1/ Michael Cohen has "knowledge" implicating Trump in a "criminal conspiracy" to hack the Democratic emails during the 2016 election, according to Cohen's attorney. Lanny Davis also said Cohen's knowledge reached beyond "the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude" and is willing to share "all that he knows" with Robert Mueller's team. (Washington Post / NBC News / Los Angeles Times / Politico)
In terms of Cohen turning to Mueller’s team and pleading guilty to tax crimes and campaign finance violations, we will never know the real reasoning behind this. It could really be that the jail time alone would have been unbearable, but also he could not afford lawyers or legal defense. One wonders how much his ‘take a bullet’ for the president was just an urge to be loved, as T had always wanted as well. But this is just conjecture.
Here’s a WSJ article about some of the thinking that Cohen may have been doing behind turning himself in, and hoping for a good plea deal agreement. It postures that eventually his father and family convinced him to do this. I tend to agree with this but of course, there’s always some spin behind all reporting.
Oh and of course, this being the WSJ, they do think that the President can not be indicted (unsettled law) so they too are leaning w/ the R’s, naturally.
Mr. Cohen told associates and friends he felt Mr. Trump didn’t have his back and vented that the president hadn’t personally offered to pay his legal bills in the Manhattan investigation, which he said were “bankrupting” him.
Mr. Cohen’s troubles increased in May, when Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, a New
York City taxi mogul who managed taxi medallions owned by Mr. Cohen and his relatives, pleaded guilty to state criminal tax fraud and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their probe of Mr. Cohen.
By then, prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service had focused on Mr. Cohen’s personal income taxes. In conversations with a potential witness in June and July, investigators asked “very pointed” questions about various tax filings, according to a person familiar with the conversations.
“They knew what they wanted, they knew what they had, and they went after it,” the person said.
In late June, Mr. Cohen openly broke with Mr. Trump.
A personal turning point for Mr. Cohen was a conversation with his father, Maurice Cohen, a Holocaust survivor.
Mr. Cohen’s father urged him not to protect the president, saying he didn’t survive the Holocaust to have his name sullied by Mr. Trump, according to a person who was told about the conversation. The elder Mr. Cohen couldn’t be reached for comment.
On June 20, Mr. Cohen stepped down from his position as the Republican National Committee’s deputy finance chairman and tweeted his first public criticism of his former boss: “As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy [are] heart wrenching.” The tweet no longer appears on Mr. Cohen’s Twitter account.
By then, Mr. Cohen had hired New York lawyer Guy Petrillo to represent him in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s probe. The choice of Mr. Petrillo, who had once served as the chief of the office’s criminal division, was seen as a sign that Mr. Cohen hoped to cooperate. Mr. Petrillo began to signal this intent to prosecutors.
Shortly after Mr. Petrillo’s hiring, Mr. Cohen told ABC News in an interview that his first loyalty was to his family and country, not to the president.
In July, a recording became public that Mr. Cohen surreptitiously made of a conversation he had with Mr. Trump in September 2016 about buying the rights to Ms. McDougal’s story. The president has denied the affair.
The president’s legal team had waived attorney-client privilege on the recording, which had been seized in the April 9 raid.
The week of the recording’s release, the investigation appeared to accelerate, people familiar with the investigation said.
Federal prosecutors faced an early September deadline to charge Mr. Cohen. After that, they would have to wait until after the midterm elections, under Department of Justice guidelines, or risk criticism of potentially affecting the election’s outcome. They had follow-up witness interviews scheduled as recently as this week, a person familiar with the investigation said, but canceled them as the plea agreement came together over the weekend.
Given the Justice Department’s policy of not indicting sitting presidents, a guilty plea from Mr. Cohen and his public implication of Mr. Trump were among the strongest outcomes prosecutors could have hoped for, according to former federal prosecutors. For prosecutors, the guilty plea meant they could avoid a contentious trial and free up resources to pursue other investigations.
On Monday, Manhattan federal prosecutors filed a court document, in a case then labeled as U.S. v. John Doe, indicating a guilty plea was forthcoming.
By Tuesday night, hours after Mr. Cohen implicated Mr. Trump in a possible crime, one of Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny Davis, appeared on cable news shows to say Mr. Cohen wouldn’t accept a pardon from Mr. Trump and “is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows.”
Two new polls out today have interesting implications for Democrats heading into the midterms.
The first shows Texas’ Democratic candidate for Senate Beto O’Rourke trailing incumbent Senator/everyone’s least favorite human Ted Cruz by just four points, 45-49, meaning that it truly is possible Texas goes blue in November.
At the same time, new polling from New Jersey shows the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bob Menendez and his Republican challenger’s narrowing, 43-37. Menendez was previously indicted on 18 counts of corruption and Democrats are hammering an anti-corruption message nationwide.
So, out of the blue at 1:10 AM EDT, Trump threw this all-caps tantrum. No tweets leading up to it (his previous tweet was hours before), no tweets after it. Sometimes, I really do believe our President is losing it. Or maybe he’s on drugs – seriously.
It’s perfectly OK for Trump to express his displeasure at the Special Counsel’s investigation, but it’s so bizarre for him to do it in this manner. Anybody else feel this way or am I overreacting?
Disclaimer: Yes, I’m also posting late at night, but I hope you can tell I’m reasonably lucid – just a mellow night owl.
“We have taken heightened steps to fortify our cybersecurity – especially as the Trump Administration refuses to crack down on foreign interference in our elections. In an abundance of caution, our digital partners ran tests that followed extensive training. Despite our misstep and the alarms that were set off, it’s most important that all of the security systems in place worked,” Brandon Dillon, the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said in a statement. . . .
“There are constant attempts to hack the DNC and our Democratic infrastructure, and while we are extremely relieved that this wasn’t an attempted intrusion by a foreign adversary, this incident is further proof that we need to continue to be vigilant in light of potential attacks,” Bob Lord, the DNC’s chief security officer, added.
The DNC’s snafu comes amid reporting of other attempted hacks on Democratic campaigns. Last week, it emerged two Democratic primary campaigns in California had been breached earlier this year.
I commend the DNC and CNN for having the integrity to own up and set the record straight. I posted the original story yesterday. I stand by the spirit of my comments in that post calling for a concerted, coordinated effort to protect our election systems against cyberattacks.
Even if we saw all branches of concerned government entities - DNI, CIA, FBI,Homeland Security show their solidarity photo it does bear emphasizing over and over again that we are no where near having any secured systems.
And we also have no position for Cybesecurity in office, right?!
See 5.30.18 Wired article
Not only are so many agencies vulnerable, but over half lack even the ability to determine what software runs on their systems. And only one in four agencies could confirm that they have the capability to detect and investigate signs of a data breach, meaning that the vast majority are essentially flying blind. "Federal agencies do not have the visibility into their networks to effectively detect data exfiltration attempts and respond to cybersecurity incidents," the report states bluntly.
“The threat is real. It is continuing,” Coats said, later adding, “We are doing everything we can to have a legitimate election.”
What about when the US is coughing up blood? Because that’s kind of what it feels like, being at Ground Zero. Thank you for a non-US, non-partisan viewpoint, it’s a breath of fresh air.
The points you highlight are spot on. Trump is completely out of his depth, he should have never left the shallow end of the pool. As we’ve all read from the “tell all” books, of which there have been plenty, Trump never envisioned being president. I totally believe he thought that he was going to lose, perhaps by the slimmest of margins, but then his charisma, complete with “lock her up” war chants, would propel him towards a new business venture in broadcasting i.e. The Trump Network. This newfound fame and the scorned candidate gig would be sure to replenish the millions he had lost in other sordid plots.
The problem here in the U.S., which should be as plain as the noses on our faces, is that we don’t have a recall system, or any way to call for a new election. We’re on this vicious 2 year cycle, replete with con trails from AF1 jumbo jets, to waste all sorts of time and money on a “partial” shakeup of the parliamentary wing every 2 years, and an executive branch re-do every 4. Instead of quivering in our boots about the repercussions of “an impeachment” and worrying about “everyone becoming poor because the markets will crash” (another bald faced lie, stock ownership is not universal in the U.S.), why can’t someone just say “well, gee, it looks like we might have an issue with Mr. Trump’s leadership, let’s have a special election”.
But nope, no one wants to change the rules so we’re stuck with a peak-narcissist asshole for 4 full years. Internationally, there has to be some worry that this unbalanced leader of the Free World, could feel entitled to start a nuclear war because of his deep seated need to draw attention to himself, but we’re all hopeful that the military commanders know the Commander in Chief is crazy as a shit house rat.
And, finally, to your question of How Did This Happen? It’s because of the antiquated Electoral College, Republican gerrymandering, and foreign interference. On the latter, most of us common folk don’t have a way to gauge it, but it could span the gamut from preying on the Deplorables via silly FaceBook ads or phony hate groups, all the way to actual ballot box hacking. No one here wants to talk about that much, but the elections really could’ve been rigged, or it could simply be that 78,000 votes have a louder voice than 3 million popular votes. It’s all pretty FU’d up.
No I don’t think you are overreacting. Admittedly I’m viewing the daily shock and horror from a great distance, and so, am not as intimately involved as you. But there is a saying here in New Zealand - “when the US sneezes, NZ catches the flu”.
So we tend to keep a wary eye on political happenings around the world, probably far more than those in larger countries might do so. I’ve thought for some time now, that you currently have a person in the most senior position of your government that is completely out of his depth, and totally unsuitable personally for the task. The most recent events are showing him to be flailing blindly. He is trying desperately to divert attention away from his effort to keep his extra-marital affairs secret at a critical time just prior to the election.
Just how he came to be elected still is a mystery to me. We have had some pretty dreadful Prime Ministers in the past but their faults are quickly seen, and they never last long. If someone is clearly failing in the task, the governing party has the capacity to change them, without going back to the polls, and the country moves on… vis David Cameron in the UK resigned and was replaced by Theresa May. In Australia right now, their Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull ,is under pressure to go, and there are two other candidates who are awaiting in the wings to replace him - depending on the support they would receive from within the Liberal party.
He will continue to spin his “WITCH HUNT” slogan…but he did go on Fox News to rework the narrative, suggesting that flipping should be a crime ( ex. You can say anything you want), if he were impeached the markets would crash.
It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair," Trump said of Cohen, who he described as only a “part-time” lawyer. “If you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you will go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him, most people are going to do that. … And I have seen it many times. I have had many friends involved in this stuff. It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal.”
While the President was aware for weeks of the possible damage Cohen could do in his dealings with federal prosecutors, Trump did not know until Tuesday afternoon that he would be so explicitly implicated in the campaign finance charges.