Former US Attorney Harry Litman said that the Trump/Cohen tape discussing a payout to Karen McDougal could provide evidence of campaign finance violations, bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy crimes committed by Trump.
Litman said, “Whatever Cohen did here, the tape and other conversations present the possibility of a conspiracy and any agreement to do something unlawful with an overt act would present liability to everyone who agrees. So if there is some kind of agreement of the president and the nominee coming out of the tape, it matters. The violation is as your correspondent said, it sounds technical. They got something of real value here and they did not have to pay for it and there is a whole another public policy issue that in this country we could have the press in possession of a valid story just kill it because of their cozy relationship with the campaign. Something funky happened there for the American people’s right to know, but in addition to the campaign finance, the execution of it probably involved the use banks and maybe a fraud against McDougal the Playboy model herself, and that gets more serious than just campaign finance. There’s the possibility of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to do all of these things.”
Trump and Cohen engaged in criminal activity to bury a story that would hurt Trump’s campaign
The motivation for Trump and Cohen’s activities was obvious. They were trying to bury a story that would hurt Trump’s presidential campaign right before the 2016 election. It is impossible to believe Rudy Giuliani’s defense that the tape is evidence of Trump’s innocence. If this tape was proof that Trump was doing nothing wrong, why did Cohen feel the need to record the call?
Republicans in Congress will continue to bury their heads in the sand to get through the midterm election, but Donald has a big new problem that could be criminal, and Republicans are running out of excuses and hiding places.
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