8 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Catch-Up, 8/22/18: Manafort, Cohen, and Mollie” (#2)”
Here is my question. Did woman 1 and woman2 report the income to the IRS and how did they describe it
Wages, capital gains, royalties, or extortion proceeds?
Add “tips” and you can make it a poll.
Democrats have been claiming that these hush money payoffs were illegal campaign contributions, but that theory is tenuous.
It doesn’t matter, for their purposes, whether the theory will stand up to legal scrutiny. In the current situation, it doesn’t have to – all it needs to do is to tie the president to alleged criminal behavior.
Cohen’s case will not be tried, so by pleading guilty to the “crime,” he sets up a situation where Trump can be accused of a conspiracy without any proof, all because Cohen plead guilty to an offense. It’s irrelevant whether or not it is a crime – it credibly became a crime for the purposes of a conspiracy the instant Cohen plead to it.
The rest of your comment does raise troubling questions, ones I’d like to see answered. I hold no hope for it, though. Well done.
Actually, in this post, I messed up the facts. The Enquirer signed a contract to sell the Woman #1 rights to Cohen but then changed their minds and didn’t sell them. They did buy the Stormy Daniels rights with s tax gross-up and fee, paying Cohen $420,000 for rights that had cost him $130,000. I wrote a comment yesterday correcting the facts. But the main point is unchanged: there seems to have clearly been an intention originally for trump to reimburse the Enquirer and Cohen for the $255,000 of hush money that they had paid the two women. The Enquirer and Cohen were supposed to pay nothing. But in the end, according to the plea agreement, the Enquirer paid $545,000, with Cohen receiving a profit of $290,000 for himself — or a profit of 425,000 if Trump is telling the truth When he says that he reimbursed Cohen for then Stormy Daniels payoff. That doesn’t sound like a campaign finance violation as much as it sounds like a swindle by Cohen of the Enquirer and of his own client.
I missed Greg’s correction to his original comment and, seeing it now does not help me understand all the payments going back and forth. I do however have a problem with the idea that making all this a “campaign contribution” or an unauthorized campaign expenditure to the point that it is a criminal offense. People who actually understand these laws have differing opinions.
So how does it come to the point that, with some doubt as to the criminality of the act(s), Cohen would find it in his best interest to enter a plea? And how would his lawyer sign off on it? Maybe he will wake up in the morning and realize he received bad legal advice and get a new attorney – one not part of the Clinton crowd – who can challenge the plea on a basis of ineffective assistance or council.
Presumably, it was in Cohen’s best interest to plead to the campaign finance violation because the prosecutor said something along the lines of, “If you plead guilty to the tax and bank fraud crimes alone, I’ll give you a sentence of x years, but if you plead to the campaign finance violation, too, I’ll reduce your sentence to 1/2 of x.”
Here is a quote from another blog that explains this.
No, then he would have been arrested for personal use of campaign funds.
Do you really think that ANYONE would accept him using official funding for his campaign to pay hush money to his mistress?
Say that out loud. It sounds like a joke that you would hear about stupidly corrupt politicians. “Paying off my mistress was a valid campaign expense”. I personally can’t read that quote without it being followed by a laugh track.
Do you really think that we wouldn’t be hearing arguments that paying hush money was a personal expense and Trump was guilty of a whole host of crimes ranging from money laundering to grand theft?
This is the second Comment of the Day on this post, also item #2, regarding the Michael Cohen machinations. The news media is doing a negligent job examining exactly what’s going on so that the average voter with an IQ in three figures has a fighting chance of understanding it. Greg’s comment, like Michael Ejercito’s before him, helps explicate what the politicized and biased profession that we foolishly trust to inform us does not.
Here is Greg’s Comment of the Day on the post, Morning Ethics Catch-Up, 8/22/18: Manafort, Cohen, and Mollie: