Daily Check-In 08/22/2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort

Now that Paul Manafort is a convicted felon, let’s take a moment to enjoy the fact that he has ANOTHER trial in less than a month, and that he might be retried on the ten counts that ended in a mistrial.

Good times.

 

COHEN

It’s not clear whether federal prosecutors knew in advance that Cohen would implicate Trump, but if they had any reason not to believe him, they were obligated not to permit Cohen to lie to the judge. Because they didn’t, we know that his statements were consistent with the other evidence in their possession.

So Cohen wanted to publicly reveal that Trump directed him to commit crimes. The implication of his statement is obvious — it is a crime to direct someone else to commit a crime. And Cohen is not done. His attorney Lanny Davis told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night that Cohen is willing to provide information to Mueller about a possible “conspiracy to collude” with Russia and whether Trump “knew ahead of time” about computer hacking.

Tuesday’s statement by Cohen was a jiujitsu move that evaded Trump’s disinformation campaign, and it might not be the last such move. More evidence of crimes that don’t fit Trump’s narrative could weaken the resolve of Trump’s base, or cause some high-profile Republicans to break with the president. Or a Democratic victory in November, along with a stronger PR campaign by Democrats on corruption and impeachment, could ultimately sway enough Republicans to make a difference.

I could probably spend an entire weekend tearing apart everything that we know about Cohen, and I’d really like to, but here’s the TL:DR; (Too Long, Didn’t Read) version.

Trump is fucked.  He’s so fucked, that it is almost mathematically impossible to quantify the level of fucked he’s at, and it’s only going to get worse.  Michael Cohen can link everything together.  EVERYTHING. The hush money payments, the money laundering, the espionage and treason, the mob shit, the charity crimes, ALL OF IT.  Cohen was Trump’s right hand man for more than a decade.  He handled all of the details.

And now the feds have all of it, and Cohen is talking.

 

IMPEACHMENT AND INDICTMENT TALK

Impeachment

 

Indictment

 

Resignation

 

ATTACKS ON THE ELECTION

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Duncan Hunter

 

FIGHTING BACK

The first denial that Donald Trump knew about hush-money payments to silence women came four days before he was elected president, when his spokeswoman Hope Hicks said, without hedging, “We have no knowledge of any of this.”

The second came in January of this year, when his attorney Michael Cohen said the allegations were “outlandish.” By March, two of the president’s spokesmen — Raj Shah and Sarah Huckabee Sanders — said publicly that Trump denied all the allegations and any payments. Even Cohen’s attorney, David Schwartz, got in on the action, saying the president “was not aware of any of it.”

In April, Trump finally weighed in, answering a question about whether he knew about a payment to porn star Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, with a flat “no.”

It’s now clear that the president’s statement was a lie — and that the people speaking for him repeated it.

 

So now it’s confirmed, as a matter of legal record, that President Donald Trump organized a scheme to violate federal election laws. He directed his longtime personal attorney to pay at least one woman for silence. That attorney got the money by lying to a bank to get a home-equity line of credit.

It’s a matter of legal record, too, that Trump’s campaign chair was a huge-scale crook. Despite his desperate financial straits, he volunteered to work for Trump for free—and Trump accepted.

These two cases complete the beginnings of the story. They are not the story in full. The Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort cases are like the first rocky outcroppings a ship passes as it makes landfall. They are examples of the kind of people willing to work for Trump—and the way that those people carried on their business. They indicate why one of Trump’s sons would write “I love it” when offered stolen information about the Hillary Clinton campaign by a purported representative of the Russian government, how so much doubtful money flowed into the Trump Organization after 2006, and why Trump dares not publish his tax returns.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

Davis was a fixture on Wednesday morning’s TV news programs, sitting for at least five interviews that aired before 9 a.m., including all three network morning shows — NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning.”

He told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, was a “significant turning point” for Cohen in deciding to turn against the president, Cohen’s attorney said Wednesday. Cohen, who has worked alongside the president and his family since 2006, went through an “evolutionary” process before taking the plea deal he formally accepted on Tuesday, Davis said.

“Helsinki was a significant turning point, as he worried about the future of our country with the president of the United States aligning with somebody who everybody in his intelligence community who he appointed, including [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats, said that Putin interfered and tried to help Trump get elected,” Davis said. “And Trump is the only one left denying that. And that shook up Mr. Cohen.”

Earlier this summer, Trump met face-to-face with Russian president Putin in Helsinki, meeting one-on-one and then with aides. Those meetings were followed by a bilateral press conference where Trump seemed to accept Putin’s denials that Russia was not behind a campaign of cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, apparently taking the word of the Russian president over that of the U.S. intelligence community.

 

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

SCOTUS

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  After Tuesday’s events, this entry is a little light.  That, and my arm hurts, which makes typing a little slower.  Fuck it, I’m tired.

I updated The Indicted to include Cohen, Hunter, and Collins.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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