As to Count Number Seven, on or about the summer of 2016, in coordination with, and at the direction of, a candidate for federal office, I and the CEO of a media company at the request of the candidate worked together to keep an individual with information that would be harmful to the candidate and to the campaign from publicly disclosing this information. After a number of discussions, we eventually accomplished the goal by the media company entering into a contract with the individual under which she received compensation of $150,000. I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principle purpose of influencing the election.
- Michael Cohen, personal lawyer to Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, under oath as part of a guilty plea to eight counts of tax evasion, fraud and felony charges for illegal use of campaign funds during the 2016 presidential campaign to cover up incriminating information against candidate Trump — The Southern District of NY Court, August 21, 2018.
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
– Edgar Allen Poe, “The Raven”
Tuesday, August 21, 2018; the day that tipped speculation and hearsay and mounting circumstantial evidence that the president of the United States has committed high crimes and misdemeanors into physical evidence corroborated by witnesses who were directed by him to commit these crimes. What transpired on that day will change the paradigm of these charges, rumors and speculation and put things squarely in the category of fact. So much so even the man for whom lying is a second language has gone out of his way to shift the “I did not know nor pay any money to Stormy Daniels” to “I did not use campaign funds, it was my money…I paid it.”
One thing you have to say for Donald Trump, once he’s accused of a crime, like say obstructing justice, when he fired the FBI Director investigating him over “the Russian thing” and then admitting it on NBC a day later, he loves to proudly cop to it. What he pulled on Fox & Friends less than 24 hours after his personal lawyer pushed the first in many dominoes that threaten to reveal the dark and putrid underbelly of his erratically dumb and dangerous presidency is quite remarkable. In the same interview he became the first president in my lifetime, and I would confidently guess the first one ever, to actually utter the word impeachment in some kind of brain-farting pre-defense.
But what of the cheap, hood “attorney” that fired the first of many blows to take down El Douche?
Michael Cohen is one of those creatures that seem to gravitate and thrive and are later discarded as pond scum by our current Game Show President. His word is likely as trustworthy as Donald Trump’s, which, as noted, is not at all trustworthy. (A composite of fact checking web sites have Trump making roughly 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days, a staggering 7.58 lies a day). To be frank, Cohen’s gig was less “attorney” in any conventional sense and more “fixer” for Trump, which means he was paid (and handsomely for this crime, nearly half a million) to cover over the odd misdemeanor and side-stepping of annoying laws that are needed for the rich and douchey. But mostly, and most importantly, Cohen is a pussy. Faced with eight counts and pleading guilty and making a plea deal sounds about right whether he is telling the truth or not. He does not want to go to jail for the rest of his life for Trump or anyone. The people in and around Trump tend to see the world as this Us vs. Them concept, very mob like, kind of how this president has handled everything for over 30 years. Trump even loves combing the mob lexicon for terms like “flip” and “rat” to explain all this. This is just Cohen doing the Trump thing.
So maybe Cohen is lying his ass off.
However, prosecutors don’t offer plea deals without hard, corroborating evidence; tapes, documents, paper-trails. So if Cohen is not lying his ass off, the only thing keeping this president from facing impeachment hearings is his party staying in power and continuing its partisan and gutless pursuit of agenda over the constitution or the integrity of the nation or whatever bullshit people convince themselves of to make you think America is some kind of moral compass spun true north by a patriarchal god figure.
Campaign finance law is a felony. Committing a felony is a high crime. High crimes are impeachable.
Game. Set. Match.
Remember when Republicans went after Bill Clinton for Whitewater and someone stumbled on evidence the president was getting hummers from an intern and Clinton told his sucker wife and the rest of the suckers it was a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and then lied under oath leading impeachment? This is like this, but far worse. This affected an election decided by 77,000 votes, lending to the kind of thing Trump and his supporters hate — unlike that bullshit about Barack Obama’s birth certificate this idiot had up his sleeve years ago – introducing the argument that we are dealing with an illegitimate presidency.
And then…on the same day Cohen buried his former boss whom he said just a few months ago would “take a bullet for”, the president’s former campaign manager was found guilty of eight counts of tax evasion and money laundering and all the stuff that forces Trump from releasing his tax returns. For now, this has nothing to do with the president, which is all he cares about as he praises a man going to jail for at least a decade and faces a second more serious trial in DC. But Manafort did not get asked to run the Trump campaign when it appeared to be going off the rails in the summer of 2016 on a whim. Manafort and Trump run in the same circles and use the same banks to launder money and avoid taxes and cheat the other poor sap Americans who have to pay them.
If I can take a moment to reiterate how many times Trump praises horrible criminals, Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, and now Paul Manafort. Not sure what this says about the man. You and your maker decide.
But, wait, there’s more!
By dinnertime on that fateful date history will one day record as the political equivalent of explosive diarrhea, came the biggest, baddest heat-seeking missile launched directly at El Douche.
Suddenly the most dangerous man in America is Lanny Davis. In an ironically delicious twist of fate, Bill Clinton’s former White House counsel and enthusiastic Donald Trump despiser has wormed his way into advising Cohen to eviscerate what is left of this punchline presidency. Davis, as if taking a victory lap worthy of the man he plans to take down, went on every cable show known to modern man, except FOX News, which was showing pictures of Trump kissing a blow-up doll of the Virgin Mary atop a tank running over Mexicans, to say that his client is itching to tell everything about the infamous June, 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting in which Donnie Junior got mixed up with the Russians. The one that tipped off the FBI and then, well, daddy fired the director, which led to the appointment of the special counsel, which tipped off authorities to Michael Cohen, Attorney at Law.
In fact, the very next day Cohen was subpoenaed by New York City’s attorney general for illegal shenanigans involving the ruse that is the Trump Foundation raided by the Trump Campaign to embezzle hush money to pay off porn stars. Normally the attorney will return these calls. Cohen made it himself, begging to reveal illicit details about the president’s shady shit, which caused Davis to tell the world that the infamous Steele Dossier that slowly but surely seems to be corroborated by events since its release may be correct about Michael Cohen’s arranging payments to Russian spies to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
And if this is true, not even Orin Hatch, David Nunez, Sean Hannity or the ghost of George Washington can keep this president from impeachment, which is becoming very likely if the Democrats take control of congress in a few months.
And then the dominoes kept on falling.
Two days after the Cohen plea, longtime Trump supporter and media henchman, David Pecker, the CEO of American Media Inc. (the “CEO of a media company” implicated in Cohen’s plea), who runs a submental supermarket rag called the National Enquirer, which has acted as the media arm of Trump’s seedy celebrity and purchased dozens of stories to keep quiet on his various extra-marital affairs, illegal real estate deals and the other nefarious crap these cretins do before breakfast, was granted immunity to unload this cache of embarrassment into the hands of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Jot this down, kids; August 23, 2018.
The day the raven tapped on the White House door, asked for Mr. Trump, and uttered “Nevermore”.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June, 2018; “Accidentally Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”