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Michael Cohen to plead guilty
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Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 11236
Location: Oklahoma (in my heart), whilst on my way to Oregon!


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PostPosted: 08/26/18 12:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
It is written DOJ policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted or prosecuted. That policy is based on DOJ legal opinions construing the Constitution written during the Nixon administration....
[ <Parse-Invoke-Blah-Construe-Demonstrate-Conjecture-BlahBlah-therefore-supposition-defer-BlahBlahBlah-infer-hypothesize-yaddayadda-speculate-contemplate-blahblahblahblahblah> ]....
I'm sure no one even contemplated criminal prosecution in these matters.


And nine other attorneys will offer 17 more perspectives. Glenn, with all due respect to your legal background (and I'm genuine in that), can you PLEASE offer your PERSONAL opinion on whether or not Trump is a profligate liar, womanizer, and scam artist?

Put aside whether or not it can be "proven in a court of law"....(we KNOW OJ was "acquitted" of all murder charges, too)....how does anyone with the minimum of a functioning brain stem NOT conclude that the myriad of charges all around him implicate him?


Oh, Glennnnn.....where ARE you? Confused



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GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 5101
Location: Heisenberg


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PostPosted: 08/26/18 2:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee, I'm not interested in calling anyone names, including our presidents. I'm commenting mostly on the legal aspects of the investigations because that is where I do have some expertise. That said, it has been my lifelong observation that most politicians lie and that most rich and famous men are womanizers. I'm not sure what you mean by scam artist.

In any event, lying, womanizing and being a scam artist are not illegal unless they violate some specific statute. What statute do you have in mind that Trump violated if you believe these things are true about him?

Now, as to impeachment, I agree that an impeachable offense doesn't necessarily have to be a crime. But it has to be some sort of abuse power. What power? Obviously, presidential power. Hence, I believe impeachment of a president is properly available only for conduct while in office.

mercfan3 wrote:
Trump using his campaign funds illegally is our business.


There is no allegation that Trump used campaign funds illegally. The legal charge against Cohen is that he -- Cohen -- donated funds to the Trump campaign in excess of the $2,700 per person donation limit.

To implicate Trump in the excessive donation charge would first require a jury to engage in the mental jujitsu of transforming a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels into a $130,000 donation to the Trump campaign by some sort of legal hocus pocus, which prosecutors could not do in the John Edwards jury case. Second, it would then require the donation by Cohen to the Trump campaign to be transformed into a donation by Trump to his own campaign.

However, even if this double hocus pocus succeeds in front of a jury or judge, the charge of excess donation against Trump would be legally impossible, because any candidate can lawfully donate unlimited amounts to his own campaign. Therefore, if Cohen's payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels is magically transformed into a donation by Trump to his own campaign, it is perfectly legal.

The only possible charge remaining would be that Trump's $130,000 self-donation was not properly reported to the FEC. But improper reporting charges are historically levied against campaign treasurers, not the candidate, and as I've said, the penalty is almost always a civil fine that is paid by the campaign, not a politicized felony prosecution.
justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
Posts: 7081
Location: Northfield, MN


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PostPosted: 08/26/18 2:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:

There is no allegation that Trump used campaign funds illegally. The legal charge against Cohen is that he -- Cohen -- donated funds to the Trump campaign in excess of the $2,700 per person donation limit.


That is not accurate. While excessive donation is one of the issues, there is also a failure to document the expenditure, as is required by law. Any money spent in service to the campaign needs to be reported. In his pleading, Cohen admits that they intentionally did not report this expenditure and that they knew what they were doing was against the law. And according to the filing the FBI has significant evidence in the form of digital messages and audio recordings that backs up this claim.

This goes from oops and a slap on the wrist to Big Time Issue because of this.

In short:
1) any money spent by the candidate, by the campaign, or by someone else on his knowing behest in service to the campaign is considered "campaign funds".

2) Trump himself has said that he knew of the payment made by Cohen, and Cohen/FBI evidence claim that it was done to protect Candidate Trump during the election, thus it is a campaign expenditure and must be reported.

3) Cohen says that they intentionally did not report it, even though they knew full well that it was illegal not to, because doing so would have raised questions and led to the discovery of these women.

4) This is, in fact, "using campaign funds illegally".



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GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: 08/26/18 3:06 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

There is no allegation that Trump used campaign funds illegally. The legal charge against Cohen is that he -- Cohen -- donated funds to the Trump campaign in excess of the $2,700 per person donation limit.


Any money spent in service to the campaign needs to be reported. In his pleading, Cohen admits that they intentionally did not report this expenditure and that they knew what they were doing was against the law. And according to the filing the FBI has significant evidence in the form of digital messages and audio recordings that backs up this claim.

. . . .

3) Cohen says that they intentionally did not report it, even though they knew full well that it was illegal not to, because doing so would have raised questions and led to the discovery of these women.


I have linked the formal charge (Information) against Cohen and his Plea Agreement in my first post above. I see no charge of, or admission to, the crime of improper reporting in those documents.

If I've missed something, which is certainly possible, feel free to direct me to the paragraphs that support your claims.
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 11236
Location: Oklahoma (in my heart), whilst on my way to Oregon!


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PostPosted: 08/26/18 3:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
Howee, I'm not interested in calling anyone names, including our presidents. I'm commenting mostly on the legal aspects of the investigations because that is where I do have some expertise. That said, it has been my lifelong observation that most politicians lie and that most rich and famous men are womanizers. I'm not sure what you mean by scam artist.

In any event, lying, womanizing and being a scam artist are not illegal unless they violate some specific statute. What statute do you have in mind that Trump violated if you believe these things are true about him?


Thank you. That's essentially what I thought you'd say. And it's (imo) an objectively legitimate perspective, especially coming from a legal pro.

Scam artists aren't necessarily in violation of statutes, and violation of statutes isn't always done by scam artists. (By scam artist, I simply mean that he has historically duped many for his own gain, whether by lying, or paying hush monies, etc., AND continues to do this IN OFFICE.)

BUT: FREQUENTLY, there is a direct link. Shocked

Ideally, our legal system is intended to protect the innocent, but this seems to be (yet another) case of the legal system protecting the slimy, uber-rich who may be quite guilty.

I fully understand that none of this is impeachment material, but given what has yet to be revealed by Mueller, AND Donald's persistent denials (an obvious tactic from a scam artist) I'm suggesting that it all adds up to the proverbial smoke coming from a raging fire.

But you know that. Cool



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justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
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Location: Northfield, MN


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PostPosted: 08/26/18 4:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GlennMacGrady wrote:
justintyme wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

There is no allegation that Trump used campaign funds illegally. The legal charge against Cohen is that he -- Cohen -- donated funds to the Trump campaign in excess of the $2,700 per person donation limit.


Any money spent in service to the campaign needs to be reported. In his pleading, Cohen admits that they intentionally did not report this expenditure and that they knew what they were doing was against the law. And according to the filing the FBI has significant evidence in the form of digital messages and audio recordings that backs up this claim.

. . . .

3) Cohen says that they intentionally did not report it, even though they knew full well that it was illegal not to, because doing so would have raised questions and led to the discovery of these women.


I have linked the formal charge (Information) against Cohen and his Plea Agreement in my first post above. I see no charge of, or admission to, the crime of improper reporting in those documents.

If I've missed something, which is certainly possible, feel free to direct me to the paragraphs that support your claims.

Because Cohen would not be guilty of "improper reporting". That would be Trump. So why would he plead to it?

What Cohen has admitted and pleaded to, and what the FBI has stated that it has evidence supporting, means that Trump's Campaign, with his full knowledge, failed to document the expenditure and thus "used campaign funds illegally".

I mean, we don't need to even get bogged down in it, for it is simple:

1) Trump had Cohen pay off Daniels and the Playboy model
2) These were done to the benefit of the campaign
3) That makes them campaign funds
4) Not disclosing these payments is "using campaign funds illegally"

Which is a Big Deal and more than a slap on the wrist accounting error or slip up.



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tfan



Joined: 31 May 2010
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PostPosted: 08/27/18 12:59 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

mercfan3 wrote:
Clinton didn’t use campaign funds to pay for Flowers.

Bill was a shit husband in some ways. That isn’t our business. And trump cheating on Melania isn’t our business either.

Trump using his campaign funds illegally is our business.


Howee referred to Trump as a "womanizer": "Trump is a profligate liar, womanizer, and scam artist". He wasn't speaking to hush money being considered a campaign contribution violation if the payer is a candidate.


GlennMacGrady



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 5101
Location: Heisenberg


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PostPosted: 08/27/18 4:58 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:
justintyme wrote:
GlennMacGrady wrote:

There is no allegation that Trump used campaign funds illegally. The legal charge against Cohen is that he -- Cohen -- donated funds to the Trump campaign in excess of the $2,700 per person donation limit.


Any money spent in service to the campaign needs to be reported. In his pleading, Cohen admits that they intentionally did not report this expenditure and that they knew what they were doing was against the law. And according to the filing the FBI has significant evidence in the form of digital messages and audio recordings that backs up this claim.

. . . .

3) Cohen says that they intentionally did not report it, even though they knew full well that it was illegal not to, because doing so would have raised questions and led to the discovery of these women.


I have linked the formal charge (Information) against Cohen and his Plea Agreement in my first post above. I see no charge of, or admission to, the crime of improper reporting in those documents.

If I've missed something, which is certainly possible, feel free to direct me to the paragraphs that support your claims.


What Cohen has admitted and pleaded to, and what the FBI has stated that it has evidence supporting, means that Trump's Campaign, with his full knowledge, failed to document the expenditure and thus "used campaign funds illegally".

4) Not disclosing these payments is "using campaign funds illegally"

Which is a Big Deal and more than a slap on the wrist accounting error or slip up.


How do you know what Trump's campaign reported or not, or what Trump knew about the reporting? His campaign reports comprise hundreds of thousands of pages, including many many inaccuracies, excessive contributions, corrections and refunds -- all dealt with administratively, not criminally, just like most tax problems are.

Feel free to call a nondisclosure "using campaign funds illegally" if you want to. But the FACT of the Michael Cohen affair is that NO ONE was charged with, NO ONE pleaded to, and NO ONE was implicated in an illegal failure to report or disclose a contribution.
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