Cohen's testimony and sentencing...

Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but disregarding tool's assholery on the matter, we haven't spent much effort talking about the Mueller investigation. Given that so much of it has been speculative and winding, that's typical. But now I'm curious about the Hive's mind w/re to Cohen's testimony and the statements from the National Enquirer about their own quashing of a story about Trump banging a playmate. I guess the conceit is by paying off a couple of porn stars, that constitutes illegal campaign financing?

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Comments

  • Cohen's statement suggested that he is basically a straight-laced fellow who was blinded by loyalty.  Yet, most of that to which Cohen pled doesn't involve to anything DJT did.

    The Mueller investigation carries the taint of its origin.  Comey testified about how he was able to generate a charge against Flynn by sending Sztrok over for what would appear to be an informal chat, but was designed to generate statements from Flynn that could give an excuse to charge without sanctions for false prosecution.  Comey has already admitted to orchestrating the leaking of classified or confidential material in a plan to have Mueller appointed.  It now appears that the crew at Justice who hatched the plan and have since been terminated or resigned have lied to Congress about when the investigation into DJT's people really started.

    If Cohen engaged in tax fraud, he doesn't deserve a pardon. 

    It appears that some fairly smart people engaged an investigative and legal process improperly and for the purpose of undermining an election result because they share an emotional incontinence about DJT personally.  That doesn't merit a neutral reaction.

    I think less of DJT for not having pardoned Flynn already just as I thought less of GWB for not having pardoned Libby.
  • Are you suggesting that Cohen's testimony about Trump directing a payoff to a sex worker should be disregarded because Cohen is disreputable or that the inception of the entire matter is questionable? And if we disregard Cohen's testimony, what about the National Enquirer's statement? Are they disregarded because they're a sensationalist tabloid?

    I'm just trying to get a specific understanding of whether or not paying money to someone to keep them quiet about a booty call constitutes a campaign finance violation. If so, I assume it has to satisfy some minimum criteria, such as:

    -the payoff was explicitly stated by someone as a method for avoiding an election loss
    -for Trump to be culpable, he had to be clearly in the loop on the matter
    -what's to keep Trump from simply claiming that though the stories were going to break as a result of the campaign, his motivation for paying hush money was simply to keep his wife from finding out?
  • I havent heard anyone suggest that Trump used anything other than his own money. And the only way an NDA can be illegal is if the underlying matter that silence is being paid for is illegal, which in this case it isn't. Cohen is pleading guilty to things that aren't crimes.
  • Seabird said:

    Are you suggesting that Cohen's testimony about Trump directing a payoff to a sex worker should be disregarded because Cohen is disreputable ....



    No. I am observing that Cohen's statement at sentencing implied an obvious falsehood.
    Seabird said:

    ... or that the inception of the entire matter is questionable?



    Yes. The matters on which Flynn were to be prosecuted were generated by the investigation itself. Moreover, Comey has described the lengths to which he and Stzrok went to conceal their purpose in speaking with Flynn, i.e. to manufacture a basis for a charge.

    DJT should file an amended report with the FEC, imo.
  • edited December 2018
    Re Qwinn - I thought the original claim was that the money did *not* come from Trump and that Cohen did it on his own. Now the speculation (or implication) from the press is that Cohen was directed to pay them off for the express purpose of the campaign. That's what would be illegal, if I understand correctly.
  • Re zuk - Okay, thanks for the clarification. What is the legal ramifications for a prosecution of a crime discovered as a result of another investigation, if there was no basis for the original investigation in the first place, or if that investigation was undertaken with mal-intent? Is that even a thing?
  • Also, the Federal Bureau of Intimidation agents who interviewed Flynn didn't think he lied.
  • Andrew McCarthy at NRO has written the most cogent explanations I've come across.  It rings true, rather than being the product of enthusiasm, of which there seems to be very little for Trump at NRO.
  • I’ve heard him going over it on a few different shows now.

    Dershowitz called it a couple of weeks ago... A legal nothingburger but a political bombshell, which has more to do with how it’s spun than what it said.
  • "The latter would have been a strong incentive to buy off Daniels and McDougal, regardless. Indeed, Bradley Smith makes a telling point: If Trump had paid the women with campaign funds, his critics would certainly be screaming that he’d improperly diverted campaign resources for personal use."
  • The news coverage is funny. NPR is nearly 24/7 wall to wall with this story (reporting, commentary, discussion panels, etc), and when they're not talking about this, it's the trade war with China. They took a break this morning to blame the death of a 7 year old Guatemalan girl who died in custody at the border on Trump. Otherwise, it would seem that the Cohen/Mueller/Russian thing is 90% of their political coverage.

    I go to the WSJ and there is coverage (see the link in my first post), but the range of stories is far more diverse. The left is really hanging all of their hopes and dreams on the investigation.

    What amuses me is that on any other matter, no one would find Cohen credible. But now he's telling the truth?
  • Seabird said:

    Re zuk - Okay, thanks for the clarification. What is the legal ramifications for a prosecution of a crime discovered as a result of another investigation, if there was no basis for the original investigation in the first place, or if that investigation was undertaken with mal-intent? Is that even a thing?

    Just to further clarify, Flynn's crime wasn't discovered as the result of an investigation, it was generated by the investigation.
  • Can you explain that one to me a little?
  • Flynn hadn't done anything for which he could be prosecuted before sitting down for his "friendly and informal" chat for which Comey's people advised Flynn he wouldn't need a lawyer.  They discussed the substance of his conversations with officials of the Russian Federation, conversations of which they possessed transcripts, but didn't disclose that they had transcripts.  They later made a report of what they remembered about what Flynn had said he remembered.  Where there was any deviation from their transcripts of those conversations, they deemed that a lie to a federal investigator, then threatened him with prosecution that would not only ruin him financially, but his family as well.

    Flynn getting to know the russians with whom he would be dealing was never a crime.  The way this came about has people speculating that the judge may reject Flynn's plea deal.
  • edited December 2018
    In every report on the Cohen thing I see the phrase "to influence the outcome of an election." I'm glad they're being upfront now that it is illegal for a Republican to attempt to win an election. Because what the hell is someone campaigning for office doing OTHER than attempting to "influence the outcome of an election"?
  • Qwinn said:

    Because what the hell is someone campaigning for office doing OTHER than attempting to "influence the outcome of an election"?




    Drilling hookers. Apparently.
  • If he even did. To me a payoff like that proves nothing more than that the recipient threatened to make the allegation. It's not like any evidence is required, and the payoff is usually cheaper than fighting off the false allegation would be.
  • Thanks, zuk.
  • edited December 2018
    Ann Coulter's take on this matter is actually pretty informative.  The most boring part:

    "If Trump paid the $130,000 himself solely to help his campaign — and he wouldn’t have minded at all having a porn star telling the tabloids she’d had sex with him except for the fact that he was running for president — it would be a reporting violation and OH MY GOSH — HE’D HAVE TO PAY A FINE!

    Their argument is what if he didn’t pay it himself?! That’s why the media are obsessed with when Cohen emailed Stormy Daniels’ lawyer and from which email address — trying to find bread crumbs that someone else paid Stormy in order to claim it was an illegal campaign contribution — again requiring that the payment be motivated solely by the fact that Trump was running for office.

    This is how they lure you into arguing about something that doesn’t matter."


    https://www.takimag.com/article/government-indicts-ham-sandwich-michael-cohen-pleads-guilty/
  • That’s part of what I was getting at. They have to prove that his motivation for hushing those women up was to protect the campaign.
  • I liked him MORE after I found out he was fucking porn stars.
  • edited December 2018
    Seabird said:

    ...I'm curious about the Hive's mind ...

    Why don't you form your own opinions - like a grown adult - and stop asking Zuk to provide them for you?

    It looks as though Eric is riding his "Mueller is OVER" bet all the way to his own ruin. This is going to be interesting.
  • Mueller has been done for months.
  • edited December 2018
    vwtool said:

    Seabird said:

    ...I'm curious about the Hive's mind ...

    Why don't you form your own opinions - like a grown adult - and stop asking Zuk to provide them for you?

    It looks as though Eric is riding his "Mueller is OVER" bet all the way to his own ruin. This is going to be interesting.



    Why don’t you go fuck yourself. Better yet, learn the difference between respectfully asking for the opinions of others versus not thinking for yourself.

    Then go fuck yourself.
  • vwtool said:

    Why don't you form your own opinions - like a grown adult - and stop asking Zuk to provide them for you? 

    More importantly, do you think Judge Reed O'Connor (the guy who just ruled Obamacare unconstitutional) would make a good replacement for Breyer?  Or can I ask without someone composing a dopey question, asking why I'm trying to get you to provide my opinion for me?
  • Slap said:

    ...can I ask without someone composing a dopey question, asking why I'm trying to get you to provide my opinion for me?...

    As long as you don't preface your question with wondering what the "hive" thinks, you should be good.

    See?
  • If my opinions are heavily influenced by the *opposite* of whatever vwtool says about anything I don't have prior knowledge of, mainly due to his nearly infallible record of being 100% catastrophically wrong about every last thing I *do* have prior knowledge of, does that mean I'm not forming my own opinions? Cause I sure as hell ain't using his.
  • vwtool said:

    Slap said:

    ...can I ask without someone composing a dopey question, asking why I'm trying to get you to provide my opinion for me?...

    As long as you don't preface your question with wondering what the "hive" thinks, you should be good.

    See?



    Hey, Zeus Cristo, you’re a gobsmacking idiotic fuckstick, aren’t you? Your stupidity is almost a work of art.

    If the artist were a kid with a learning disorder with a propensity for smearing his own feces on a wall.

    No, that’s not true. What you post is worse than that.
  • Seabird said:

    But now I'm curious about the Hive's mind...




    This is clearly a huge problem. Instead of being curious about what others think, you should simply decide who and what challenges you, develop an obsession over it, then leave effeminate notes that highlight your weird fascination.

    Top it off with a witless replication of other peoples' writing. See?
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