Yesterday was a day that will be remembered in the history books as one of the worst days ever for any President of the United States. The Paul Manafort guilty verdicts followed by the Michael Cohen plea deal were definitely bad news for Donald Trump.
Even as Trump and his supporters deny he did anything wrong, and say there was “no collusion” others are saying that yesterday’s events are the beginning of the end for his presidency.
In the rush of facts that everyone was trying to absorb and understand one issue was unresolved and misinterpreted, although it may be the most important issue to be discussed during the entire day: Was Michael Cohen “flipping” on Trump or not?
The confusion came about because the Cohen plea deal wasn’t labeled a “cooperation agreement” which many in the news media took to mean Cohen wasn’t cooperating with prosecutors. However just because it wasn’t called a “cooperation agreement” does NOT mean that Cohen isn’t cooperating with law enforcement.
One piece of evidence that should have been a clue that Cohen WAS cooperating concerned his proposed jail term. Reports said he was pleading guilty and would be sentenced to 4 – 5 years in jail. It was also reported that if were to be found guilty in a trial and THEN sentenced he could have been sent away for up to 65 years.
Prosecutors don’t just go from 65 years of jail time to 4 – 5 years of jail time without getting something in return.
Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis was on Rachel Maddow last night attempting to explain what was REALLY going on. He had to be careful in his use of language so as to not violate the attorney-client privilege.
“Mr. Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest to the special counsel and is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows,” Davis told Rachel.
And those few words contain the bombshell information that will probably blow up the entire Trump presidency.
Because what Davis said is that his client is willing to testify about everything he knows about Trump’s crimes which he called a “criminal conspiracy.”
Davis said Cohen would prove Trump was involved in:
- “a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election,” and
- “the computer crime of hacking.”
The high-powered Washington lawyer also said that Cohen will testify that “Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on.”
Davis of course knows that collusion is not a crime, but “conspiracy to collude” is a crime. In short, he believes his client will offer testimony to help prove Donald Trump (and possibly Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner) were active players in a criminal conspiracy to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Because Trump won as a result of many crimes committed, it is correct to conclude that his presidency is both illegitimate and also criminal. Donald Trump should be formally charged with treasonously conspiring with Russia against the United States to alter the outcome of the election.
Now we must hope Bob Mueller and other federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will proceed very quickly to charge and prove these crimes. We must end the Trump presidency immediately before he does more irreparable damage to our country.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.