Thursday, August 23, 2018

Sex, money, and campaign finance violations — Vox explains the Michael Cohen plea

The day before yesterday, Michael Cohen pled guilty to eight charges, including two campaign finance violations.  The next morning, Vox uploaded Michael Cohen: Sex, lies, and campaign finance.

Trump’s former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations related to hush money he paid to women accusing the president of extramarital affairs.
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer and fixer for Donald Trump, has admitted that he violated campaign finance laws when he paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniel in the weeks before the 2016 elections.

Now that Cohen pleaded guilty on eight federal charges, including two campaign finance violations, the biggest unanswered question is whether the president will also be held accountable.
In all my coverage of candidate and then President Trump, I've written about his being too chummy with Vladimir Putin and Russia, how bad he is for climate, energy, and the environment, his punitive actions on immigration, his penchant for conspiracy theories, and how he generally increases risk of disaster.  I have even blogged about Trump's sexism, but I couldn't find an example of my mentioning Trump in a sex scandal.  Today, that changed, not because of the sex, but because of the campaign finance violations.  Sex and Trump, boring — Courser and Gamrat were more interesting.  Trump violating campaign finance laws — that's worthy of notice.

Cohen plea was not the only conviction of one of Trump's former associates.  NBC News reported Paul Manafort Convicted On 8 Counts; Mistrial Declared On 10 Other Charges | NBC Nightly News.

Paul Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared in three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and seven counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy.
I plan on following the next trial, too.  Stay tuned as the scandal continues.


  1. What's really beautiful is the suit beginning in NY against the Trump Foundation. It's funny that Trump mentioned Al Capone awhile back. Maybe he'll end up in prison for the same reason. Cohen is so eager to help he called them personally rather than having his lawyer call.


    1. I'll get my wife to get the popcorn ready when I blog about the investigation of the Trump Foundation. As for prison, that would surprise me. I'm sure he'll get some combination of probation, house arrest, and a big fine instead.

  2. Yes, I have a hard time picturing any US president going to prison and it maybe sets a bad precedent even in Trump's case. Infamy is probably a suitable punishment. Looking at his age, diet and exercise habits I wouldn't expect him to reach a ripe old age anyway. I'd be surprised to see him reach 2020 let alone get re-elected. But then, who am I to question the expertise of Dr. Ronny Jackson?

    1. The man is already 72 years old, the same age as my father when he died, so I'd say he's already reached old age. On the other hand, he could last longer than either of us expect, as he doesn't smoke or drink. As for questioning the expertise of Dr. Jackson, leave that to me. I'm not an M.D., but I have a Ph.D. in Biology and have taught Health and Anatomy and Physiology.

    2. I'll leave the critiquing of Jackson to you. I have two courses in botany under my belt, but like Ollie North's lawyer I'm sure he's not a potted plant.

    3. Thank you. For what it's worth, I have three courses in botany, so I can outdo you there, too. As for his not being a potted plant, not literally, but I think he is one figuratively.