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Two Trump lieutenants found guilty, president implicated


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New York (AFP) - Donald Trump stood accused of conspiring to commit campaign finance fraud and two of his closest aides faced jail time Tuesday, after court proceedings delivered a legal and political one-two punch to his embattled presidency.

 

In a drama that played out simultaneously across two US cities, a court found one former aide guilty of eight charges -- and the other pleaded guilty to another eight -- stemming from the federal investigation into the 2016 presidential election.

 

In New York, Trump's longtime fixer, the attorney Michael Cohen, admitted to charges that included making illegal campaign contributions.

 

Cohen detailed how he made pre-election hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both claim to have had affairs with Trump.

 

But in a sensational twist, Cohen also pointed to the president -- or "individual 1" as a co-conspirator -- alleging that he acted "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" in making those payments.

 

"I participated in this conduct with the purpose of influencing the election," a visibly crestfallen Cohen told the judge, his voice trembling at times as he addressed the packed courtroom.

 

That admission put Trump himself in legal jeopardy. And it raised the prospect that a once-trusted lieutenant is ready to spill secrets, gathered over decades, in exchange for a reduced sentence.

 

In a statement to US media, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said, "there is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen."

 

Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis explained his client's about face after years spent vowing to "take a bullet" for Trump.

 

"This is Michael fulfilling his promise... to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump," said Davis.

 

"Today, he 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," the lawyer continued.

 

- Nearer home -

 

While the Cohen drama was unfolding in New York, a jury in Virginia found Trump's one-time campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight counts, including bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to declare foreign bank accounts.

 

Trump expressed regret, calling Manafort "a good man."

 

"I feel very sad about that," Trump told reporters as he arrived in West Virginia for a rally, claiming the conviction was part of a "witch hunt" after the 2016 election.

 

"It's a very sad thing that happened, this has nothing to do with Russian collusion."

 

Trump also sought to distance himself from Manafort -- who was instrumental in the 72-year-old securing the 2016 Republican nomination.

 

"He worked for many, many people," said Trump, citing campaigns for former president Ronald Reagan and vice presidential candidate Bob Dole.

 

At the rally Trump made oblique but impassioned comments about Manafort and the Mueller probe.

 

"Where is the collusion?" he asked the crowd. "They are still looking for collusion, where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion."

 

- New York family -

 

It is Cohen's decision to enter a plea deal that may pose the most problems for Trump.

 

While it is US legal tradition that the president cannot be tried, the allegation, if proven, will only increase calls for his impeachment as congressional elections in November come nearer.

 

"I think impeachment is now squarely going to define the midterms," Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist and Trump critic, told The New York Times. "It's inescapable now that Democrats can legitimately raise that issue."

 

Questioned by a federal judge in Manhattan, Cohen indicated he had paid sums of $130,000 and $150,000 each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

 

Cohen said he made the payments "at the request of a candidate" to silence "information that would be prejudicial to the candidate and the campaign."

In addition to two counts of violating campaign finance laws, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one of bank fraud during the hearing before US District Judge William Pauley.

 

The federal judge informed the 51-year-old Cohen that he faced a maximum of 65 years of imprisonment, with his sentence set to be handed down on December 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just now, DennisTheMenace said:

Linkazoid

 

Trump-jumpsuit-TW.jpg

New York (AFP) - Donald Trump stood accused of conspiring to commit campaign finance fraud and two of his closest aides faced jail time Tuesday, after court proceedings delivered a legal and political one-two punch to his embattled presidency.

 

In a drama that played out simultaneously across two US cities, a court found one former aide guilty of eight charges -- and the other pleaded guilty to another eight -- stemming from the federal investigation into the 2016 presidential election.

 

In New York, Trump's longtime fixer, the attorney Michael Cohen, admitted to charges that included making illegal campaign contributions.

 

Cohen detailed how he made pre-election hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both claim to have had affairs with Trump.

 

But in a sensational twist, Cohen also pointed to the president -- or "individual 1" as a co-conspirator -- alleging that he acted "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" in making those payments.

 

"I participated in this conduct with the purpose of influencing the election," a visibly crestfallen Cohen told the judge, his voice trembling at times as he addressed the packed courtroom.

 

That admission put Trump himself in legal jeopardy. And it raised the prospect that a once-trusted lieutenant is ready to spill secrets, gathered over decades, in exchange for a reduced sentence.

 

In a statement to US media, Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said, "there is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen."

 

Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis explained his client's about face after years spent vowing to "take a bullet" for Trump.

 

"This is Michael fulfilling his promise... to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump," said Davis.

 

"Today, he 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," the lawyer continued.

 

- Nearer home -

 

While the Cohen drama was unfolding in New York, a jury in Virginia found Trump's one-time campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty on eight counts, including bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to declare foreign bank accounts.

 

Trump expressed regret, calling Manafort "a good man."

 

"I feel very sad about that," Trump told reporters as he arrived in West Virginia for a rally, claiming the conviction was part of a "witch hunt" after the 2016 election.

 

"It's a very sad thing that happened, this has nothing to do with Russian collusion."

 

Trump also sought to distance himself from Manafort -- who was instrumental in the 72-year-old securing the 2016 Republican nomination.

 

"He worked for many, many people," said Trump, citing campaigns for former president Ronald Reagan and vice presidential candidate Bob Dole.

 

At the rally Trump made oblique but impassioned comments about Manafort and the Mueller probe.

 

"Where is the collusion?" he asked the crowd. "They are still looking for collusion, where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion."

 

- New York family -

 

It is Cohen's decision to enter a plea deal that may pose the most problems for Trump.

 

While it is US legal tradition that the president cannot be tried, the allegation, if proven, will only increase calls for his impeachment as congressional elections in November come nearer.

 

"I think impeachment is now squarely going to define the midterms," Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist and Trump critic, told The New York Times. "It's inescapable now that Democrats can legitimately raise that issue."

 

Questioned by a federal judge in Manhattan, Cohen indicated he had paid sums of $130,000 and $150,000 each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

 

Cohen said he made the payments "at the request of a candidate" to silence "information that would be prejudicial to the candidate and the campaign."

In addition to two counts of violating campaign finance laws, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one of bank fraud during the hearing before US District Judge William Pauley.

 

The federal judge informed the 51-year-old Cohen that he faced a maximum of 65 years of imprisonment, with his sentence set to be handed down on December 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

implicated in what?

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Trump has not violated campaign finance laws, and here's why

The media is in a frenzy louder than feeding time at the zoo over the guilty pleas by Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, and Michael Cohen, Trump's (former) personal lawyer. Manafort's plea was unrelated to Trump.  Cohen pleaded to tax evasion (also unrelated to Trump), but also two counts of working with Trump to violate campaign finance laws.

As an attorney I can tell you, pretty definitively, that Trump has violated no campaign laws.

Cohen's plea deal states that Cohen violated campaign finance laws by making payments to one of Trump's alleged mistresses, "Stormy Daniels", and made payments to the National Enquirer to compensate the Enquirer for paying off another of Trump's alleged mistresses. Cohen, in turn was reimbursed by Trump for these expenses, so Trump was the ultimate source of the money for these payments.

208570_5_.jpg

Michael Cohen (Photo credit: Iowapolitics.com via Flickr)

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, Title 52, United States Code Section 30101 states in part that individuals are limited to making donations of $2,700 to presidential candidates. Cohen is accused of spending money in violation of the Act. Although Cohen spent more than $2,700 on behalf of Trump, he was reimbursed by Trump, so Trump was ultimately spending money on himself, and there is no limit on how much a person may spend on their own presidential campaign, so this section does not apply.

The Campaign Act also prohibits corporations from contributing directly to presidential campaigns. Cohen set up dummy corporations to make the payments and pled to making improper corporate donations. But again, although the money technically came from corporations, ultimately, all the money came from Donald Trump, so again these limitations do not apply.

But more importantly, this was not a campaign expenditure at all. Constitutional scholar Mark Levin has interviewed former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith repeatedly on his show over the past year, and Smith has made the point that "dual use" expenditures are not "campaign expenditures" under the meaning of the Act.

What are campaign expenditures? Payments for advertising, consultants, rallies, transportation, polling, and get out the vote efforts, of course. But has anyone ever reported payments to a mistress as campaign expenditure? Almost certainly not.

That's because any expenditure is not an expenditure simply because it may incidentally benefit a campaign. It must be an expenditure whose only purpose is to benefit a campaign. So if a candidate for office buys an American car, or gets his teeth whitened, these are things that can benefit his campaign, but are not campaign expenditures because they also have personal benefits.

Payments to President Trump's alleged mistresses to stay silent certainly benefitted his campaign. But they also served the purpose of not embarrassing the President's family. There clearly was a dual use to the payments, therefore they were not "campaign expenditures" under the act. If they were, then everything a candidate spent money on during the course of a campaign, whether of a personal nature or not, would have to be reported as a campaign expenditure. Does a candidate eat during a campaign? Well, if so that benefits his campaign and so must be an expenditure! Do you see how ridiculous this can become?

If these payments were not campaign expenditures then there is no violation. But Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign expenditure laws. Although no plea deal was announced, it looks like Cohen has flipped and pleaded guilty to these counts to avoid even more charges. But just because Cohen claims he, and Trump, violated campaign finance laws, that is not the same as a legal determination that he did so.

As Mark Levin pointed out on his show yesterday, a guilty plea is not an adjudication of a court. No court has ever ruled that hush payments to mistresses are a campaign expenditure. Michael Cohen was simply squeezed to get the results Robert Mueller wanted, to give grounds to impeach President Trump.

Mueller was supposed to be investigating the claims of Trump colluding with Russia. These guilty pleas, while notable for non-campaign finance reasons, have nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with Donald Trump. But it seems clear that the road to impeachment goes through campaign finance laws.

Even if Donald Trump allegedly funneled hush payments through his lawyer, and through a dummy corporation, they were still payments ultimately from him, and had nothing to do with campaign finance laws.

While the President's personal behavior is as un-admirable as ever, even worse is sitting back silently while the media wages lawfare against the President and Nancy Pelosi rams through articles of impeachment in 2019 because everyone accepts this false narrative.

Ed Straker is the senior editor of the Newsmachete Twitter Feed.

The media is in a frenzy louder than feeding time at the zoo over the guilty pleas by Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, and Michael Cohen, Trump's (former) personal lawyer. Manafort's plea was unrelated to Trump.  Cohen pleaded to tax evasion (also unrelated to Trump), but also two counts of working with Trump to violate campaign finance laws.

As an attorney I can tell you, pretty definitively, that Trump has violated no campaign laws.

Cohen's plea deal states that Cohen violated campaign finance laws by making payments to one of Trump's alleged mistresses, "Stormy Daniels", and made payments to the National Enquirer to compensate the Enquirer for paying off another of Trump's alleged mistresses. Cohen, in turn was reimbursed by Trump for these expenses, so Trump was the ultimate source of the money for these payments.

208570_5_.jpg

Michael Cohen (Photo credit: Iowapolitics.com via Flickr)

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, Title 52, United States Code Section 30101 states in part that individuals are limited to making donations of $2,700 to presidential candidates. Cohen is accused of spending money in violation of the Act. Although Cohen spent more than $2,700 on behalf of Trump, he was reimbursed by Trump, so Trump was ultimately spending money on himself, and there is no limit on how much a person may spend on their own presidential campaign, so this section does not apply.

The Campaign Act also prohibits corporations from contributing directly to presidential campaigns. Cohen set up dummy corporations to make the payments and pled to making improper corporate donations. But again, although the money technically came from corporations, ultimately, all the money came from Donald Trump, so again these limitations do not apply.

But more importantly, this was not a campaign expenditure at all. Constitutional scholar Mark Levin has interviewed former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith repeatedly on his show over the past year, and Smith has made the point that "dual use" expenditures are not "campaign expenditures" under the meaning of the Act.

What are campaign expenditures? Payments for advertising, consultants, rallies, transportation, polling, and get out the vote efforts, of course. But has anyone ever reported payments to a mistress as campaign expenditure? Almost certainly not.

That's because any expenditure is not an expenditure simply because it may incidentally benefit a campaign. It must be an expenditure whose only purpose is to benefit a campaign. So if a candidate for office buys an American car, or gets his teeth whitened, these are things that can benefit his campaign, but are not campaign expenditures because they also have personal benefits.

Payments to President Trump's alleged mistresses to stay silent certainly benefitted his campaign. But they also served the purpose of not embarrassing the President's family. There clearly was a dual use to the payments, therefore they were not "campaign expenditures" under the act. If they were, then everything a candidate spent money on during the course of a campaign, whether of a personal nature or not, would have to be reported as a campaign expenditure. Does a candidate eat during a campaign? Well, if so that benefits his campaign and so must be an expenditure! Do you see how ridiculous this can become?

If these payments were not campaign expenditures then there is no violation. But Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign expenditure laws. Although no plea deal was announced, it looks like Cohen has flipped and pleaded guilty to these counts to avoid even more charges. But just because Cohen claims he, and Trump, violated campaign finance laws, that is not the same as a legal determination that he did so.

As Mark Levin pointed out on his show yesterday, a guilty plea is not an adjudication of a court. No court has ever ruled that hush payments to mistresses are a campaign expenditure. Michael Cohen was simply squeezed to get the results Robert Mueller wanted, to give grounds to impeach President Trump.

Mueller was supposed to be investigating the claims of Trump colluding with Russia. These guilty pleas, while notable for non-campaign finance reasons, have nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with Donald Trump. But it seems clear that the road to impeachment goes through campaign finance laws.

Even if Donald Trump allegedly funneled hush payments through his lawyer, and through a dummy corporation, they were still payments ultimately from him, and had nothing to do with campaign finance laws.

While the President's personal behavior is as un-admirable as ever, even worse is sitting back silently while the media wages lawfare against the President and Nancy Pelosi rams through articles of impeachment in 2019 because everyone accepts this false narrative.



Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/08/trump_has_not_violated_campaign_finance_laws_and_heres_why.html#ixzz5Ou8EFyP8
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

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It IS interesting that given the chance to bring Russian collusion into the conversation, only campaign finance violations is mentioned. It seems that ship has completely sailed

 

 

 

 

Ever heard of Mr Mueller?????

 

 

you will shortly!!

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28 minutes ago, DennisTheMenace said:

 

Collusion to start with. 

No link in yer OP.

 

There will be another special counsel...and it will be the dems turn cause we have evidence that they colluded directly or indirectly with the Russians.

 

Stay tuned Menace.   :)

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3 minutes ago, MidnightMax said:

Hey beanie, tell us WHY YOU CHEERED WHEN JOHN EDWARDS was found NOT GUILTY of paying off his mistress and the same shi't you are trying to accuse PRESIDENT Trump of doing??

 

OF WHICH you have NO DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT IT EVER HAPPENED!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Huge difference    

 

John Edwards  used campaign  money.  Trump used his own  money

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I never cheered on Edwards you dolt....

 

Here...let me share this with you though

 

Comparing scandals by party

Just glancing at the chart above, it’s pretty clear which administrations are the most criminal, but let’s roll up the data anyway.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BY PARTY SINCE 1968
ADMINISTRATION

TOTAL YEARS

IN OFFICE

CRIMINAL

INDICTMENTS

CRIMINAL

CONVICTIONS

PRISON

SENTENCES

DEMOCRATIC 20 3 1 1
REPUBLICAN 28 120 89 34

Some might try to argue that this unfairly penalizes Republican administrations because GOP administrations held office for eight more years than Democratic administrations during this time period. The huge gap between the numbers shows how ridiculous that is, but even so, let’s get the averages per year of combined administrations:

AVERAGE EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIONS BY YEAR SINCE 1968
ADMINISTRATION

AVERAGE #

INDICTMENTS

PER YEAR

AVERAGE #

CONVICTIONS

PER YEAR

AVERAGE #

IMPRISONMENTS

PER YEAR

DEMOCRATIC 0.15 0.05 0.05
REPUBLICAN 4.29 3.18 1.21

 

 

Even when we standardize it by getting annual averages, GOP administrations still have 29 times more indictments, 64 times more convictions, and 24 times more prison sentences. 

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55 minutes ago, DennisTheMenace said:

Linkazoid

 

 

Cohen said he made the payments "at the request of a candidate" to silence "information that would be prejudicial to the candidate and the campaign."

In addition to two counts of violating campaign finance laws, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one of bank fraud during the hearing before US District Judge William Pauley.

 

The federal judge informed the 51-year-old Cohen that he faced a maximum of 65 years of imprisonment, with his sentence set to be handed down on December 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

time served as his punishment will come after release and the mobs lynch him in public. Flash point between conflicting interpretations requiring government to implement martial law.  Know how you are being played to create what appears to be spontaneously reactions to calculated events. hell one even better, December 13, Trump pardons him.

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2 minutes ago, EltonJohnson said:

 

 

 

Huge difference    

 

John Edwards  used campaign  money.  Trump used his own  money

 

EXACTLY!!!

 

Add to it, ONE OF THE PAST HEADS of the Fed. Election Commission has RULED that "paying off someone to keep quiet" is NOT A CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATION.

 

Sucks for these shi'tstains that all they have is their handlers blowing smoke up their azzes to keep the meme alive.

 

 

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