Manafort and Cohen

Author: drafterman ,

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  • drafterman
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    Like out of some courtroom drama, within the span of an hour, Michael Cohen pled, and Paul Manafort was found, guilty on 8 counts.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @drafterman
    We got the Russian spy then yes? No? Oh well.
  • drafterman
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    --> @Greyparrot
    No, he's still in the White House.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @drafterman
    No, he's still in the White House.
    Cool story bro.
  • linate
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    i never thought the dems would have impeached trump before, cause i thought cooler heads would prevail in that there was nothing to get him for other than being not popular. but now that cohen testified that trump is a co-felon, i'm sure the dems would jump on that chance to impeach him. 
  • ethang5
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    --> @linate
    Cooler heads? Dems?
  • vagabond
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    The other-hole in the wall gang.
  • Buddamoose
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    From what I've read Manaforts charges had jack-all to do with Trump. And Cohens plea involved admitting to making a payment we knew happened already. One that he denied Trump had any knowledge of extensively. 

    Whether or not you wanna believe the guy doesn' matter. What matters is what will come up in court, and an attorney who taped his own client without that clients knowledge, was involved in extramarital affairs, independently guilty of a variety of other crimes hinting towards a dishonest and opportunistic character, and the general course of his character being assassinated throughout proceedings, illustrates this as it probably is. A guy who knew the hammer was coming, and tried to weasel out of it by singing when his word and character was already highlighted as at best highly questionable, at worst, worthless. 

    Btw, to point out, the Obama campaign in 08 was guilty of felony campaign finance regulations too. To the tune of millions, and unreported donors with undisclosed amounts. He got a 370,000 fine. 

    130,000 to a playmate as hush money for an affair is small beans, and I would be surprised to see the FEC take up the mantle on this considering this has been known about and they declined to pick up the torch on it previous, as would be their authority to investigate and prosecute in these regards, no?

    Anyways, in essence, fmpov its a mountain being made out of a molehill. Mostly by people desperate to jump on any sparkle of light that hints that maybe this time drumpf is finished. Gotta hit (X) on that one🤔
  • drafterman
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    --> @Buddamoose
    In his plea hearing, Cohen basically said he did it all at the direction of a presidential candidate for the purposes of influencing the election. I don't know if anyone in the Obama campaign testified that they did it at the direct instructions of Obama himself.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Buddamoose


    The president has plenty of fall guys. The FBI has to send SOMEONE to jail to maintain appearances. This signifies the end rather than the beginning of anything.
  • drafterman
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    --> @Greyparrot
    This signifies the end rather than the beginning of anything.
    You seriously think so? I mean, I'm not so optimistic as to think Trump will ever get impeached. Heck, prior to the results of the midterm elections I'm not so optimistic as to think Trump won't get re-elected. But to think that this is the end of "anything?" That I just don't buy.

    Manafort is a fall guy for sure. Trump basically just praised him for being one! Cohen appears to be cooperating and, under oath, implicated Trump in criminal activity. This isn't an end or a beginning, it's just another step.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @drafterman
    Historically hasn't this been the case with special prosecutors? The other trend also being presidential pardons for these fall guys later. (see Scooter Libby)

  • drafterman
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Would you say that this special prosecutor is following, in-step, along with previous ones?
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @drafterman
    The FBI goes by the book. It's usually predictable.
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @drafterman
    In his plea hearing, Cohen basically said he did it all at the direction of a presidential candidate for the purposes of influencing the election

    Then as said, its doubtful his testimony ends up being viewed as legitimate. Prosecution spent most of its time ripping apart Cohens credobility and integrity and throughly did so. For that same person to turn around and be used as a star witness, would be at best, ripped apart by defense, at worst, laughably absurd because his record of behavior alone more than establishes reasonable doubt to conclude he is not being truthful in testimony and rather opportunistic in nature as a means to avoid full extent of prosecution for all crimes. 

    And again, its humurous tha you think 130k as a campaign finance violation merits jail time or removal from office. Whether or not Obama himself was involved is irrelevant, and not a damn person out of that finding was prosecuted with jail time, direct involvement or indirect not playing a factor at all. 

    Its one thing to say the guy conspired with foreign government agents, thats easily viewable as treason. Its another to say a 130k campaign finance violation is somehow equivalent to the aforementioned at all in severity and would at all reasonably result in jail time or grounds for removal from office. 
     
    Obama campaign committed finance violations for the lack of disclosure. This was a knowing action by multiple officials at least, Obama not withstanding, not a damn person was brought forth on criminal charges, let alone convicted. 

    Trump in this if held as guilty of a crime, is guilty of not disclosing this expenditure. Direct involvement not withstanding, it was over the same offense of lack of disclosure, but disclosure regarding slightly different matters. In neither case was what was being undisclosed, in itself a criminal act outside of violating disclosure laws. It not illegal to receive donations from big business, its not illegal to pay hush money for an extramarital affair. What is illegal is the non disclosure, but that non disclosure has rarely, if ever, been met with jail time/ as an uber serious criminal offense.  

    What this investigation has been for awhile now is desperately trying to find something, anything really, that could be construed as a crime, even if that crime itself has nothing to do with the investigations granted purview. Conspiracy with Russia was why the investigation was granted, because that area is actually a severe crime, and so far not a shred of evidence linking Trump to criminal conspiracy with foreign government agents. 
  • Buddamoose
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    --> @Greyparrot
    This investigation can hardly be labeled as "by the book", if it were by the book the investigation never would have started to begin with, being that the Steele dossier was absolute garbage and has come out as such over time 🤔
  • drafterman
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    --> @Buddamoose
    Then as said, its doubtful his testimony ends up being viewed as legitimate. Prosecution spent most of its time ripping apart Cohens credobility and integrity and throughly did so. For that same person to turn around and be used as a star witness, would be at best, ripped apart by defense, at worst, laughably absurd because his record of behavior alone more than establishes reasonable doubt to conclude he is not being truthful in testimony and rather opportunistic in nature as a means to avoid full extent of prosecution for all crimes. 
    The credibility and opportunism of a snitch is an inherent problem in turning one criminal against another. It isn't exactly a show-stopper. It's the defense's job to undermine the credibility of the witness and the prosecution's job to supplement witness testimony with evidence.

    After all, people said the exact same thing Rick Gates as a witness in Manafort's trial: he's a criminal himself, he's unreliable, yada yada. End result? Manfort guilty on 8 counts.

    Now, if we were evaluating a case built only on Cohen's testimony alone, I'd agree that'd be weak, but I seriously doubt that's what's going to happen. It is less what he can say and more about the location of any potential skeletons he's aware of.

    And again, its humurous tha you think 130k as a campaign finance violation merits jail time or removal from office. Whether or not Obama himself was involved is irrelevant, and not a damn person out of that finding was prosecuted with jail time, direct involvement or indirect not playing a factor at all. 
    That would be humorous if I thought that.

    Its one thing to say the guy conspired with foreign government agents, thats easily viewable as treason. Its another to say a 130k campaign finance violation is somehow equivalent to the aforementioned at all in severity and would at all reasonably result in jail time or grounds for removal from office.  
    I agree that those are different crimes, both in degree and kind. But neither is the whole case, is it?

    What this investigation has been for awhile now is desperately trying to find something, anything really, that could be construed as a crime, even if that crime itself has nothing to do with the investigations granted purview. Conspiracy with Russia was why the investigation was granted, because that area is actually a severe crime, and so far not a shred of evidence linking Trump to criminal conspiracy with foreign government agents. 
    Compared to other special prosecutor investigations, this one is a toddler. These things take years to build up a case, and they're not exactly going to be sharing their evidence until they are at trial. Would you, random citizen, expect to be aware of the evidence if there was any? Before indictments, charges, and trial?
  • Buddamoose
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    But let's say this does go to trial. Congrats, your star witness and only person directly linking Trump to a knowing violation is someone who was just torn apart as wholly uncredible, lacking in integrity, and has a track record of lying, acting opportunistically for his own benefit in a crime, etc. 

    You tell me whether or not that star witnesses testimony is actually going to mean much of anything in court? Especially since this is a flop on something that was repeatedly stated was not the case, until of course, the weasel was facing spending decades in jail 🤔. 

    I wouldnt actually mind seeing that for how comedic it would be. Prosecutors who just got done extensively and thoroughly whipping Cohens character, turn right around and say that the witness is reliable 😂. I'd place the odds pretty high the presiding judge and jury get a wholesomely good laugh out of that attempt 😂

  • drafterman
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    I simply don't believe that any case moving forward is going to rely only on Cohen's testimony.
  • Buddamoose
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    When it comes to Manafort, Gates testimony played very little factor. There was plenty of independent evidence to show it as truthful. But again. We arent talking about an arrangement which involved alot of people. The arrangement was allegedly between Cohen and Trump, in private. Cohens testimony is all prosecution could reasonably have, except for bank records that only incriminate Cohen. Oh and a tape in which no decision on the matter is ultimately made, that has audio of Cohen discussing potentially making such a payment. 

    To say. "prosecutors would withhold certain evidence" is true, but given the situation its hard to see exactly what evidence beyond Cohens testimony, could be provided to conclusively corroborate his story so, like Gates, that testimony has plenty backing it up. 

  • Buddamoose
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    --> @drafterman
    I simply don't believe that any case moving forward is going to rely only on Cohen's testimony.

    Its not a matter of sole reliance, its a matter of primary and main reliance. Gates testimony was itself not worth much. It became worth something because plenty of evidence was present to corroborate his testimony. 

    But given the circumstances of this alleged deal, we have a private deal made under wraps to pay hush money for an extramarital affair. Bank records only point to Cohen, none exist showing he was reimbursed by Trump. If that was the case, Trump would've been charged already, as prosecutors would have direct evidence independent of Cohen. The questionable tapes that skirt the line of attorney-client priviledge violations have been poured over. The most damning one leaked out that has Cohen and Trump discussing potentially make a hush payment, but never coming to agree to it. 

    As stated, its not exclusively Cohen, the situation however is as such that Cohens testimony will play a leading role regardless, and that is not going to fly very well in terms of burdens of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 
  • Buddamoose
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    This not to mentioned that the act itself of using ones own campaign funds to arrange hush payments is actually also not in itself illegal, the lack of disclosure is. Lack of disclosure is far from an impeachable offense, and hardly gets held as a serious offense let alone a "high crime" 🤔. 

    So even if say this goes nowhere, impeachment let alone removal from office is far from probable as a result 

  • Buddamoose
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    *hush money in a civil affair* hush money in terms of criminal behavior constitutes as obstruction to my knowledge 🤔
  • Buddamoose
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    Like out of some courtroom drama

    This though, I'm still laughing cause this is too accurate 😂😂
  • Buddamoose
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    For anyone interested in reading the full case plea its located here


    Its of particular importance fmpov that the 8th set of charges, the only regarding campaign finance violations, was plead as excessive contribution. Its also important that it being at the specific behest of anyone was excluded from the charge and detailing of the actions that merit the charge. 

    His statement in court that it was specifically at the behest of Trump, was already made beforehand. 

    It's also of  importance that this easily could be viewed as a personal expenditure, as was pointed out by a former FEC chairman[1]. Especially if a track record previous to the campaign in paying hush money to keep stories of extramarital affair from surfacing can be established, as, let's be honest, it probably would easily be 😂😂. 

    Let alone that such expenditures most often fall under the realm of a personal expense, even if taken through a middleman. Basically, not every, or even most, expenditures when campaigning for office counts as a campaign expenditure, even ones that may have an effect on public opinion or be viewed disfavorably. 🤔