Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Breaking: Manafort Found Guilty on 8 of 18 Counts, Cohen Pleads Guilty to 8 Counts

 

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for candidate Donald Trump, was facing 18 criminal counts. The jury found him guilty on eight of the counts, which included five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. The jury said that they could not reach consensus on 10 of the counts, so those were declared a mistrial.

At about the same time the Manafort verdict came in, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight counts. He admitted that he paid a pornographic actress for her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign and pleaded guilty to multiple charges of bank and tax fraud.

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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Not “fake news.”

    Truth is truth.

    • #1
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Guruforhire Member

    Lesson learned. Don’t participate in the public process.

    • #2
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Michael Cohen says that he violated campaign finance law at the direction of the candidate. He does not say which candidate.

    Lock her up! 

    • #3
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  4. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Michael Cohen says that he violated campaign finance law at the direction of the candidate. He does not say which candidate.

    Lock her up!

    Lock ’em both up!

    • #4
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    So maybe character does matter.

    • #5
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Lesson learned. Don’t participate in the public process.

    Or, don’t sleep with skeevy porn stars and try to buy their silence with shady NDAs during a Presidential Campaign?

    • #6
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  7. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It was always obvious Trump had an affair with a porn actress (among others).

    It was always obvious Trump paid(via fixer Cohen) the porn actress hush money to stay quiet before the election.

    It was always obvious the porn actress (via her sleazy porn lawyer) realized she had agreed to a incredibly bad deal(she could have been a millionaire!) after Trump astonishingly won the election.

    The problem is Trump can legally contract to pay an individual to not publicly expose their extramarital affair.

    Campaign finance violation to influence an election???? Good luck with that ….

    We might be revisiting many historic elections to find this level sleaziness is actually not that uncommon at all.

    • #7
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  8. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So now that Move On has been appropriated by the Trump crowd how long before they start asking “At this point what difference does it make?”

    Only the best people…

    So a question for the lawyers if you break the law under the direction of your boss is that not a conspiracy between you two? Is Trump then also not guilty of conspiring to break camapaign finance law?

    My friends Michael Avenati will be our next president. It will be amazing.

    • #8
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:50 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Flynn, Manafort, Cohen…it’s almost like Trump surrounded himself with crooks. 

    • #9
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So now that Move On has been appropriated by the Trump crowd how long before they start asking “At this point what difference does it make?”

    Only the best people…

    So a question for the lawyers if you break the law under the direction of your boss is that not a conspiracy between you two? Is Trump then also not guilty of conspiring to break camapaign finance law?

    My friends Michael Avenati will be our next president. It will be amazing.

    Break which law? The fact that Cohen paid the porn actress to sign an NDA was never in dispute nor is it illegal.

    Cohen is now saying he arranged the NDA under the direction of Trump which to me was always apparent, and Trump denying his knowledge of the NDA with the porn actress was always highly unlikely.

    Squeezing all this normally legal sleaze into a campaign finance violation seems like a stretch, but I guess we’ll see.

    • #10
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So now that Move On has been appropriated by the Trump crowd how long before they start asking “At this point what difference does it make?”

    Only the best people…

    So a question for the lawyers if you break the law under the direction of your boss is that not a conspiracy between you two? Is Trump then also not guilty of conspiring to break camapaign finance law?

    My friends Michael Avenati will be our next president. It will be amazing.

    Break which law? The fact that Cohen paid the porn actress to sign an NDA was never in dispute nor is it illegal.

    Cohen is now saying he arranged the NDA under the direction of Trump which to me was always apparent, and Trump denying his knowledge of the NDA with the porn actress was always highly unlikely.

    Squeezing all this normally legal sleaze into a campaign finance violation seems like a stretch, but I guess we’ll see.

    Cohen’s statement was that he broke the law at the direction of the candidate. Campaign finance violations are pretty common though, Obama did it and received a fine. Trump’s campaign should probably be fined over this and we can all move on. 

    • #11
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Clinton settled with Paula Jones while he was President for 800k.

    There are allegations that Joe Kennedy offered Jacqueline money to stay married to JFK despite his stepping out.

    LBJ directed the FBI to spy on the Goldwater campaign.

    After Woodrow Wilson had a massive stroke, his doctors and the White House conspired to keep his condition a secret. His wife Edith was de facto President for the remainder of his term.

    Sleazeballs, all of them. Next….

    • #12
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Flynn, Manafort, Cohen…it’s almost like Trump surrounded himself with crooks.

    How was Flynn a crook? Please explain with some bit of detail.

    • #13
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    How was Manafort charged with wrong doing dating back to 2005? Any honest non-snarky answers appreciated. (In every other case I have heard of, financial crimes can only be charged within a 6 or 7 year time frame.)

    • #14
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So a question for the lawyers if you break the law under the direction of your boss is that not a conspiracy between you two? Is Trump then also not guilty of conspiring to break camapaign finance law?

    95% of the time yes. In this case it is conceptually possible that Cohen intended the payment to influence the election but Trump did not. It still could literally be true that Trump directed him to make the payment but did not have the requisite intent. Notably, Cohen cannot testify directly as to what Trump’s intent was unless Trump told him “I want this to influence the election,” but he could testify to the circumstances and inferences can be made from that. Further, there might be some sort of legal presumption that something so close to the election was done to influence that election. I’m not saying that this is a good defense, just that it is theoretically possible. 

    The more interesting question to me is that Trump paid him back but Cohen plead guilty to excessive contributions anyway. Campaigns can owe people money and candidates can make unlimited contributions to their own campaign, so if Cohen was always going to be paid back then my understanding is the crime is not reporting the contribution rather than its size. This guilty plea only makes sense if Cohen made the payment to expecting to be paid back and Trump decided to pay him back later.

     

    • #15
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    Campaign finance violation to influence an election???? Good luck with that ….

    I think it is because campaign funds were used. Trump may be rich but he seems to have had a shortage of cash for this type of contingency.

    • #16
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    The only real question at this point must be what effect, if any, will this have on the upcoming midterm elections?

    • #17
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Fred Cole Member

    Moderator Note:

    Please don't poison the well.

    Cue the rationalizations!

    • #18
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    Campaign finance violation to influence an election???? Good luck with that ….

    I think it is because campaign funds were used. Trump may be rich but he seems to have had a shortage of cash for this type of contingency.

    To say a billionaire had to use campaign money seems unlikely.

    Cash is fungible.

    If the original $130k came out of the campaign funds, anytime subsequent to the 130k payment Trump put at least $130k back into the campaign coffers he could simply say he was reimbursing the $130k he paid in hush money to the porn actress, thereby making the personal and not from the campaign funds.

    • #19
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Jim George Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Flynn, Manafort, Cohen…it’s almost like Trump surrounded himself with crooks.

    @jamielockett, I respectfully but emphatically dissent from that part of your statement which relates to Lt. General Flynn, U.S. Army (Ret’d), who served my Nation, and yours, most honorably until he got cross-wise with the administration of the worst President in the history of this country (for telling the truth about some of its policies impacting National Security, about which it was his sworn duty to speak out about), was hounded by the gang of jackboots otherwise known as the Mueller A-Team, had to sell his family home in order to pay legal fees and was threatened with similar Gestapo like treatment of his son if he did not plead guilty, and whose guilty plea is under serious consideration by a Federal Judge who could tell you a thing or two about the “Leader” of the A-Team, Andrew Weissmann. I hold no brief for Manafort, except to note that his main crime was being involved in any way whatsoever with the President, hated with a white hot and visceral hatred by everyone connected with the “A-Team”, or Cohen. However, my sense of basic fairness requires me to note my strong objection to having this General of the United States Army lumped in with the likes of Manafort and Cohen.

    Therefore, I respectfully dissent. 

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #20
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    To say a billionaire had to use campaign money seems unlikely.

    I don’t think he is any where near as rich as he says. Highly leveraged at the very least. 

    • #21
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Didn’t Hillary’s emailgate indictment also hang on her intent or lack therof? Good times. 

    If I recall estimed lawyer Rudolf Guliani said Cohen was paid back by his retainer. My guess is that Trump tried to stiff him, and ended up never paying him back therby creating the illegal contribution. Is that possible? Because I know somehow this whole thing has to get even dirtier. This is Trump we are talking about.

    Who wants to bet at his rally tonight he will say something deeply stupid and injurious to his defense. What happens with his Stormy NDA now? 

    • #22
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    The only real question at this point must be what effect, if any, will this have on the upcoming midterm elections?

    Trump supporeters will call it Fake News, and say everybody does it anyway. Democrats will smell blood and say we need to take over Congress to investigate this further and expose the corruption and impeach Trump for violating the law. And most people will not vote.

     

    • #23
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):
    To say a billionaire HAD to use campaign money seems unlikely.

    I don’t think he is any where near as rich as he says. Highly leveraged at the very least.

    $130k is still not much to the seriously wealthy, which while Trump is a serial BS’er about exactly how wealthy he is(about anything for that matter) , he is still seriously wealthy.

    • #24
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    If I recall estimed lawyer Rudolf Guliani said Cohen was paid back by his retainer. My guess is that Trump tried to stiff him, and ended up never paying him back therby creating the illegal contribution. Is that possible? Because I know somehow this whole thing has to get even dirtier. This is Trump we are talking about.

    That has been his Modus Operandi. It would be a really stupid thing to do but it could explain Cohen taping Trump. 

    • #25
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This $130k payment is worse than the $1.9M in campaign contributions the Obama ‘08 campaign somehow failed to report? For that they were fined $375,000 by the FEC.

    • #26
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  27. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):
    For that they were fined $375,000 by the FEC.

    It’s true. They were fined.

    Surely you’re not saying that Trump compares favorably to the lamentable Obama because his violation is just so… teensy weensy in comparison?

    • #27
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Cohens statement was that he broke the law at the direction of the candidate. Campaign finance violations are pretty common though, Obama did it and received a fine. Trumps campaign should probably be fined over this and we can all move on. 

    Dinesh D’Souza was jailed for routine financial “fraud” as I recall. 

    • #28
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:53 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    This $130k payment is worse than the $1.9M in campaign contributions the Obama ‘08 campaign somehow failed to report? For that they were fined $375,000 by the FEC.

    Yes but did Obama instruct them to not report the money or did they fail to because they just weren’t good at accounting? You can fail to live up to the law, be guilty of it and pay a fine. If you set out to wilfully break the law, then lie about it to everyone I think it’s worse. 

    • #29
    • August 21, 2018, at 4:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    EJHill (View Comment):

    This $130k payment is worse than the $1.9M in campaign contributions the Obama ‘08 campaign somehow failed to report? For that they were fined $375,000 by the FEC.

    No. Trumps campaign should be fined and we can move on. Did someone on the Obama campaign admit their violations happened st the direction of the candidate?

    • #30
    • August 21, 2018, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes

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