[The Hill] The decision of President Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to plead guilty to multiple fraud charges and campaign finance law violations reportedly came after a conversation he had with his father earlier this year, who said he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name "sullied" by Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that a person familiar with the conversation said the exchange prompted Cohen, who once said he would "take a bullet" for the president, to break with Trump.
Maurice Cohen, a Polish Holocaust survivor, reportedly urged his son not to protect Trump and said that he did not survive the Holocaust to have his name "sullied" by the president, a person familiar with the conversation told the Journal.
Trump first said Michael Cohen was no longer his lawyer on June 15, telling reporters he hadn't spoken to Cohen "in a long time."
On June 20, Michael Cohen resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, tweeting his first public criticism of Trump, which referenced his father, the Journal notes.
[National Review] Analyzing the guilty plea of Trump’s onetime personal lawyer and the conviction of his former campaign chairman.
Who would have thought that the conviction of his former campaign manager would be the good news for President Trump yesterday?
From a political standpoint, the guilty plea of the president’s lawyer Michael Cohen is the more damaging news. Cohen pled guilty to eight felonies. While the five counts of failure to pay taxes on over $4 million in income are the most consequential to him, most significant to the country are two counts of illegal "in kind" campaign contributions. These, of course, involve $280,000 in hush-money payments made prior to the 2016 election to two women who claim to have had sexual liaisons with Donald Trump, many years before. In entering his guilty plea in Manhattan federal court (the Southern District of New York), Cohen acknowledged that he was directed to make the payments by Donald Trump ‐ referred to as "the candidate."
Let’s split some legal hairs. The media narrative suggests that these payments violate federal law because they were made to influence the outcome of the election. That is not quite accurate. It was not illegal to pay hush money to the two women ‐ Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. "Stormy Daniels"). It was illegal for Michael Cohen to make in-kind contributions (which is what these pay-offs were) in excess of the legal limit.
Specifically, it was illegal for Michael Cohen to make contributions exceeding $2,700 per election to a presidential candidate (including contributions coordinated with the candidate); and illegal for the candidate to accept contributions in excess of that amount. It was also illegal for corporations to contribute to candidates (including expenditures coordinated with the candidate), and for the candidate to accept such contributions. The latter illegality is relevant because Cohen formed corporations to transfer the hush money.
If Trump reimbursed Cohen out of his own personal funds then there was no violation unless the payments of blackmail are illegal. Actually, it is asking for blackmail that is illegal.
A payment to a third person is a campaign contribution only if it is entirely for campaign purposes.
Since non politicians including one in current headlines has paid blackmail, one can only claim that these payments were not made at all for personal reasons, which requires reading the President's mind.
Intelligent human beings decide matters by weighing the factors in favor against those against those opposed. Since there are non-political factors in favor, the law cannot be violated.
[Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist] Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found by a jury to be guilty on eight fraud charges yesterday. At roughly the same time, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of personal income tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution to get a loan, and two counts related to illegal campaign contributions. Manfort’s case is being handled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Mueller spun off the Cohen case to federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York.
The special counsel was ostensibly appointed and given unlimited funds and wide-reaching powers to investigate allegations of treasonous collusion with Russia by President Trump to steal the 2016 election. It was the continuation of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign that used human informants, wiretaps, national security letters, and other surveillance.
While no treasonous collusion between Russia and Trump has been unveiled despite two years of thorough investigation, the special counsel has rung up Trump associates for lying to the FBI, as well as various crimes unrelated to Trump or Russia. Mueller also indicted some Russian corporations for crimes related to low-level election meddling and Russian military intelligence officials for hacks of Democratic officials’ emails.
My 'Takeaway' is the the Campaign Finance Laws, in general, and McCain-Feingold™, in particular, are an insanely byzantine perversion of justice. The fact that as soon as you become a part of the political process your basic Constitutional Rights get arbitrated by a faceless cadre of unelected bureaucrats.... *Argggh!*
[News24] Lobby group AfriForum has claimed its work in the United States led to President Donald Trump's tweet on land expropriation and murders on farms.
FOLLOW LIVE: SA reacts to Donald Trump comments on land expropriation, farm murders
"We welcome it," said Ernst Roets. The group travelled to the US in May to lobby individual members of the US Senate and the House of Representatives.
"I think our lobbying has certainly had an impact because we have spoken with a lot of people who have had contact with President Trump and we have spoken with many think tanks, one of them for example the Cato Institute, which has taken a very strong stance shortly before this statement now by President Trump."
Trump tweeted that he had asked his secretary of state to look into land expropriation and the killing of farmers in South Africa.
"I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers," Trump tweeted.
Donald J. Trump
Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. "South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers." @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
The Anglo-Boer war (Oct 11, 1899 – May 31, 1902) was decided when the British drove the Boer from their farms and put their women and children in tent camps. It's all in the numbers and the numbers are once again vastly against the farmer and the white man. The major cities of South Africa are teeming with migrants from all over the continent. A 'teachable moment' there somewhere.
Things have been going downhill since the seventies. Whites have been leaving because of this. Many with nothing. African American Blacks here going over there to buy into farmland. They will do farming till the land is overworked then they plan to develop the lands. I spoke to a young man who works in DC and that seems to be the plan. He is actively engaged in this effort. "I seen my opportunities and I took'em".
The left in America would like to replicate this destruction of property rights. Those who think this is something happening to "other people far away" best start paying attention.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
08/23/2018 8:10 Comments ||
As long as there are no labor strikes at the mines. Photo is of the 16 August 2012 Marikana massacre. The big foreign export money which props up the ANC (and UK's Lonmin investors) comes from the mines, not the farms.
Almost singlehandedly, Tucker Carlson has made this an issue the President is interested in, because the President of the United States watches a show that matters and is trusted by key elements of his base. Well done Tucker!
[FoxNews] Sudanese immigrant identified in London car ramming attack; former member of Israel's special operations counter-terrorist unit Aaron Cohen reacts.
From a few days ago, but the general point holds. Here at Rantburg we call those suffering from Sudden Jihad Syndrome migrants colonists and lone wolves, and consider them as much a weapon of Muslim conquest as formal transnational terror organizations as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
One of the "it’s so horrible it’s funny" things about the Trump era has been all the "Wow! Pence better get ready because this time we’ve got him for sure" stories. Trump says something, a scandal breaks, the media reports that an anonymous person who may or may not exist has revealed a shocking crime and it's supposed to be all over! Yet, like Jason from the Friday the 13th series, Trump shrugs off the media’s ax to the forehead or Democrats’ shotgun blast to the chest like it’s nothing and he’s back doing what he does five minutes later while they pull their hair out.
The latest story of this sort is Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to a number of crimes, all of them unrelated to Trump except for a campaign finance violation. Cohen paid off the porn stars Trump slept with and Trump paid him back.
First of all, is this a campaign finance violation at all? That is arguable because campaign finance laws, beyond the basics, are a murky, byzantine mess that only highly specialized lawyers can navigate and even they only get definitive answers when a judge rules.
Trump’s argument will probably be something akin to, "My personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid off those women I slept with and I reimbursed him. No campaign funds were used. Michael Cohen told me it was legally fine and I did it because I didn’t want to cause any embarrassment to my family." Is this true? We can’t know for sure at this point, but it certainly seems to be an extremely plausible argument. That is doubly so because Trump has a history of setting up nondisclosure agreements and paying out what could be considered "hush money."
Cohen claimed that this was done to influence the election, likely because he was promised less time in jail on his other charges if he’d be willing to agree to something that could be used to implicate Trump. If this were to go further, you’d be likely to see a he said/she said argument. Cohen, who’s just been convicted of numerous crimes, will claim his client knew he was breaking the law, did it specifically for purposes of influencing the election, and told him to do this. Trump will say that isn’t true and that he had no reason to believe anything illegal was going on because his lawyer, whose advice he trusted, told him it was perfectly fine.
All of this is on top of the fact that whether this is even a campaign finance issue is extremely dubious. Apparently, no campaign funds were used. Cohen was paid back and using your own lawyer to coordinate that kind of payoff seems reasonable. Pretty clearly, no married man would want that kind of information out there, so you can’t even definitively say it was done for the sake of the campaign.
That being said, some people might compare this to payoffs to a mistress from a John Edwards donor, but it’s not really the same thing. Trump ultimately used his own money to pay off the women via his lawyer. Edwards didn’t pay back his political donor, which made it much easier to argue that it was a backdoor campaign contribution. Yet and still, Edwards wasn’t convicted in court over that allegation and Obama’s Justice Department dropped the case.
Gummint is a candy store for the worst types. Privatize everything. Audit everything. Sunset everything...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
08/23/2018 15:13 Comments ||
Trump was always going to be impeached if the Dems take the House. This witch hunt was never about Russian COllusion, it was about finding anything, as far back and as far reaching as possible, to use to justify the Impeachment. The impeachment is actually about raw power and how the loser Hildabeest got beat by an actual outsider who wasn't in the Uniparty ruling the nation as it loots the treasury and steals the sovereign rights of the actual citizens.
[Breitbart] Seamus Bruner, Government Accountability Institute (GAI) researcher and author of Compromised: How Money and Politics Drive FBI Corruption, explained how former FBI Directors James Comey and Robert Mueller leveraged their government contacts to enrich themselves. He joined Peter Schweizer, GAI president and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large, for an interview on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.
Bruner and Schweizer examined what they described as a "revolving door" of "cronyism" within the federal government’s national security and intelligence apparatuses, focusing on the monetization of security clearances held by former administration officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper.
Bruner noted the growth of Comey’s net worth between 2003 and 2009, after Comey left the Department of Justice to join Lockheed Martin as senior vice president and lead counsel.
"It doesn’t really make much sense why [Lockheed Martin] would pay [James Comey] upwards of six million dollars in a single year," assessed Bruner. "But one reason ‐ aside from his security clearance ‐ is that his buddy Robert Mueller is running the FBI. They begin passing 100-million-dollar-plus contracts to Lockheed Martin."
2018/08/23 @ 00:15 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/15/AR2007051500864.html
The John Ashcroft 2004/03/10 ICU incident demonstrates James Comey's and Robert Mueller's virtue signaling in regards to post 09/11 surveillance during the Bush administration.
Then after they were in charge they both go on to surveil everybody involved with Trump to find all the dirt.
But with Hillary there was nothing to see because they made sure to clean up and dispose of all the evidence.
There is no hypocrisy here?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.