Donald Trump has already been implicated in multiple felonies, obviously

Trump departs the White House to attend the 119th Army-Navy Football Game

Well, we learned why Donald Trump was freaking out so hard on Twitter Friday morning. Friday turned out to be a pretty big day for the Mueller investigation. I saw some pundits call it “the beginning of the end” or “one of the biggest days in the investigation,” and maybe that will prove true in the long run, but right now it just feels like… it was a good day, but there’s still a way to go. On Friday, the Southern District of New York made their sentencing recommendations for Michael Cohen, and Mueller’s team released a brief in the Paul Manafort situation. Here are the Washington Post’s takeaways:

1. SDNY: Cohen has overstated his cooperation with Mueller
This might be the biggest takeaway when it comes to the SDNY document — and its relevance to Trump. We knew Cohen never technically had a cooperation agreement with SDNY or Mueller, but he made a big public show of looking like he was atoning for his wrongs by telling prosecutors whatever they asked.

2. The government has implicated Trump in Cohen’s crimes
We knew from his plea deal, in which he admitted to eight crimes, that Cohen had implicated Trump in campaign finance violations involving the payment to Stormy Daniels. But, as The Post’s Philip Bump details, here the SDNY prosecutors also state Trump’s role in directing the payment as plain fact: “In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” they say (again referring to Trump as “Individual-1,” as the documents last week did).

3. Cohen was contacted by a Russian national in 2015
One potential clue for the collusion investigation has to do with a contact Cohen received in 2015 from a “Russian national” seeking “synergy” between the campaign and the Russian government. From Mueller’s document: “The defendant also provided information about attempts by other Russian nationals to reach the campaign. For example, in or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.” The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the President of Russia. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well,” referring to the Moscow Project, because there is “no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia].” Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation.

4. Mueller appears to be keying on Russia ties in Trump’s business
The writing was on the wall for this when Mueller reached that plea deal with Cohen for lying about such matters last week; it was the best explanation for Cohen’s continued pursuit of Trump Tower Moscow being entered into the public record.

5. Manafort’s alleged lies were also Russia-focused — and deal with a big unknown
As soon as we found out last week that Manafort had allegedly lied to Mueller’s team, in violation of his cooperation deal, the question was about what. What was worth lying about for a man whose cooperation was required for the leniency he apparently sought?

[From The Washington Post]

As I said, it feels like a big move, and a move in the right direction, but is this really the beginning of the end? Individual 1 is still out here, tweeting absolute bullsh-t:

Those tweets mean nothing, but it’s worth noting that this isn’t really a denial based on facts in the documents – Trump doesn’t read, and he wouldn’t have read anything involving Cohen or Manafort. He’s just issuing blind denials, because he is that demented.

New York Magazine had a good round-up of what all of the Cohen and Manafort stuff means. I’m still tapping my watch and waiting for Individual 1 Junior to be arrested though. I want it to happen before Christmas, please.

Trump departs the White House to attend the 119th Army-Navy Football Game

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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61 Responses to “Donald Trump has already been implicated in multiple felonies, obviously”

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  1. Chef Grace says:

    Sure 45 is as crazy as a shit house rat. But nothing will happen.
    This government in place is as corrupt as never seen before. Impeachment proceedings?
    Just talk.
    Mueller investigatin is like wet toilet paper.
    I have no faith anything can be done.

    • Debby says:

      I fear you might be right. Remember, Trump has been making shady deals for most of his life and has never spent one minute in jail and all he had then was some money and maffia-connections. Now he has political power so I think he’ll wiggle out of everything and perhaps get re-elected in 2020.

    • Kay says:

      Yep. Apparently the statute of limitations on Individual 1 directing the hush money payments runs out in 2022. Trump is going to be re-elected and get away with yet another blip in a lifetime of crime.

      • aang says:

        +1. He may very well be reelected. I am astounded by how ignorant of pretty much everything most people are. Even some well educated acquaintances proudly declare they don’t watch the news and know nothing about what is going on. My portfolio has erased all gains from earlier this year and I have people telling me that the economy is thriving because poverty wage jobs are available. My real estate operation costs are going up and I can’t raise rents because even though my tenants are employed they haven’t seen real wage increases in forever and I feel bad asking them for more when I know they are struggling and I don’t “need” the money. My only relief is when someone moves I can charge the new tenant FMV, which is going up like crazy. Working class is being priced out of even my most modest rentals. And these people either don’t vote or have trump stickers on the rusted out bumper of their decades old pick ups.

      • Kay says:

        One of the articles about how the White House has no strategy to respond to the final Mueller report had a source saying Trump just shrugs it off and says his supporters will believe whatever he tells them. He isn’t wrong.

      • Meg says:

        Nope, he’s not going to get re-elected. He’s losing the Midwest, and those states gave him the electoral college.

      • minx says:

        He lost the popular vote and barely scraped by the electoral vote. He’s the only president in modern times who has never gotten about 50 per cent approval. He’ll always have his hardcore demented supporters but everyone else will want him out.

      • Kitten says:

        @ Minx & Meg- You’re absolutely right but the GOP has proven again and again (see: WI, MI, NC etc) that the *will of the people* means nothing to them. They don’t care about how the majority of Americans feel; they only care about retaining power, and at all costs.
        Trump will seek re-election simply to save himself from being indicted and with the help of a corrupt GOP and Russian interference, he could very well get elected again.

        But I suspect that there would be widespread rioting if he was elected a second term. I cannot imagine that people would bother with peaceful marches at that stage.

    • Chaine says:

      I don’t have any faith in anything will be done either. And even if something does happen what does that leave us with, President Pence!

      • Megan says:

        The DOJ guidelines do not allow for the indictment of a sitting president, but they do allow for the indictment of a sitting VP. The Flynn sentencing memo made it clear there are other ongoing investigations we did not previously know about. A lot of pundits speculated Kushner was the target, but I’ve seen some pieces that also point to Pence.

        When Trump and mother’s husband were elected I mused that Nancy Pelosi would be the first female president. Fingers crossed that they all go down together.

    • B n A fan says:

      We all should remember Don the Con is up for re-election in 2 yrs. if all the decent people in this country are tired of all the lies and stealing from the regular hard working people and giving a permanent tax cut to the top 1% we should vote out the liars and thieves. Btw, 2 yrs is not a long time, just saying. In the mean time I’m hoping the congress will start impeachment hearing in January. I want him to be just as miserable for the next two years has he has made most of us for the last 2 years.

    • Darla says:

      No, it’s not wet toilet paper. Mueller knows history’s eyes are on him.

    • Isabelle says:

      Will it happen while he is in office, nope but….his family will possible be arrested and those around him falling like dominos. Also, charges just don’t disappear because you aren’t accessible. Soon as he leaves office he can be charged and indicted and the Republicans will have zero power in stopping it. We are talking about some of the best lawyers in America being on this investigation and then add on Mueller. Trump, while he is getting away with out being arrested, is in danger of his whole empire collapsing.

    • Parigo says:

      I guess I’m alone here but I have total faith in Mueller. He is all about end game and not blowing his wad. It is taking time but I believe it will come together in the end.

      Also regarding Pence, EmptyWheel (thank you celebitches for introducing me to this site) says Flynn did indeed lie to Pence and Pence will not be indicted. The argument of ‘pence Is worse’ is no reason to keep Trump. He must be tried for the sanctity of the system. Pence sucks, but he will be lame duck and not worse.

    • Starkiller says:

      You are 100% correct. Anyone who thinks something will actually come of this farce is a fool. I wish it wasn’t so—I absolutely despise Dump and all his cronies—but we elected him and we are stuck with him for probably another six years.

      • B n A fan says:

        We did not elect Don the Con. Hillary received approximately 3,000,000 more votes than #45. The electoral College elected him. We have that truth on our side.

      • insertpunhere says:

        I don’t think it’s going to be six years, and that’s not optimism on my part.

        I live in Michigan, where he won electoral college votes (first time the state has gone red in my lifetime). He had a couple things working for him. First, people in Michigan hate the Clintons because of NAFTA, so they would have been hesitant to vote for Hillary Clinton. Second, they didn’t send Secretary Clinton to Michigan to campaign, which further upset people. I got scared when Sanders won the primary; it did not bode well for Clinton.

        In 2020, he will have some things working against him. I know my district just elected the first Democratic congressperson in a long time (Haley Stevens). My district is normally redredred, but the auto bailout turned the economy around here. Additionally, the tariffs are leading to a lot of plant closures. You cannot win Michigan without the UAW. It’s what keeps the state blue for presidential elections. There are a lot of key voting blocks in Michigan, but the UAW is the block that the Dems lost last time (they’re the Obama/Trump voters), and the plants closing is not going to read well with them.

        Now, this is just a guess, but Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan tend to vote similarly because you have similar demographics. If Michigan flips back, it’s likely that PA and WI will as well. Additionally, Florida just re-enfranchised a lot of felon voters (who could vote any kind of way, but given the disproportionate representation in prisons of POC and the fact that POC tend to vote Democrat (with some exceptions on specific groups). Florida’s more of a toss up in my mind than PA, WI, and MI. I think OH is a lost cause at this point.

        It’s not a sure thing, and people should donate, campaign, and help people register, but we have a solid chance at taking back the White House in 2020. I worry that feeling too certain either way (there’s no point in trying because we will just lose/we have to win because Trump is terrible) is going to make people not bother doing those things, and we need to because if we don’t take back the White House in 2020, things are going to get even scarier.

      • FuefinaWG says:

        @insertpunhere – The Dems need to come up with a candidate that is not 70 years old. The *under 35’s* will want to vote for someone who is younger, not grandma or grandpa. I’m from California and our state is doing well (let’s not talk about the bullet train.) I would like to see a Gavin Newsom/Beto O’Rourke ticket for 2020, but don’t think it will happen. Maybe in 2024. Gavin and Beto could get the under 35’s out to vote. Clinton and Biden are too old for the under 35’s. And although I would love to see a female President, we should not be pushing people because they are female or black, or hispanic, or some other politically correct bullshit. Some people think that Newsom and O’Roarke are left wing radicals, but it’s time for the pendulum to swing and congress will keep them from going full-on socialist, and they’ll accomplish things that are important for our future generations: environment, fairer taxes, universal health care, education without going into debt up to your eyeballs (and not the Bernie Sanders “free” crap), and get us out, and keep us out, of the wars over oil. You want to see the middle east fail? Stop buying their oil … they have nothing else.

    • Famika says:

      If this were a Democratic President, Impeachment hearings would have started a year ago.
      The GOP are total hypocrites.

  2. Beth says:

    He said that he’s very happy with what he read because they found no collusion, then he mentioned that he hadn’t even read the report yet. What? Why is he happy? After all of this time talking about “no collusion ” in his millions of tweets and rallies, I wonder if he ever knows what the word even means. Someone needs to sit him down and read these reports to him

    • Tootsie McJingle says:

      Someone needs to turn it into a children’s book with lots of colorful pictures and one syllable words. Then he can listen to it while he eats his graham crackers and drinks his apple juice.

    • Megan says:

      Someone needs to explain what felony means. Campaign finance violations are no joke and people get real jail time for them. Just ask Cohen. Even if nothing comes of the Russia investigation, the Feds have already proven he has committed impeachable crimes.

    • FuefinaWG says:

      45 thinks that if he says something enough times people will begin to believe him. He’s so stupid.

  3. Sarphati says:

    Shades of Nixon and Watergate! The Democratic House gives me some hope that maybe things will get ugly enough to have him resign. Keep the revelations coming!

  4. cheche says:

    You are correct, Donnie, the President of Bolivia is completely innocent. You, however…not so much. I think this will be the last reveal until the new Congress takes over. As much as I’d like to see the lot of them locked up, I think Jr will be the one to take the fall/jail time. SDNY will keep chipping away at the Foundation and the family will lose much of their fortune (and all of the imaginary $$). But they won’t get what they deserve.
    It’s important to keep energy focused on the people (Ryan, McConnell etc) and the policies/practices (gerrymandering, lobbyists, electoral collage)that allowed this to happen. We’re going to have to do some serious self reflection as a nation about how we go forward.

  5. Jerusha says:

    George Conway tries to explain things to Toddler-in-Chief:

  6. RBC says:

    I still think many of the high ranking members of the Republician party are also tangled up in this mess. They have covered their tracks better. If 45 is going to be brought down, he will make sure to bring others down with him.

    • virginfangirl says:

      I agree. Because that is the only thing that makes sense to why they support him always.

  7. Nichole says:

    I think Diet Patrick Bateman will be indicted next week.

  8. cr says:

    Here are a couple of more good analysis of Friday’s events:
    Ken White AKA Popehat on Twitter also writes in the Atlantic:

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    This is just the beginning, and what a wonderful kickoff it is! I see it like this–we either stay engaged, support the rule of law 150% and remove the GOP/Trump corruption from our government completely, or they put us all in gulags. Not much of a choice, so I’m glad to see these filings. Mueller is just one part of a massive push back against global organized crime. I can’t imagine that our allies are going to sit back and let Russia and China subvert the liberal democratic world order. Onward!

    • Darla says:

      ” Mueller is just one part of a massive push back against global organized crime. I can’t imagine that our allies are going to sit back and let Russia and China subvert the liberal democratic world order. Onward!”

      Well stated! Agree 100%

  10. Eric says:

    Lots of cynics I see.
    Remember, friends…

    It is a DOJ policy, not rule, that a president can be indicted. Individual-1 is implicated in two of many felonies. Don’t forget that these two felonies occurred before he was inaugurated. Key point.

    There is an aiding and abetting crime attached to the Trumplandia crimes, in addition to the Conspiracy crime, committed pre-election by the NY FBI field office. 4 Americans are included in this crime spree: Kushner, Bannon, Prince and Giuliani may be among these four.

    Jared and the AG recently met secretly to discuss, among other things, Ivanka’s likely criminality. Rut-roh. You see how the number of crimes increases as those around the president witness the inevitable…that they won’t be around much longer.

    You seem to forget that this week a largely redacted Flynn memo was produced. Flynn has been cooperating since forever and VP Pence is going down too. Manafort hand-picked Pence and Pence knew and concealed to the public—a very important point made in the memo regarding Cohen—that he had knowledge that Flynn had discussed sanctions relief with Kislyak and other high-ranking Russians.

    Don’t fret about the crimes, friends. Think of all the covering up each and every member of the WH administration has made about the criming that has been taking place since 2015.

    • Indiana Joanna says:

      Thank you Eric and Jerusha. And thank you Kaiser. The cynics expect this investigation to end wrapped up in bow within 30 minutes. This will take years of slogging, political gamesmanship and may not end up with the good guys getting everything and the bad guys getting nothing.

    • minx says:

      I agree. And Pence is going down, he has been invisible lately.

    • Parigo says:

      I would love to think Pence is going down because…hello President Pelosi! But I don’t think that’s gonna happen. He’s been keeping his head down because he wants to maintain his innocence and knows he probably will be the next President.

      • minx says:

        I think Mueller has the goods on him.

      • Parigo says:

        @minx I would love to think so. Check out Emptywheel and their take on it. (Also sorry for double post below).

      • TheOtherSam says:

        @Parigo Marcy at ew doesn’t think that Pence will be indicted, not from the info gleaned from this round anyway. She thinks Flynn probably did lie to him and keep him in the dark. She’s rarely been wrong in her pronouncements.

        Glad to see the emptywheel shout out tho, an excellent blog. Also Ken White’s aka Popehat is a very informative read.

      • Darla says:

        Marcy’s been wrong. She used to hang with Greenwald and the bros and didn’t believe there was collusion/conspiracy until a as-yet-unnamed member burned her and she realized she was being used. She’s not infallible. Back when she believed there was no collusion I scoffed. It was obvious. So I don’t hold her in as high esteem as others. But I don’t really hold anyone in high esteem, so maybe I am the one with the problem.

    • Parigo says:

      I would love to think Pence is going down because…hello President Pelosi! But I don’t think that’s gonna happen. He’s been keeping his head down because he wants to maintain his innocence and knows he probably will be the next President.

      Manafort hand picked him to appeal to the Bible thumpers, but I think Pence was never in their inner circle of collusion.

    • Megan says:

      @Eric – it is total fantasy to think Trump is going to be indicted while he is a sitting president. It is a long-established DOJ guideline and his administration is not going to challenge it.

      • Eric says:


        With all due respect, there is a difference between a guideline and a rule.

        I’m of the mind that a president can be indicted if in fact the result of his crime(s) resulted in the office he now holds that is alleged to protect him.

      • Nic919 says:

        A DOJ guideline is a legal opinion but not a law. It can be challenged in court. Not only that but the guideline was contemplated for actions committed during the presidency and not prior to.

      • Megan says:

        @Eric – you may be of that mind but the fact is both Repbublican and Democratic administrations have upheld that guideline. However, since Mueller himself does not believe a sitting president can be indicted, the arguement is moot because it simply will not happen. The best case scenario is Trump trades resignation for immunity from his crimes and I am not holding my breath on that one either.

  11. Aerohead21 says:

    Nice OJ Simpson looking pictures with the black leather glove…let’s hope it fits when the time comes.

  12. Liz version 700 says:

    I think Don Jr is going to do jail. A lot of people around Trump are going to find out ETTD. And if the prosecutors get to the fortune and businesses, for Trump that would be almost worse than jail. His entire sense of self-worth is in that $$. If he ends up Deminished and broke due to his own greed and utter contempt for honor. Well, it wouldn’t be full justice, but I wouldn’t hate watching it.

  13. minx says:

    Trump looks enormous. How he has not dropped dead is beyond me.

    • Tate says:

      I keep thinking the same thing. His diet is awful and he is under tremendous stress.

    • Angela82 says:

      Only the good die young? Ugh anyways I hope the Big macs and KFC catch up to him sooner rather than later. #not sorry

  14. lucy2 says:

    I’ve seen quite a few reporters/lawyers in the know say they think the House likely has to move forward with impeachment. The Senate will probably kill it, but we’ll see.
    I think Jr and that crew will be indicted. Dump will come up with some witch hunt excuse and back out of 2020, then spend a while fighting various charges and lawsuits before keeling over a bucket of KFC.

    Also, the $30 mil for this investigation is peanuts compared to what Dump just spent sending the military to the border for nothing but a lame attempt to rile the base before midterms.

    • minx says:

      I read that the seizure of Manafort’s assets alone has put the investigation in the black.

      • tuille says:

        I thought Manafort had minimal, if any, assets & is seriously in debt? His motivation to work for DT’s was to gain access to business opportunities to help him replenish his funds & avoid potential bankruptcy.

    • CairinaCat says:

      And the what.. 80 million spent on him playing golf

    • Parigo says:

      I agree with this. Orange asshat will play the victim and quit before 2020.

  15. Jaded says:

    I read this morning some comments by Jerry Nadler (NY Dem Rep and incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) that if accusations that Trump directed Cohen to make illegal hush payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal prove to be true, they would be impeachable offenses. He says:

    “They would be impeachable offenses. Whether they’re important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question,” Nadler, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning. “Certainly, they’re impeachable offenses, because, even though they were committed before the President became President, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.”

    I agree that the walls are going to start tumbling down with the (hopeful) arrests of Kuchner, Ivanka and Don Jr. but there are so many other bricks that need to be dismantled – Pence (who is guilty AF in Russian meddling), Bannon, Prince and Giuliani, etc. PLUS the obvious gerrymandering and shenanigans going on in NC, Wisconsin, Indiana, etc., that it’s going to take a long time to dismantle the Republican wall around the big fish. But I’m optimistic that Mueller has all bases and contingencies covered. Merry Christmas folks!

  16. U.S and them says:

    As much as it pains me to say it, this investigation still has a long way to go.