|credit: Chris Weyant, Boston Globe|
Wackydoodle sez: Putin's on his nice list!
Federal prosecutors in New York have finally linked Individual I to federal crimes in court documents filed for lawyer Michael Cohen's sentencing proceedings. The filings affirm Cohen's allegation that he paid off women to keep quite about their sexual encounters with Individual I at the height of his presidential campaign. These payments unambiguously constitute illegal campaign payments in the opinion of prosecutors. Federal law requires that any payments made "for the purposes of influencing" an election must be reported in campaign finance disclosures. These payments are likely to become the target of House Democrats when they take control of the House in January. A Democratic leader said the court filings "outline serious criminal wrongdoing." Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the incoming Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Saturday. "And now you have a third [charge] — that the president was at the center of a massive fraud against the American people.” Nothing like calling the kettle black when it is a dirtball.
In addition to the illegal campaign finance activity, Cohen kept his boss informed of his efforts to speed Kremlin support for a tower development in Moscow well into his bosses' campaign for president. His Russian contact was an assistant to Putin's press secretary. Mueller states that this is important because the efforts to seal a deal, “came at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.” The Special Counsel goes on to emphasize, “The Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government,” One Russian individual who sought to influence the presidential candidate through Cohen was probably Russian Olympic weightlifter, Dmitry Klokov, who offered to provide the Trump campaign with 'political synergy' and 'synergy on a government level'. Despite the mounting circumstantial evidence, Individual I continues to twit weekly, sometimes in CAPITAL LETTERS, that there was "no collusion" between him and Russian government officials.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight federal crimes including campaign finance violations. Regardless of his subsequent cooperation with federal investigators, the aggressive Southern District of New York prosecutors are recommending to the court that Cohen serve four years in federal prison. Trump continues to deny he had any knowledge of the payments made to Stephanie Clifford, aka porn star Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model. Whether Individual I knew the payments to the women were illegal under federal campaign law is a critical question left unanswered by prosecutors in the documents filed so far. Clearly a connected attorney like Cohen, who had political campaign experience, should have known the payments were illegal, and he had an ethical duty to inform his client of the possibility. Cohen steadfastly maintains the payments were made at the direction of Individual I. If true, that would make the sitting President an accessory to the commission of two federal felonies.
|credit: John Darkow, Columbia Missourian|
BJ Idowanna sez: Me use smoke signals.