Daily Check-In 11/09/2018

Friday, November 9, 2018 and the weekend

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

To get a sense of what prosecutors might be driving at, it’s useful to review the specific campaign finance charges Cohen pleaded guilty to back in August.

First was “causing an unlawful corporate contribution” to a federal campaign. Prosecutors alleged that Cohen “caused” AMI’s $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal, and that that violated the law because it was effectively a campaign contribution for Trump, in excess of the legal limit on what a corporation like AMI is permitted to give to a campaign.

Second was that Cohen made an “excessive campaign contribution” himself, by paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. This, too, was effectively a campaign contribution for Trump above what Cohen was permitted to give, prosecutors said.

Now, prosecutors have amassed evidence Trump — Cohen’s employer — was personally involved in and informed about both of these payments, and was encouraging Cohen to make them happen.

So it certainly seems that Trump himself may be vulnerable to similar charges, considering how involved he was in both of these payments.

But don’t expect him to be indicted anytime soon. Even before Whitaker arrived at the Justice Department, it was highly unlikely federal prosecutors would actually try to indict a sitting president — DOJ has long held that that can’t be done.

What the SDNY prosecutors’ next move will be, then, remains unclear. It’s possible they’d amass evidence on crimes committed by Trump, and leave it to Congress to decide what to do with that evidence. Trump could also theoretically be charged after he leaves office. But the Journal piece is a reminder that this investigation remains very much alive.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

COLD WAR 2.0: VETERANS DAY EDITION

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM &WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS 

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

MICHELLE OBAMA

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTION 2018

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

Indictments of Stone, a friend of the president since the 1970s, or worse Trump’s son and namesake, seem certain to push the White House into greater paroxysms of rage. What might happen then is anybody’s guess. Trump’s desperation to shut down the Mueller inquiry before it cuts very close to home is therefore understandable.

It’s also a fool’s errand. In truth, it’s far too late to shut the Special Counsel down altogether. Mueller and his staff, veterans of Beltway wars, were not surprised by this week’s events. They were prepared. Any efforts by Acting AG Whitaker to block indictments will go public quickly and throw Washington into deep crisis. For Trump, there are no exits or off-ramps left.

When Mueller informs the public of more indictments is an open question. That they are coming, however, is not. And there are lots of them. The Special Counsel has been at work for almost 18 months now. An Intelligence Community official who assisted the Special Counsel’s investigation told me this week that Team Mueller is holding “dozens of sealed indictments” of people associated with the president, his 2015-16 campaign, and his administration. “Nobody who’s close to the Russians is getting out of this,” said the IC official. When will those indictments start being unsealed? Watch this space.

Sadly, that didn’t happen.

 

That’s it for the last few days.  Like I said on Daily Check-In 11/08/2018, I was out for the last few days.  Surprisingly, all hell did not break loose.  Instead, a whole new hell opened up on the Stormy front.  36 sources went on the record for that story to say that Trump was intimately involved with the Daniels and McDougal cover-up.  36.  That’s a lot of fucking people to corroborate a story.

There’s a reason why that unless there’s some crazy stuff going on that the two top groupings are the Russian Investigation and the Cohen matters.  Ok, I cheat a bit and include all of the other lawsuits in the Cohen section, but Cohen’s investigation might be the one that brings Trump down faster.  It’s not his greatest threat, but it’s the closest.

My schedule should return to semi-normal this week.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

 

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