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Andrew C. McCarthy: Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney

bubbabgone

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"The major takeaway from the 40-page sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors Friday for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is this: The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws."
[snip]
Second, the violation to which Cohen pleaded guilty is not merely making illegal expenditures; it also includes making such expenditures “in cooperation, consultation, or concert, with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate.” (Section 30116(a)(7)(A) of the election laws).

Again, this is why Cohen was pushed at his guilty plea proceeding to state that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump. It is an assertion the prosecutors emphasize in the sentencing memo. The thrust of their allegation is that Cohen and Trump are confederates in an illegal contribution that Cohen made only because Trump directed him to do so.
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

Interesting summary for those looking for balance.
He goes on to say what some here had been saying yesterday.

There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.

Arguably, the payment is not a donation if it was made for an expense that was independent of the campaign – that is, money that would have had to be paid even if there were no campaign.

Cohen chose to plead guilty and forfeited the right to contest this point. That concession is not binding on Trump. If the president is charged, I expect he would vigorously argue that the payment was not a campaign contribution.
 

Airyaman

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In order for Trump to claim it was not an effort to cover up affairs to influence voters, he'd have to show a pattern of other similar payments prior to his announcement to run for president.

I look forward to that.
 

ttwtt78640

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A campaign contribution is money going into the campaign. What you are describing is money going from the campaign - commonly called a campaign expense.
 

Captain Adverse

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https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

Interesting summary for those looking for balance.
He goes on to say what some here had been saying yesterday.

Of note in your citation:

Prosecutors would not have done this if the president was not on their radar screen. Indeed, if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all. Those charges had a negligible impact on the jail time Cohen faces, which is driven by the more serious offenses of tax and financial institution fraud, involving millions of dollars.

Moreover, campaign finance infractions are often settled by payment of an administrative fine, not turned into felony prosecutions. To be sure, federal prosecutors in New York City have charged them as felonies before – most notably in 2014 against Dinesh D’Souza, whom Trump later pardoned.
https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

So IMO this appears to be based on animus towards this particular President rather than seeking justice, and only highlights the partisanship of the locale pushing for this kind of indictment.

Meanwhile, the current evidence shows that Trump engages in non-disclosure agreement efforts for all sorts of reasons quite often.

IMO it is highly likely that he would be able to supply evidence of similar NDA's with women in his past, amply demonstrating that despite Cohen's "coerced" testimony, his actions had more to do with normal Trump "self-protection" procedures, and little or nothing to do with campaign finance violations.
 

Lutherf

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Of note in your citation:

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

So IMO this appears to be based on animus towards this particular President rather than seeking justice, and only highlights the partisanship of the locale pushing for this kind of indictment.

Meanwhile, the current evidence shows that Trump engages in non-disclosure agreement efforts for all sorts of reasons quite often.

IMO it is highly likely that he would be able to supply evidence of similar NDA's with women in his past, amply demonstrating that despite Cohen's "coerced" testimony, his actions had more to do with normal Trump "self-protection" procedures, and little or nothing to do with campaign finance violations.

They had a tape of Cohen and Trump discussing the McDougal payment. Cohen was the one that told Trump he had to pay, not the other way around. That's on tape we've all heard already and it directly contradicts Mueller's assertion that Trump directed Cohen to make the payments.
 

bubbabgone

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They had a tape of Cohen and Trump discussing the McDougal payment. Cohen was the one that told Trump he had to pay, not the other way around. That's on tape we've all heard already and it directly contradicts Mueller's assertion that Trump directed Cohen to make the payments.

What you need is a tape that shows Trump telling Cohen the hush money had to be paid because of his candidacy. What we all heard and what Cohen agreed to say in his plea wasn't that.
Without it Trump's side could always say, "Yeah, we're used to paying hush money. We've been doing that since puberty."
And on the tape, when Cohen said they should set up a company to pay for it Trump said “Pay with cash.” That's important.
 

chuckiechan

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Of note in your citation:

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

So IMO this appears to be based on animus towards this particular President rather than seeking justice, and only highlights the partisanship of the locale pushing for this kind of indictment.

Meanwhile, the current evidence shows that Trump engages in non-disclosure agreement efforts for all sorts of reasons quite often.

IMO it is highly likely that he would be able to supply evidence of similar NDA's with women in his past, amply demonstrating that despite Cohen's "coerced" testimony, his actions had more to do with normal Trump "self-protection" procedures, and little or nothing to do with campaign finance violations.

This animus is the true "dual justice system" that has taken root in the USA. It goes all the way down to the local level. A white kid steals a car, gets probation. A black kid does and he gets juvie, then probation. It's just that now the Republicans are new (insert rap lyrics here).
 

sangha

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A campaign contribution is money going into the campaign. What you are describing is money going from the campaign - commonly called a campaign expense.

I suggest you look up the term in-kind contribution
 

GDViking

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A campaign contribution is money going into the campaign. What you are describing is money going from the campaign - commonly called a campaign expense.


Except the money did not come out of the campaign, Cohen took out a mortgage on his house, trump supposedly paid him back.

Both lied about it, and trump used a fake name to cover up his criminal activity.

Hell trump is still lying about it.

Good luck convincing a judge and jury that these two lying conmen only had honorable and legal motives at heart...
 

ttwtt78640

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I suggest you look up the term in-kind contribution

What was contributed to the campaign? Perhaps a (now broken?) promise not to disclose/discuss personal (not political) information.

If the campaign bought a limo or a batch of yard signs, instead of a NDA, would that too be a campaign contribution or would that be a campaign expense?

Such an FEC rule violation (if it is found to be such) would normally result in a fine.
 

ttwtt78640

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Except the money did not come out of the campaign, Cohen took out a mortgage on his house, trump supposedly paid him back.

Both lied about it, and trump used a fake name to cover up his criminal activity.

Hell trump is still lying about it.

Good luck convincing a judge and jury that these two lying conmen only had honorable and legal motives at heart...

What good is a NDA agreement if its existence must be disclosed?
 

sangha

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What was contributed to the campaign? Perhaps a (now broken?) promise not to disclose/discuss personal (not political) information.

If the campaign bought a limo or a batch of yard signs, instead of a NDA, would that too be a campaign contribution or would that be a campaign expense?

If the purchase was made by an individual, it would be both.
Such an FEC rule violation (if it is found to be such) would normally result in a fine.
No, unintentional violations normally result in a fine. Deliberate efforts to conceal campaign contributions or expenditures are criminal offenses
 

ttwtt78640

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Except the money did not come out of the campaign, Cohen took out a mortgage on his house, trump supposedly paid him back.

Both lied about it, and trump used a fake name to cover up his criminal activity.

Hell trump is still lying about it.

Good luck convincing a judge and jury that these two lying conmen only had honorable and legal motives at heart...

OK, then it was a personal transaction fully intended to remain undisclosed (thus the legal contract was called a NDA).
 

GDViking

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What was contributed to the campaign? Perhaps a (now broken?) promise not to disclose/discuss personal (not political) information.

If the campaign bought a limo or a batch of yard signs, instead of a NDA, would that too be a campaign contribution or would that be a campaign expense?

Such an FEC rule violation (if it is found to be such) would normally result in a fine.


Nope, there are two levels of this crime one is an accidental expediter that would result in a misdemeanor, money returned and a fine.

In this case trumps DOJ has made it clear the money was illegally spent for the purpose of effecting the election, and then lied about and covered up, therefore clearly reaching the level of felonies...
 

ttwtt78640

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Nope, there are two levels of this crime one is an accidental expediter that would result in a misdemeanor, money returned and a fine.

In this case trumps DOJ has made it clear the money was illegally spent for the purpose of effecting the election, and then lied about and covered up, therefore clearly reaching the level of felonies...

OK, then impeach Trump for that alleged criminal act. I would bet that several congress critters (and other elected officials) have had 'delicate' matters settled which included DNAs and thus would be very reluctant to vote for either impeachment charges or in support of an impeachment conviction.
 
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Gaius46

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https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/and...ikely-to-be-indicted-by-manhattan-us-attorney

Interesting summary for those looking for balance.
He goes on to say what some here had been saying yesterday.

The Justice Department holds the institutional position that a sitting President cannot be indicted so no the SD of NY will not be indicting Trump, at least not while he's President.


edit: Just read the entire article and the author makes my point above. It pretty much invalidates the rest of the article so I'm not sure what point he's trying to make.
 

GDViking

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OK, then it was a personal transaction fully intended to remain undisclosed (thus the legal contract was called a NDA).


The contract itself was not illegal, the purpose, the timing, how it was paid for and then the lying about it and the cover up is how it became a criminal act...
 

bubbabgone

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Nope, there are two levels of this crime one is an accidental expediter that would result in a misdemeanor, money returned and a fine.

In this case trumps DOJ has made it clear the money was illegally spent for the purpose of effecting the election, and then lied about and covered up, therefore clearly reaching the level of felonies...

Actually, Trump's DOJ made Cohen say that's what it was.
 

GDViking

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OK, then impeach Trump for that alleged criminal act.

I suspect that very well may happen.

We are WAY beyond anything Clinton, or Bush did to get Impeached.

As for the policy of not indicating a sitting president, I would of be surprised if trump is not ha red a handful of sealed indictments the moment he leaves office...
Edit: Bush SR was not Impeached, however he was under special investigation for years...
 

ttwtt78640

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The contract itself was not illegal, the purpose, the timing, how it was paid for and then the lying about it and the cover up is how it became a criminal act...

OK then let the impeachment process take its course. How dare anyone try to keep an NDA undisclosed?
 

Airyaman

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If the purchase was made by an individual, it would be both.

No, unintentional violations normally result in a fine. Deliberate efforts to conceal campaign contributions or expenditures are criminal offenses

That's the rub, isn't it?

They wanted to cover-up his affairs -- possibly to hide them from the voters, TBD -- so therefore had to hide the expenditures because otherwise the cover-ups would be pointless.
 

bubbabgone

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The Justice Department holds the institutional position that a sitting President cannot be indicted so no the SD of NY will not be indicting Trump, at least not while he's President.


edit: Just read the entire article and the author makes my point above. It pretty much invalidates the rest of the article so I'm not sure what point he's trying to make.

Right. That's what McCarthy said.
The overall point he was making is that he sees what's going on and where it's going.
He also sees that despite the one charge the SDNY looks to be going for is not conclusive anyway because of the nature of campaign finance laws ... and Trump has a possible defense.

However ... I might add that simply the threat, or a leaked claim that if he weren't President he'd be indicted, will be enough for the usual suspects to claim "See, we told you. Impeach 45".
Even though it has nothing to do with the original purpose of the probe, when that's all that's left that'll be used.
 

bubbabgone

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If I were coerced testimony a judge would not accept it...

Not coerced. Agreed to. Surely you must understand how plea deals are arrived at when there are multiple charges.
"Cohen was pushed at his guilty plea proceeding to state that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump."
 

sangha

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The Justice Department holds the institutional position that a sitting President cannot be indicted so no the SD of NY will not be indicting Trump, at least not while he's President.


edit: Just read the entire article and the author makes my point above. It pretty much invalidates the rest of the article so I'm not sure what point he's trying to make.

Wrong

It only means that he will not be indicted until after he leaves office
 
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