Tuesday, August 21, 2018
The Cohen Plea: Will It Be The Basis of Impeachment?
At a glance the Cohen plea looks bad for Trump. For one thing it *officially* makes him a liar. Cohen says, under threat of perjury, that he paid off two women to not come forward during the 2016 campaign. He says he did so upon the request of someone called "individual 1" who was associated with the Trump campaign. Now, we officially have no idea (as of this writing) who "Individual 1" is, but we'll guess it's Trump and we assume for the rest of this piece that it is Trump. One thing this shows is that Giuliani is and was absolutely correct to advise his client to not speak to Mueller. You never talk to the prosecutor unless you are forced to. Period. Lawyering 101. So lets assume for a minute that the campaign finance law was broken not only by Cohen but by "Individual 1" who we assume to be Trump. The bar for impeachment is: High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Clearly that bar would have been cleared. It doesn't matter if Trump can pardon Cohen (who Trump probably considers a rat bastard of the Mafia kind) once the judgement is in, it's in. Trump would have to show that payments made to Cohen for "Services rendered" were not campaign contributions even though they benefited the candidate. I'll leave it to better minds than mine to determine how possible that is. However; the next hurdle would be fraud. Cohen is admitting to committing bank fraud. The next question will be whether "individual 1" knew and collaborated to commit this fraud. That would be conspiracy to commit fraud. Again, grounds for impeachment. This was and is, in my opinion, the true reason for the "Russia probe". Just like Whitewater and Clinton. They just needed to find a lie or someone close who did something, anything. Cohen is Trump's something and anything. And here's the thing, he's disappointed enough of his base (no wall, no real movement on sanctuary cities, Sessions going for civil forfeiture, Not calling out Antifa, etc.) that unlike Clinton who was extremely popular, Trump may well find himself a one (or half) term president. We shall see how this develops. If "Individual 1" is not Trump then a lot of other doors open in favor of Trump.