Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, used the Paul Manafort conviction and Michael Cohen guilty plea as proof that the Mueller investigation is not a witch hunt.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Rep. Schiff said:
The conviction of Paul Manafort on multiple felony charges of bank and tax fraud marks a major turning point in the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation, and shows again that the President’s campaign was populated by individuals with a history of unscrupulous and dishonest business dealings and concerning ties to overseas interests.
Michael Cohen’s almost simultaneous guilty plea to felony counts of tax fraud and bank fraud, and campaign finance violations involving the payment of hush money to women alleged to have had affairs with Trump is yet another set of convictions of the President’s inner circle. The factual basis of the plea, potentially implicating the President in illegal campaign finance violations, adds to the President’s legal jeopardy.
These convictions demonstrate that Mueller’s investigation is far from a ‘witch hunt,’ as the President falsely repeats as a mantra. Instead, it shows that Mueller and prosecutors in New York are conducting a professional investigation, following the facts where they lead, and obtaining serious felony convictions. They also dramatically increase the likelihood that both men cooperate with the government.
Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti is one hundred percent certain that Cohen is going to cooperate with the government. Paul Manafort sill has another trial to go, so his cooperation might still be questionable. Manafort might wait until the last possible second before offering to cooperate, or he may take his punishment and not cooperate until he realizes that Trump is not going to pardon him.
Both of these developments are dire for Trump, as Rep. Schiff was correct. Donald Trump is in more legal jeopardy today than he was in yesterday.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association