In the course of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea this week, the president’s former lawyer admitted his part in a high-level cover-up, including the use of hush money, designed to influence the 2016 election. And he accused President Trump of directing this violation.
This is different from our daily dose of the president’s tweets and attacks.He has now been accused, by at least one credible source (and possibly two) of personal involvement in committing crimes. And contrary to what he apparently believes, a crime IS a crime, and he has already pretty much admitted he is guilty.
If Trump wasn’t president he would probably have already been indicted for crimes, and possibly even convicted.
His crimes are not small, inconsequential things either. the payment to Stormy Daniels was made 12 days before the 2016 election that made him president. His coverup may have actually been responsible for him winning the election.
This timing proves his attempt to deny American voters information they could have used to make a decision as to who to vote for.
According to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, who was George W. Bush’s primary speechwriter:
“the 2016 presidential election will always have an asterisk — ‘outcome may have been influenced by Russian hacking and campaign fraud.’ There is a cancer on the presidency.”
Former Bush speechwriter: “The 2016 presidential election will always have an asterisk — “outcome may have been influenced by Russian hacking and campaign fraud.”
Former Bush speechwriter: "The 2016 presidential election will always have an asterisk — “outcome may have been influenced by Russian hacking and campaign fraud.” https://t.co/LKn4r6ao0v pic.twitter.com/sw9a6QrBdJ
— David Beard (@dabeard) August 24, 2018
In the case of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal it was the White House recordings that doomed the president. On one tape he said he could raise $1 million in hush money. That plus the firing of the special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, and the allegations of tax evasion brought the president down. It took two years for a majority of Americans to conclude that Nixon should resign or be impeached.
It is not easy to remove a president, according to Gerson. He writes:
“Removing a president requires not a nasty legal storm, but a hurricane. And the president has a political base — fed on a Fox News diet — that may be impossible to uproot. Yet Trump still has serious cause for worry.”
Here are the things that Gerson believes may ultimately end the Trump presidency — and allow America to remove the cancer which threatens our democracy:
- Michael Cohen may have more evidence of Trump crimes. “Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, hints that his client may be keeping some revelations in reserve. What does Cohen know about potential irregularities at the Trump Foundation? About possible advance knowledge of Russian hacking?”
- Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort may still “flip” and turn state’s evidence against the president. “It is hard to imagine Manafort navigating the criminal-justice system with any values but self-interest in mind. Will he continue to choose the hint of a future pardon over the hard reality of additional years in prison?”
- Trump could turn the public against him by attempting to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. “This, given the credible charges already lodged against the president, would appear (and be) an admission of guilt and provoke serious blowback. Promiscuous pardoning might earn a similar response.”
- More incriminating tapes could be made public from any number of former Trump associates and employees. “Trump carries an atmosphere of carnivorous infighting around him, in which everyone needs to protect themselves from future betrayal. At least two people close to Trump have turned to taping as security.”
According to Gerson, if the U.S. House of Representatives returns to Democratic control, this will allow “Congress to get past the GOP’s coordinated cowardice and begin real investigations of the administration’s corruption.”
As many people have written, Trump runs his organization like a criminal enterprise, and surrounds himself with shady characters like himself.
According to Gerson, Trump lives in a “world in which Paul Manafort is “a very good person.” A world in which payoffs and election tampering are all in a day’s work.”
There is no doubt that if Mueller is allowed to stay on the job long enough he will eventually expose Trump’s shady world of crime to the light. And, as Gerson says, “the choice for Congress is likely to be clear: Impeach, or tolerate massive corruption.”
The time has come for Republicans to face this choice and make the right decision for the country. If they won’t do it they need to be removed from power in Washington. Americans do not want to tolerate “massive corruption.” The cancer on the presidency has become a cancer on the entire country, and it must be removed quickly before any more damage can be done.
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.