Former Judge Andrew Napolitano, legal analyst for Fox News, said that yesterday the people of America learned without question that federal prosecutors in New York have clear evidence that President Donald Trump committed a felony.
“Career prosecutors here in New York have evidence that the president of the United States committed a felony by ordering and paying Michael Cohen to break the law,” Napolitano said on Wednesday. “How do we know that? They told that to the federal judge. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to the federal judge unless they actually have that hardcore evidence. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to the federal judge unless they intend to do something with that evidence.”
Napolitano made his provocative statements shortly after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for numerous of crimes he committed while he was Trump‘s personal attorney and fixer.
Cohen’s sentence stems from eight federal charges Cohen pleaded guilty to in August. Among them, Cohen admitted to violating campaign finance law by paying off two women who alleged to have had affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have said that Trump directed Cohen to make the payments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos stated in court Wednesday that Cohen “eroded faith in the electoral process” by committing the crimes.
“The felony is paying Michael Cohen to commit a felony. It’s pretty basic,” Napolitano said. “You pay someone to commit a crime, they commit the crime. You are liable, criminally liable for the commission of that crime. That’s what the prosecutors told the federal judge.”
In addition, Napolitano gave his opinion that the agreement prosecutors reached with American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, “ties a bow on all of this.”
AMI on Wednesday plead guilty to paying $150,000 to Karen McDougal “in concert with” Trump‘s presidential campaign “in order to ensure that McDougal did not make her damaging allegations public about her affair with Trump before the 2016 presidential election.”
As CNBC political analyst John Harwood said on Twitter:
“US Atty from Southern District of NY announces it won’t prosecute American Media after firm, headed by Trump friend David Pecker, admits it acted w/Trump campaign to suppress allegation of extra-marital affair before 2016 election. heightens Trump vulnerability to felony charge.”
US Atty from Southern District of NY announces it won't prosecute American Media after firm, headed by Trump friend David Pecker, admits it acted w/Trump campaign to suppress allegation of extra-marital affair before 2016 election. heightens Trump vulnerability to felony charge
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 12, 2018
If the only evidence of a Trump felony was the word of Michael Cohen, it would not stand up in court. But prosecutors — and the judge — know that they have other corroborating evidence, which probably includes incriminating documents. When added together with the new testimony from AMI and its CEO David Pecker, the evidence is irrefutable.
Now that all of America knows that Donald Trump is a felon the question remains: what will Republicans in Congress do about it?
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.