Friday, November 30, 2018

Trifecta of Bad News for Man in White House Yesterday: "President's Longtime Personal Lawyer, Longtime Executive at his Business, Pled Guilty to a Cover-Up, a Criminal Cover-Up"

So today, the president's longtime personal lawyer, longtime executive at his business, pled guilty to a cover-up, a criminal cover-up. He pled guilty of lying to Congress about the extent of the real estate dealings that President Trump and his business ere engaged in and pursuing in Russia while Trump was running for president, and while the Kremlin was simultaneously mounting an international military intelligence operation to skew our election in order to tilt it toward Trump.

In a major development in that probe, Cohen's criminal information linked Trump's foreign business interests with his 2016 campaign for president. It puts Cohen in touch with Trump, Trump's family and high-level Russian government officials about efforts to develop a new project in Moscow just months before Election Day.

Even more than the president’s potential criminal liability, there is a set of burning questions about exactly what happened in 2016, the extent to which Russian efforts to influence the presidential election found purchase in the United States, and what part was played by high-level Trump campaign officials or the president himself. It is intolerable to consider that the truth of these consequential matters would be smothered and kept from the American people indefinitely. But that's exactly what the president’s overall strategy aims to do, and with the support, at least tacitly, of a complicit still-Republican-majority — for now — Congress. Is there no one in the GOP with the guts to stand up to the president and the resolve to see that the truth will out? 

David Kurtz, "A LOT Here":

Read the new Michael Cohen plea agreement and criminal information, which implicates both President Trump and his family.

Donald Trump ran into a trifecta of bad news before noon on Thursday, all seemingly related to his Trump Tower business ventures….One close confidante raided by law enforcement is bad; three is a trifecta of awful. When the law raids, it pours.

Federal agents on Thursday raided the office of an attorney who in the past has handled the Trump Organization’s taxes. 
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that "federal agents showed up unannounced at the City Hall office of Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke, kicked everyone out and papered over the windows Thursday morning."

Oh, I don't know. Doesn’t every presidential candidate in every election offer a $50 million gift to a foreign leader who at that time is running a military intelligence operation to help that candidate become president in the United States? Don't they all do this?

"I believe most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by" Russian money, the author [i.e., Trump biographer Craig Unger] added. "The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee run by Mitch McConnell got millions from [Soviet-born businessman] Leonard Blavatnik."

This is the tip of the iceberg. I've said this all along. Donald Trump could not get money once he was bankrupted in the 90s, other than Deutsche Bank. The money was coming from Russia. Once he's out of office, this is not gonna stop either. Every ambitious U.S. Attorney in New York is not gonna stop until they take this empire apart. This is not just the beginning of the end of his presidency — I think he will not re-run, I don't think he'll get impeached — but once that's done, you're going to see his entire organization, his entire life, his entire fortune picked apart, because nobody is bigger than the house. He tried to play the house, he tried to say 'our judicial system doesn't matter, our intelligence system doesn't matter, the media doesn't matter, the military doesn't matter.' Nobody beats the house. 

Sometimes it's worth stepping back and stating the obvious. Over the course of these thirty months of cover-ups, every player in the Trump/Russia story has lied about their role in the conspiracy. And not hedging and spinning fibs but straight up lies about the core nature of their involvement, their overt acts. Most – though here what we know is a bit more tentative – seem to have lied under oath, whether to congressional committees or a grand jury. Not a single one of them told a story that wasn’t eventually contradicted and disproved. Not a single one.

It always was about the money. The president* always defined himself by it. It was the comforting myth of his public existence, the fairytale he told himself so he could sleep at night through all the failure and bankruptcy and the whoring after cash, dirty or laundered, all over the world. Take away the money—or, more accurately, the perception of the money—and there simply is nothing left of the man. Take away the money, and he can't see himself in the mirror. So he would do anything, including imperil his presidency and, therefore, the country, to save himself from the horrible realization that the money was all there was to him and there wasn't any money anymore. 
What the hell? What was the presidency to him but another mirror in which he still could see a man made of money? 
So comes now Michael Cohen to talk about the money, and to lie to Congress about the money, and now to tell the Court, and Robert Mueller, the truth about the money. And we discover that Robert Mueller is no fool, and that he has known, all along, that it was about the money and that it always was about the money.

On electoral Tuesdays more than church-service Sundays, white Evangelicals live in their own world, and Donald Trump and his allies rule it.

(Thanks to Fred Clark at Slacktivist for the link to the Ed Kilgore article cited above.)

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