proud of guys. Go home and re-think your life.


Re Cohen and “criminality”, Mark Levin nailed it yesterday on Hannity:

Cohen “confessed” to committing a crime that is not a crime. Cohen is now another embarrassment for Mueller who may soon be distancing himself from him. No book tour. No victory lap on the communist news networks for Cohen.

Trump needs to hire Levin ASAP.

Did Ken Starr go after Clintons’ People as Mueller is doing to Trump? I don’t recall that happening.

The IRS interferes with the election, by denying
the TEA PARTY exemptions,(liberal democrats at
work)has to pay millions(of our tax dollars) to the
Tea Party, and that is OK???? I hope more voters
are angry at this kind of “justice”, and vote the
democrats out of power, totally!

    Another Voice in reply to cloudbuster1. | August 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

    This is the time where “all politics is local” means the most.

    Trump proved this, continues to prove this, when he goes to the places which have never had a venue to have conservative voices recognized. With that energy, voters apathy was erased and all hell broke loose.

    We’re now seeing the fall out of what happens at both the local, state and national level. It worked 2 years ago and if voters continue to show up at the polls and keep their voices heard, the House and Senate will hold steady and continue to keep the country as a constitutional government preventing further erosion and allowing the progressive left socialist styled Democrats to remake America in Obama’s image.

    If you have opportunity in your own community to go door to door, make phone calls, drive voters to the polls, hand out your candidates flyers on the street..your time to stand with your convictions is NOW.

      And the first thing Trump should do in November is get rid of Jeff Sessions and get someone in to the DOJ who will do their actual job!

      But he can only do that IF Republicans hold the Senate.

buckeyeminuteman | August 22, 2018 at 11:37 am

This should serve as a warning to Trump. You lie down with dogs and you get fleas. That includes shady lawyers, campaign chairmen and porn stars. It’s not up to me to decide Manafort’s or Cohen’s guilt. But it does look bad for Trump to be engaging in business with them. That said, I’m happily voting for the most conservative candidates in 2018 and Trump in 2020.

    Another Voice in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | August 22, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    “That said, I’m happily voting for the most conservative candidates in 2018 and Trump in 2020.”

    Many times in life doors are opened to us. We either go through or stay the course.
    Taking the door opened may not be the easiest path and may be the hardest one to travel. But so often in life it turns out it very well may be the best path one can be on to get to where they need to go to get what they want or need.

    Mighty_WHrIGHTY in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | August 22, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Trump is a man who bragged about walking in on young girls in their dressing room. It is lying down with him that will give you fleas.

    By all means vote for Trump in 2020. But allow every citizen to vote as they please and don’t expect a grifter to make America great.

      “”But allow every citizen to vote as they please and don’t expect a grifter to make America great.””

      We try, but those pesky Democrats keep showing up with extra boxes of ballots in their trunks – and then of course there are all of those bright blue districts where the vote totals exceed the number of people of voting age. Now as for grifters, Trump would have to work hard to beat Hillary’s 145 million bribe for giving Russia control of 20% of our uranium reserves. Talk about collusion treason.

Those looking for Justice will never find it in the modern Social Justice Department.

I wouldn’t call it a witch hunt , American Inquisition is more like it.