Trump’s Campaign Chief And Lawyer Guilty Of Multiple Felonies
CNBC.com reports President Donald Trump had a rough day Tuesday, August 21, 2018. In one day, his former campaign boss, Paul Manafort, and former lawyer, Michael Cohen, became felons. A jury in Alexandria, Virginia, found Manafort guilty of 8 felonies, which includes 5 counts of felony tax fraud, 2 counts of bank fraud, and 1 count of failing to report a foreign bank account. Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 felony counts of tax fraud, campaign finance violations, and bank fraud in federal court.
As part of a plea deal, Cohen outed Trump! Though he didn't identify him by name, Cohen admitted he paid Stormy Daniels hush money "at the direction of the candidate." Several legal scholars agree that, whether Trump's name was mentioned or not, it's undeniable that the president was the only candidate he was working for at the time. In addition, Cohen admitted to conspiring with a media company, presumed to be American Media Inc., the parent company of The National Enquirer, to silence former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, during the 2016 presidential election.
Click here to see the entire Michael Cohen Plea Agreement. One thing's for sure, he's not going down by himself. Cohen threw everyone under the bus! He also confirmed both women were telling the truth about having extramarital affairs with Trump, allegations the White House continues to deny.
As the drama unfolded, Trump was on his way to a campaign rally in West Virginia. News of the convictions was being released as Air Force One landed, and reporters lined up to get a statement from the Commander-in-Chief. On Manafort, Trump said,
"Paul Manafort is a good man, I feel very badly for Paul Manafort." He continued, Manafort's conviction "doesn't involve me," adding, "a very sad thing is happening." Trump insisted Manafort's guilty verdicts had "nothing to do with Russian collusion, absolutely nothing."
Ironically, the POTUS had nothing to say about his former lawyer's guilty pleas. He then repeated his usual criticism of Robert Mueller's probe, saying it's a "witch hunt and a disgrace."
CNBC.com reported Michael Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, a former White House aide for Bill Clinton, wanted to make it clear that his client was instructed to commit the crimes. After Cohen took the deal, Davis released the following statement:
"Today, [Cohen] stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election." He continued, "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?"
This is quite a significant "W" for Mueller's investigation. The Times reports Manafort's guilty verdicts in tax evasion may lead to Trump's taxes being subpoenaed. That's if Mueller doesn't already have them.