Donald Trump

Trump’s Cluelessness Remains His Best Defense Against Charges That He ‘Knowingly and Willfully’ Violated Campaign Finance Law

If Trump did not recognize hush payments to his (alleged) former mistresses as illegal campaign contributions, he is not criminally culpable.

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White House

The New York Times reports that the sentencing memo urging "a substantial prison term" for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former lawyer, "effectively accused the president of defrauding voters, questioning the legitimacy of his victory." The paper adds that, while the Justice Department has long taken the position that a sitting president cannot be indicted, federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, which filed the memo on Friday, "believe charges could be brought against Mr. Trump if he is not re-elected."

Defrauding voters, of course, is not an actual crime. If it were, our prisons would be oveflowing with politicians. The relevant offenses in this case would be orchestrating illegal campaign contributions in the form of hush money paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels), both of whom claim to have had sexual relationships with Trump. And the most important question in assessing Trump's criminal culpability is whether he understood those payments to be illegal campaign contributions. It is quite plausible that he did not.

Cohen admitted arranging a $125,000 "catch and kill" payment to McDougal from The National Enquirer and paying Clifford $130,000 from his own home equity line of credit. He said both payments were made "for the principal purpose of influencing the election," making the first payment an illegal corporate campaign contribution and the second payment an excessive (and unreported) individual contribution (or loan, since Cohen was ultimately reimbursed by Trump).

According to the sentencing memo, Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, a.k.a. "Individual-1." In urging a substantial prison sentence for Cohen, who also pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and (in a separate case overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller) lying to Congress, the prosecutors said they hoped a stiff penalty would have the salutary effect of "deterring future candidates, and their 'fixers,' all of whom are sure to be aware of the Court's sentence here, from violating campaign finance laws."

Contra the Times, the memo does not accuse Trump of "defrauding voters" or "question[] the legitimacy of his victory." But it can fairly be read as suggesting that he "knowingly and willfully" participated in violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), which would expose him to criminal as well as civil penalties. I'm not convinced that's true, because it seems unlikely that Trump knew enough about the ins and outs of FECA to satisfy the mens rea requirement.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's main defense against charging Trump with criminal violations of FECA is that the hush payments "are not campaign contributions," because they were aimed mainly at avoiding personal embarrassment for Trump and his wife rather than, as Cohen says, preventing revelations that would have imperiled his presidential campaign. Giuliani himself has undermined that argument by alluding to the possible political consequences of press interviews with Stormy Daniels in the late stages of the campaign. "Imagine if that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton," Giuliani said in a Fox News interview last May. "Cohen didn't even ask. Cohen made it go away. He did his job."

That "didn't even ask" part seems highly doubtful. According to Cohen, he kept Trump apprised of both payments. Still, it's likely that Trump had mixed motives, both personal and political, and he could claim, contrary to what Cohen said in his plea agreement last August, that assuring victory in November was not his primary motivation and that in fact the payments would have been made even if he weren't running for president.

That was essentially the defense offered by John Edwards, who was charged with violating FECA by arranging payments to his mistress (and the mother of his daughter) while he was running for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Edwards' lawyers argued that the payments were aimed at keeping the affair from his wife, who was dying of cancer. In 2012 a jury found Edwards not guilty on one count and failed to reach verdicts on the other five.

Giuliani claims that case vindicates Trump's defense, which is probably reading too much into a mistrial. But the jurors' failure to reach agreement does suggest that proving election offenses like these, which hinge on the defendant's state of mind, is no easy matter. Describing Edwards' prosecution as "a case that had no precedent," the Times noted that "campaign finance law is ever changing and being reinterpreted, with this case falling on one central question: Were the donations for the sole purpose of influencing the campaign or [was that] merely one purpose." Citing election law expert Richard Hasen, the paper said "it is unlikely that the verdict will help politicians better interpret the labyrinth of campaign finance law."

Six years later, campaign finance law is still complicated, and alleged violations can still hinge on debatable interpretations. "At a minimum," former Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith wrote in a Reason essay after Cohen's guilty plea, "it is unclear whether paying blackmail to a mistress is 'for the purpose of influencing an election,' and so must be paid with campaign funds, or a 'personal use,' and so prohibited from being paid with campaign funds." Smith noted that spending "to fulfill a commitment, obligation or expense of any person that would exist irrespective of the candidate's campaign" counts as "personal use," even if it is politically beneficial.

The sentencing memo says Cohen, as "a licensed attorney with significant political experience and a history of campaign donations," was "well-aware of the election laws." He "knew exactly where the line was, and he chose deliberately and repeatedly to cross it." Can the same be said of Trump?

There is reason to doubt it, beginning with Trump's notorious lack of interest in legal niceties. After Cohen pleaded guilty, Trump insisted in an interview with Fox News that "those two counts [related to the hush payments] aren't even a crime." He emphasized that he reimbursed Cohen with his own money, as opposed to campaign funds, which "could be a little dicey." Trump's critics mocked his ignorance of FECA's requirements. "What Trump doesn't know about campaign finance law is, um, a whole lot," wrote CNN political correspondent Chris Cillizza.

Smith argued that Trump, who was allowed to spend as much of his own money on the campaign as he chose, could have paid Clifford directly and reported the transaction as an expenditure under the uninformative heading of "legal services." If so, Trump's failure to take that approach counts as further evidence that he did not have a very firm grasp of FECA. It is hard to "knowingly and willfully" violate a law you don't understand.

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200 responses to “Trump’s Cluelessness Remains His Best Defense Against Charges That He ‘Knowingly and Willfully’ Violated Campaign Finance Law

  1. So are we going to quit talking about it then?

    1. So you don’t understand the story?

  2. ‘ That “didn’t even ask” part seems highly doubtful. According to Cohen, he kept Trump apprised of both payments.’

    What Cohen says should be taken with a grain of salt. If Trump tells his lawyer to take care of a problem, he has the right to assume that Cohen will do what’s legal. That’s a lawyer’s job with a client like Trump – make sure what he does falls within the law. Lawyers are expected to follow the law.

    1. This.

      As an attorney, I am nauseated that a member of the bar is claiming that he broke the law because his client told him to. What is more, the client cannot direct a lawyer to “break the law” unless the lawyer advises the client that the course of action being taken is illegal. If Trump asked Cohen to buy the silence of these two women, and Cohen simply devised the plan for doing that without advising Trump that Cohen’s recommended course of action was illegal, Trump is guilty of nothing more than making a very bad choice of a lawyer.

  3. Meh. What does any of this have to do with “collusion”?

    1. A. They are “rushin'” to judgement, although calling two years a rush might require hiring a snail or two.

      B. Stormy has some Russian ancestry somewhere.

      1. calling two years a rush

        1) You can’t count either?
        2) Hillary has been over THREE years. (smirk)

      2. I bet Stormy has “colluded” with a lot of Russians.

        1. So what? It’s no crime. Not even a legal term..

    2. Collusion has NOTHING to do with Mueller’s appointment. So when Trump babbles, “no collusion,” that’s like denying he assassinated Lincoln.

      1. Fuck off, Hihn!
        As usual, you don’t know what you are talking about.

        1. Yeah he doesn’t know that the only acceptable opinion here at the foremost libertarian publication is that Republicans are always right.

        2. PROOF # 13 that retiredfire is a F-O-S RAVING PSYCHO

          Mueller Appointment.

          (a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States
          Department of Justice.

          (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confined by then-FBI
          Director James 8. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on
          Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

          (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals
          associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and (((found over 100, Trump said zero)))

          (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

          (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. ? 600.4(a).

          (c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is
          authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.

          But Obama was born in Hawaii.

          Anything else?

    3. Nothing. But I see you are a reader of Trump’s Twitter feed.

  4. Is campaign finance law considered straightforward enough that every politician should understand it without the need to consult counsel? Is it definitely not vaguely written and open to interpretation?

    1. instead of de-escalating the situation, police “made it way worse.”

      1. well that was interesting.

        What I meant to say was the politicians don’t want to step in their own bear trap, so it’s probably got lots of ambiguities built in.

    2. what could possibly be more clear cut than “for purposes of influencing an election”?

      1. Unless you can prove that that was Trump’s intention and there could be no other plausible explanation, like he didn’t want to embarrass his family, then there was no crime.
        As stated by Alan Dershowitz – no fan of Trump.

        1. PAY ATTENTION

          Trump committed FRAUD … by reimbursing Cohen a fixed amount over several months, reported it as a legal retainer, AND REIMBURSING COHEN FOR THE INCOME TAXES

          (SMIRK)

      2. Everything a politician does is to influence an election, see Warren’s DNA test. That does not mean this is illegal dummy. He used personal funds and had probably done this many times over the decades. This isn’t illegal in any way shape or form.

        We literally just had a scandal of politicians using government funds and NDAs to hide harassment claims, that was to influence elections too. Yet nobody is clamoring for their felony convictions.

        You’re just a dishonest and ignorant piece of shit.

      3. Everything a politician does is to influence an election, see Warren’s DNA test. That does not mean this is illegal dummy. He used personal funds and had probably done this many times over the decades. This isn’t illegal in any way shape or form.

        We literally just had a scandal of politicians using government funds and NDAs to hide harassment claims, that was to influence elections too. Yet nobody is clamoring for their felony convictions.

        You’re just a dishonest and ignorant piece of shit.

      4. Everything a politician does is to influence an election, see Warren’s DNA test. That does not mean this is illegal dummy. He used personal funds and had probably done this many times over the decades. This isn’t illegal in any way shape or form.

        We literally just had a scandal of politicians using government funds and NDAs to hide harassment claims, that was to influence elections too. Yet nobody is clamoring for their felony convictions.

        You’re just a dishonest and ignorant piece of shit.

      5. Everything a politician does is to influence an election, see Warren’s DNA test. That does not mean this is illegal dummy. He used personal funds and had probably done this many times over the decades. This isn’t illegal in any way shape or form.

        We literally just had a scandal of politicians using government funds and NDAs to hide harassment claims, that was to influence elections too. Yet nobody is clamoring for their felony convictions.

        You’re just a dishonest and ignorant piece of shit.

      6. Everything a politician does is to influence an election, see Warren’s DNA test. That does not mean this is illegal dummy. He used personal funds and had probably done this many times over the decades. This isn’t illegal in any way shape or form.

        We literally just had a scandal of politicians using government funds and NDAs to hide harassment claims, that was to influence elections too. Yet nobody is clamoring for their felony convictions.

        You’re just a dishonest and ignorant piece of shit.

        1. Squirrels galore.

        2. How quickly we forget that congress had a secret slush fund for sex harassment claims. They have been paying women to keep quite longer than Trump. They paid them off so it wouldn’t sink their re-election. If paying someone to keep quite is a crime, there’s a lot more people in DC than Trump that should be prosecuted.

          1. How does that violate campaign finance laws?
            Is there ANY limit to LAME EXCUSES by Trumpsters

        3. How easy it it to TOTALLY brainwash a Trumpster like JesseAZ? (lol)

          Jesse says it’s legal for Trump to spend his OWN MONEY to …. wait for it ….

          1) Bribe voters
          2) Bribe precinct officials
          3) Finance a Facebook campaign damaging his opponent
          4) GIVE PUTIN A $50 MILLION PENTHOUSE IN RETURN FOR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF FUTURE PROFITS
          5) Etc., etc., etc.

          Trump won the nomination with 37% of GOP votes, roughly the same number of Republicans who believe Obama is a Kenyan. Trump has been manipulating their “minds” for over a decade.

          P.S. If YOU believe the goobers, then
          1) A presiding judge conducted a trial and sentencing for a …….. NON-CRIME
          2) An independent Grand Jury issued indictments for a …. NON-CRIME

          Cohen says he broke the law for a …. NON -CRIME.
          Show of hands: How many DO NOT KNOW that Cohen
          a) IS an attorney?
          b) HAD an attorney.

          And these trolls VOTE!
          PRAY for America

          1. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and lying to Congress and is facing decades in prison. It’s quite obvious that he plead guilty to these campaign finance charges so he would get a favorable sentencing recommendation for the other more serious charges.

            1. His sentencing was for his guilt. There are no jail sentences without guilt.

              The hearing was …. strange

      7. what could possibly be more clear cut than “for purposes of influencing an election”?

        Was that sarcasm? That’s about the most vague wording you possibly can use. In that case, even getting a car wash would be reportable for purposes of influencing an election.

        1. Was that sarcasm?

          Is yours satire?

          In that case, even getting a car wash would be reportable for purposes of influencing an election

          Was the payment of $5.00 to the car wash facility for the purpose of influencing an election?

          Why would it be reported at all?

          And if it is reported, would the candidate do so with intentional fraud, like Trump did? After lying that he knew nothing about it?

          Have you been following this? Trump reimbursed Cohen over several months, to look like a monthly retainer. INTENT for fraud is proven by his FRAUDULENTLY reporting them as LEGAL FEES! A DUMB strategy that requited him to reimburse Cohen;s taxes, on ,…. income-that-was-not-income!

          Did you know that Trump’s lifelong senior accountant (originally for his dad) has been cooperating with the investigation for months? We don’t know yet for sure, but who else would be able to prove Trump’s fraud, and how he did it, in such detail.

          Do you know that David Pecker, Trump’s close friend and publisher of National Enquirer, has signed a plea agreement, testified that he was colluding with the Trump campaign as early as August, 2015, on how to pay off women like McDougal ,… for the SPECIFIC intent of influencing the election. His plea agreement was only announced AFTER Cohen’s sentencing, but was signed back in September. He has agreed to cooperate with the investigation for …. three years!

          Anything else?

  5. IIRC, “cluelessness” worked wonders for Hillary.

    Once again, “no reasonable prosecutor ….”

    1. Being explicit clarifies it better. Trumpsters RIDICULED that Hillary could not be proven to have had criminal intent.
      Now, the seise the same excuse, in desperation, for the Orange Fuhrer. Will they still screech about Hillary? (lol)

      1. The reason they ridiculed the idea, was that the statute in question imposed strict liability, criminal intent was irrelevant.

          1. Well reasoned retort!

            John Galt JR – Sock = Hihn

            1. CHICKENSHIT COWARD

              BTW, Sparky, when (and if) you reach high school, you’ll learn — if you also pass — that it is NEVER anyone’s responsibility to prove a lie. That’s because it’s impossible to prove a negative.

              And YOU fail to prove his psychotic claim .. so you do a cowardly diversion to your Hihn hate-conspiracy. When will you apologize to Galt, as any adult would?

              Anything else, stalker?

              1. Ellis Wyatt – Sock = Hihn

                Ellis Sock needs more bold.

                1. (boldface in defense of repeated aggression by an Authoritarian Right stalking cyber-bully,.

                  CHICKENSHIT COWARD

                  BTW, Sparky, when (and if) you reach high school, you’ll learn — if you also pass — that it is NEVER anyone’s responsibility to prove a lie. That’s because it’s impossible to prove a negative.

                  And YOU fail to prove his psychotic claim .. so you do a cowardly diversion to your Hihn hate-conspiracy. When will you apologize, as any adult would?

                  Anything else, stalker?

      2. We get it statists love political abuse of office hihn. Go to Cuba, it would work for you.

        1. I’m not Hihn, goober, and HE is a VERY far right libertarian … which confirms you as just another Trumptard punk, with egg on your puss.

          ?Here’s the web archive of his published political writing. Look especially to Taxes, Health Care and New Federalism.

          ANYONE ELSE WHO ENJOYS LAUGHING AT JESSE AND HIS ILK .. THAT LINK COULD BE THE BEST LAUGH YOU’VE HAD IN A WHILE!

          Left-Right=Zero
          Anything else?

      3. Also the fact that there were multiple case sinking fuckups in the investigation and immunity handed out for zero reason, but hey, you be you.

        1. PROVE IT GOOBER

  6. “The New York Times reports that the sentencing memo urging “a substantial prison term” for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, “effectively accused the president of defrauding voters, questioning the legitimacy of his victory.” ”

    This is total and complete bullshit unless Pelosi’s payments to her plastic surgeon make her equally in violation of campaign finance law.

    1. Not only that, but one might ask what this means for Obama since his book was sold in Russia! While in office, even! EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE!

      This is honestly how retarded most people are at this point. They have no fucking clue what they’re barking about, but they know the louder they bark the more serious they must appear!

      1. Even worse the state department bought thousands of Obama’s book to put in embassies. Literal direct use of government funds for Obama’s enrichment.

        1. (yawn) Proof?

          1. State Dept. spends $70K on Obama books

            You can argue about whether it should have happened, but there’s no question at all that it DID happen.

            1. Hihn isn’t intelligent nor informed.

            2. PROOF FAILS!

              WERE THEY SOLD AT A PROFIT? (SNEER)

              1. Doesn’t say they were sold at a loss, either. Your serve.

                1. Conservatard ADMITS he was full of shit!

                  Is he smart enough to know what he just did?

      2. Forget his book!!!..In 2008 & 2012, Obummy’s campaign turned off the CVV requirement on his donation website & millions in foreign donations, mostly from China poured in & the FRC gave him a slap on the wrist!!

        To go after Trump for this is pathetic!!!

        1. Trumptards swallow ANYTHING, no matter how crazy.

          1. Th he 2008 Obama campaign paid one of the biggest election violation fines in history retard.

            1. COWARDLY DIVERSION
              AS IN ….. IRRELEVANT TO THE TOPIC (SNORT)

              And ANOTHER psycho lie by JesseAZ

              retard.

              LOSERS throw infantile hissy fits,
              WINNERS provide PROOF!

              (sneer)

      3. ANOTHER one by BYODB!

        1) The book was before he was elected.
        2) Another one you FAIL to prove. (yawn)

        1. You’re saying they suspended all sales, once got into office?
          Fuck off, Hihn!

          1. You’re saying they suspended all sales, once got into office?

            no

            (snort)

        2. “”1) The book was before he was elected.”‘

          So was Trump’s payments.

          1. PAY ATTENTION

            THE OFFENSE WAS IN 2013.

            HE WAS ELECTED IN …. 2008

            RE-ELECTED IN …. 2013

            AND TWO ATTEMPTS AT “PROOF” WERE BOTH PROVEN LIES

            1. John, I believe you meant Obama was re-elected in 2012.
              Either way, you made a fool out of TrickyVic.

    2. “Effectively accusing” = NYT fevered desire to see Trump brought up on any charges.

    3. “effectively accused the president of defrauding voters”

      What statute is that?

  7. We literally all knew that when Democrats got a knife’s edge in the House they were going to use it to try and impeach Trump.

    I’m not sure if it will destroy them as badly as impeaching Clinton destroyed Republicans, but boy howdy they were just given some rope and they are in one hell of a hurry to loop it around their own necks.

    Watching the party (and media) that excused Clinton for his sexual shenanigans try and impeach Trump for pretty much the same thing is just too laughable. I almost can’t wait for the impeachment hearings since it should be enjoyable to watch the Democrats shill for puritanism.

    And lets be super clear. These ‘campaign contribution’ charges are laughable. It’s the equivalent of Democrats saying Trump should be impeached over speeding tickets. Seriously, point me to a President who hasn’t broken campaign finance laws and I’ll point you to a President that the media didn’t take a very close look at.

    The fact Trump was the richest President ever to take office apparently means nothing, but it bears repeating.

    1. The Democrats have to impeach Trump no matter what for several reasons:

      1. First, they have to even the score for Clinton. This has been eating their insides for over twenty years. The temptation is to big to resist.

      2. They pathologically need to show Trump cheated to win the election. The Russia-collusion narrative is being exposed as bullshit. So Trump’s payoffs to two mistresses lock in their narrative that Trump won by cheating.

      3. Third, the overclass and their base demand it and will punish them if they don’t.

      4. The best campaign advertisement for the Democrats in 2020 will be lengthy House Judiciary Committee hearings coverage by DNC party organs CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and Washington Post.

      1. Mainly it’s a smoke screen so they can pretend that Trump’s prosecution of their ocean of crime in the Obama Administration is about politics and not law.

      2. . They pathologically need to show Trump cheated to win the election. The Russia-collusion narrative is being exposed as bullshit

        PROVE IT! (sneer)

        1. I love the narration of his emotional expressions

          1. PROVE IT!

            I love the narration of his emotional expressions

            ANOTHER FAIL.
            26 on the page. So far

    2. Clinton lied UNDER OATH….What is was about is meaningless…He should’ve been removed from office!

      1. “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”

    3. Watching the party (and media) that excused Clinton for his sexual shenanigans try and impeach Trump for pretty much the same thing is just too laughable.

      I’m laughing at your TOTAL ignorance of the case against BOTH Clinton and Trump.

  8. If Trump did not recognize hush payments to his (alleged) former mistresses as illegal campaign contributions, he is not criminally culpable.

    Trump can breathe easy because the Justice Department is overflowing with reasonable prosecutors.

  9. he did not have a very firm grasp of FECA

    But he was still able to throw it.

  10. So they are sending Cohen to prison for lying but they want what he says about the payments to be taken as gospel truth. Sounds about right.

    1. OMFG HE DENIED THEM ORIGNINALLY — WHICH WAS THE LIE — HE FLIPPED WHEN HE SAW THEY HAD PROOF. You people are scary

  11. Trump is a clueless buffoon and is simultaneously the world’s foremost expert and reigning champion at eleventy dimensional chess.

    1. Then why so many FAILURES? (BOTH are buffoonery)

      Why has he ALREADY added more 8-year debt than Obama added AFTER 8 years …. when Trump said he’d PAY OFF the entire debt in 8 years?

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.
        He never said that.

        1. MORE PROOF ,… PROOF …. PROOF …. that rertiredfire is a full of shit. hack

          During the 2016 presidential campaign,Republican candidate Donald Trump promised he would eliminate the nation’s debt in eight years. Instead, his budgets would add $8.3 trillion in four years. It would increase the U.S. debt to $25 trillion.

          $8.2T in FOUR YEARS. Obama added less than $10T AFTER 8 years

          Trump is also rhe first President EVER to increase the deficit by nearly 50% … in a booming economy!

          Let’s compare
          Obama inherited the 2nd worst economy since the 1930s, and handed off
          Trump inherited THE LONGEST EXPANSION EVER for an incoming President…. FROM OBAMA

          Welcome back to the REPUBLICAN New Deal (launched under Dubya)

          PRAY for America

          Left – Right = Zero

      2. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

        The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

        Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

        Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

        I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.

        1. —-

          That was Senator Obama, when he became President and racked up $9.3T of debt, he had changed his mind, saying famously

          “I think that it’s important to understand the vantage point of a senator versus the vantage point of a president. When you’re a senator, traditionally what’s happened is, this is always a lousy vote. Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit ? for the United States by a trillion dollars. As president, you start realizing, you know what, we, we can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith and credit of the United States. And so that was just an example of a new senator making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country. And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.”

          Perhaps Trump has had a similar viewpoint shift from what he said as a candidate? If Obama gets a pass for his politicking against debt as a Senator but then freely spending the country into $9+T in more debt, perhaps you could allow Trump the same benefit of the doubt.

          Neither of them should have allowed Congress to rack up this kind of debt.

          1. HUGE BLUNDER BY MPERCY TROLL
            (Like most partisan hacks, he CANNOT grasp that BOTH Obama and Trump are USELESS. As was Dubya and Clinton) Llibertarians have known for 50 years: Left – Right – Zero

            That was Senator Obama, when he became President and racked up $9.3T of debt,

            Bwaa Haaaa

            TRUMP PROMISED TO PAY OFF ALL THE DEBT IN 8 YEARS.
            Has ALREADY added OVER $10 TRILLION in 8-year debt ! …. AND WANTS EVEN MORE!!!
            THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for posting Obama’s EIGHT year total (but WRONG)

            THE REPUBLICAN NEW DEAL — ALREADY WORSE THAN OBAMA! (8-year debt)
            $ 9.6 T Obama (after 8 years)
            $10.7 T Trump (in only TWO years, wants MORE)

            Obama’s 8-year debt (billions) 19,539.6 – 9,986.1 = 9,553.5

            Trump’s 8-year debt
            $30,042 August Forecast for 2024 (804 estimate for 2018)
            ++++181 (985 actual – 804)
            —19,549 (Trump inherited)
            ==10,534 (Trump already)

            Trump, first President to EVER increase deficit by 47% … in one year … with a booming economy (OMFG) (same link)

            Obama inherited 2nd worst recession since 1930s.
            Trump inherited longest recovery EVER for an incoming President — FROM OBAMA!!!

            Anything else?

        2. Crap, I just realized who I was responding to. Nevermind.

          1. LOL

          2. That’s okay, I’m the one who humiliated your sorry ass.
            Cut-and-paste vs INTELLIGENCE

            “another one bites … another one bites … another one bites the dust.”

  12. I think this is good precedent. If we made it law that every president, on day one of his/her service, was issued a mandatory special prosecutor to look into their entire history and make public whatever they could find to charge them with, we’d get far fewer slimy sunsabitches running for the job.

    Either that, or we’d get the most ruthless and effective crooks who could hide the bodies where NO ONE would ever find them.

    1. And I’m sure you won’t end up with a bunch of very rich special prosecutors. Nope, definitely not that.

      I think what you’re looking for is an authoritarian since you’ve just installed an unchecked, unelected bureaucrat to sign off on who becomes President. I see no downsides!

      1. They wouldn’t have to sign off. They would just harass them endlessly until the president left office, paid them off, or bumped them off.

    2. Yes, I would like to see this become tradition as well, but like you say, but if someone like Hillary were president, the special prosecutor would either be her best buddy or meet with a very unfortunate case of terminal depression.

    3. You say:

      “Either that, or we’d get the most ruthless and effective crooks who could hide the bodies where NO ONE would ever find them.”

      You almost got that with HildaBeast!

    4. Hey, Sparky! The investigation began when Papadopoulos, presumably drunk, told an Australian diplomat that we were conspiring with Russia. And Don Jr, confessed to KNOWINGLY conspiring with the Russian government, KNOWING they wanted to help elect his dad. He said, “I love it.”

      Russian invitation to Donald Jr.
      The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

      This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump ? helped along by Aras and Emin.
      Source: Donald Trump Jr’s own Twitter feed!!!

      LOCK THEM UP!

      OR … Junior is undeniably guilty. Will his father allow his son to spend the rest of his life in prison. Is Trump THAT evil?

      1. Hey, John! Turns out the FBI themselves fed Papadopoulos that rumor, by way of one of their own moles, Joseph Mifsud. Handed him the rumor, and then nailed him for passing it on.

      2. Christ Hihn! You REALLY don’t know what you are talking about, do you?

        1. Two Trumptards AGAIN deny ABSOLUTE PROOF!!!!
          Psycho liars. By definition

          If they close their eyes and cover their ears, they REALLY believe the entire universe DISAPPEARS
          (Such severe denial is a known psychological affliction)

    5. “mandatory special prosecutor”

      Rule by the Deep State.

      1. It’s called the Rule of Law, and EVERYONE knows why your ilk rejects it.

        1. Deep State Witch Hunt = Rule of Law

          “Libertarian Moment”

          1. ONE MORE TIME (SNORT)

            Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of crap, that Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone. Says Trump can be indicted now, but not prosecuted until he leaves office — (which would obviously be immediately, no more than a week; he’d resign for the same reason Trump did, but be imprisoned.)

            Fox’s Andrew McCarthy says Trump will be indicted.

            Even Tucker Carlson has thrown Trump under a bus, saying Trump is not “capable” of being President, and has failed to keep his key promises. (Tucker did NOT list Trump’s promise to completely pay off the federal debt in 8 years — but instead has ADDED more 8-year debt than Obama added AFTER 8 years!)

            TRUMP himself said we should not trust you. You’d lie to defend him of even murder.

            Anything else?

  13. If anything, this speaks to the absurdities of campaign finance laws.

    Is there any hand wringing about the NY AG’s office threatening to prosecute the President?

    1. FOR SEVERAL CRIMES.

      RULE OF LAW?

      1. No crimes, dumb shit!

      2. Is there a coherent thought behind that yelling?

        1. HEY GOOBERS, BEND OVER. Here’s your coherent thought

          Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of crap, that Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone. Says Trump can be indicted now, but not prosecuted until he leaves office — (which would obviously be immediately, no more than a week; he’d resign for the same reason Trump did, but be imprisoned.)

          Fox’s Andrew McCarthy says Trump will be indicted.

          Even Tucker Carlson has thrown Trump under a bus, saying Trump is not “capable” of being President, and has failed to keep his key promises. (Tucker did NOT list Trump’s promise to completely pay off the federal debt in 8 years — but instead has ADDED more 8-year debt than Obama added AFTER 8 years!)

          Goobers ALSO say …
          1) A Presiding judge conducted a trial and sentencing for a … NON-CRIME
          2) An independent Grand Jury issued an indictment for a … NON-CRIME.
          3) Cohen pleaded guilty to a …. NON-CRIME
          4) Cohen is an attorney, but he and his attorney are dumber than two NOBODIES, who troll bullshit for Trump.

  14. I tried using the I didn’t know defense with the local tax agency.

    They were not impressed.

    1. Did they throw you in jail or fine you?

      1. I paid them. There were fines. They were threatening legal action whatever that means.

        Actually I am still paying it in monthly installments. At least they let me do that without additional interest or penalties.

        1. That’s what happened when Obama broke campaign finance laws. He paid a fine. That’s almost always what happens for campaign finance laws.

          Millions of Americans will soon learn whether we we have a justice system or an arbitrary attack mechanism to be wielded against whomever the left and the press is mad at.

    2. You used it in the wrong situation.
      That can happen to anyone who believes Trumptards

  15. Defrauding voters, of course, is not an actual crime.

    In my libertopia, politicians are elected by contract, not name, and violating that contract would be as liable to lawsuit as any other contract. Of course, most contracts would be really mealy-mouthed, possibly with the exceptions of following their party platform, but that’s ok too; it would put them on record as not promising anything, and campaign speeches would be as much a part of their contract as any advertising by any company.

  16. So the allegation is that Trump’s payoff to Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign expenditure. Isn’t it patently obvious that if his campaign had made the payoff, Mueller would now be preparing an indictment (or a referral to the House Judiciary Committee for use in impeachment proceedings) accusing him of having diverted campaign funds for personal purposes?

    1. The theory seems to be that it counts as campaign funding because Cohen initially paid for it out of his own money but was paid back as a loan of sorts If Trump had had a pool of his own money that Cohen could direct as needed, it would not be a campaign finance issue, as a person has unlimited legal ability to finance his own campaign.

      Again, this seems to be getting overly complicated and arcane.

      1. as a person has unlimited legal ability to finance his own campaign.

        WITH LEGAL EXPENSES. (LOL)

    2. No. Your ignorance has allowed you to be brainwashed into thinking the source of funds has any relevance at all.

      As Judge Nap pointed out. If it came from the campaign it was an illegal expense.
      If it came from Trump, it was an illegal campaign CONTRIBUTION.

      1. It was only either if it was something he wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t been running for office. Which is clearly not the case.

      2. I call your NeverTrump Judge Nap and raise you a HiLIARy voter, Alan Dershowitz, who says, even if it was to further his campaign, which is debatable, he could use his own money, without committing a crime.
        Fuck off, Hihn!

        1. Speaking of Dershowitz, Trump should heed the advice Dershowtiz gave to Bill Clinton.

          Keep your mouth shut.

        2. CALLING OUT GOOBERS CAN BE FUN!

          Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of crap, that Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone. Says Trump can be indicted now, but not prosecuted until he leaves office — (which would obviously be immediately, no more than a week; he’d resign for the same reason Trump did, but be imprisoned.)

          Fox’s Andrew McCarthy says Trump will be indicted.

          Even Tucker Carlson has thrown Trump under a bus, saying Trump is not “capable” of being President, and has failed to keep his key promises. (Tucker did NOT list Trump’s promise to completely pay off the federal debt in 8 years — but instead has ADDED more 8-year debt than Obama added AFTER 8 years!)

          He also committed FRAUD in how he reported the reimbursement to Cohen. PROVES intent. (smirk)

          It is VERY risky to get ALL your news from Fox, Breitbart, Infowars, WND, Stormfront Pravda,

          TRUMP himself said we should not trust you. You’d lie to defend him of even murder.

          Anything else?

  17. That’s because making hush payments is not an illegal campaign contribution.

    1. Do we believe a Trumptard Blowhard, or
      1) Judge Napolitano
      2) The Presiding judge
      3) The independent Grand Jury
      4) Cohen (an attorney)
      5) Cohen’s attorney.

      No problem

  18. So, if you’re a “public figure” you can be blackmailed with impunity, and if you’re a “public figure” running for political office paying off your blackmailer is a campaign finance violation? Got it!

    1. No. You do NOT get it.

      Umm, there can be no campaign finance violations on behalf of a …………… NON-CANDIDATE!!!

  19. Yeah,yeah, Trump’s clueless…blah, blah. Have any of you guys actually looked at a few photos of Karen McDougal? Trump may be clueless, but not about everything…She is pretty stunning. I don’t blame him a bit.

    1. His wife just had a son … which tells us about your total lack of moral values.

      1. To hear all you commies talk about morality is either sickening or laughable.
        You are responsible for the murder of literally millions of people, and you want to talk about morality.
        Fuck off, Hihn!

        1. Typical Trumptard psycho

          you commies

      2. It’s even worse. He’d think it was morally repugnant to a physically incapacitating degree if only the guy had a (D) after his name instead of an (R).

  20. So, ignorance of the law IS an excuse. I’ll carry a copy of this legal opinion with me next time.

    1. @mr siegel: If that flies then we really do not have a legal system.

  21. New York Times, CNN, and apparently Reason’s reporting style.

    CBS News reports “Mueller, the head of the Gestapo secret police and the highest-ranking Nazi never to have been captured”

    Mueller

    1. Fucking pathetic liar

      Heinrich Mueller, the head of the Gestapo secret police and the highest-ranking Nazi never to have been captured or located. … He said that, according to a death certificate he found, Mueller died in the final days of the war in 1945 near the Luftwaffe headquarters.”

      Why are so many Trumpsters as corrupt to the core as Trump is?

  22. His best defense is that it’s not illegal to use money to pay off slots you sleep with. What the fuck is wrong with reason. They are literally advocating for cute readings of law to indict people they don’t like.

    1. His best defense is that it’s not illegal to use money to pay off slots you sleep with.

      Your string of laughable fuckups is unbroken.

      What the fuck is wrong with reason.

      Cannot be grasped by IQs below 20.

      They are literally advocating for cute readings of law to indict people they don’t like.

      Advocated NOTHING. And said the OPPOSITE of your latest drooling. Just as you goobers ridiculed Hillary for, criminal INTENT must be proven.

      So … one standard for Hillary … a different one for Trump. (sigh)

      1. At least one of the laws HiLIARy violated didn’t require a criminal, or any other kind of intent, because once national security is breached, it doesn’t matter how it happens. That’s why HiLIARy and every other government agent, who gets a security clearance, is instructed that any violation, intentional, or not is illegal.
        We don’t hear, anymore, about the training she received on the subject, do we?
        I wonder why the genius, Comey, who created the criminal intent element, in defiance of the written law, didn’t mention that his favored candidate was instructed on the law and violated it anyway.
        And it is others, generally those who want Trump gone, who say he needed to have criminal intent. That’s not an argument made by Trump or his supporters.
        HE COMMITTED NO CRIME!.

        1. At least one of the laws HiLIARy violated didn’t require a criminal, or any other kind of intent

          Cowardly diversion by a tribal partisan hack

          Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of crap, that Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone. Says Trump can be indicted now, but not prosecuted until he leaves office — (which would obviously be immediately, no more than a week; he’d resign for the same reason Trump did, but be imprisoned.)

          Fox’s Andrew McCarthy says Trump will be indicted.

          How crazy are these goobers?
          They say Trump could LEGALLY bribe VOTERS … or PRECINCT OFFICERS … as long as it’s his own money. OMFG
          AND THEY VOTE (SNEER)

      2. Hihn. You’ve continued proving how fucking ignorant you are in thread after thread including this one. I believe the co senses is to fuck off.

        1. I don’t know who Hihn is, but Galt KICKED YOUR ASSES again

          A consensus among LOSERS like you!

  23. “I trusted my lawyer to help make sure what I was doing was legal” is a pretty easy defense.

    1. Then why did Trump commit fraud to cover it up? He reimbursed Cohen over several months, disguising it as monthly retainers, and reimbursed Cohen’s income taxes. It’s called a smoking gun. Or as Lindsay Graham famously said, “If you’re not guilty, stop acting guilty.”

      Jail is inevitable. Wait til you hear about him money-laundering Russian cash.

    2. It is, in fact, literally your lawyer’s job to advise you on how to do things legally. Unless they’ve got a tape of Trump telling Cohen, “I don’t care if it’s illegal, do it anyway.” it’s all on Cohen.

      In fact, it isn’t even clear that anything illegal happened. Pleading guilty to something doesn’t establish that it’s a crime. It just establishes that a prosecutor has leverage over you.

      1. Isn’t that typical of the left?
        Let’s force this guy, with a false promise of leniency – something, that if done by anyone but a “prosecutor” would be witness tampering – to plead guilty to something that might be a crime and use that to implicate someone, we are hell-bent on taking down, with being a party to that “crime”, whether it was, or wasn’t.
        Now, Cohen may be guilty of fraud in that he improperly billed the reimbursement requests, as other than the hush-money that it was, but I’ll bet, within the scum-bag lawyer profession, those kinds of billings are routine.

        1. HOW brainwashed can they be?

          Cohen may be guilty

          OMFG
          COHEN IS AN ATTORNEY
          HE THINKS HE’S GUILTY.
          SO DOES HIS ATTORNEY
          A GRAND JURY INDICTED
          THE PRESIDING JUDGE CONDUCTED A TRIAL AND SENTENCING

          The DUMBASSES were too STUPID to check with YOU?
          (Trump TRAINS them in LAME excuses. And the puppets dance)

          Who in HELL are you?

      2. TOTALLY non-responsive.. (lol)

  24. I don’t think these were Trump’s first hush settlements, so it seems plausible that he didn’t necessarily do it as a campaign deal at all but rather as a personal issue. If it was something he’s done before, that’s actually evidence that it was not a campaign expense at all, but just an everyday part of being a billionaire who likes the ladies.

    1. (lol) He committed FRAUD by stringing out Cohen’s reimbursement, misrepresenting then as a monthly retainers … AND REIMBURSING COHEN FOR THE INCOME TAX ON INCOME-WHICH-WAS-NOT-INCOME.

      He’s making fools out of you. Left – Right = Zero

      If all you watch is Fox Pravda, you’re as crippled as a legless marathoner.

  25. Oh, I see he-who-shall-not-be-named has show up in one of his sock puppets and ruined the thread.

    1. Apparenty, “ruinuing a thread” means calling out mpercy as a lying, ignorant, sack of shit .. AND PROVING IT!

      Beware the Bluster of Bellowing Blowhards … whose robotic “minds” are programmed with useless slogans and soundbites … by the same guy who first convinced them that Obama was born in Kenya. Puppets dancing on an orange string.

      AND THEY VOTE!
      God help America

  26. “And the most important question in assessing Trump’s criminal culpability is whether he understood those payments to be illegal campaign contributions. It is quite plausible that he did not.”

    The first question is to consider is whether these charges are absurd. And they are.
    Trump paying off floozies to keep them quiet is not Trump making a campaign contribution to himself. It is simply another Big Lie to suggest otherwise.

    I increasingly believe the Right will have to choose whether to submit to the Rule of the Left, or take power themselves. You can’t have self government where the Justice Department feels free to just make shit up everyday. This rampant Deep State judicial authoritarianism striking at the President is simply a coup. The Left feels no constraints. Government apparatchiks will prosecute anyone who thwarts their power, and no doubt they’ll find similarly lawless judges to provide convictions.

    The Right can submit or lock them up. In the end, those are the options.

    1. The Left is in charge of the justice department?

      How many more excuses are you gonna make for Trump before you realize you’re being incredibly ridiculous?

      1. The Left is the party of the Deep State.

        Government of the government, by the government, and for the government.

        Progressivism is rule by the Deep State.

        1. Okay, so ONE more lame excuse …

          1. One more well reasoned retort!

            1. 17TH REPEAT: YOUR OBLIGATION TO SUPPORT OR SOURCE YOUR RAGING PARTISAN BIGOTRY. OVER TWO DOZEN FAILS ON THIS PAGE ALONE.

  27. Well thank god.

  28. If this were the only scandal it would blow over. Trump gets a pass because when you are wealthy you can pay people to do all kinds of things with a wink and a nod and get off with plausible deniability. That’s why loyalty is so important to him. But it’s not the only scandal and Cohen knows a lot more than about paying off mistresses. That’s why this is a big story. Context always matters.

    So let’s not get distracted by legalities. The bottom line is that Trump is a moral degenerate who sleeps with porn actresses while married and newly fathered. Then he pays them off. If his supporters want to whine about how this is technically not illegal then go for it. The rest of us are laughing our a$Ns off at how stupid you all are for defending this troglodyte. Go ahead and argue in the weeds of this one little scandal. Meanwhile, the adults are moving on to the other dozen scandals he is immersed in and shining a light on what a pathetic scam artist we have for a president. If you want to keep defending him it’s your conscious you have to live with. No one is forcing you to defend him.

    1. ” If his supporters want to whine about how this is technically not illegal then go for it. ”

      Libertarian Moment

      1. Says the whiny supporter

  29. If you want to defend Trump by saying the hush money was not meant to impact the campaign or influence voters and was only meant to spare his wife’s feelings, please feel free to do so. It will make you sound stupid.

    The argument that Trump is not legally culpable for a campaign finance violation because he didn’t understand the law concerning that is more believable.

    1. 1) You can spend infinite money on your own campaign.
      2) The legal standard is that an expense *by someone other than the candidate* is considered a contribution only if there are *no* other purposes served by the expense.

      1. BAT-SHIT CRAZY TRUMPSTERS SAY TRUMP CAN …

        1) Bribe voters
        2) Bribe Precinct Officials
        3) Run slanderous ads against his opponent
        4) Bribe the DOJ
        5) Etc., etc., etc.

        AS LONG AS IT’S HIS OWN MONEY!

        CRAZIEST OF ALL …..ONLY CANDIDATES CAN VIOLATE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS … BECAUSE EVERYBODY ELSE IS TOO STUPID TO MAKE LAWS THAT APPLY TO ANYONE ELSE. … WHICH MEANS *i* CAN BRIBE AS MANY VOTERS AND OFFICIALS AS I WANT.

        But even THAT is not the scary part! ….
        THESE PEOPLE VOTE

        1. “I just got back on my meds, so I took *double*! Woohoo!”

          1. COWARDLY EVASION

            PUT UP OT SHUT UP, FRAUD.

  30. Reason, I have never asked this before, but can you please ban Hihn.

    Guy shits all over the comment threads making them impossible to read.

    1. They probably like it better that way.

      They’d probably prefer to do the Lefty and just shut down the peasants entirely, but it wouldn’t look so Free Mindish.

      Letting Hihn drive commenters away is the next best thing.

      Maybe Hihn has been a Nick sock puppet all along. Socks within socks.

    2. CYNER-BULLY AGGRESSION
      COWARDLY EVASION
      ANOTHER WHINY LOSER
      THE AUTHORITARIAN RIGHT.

      ****LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AGGRESSION AND SELF-DEFENSE.
      TO LIBERTARIANS IT’S CALLED The Non-Aggression Principle.”

      Left – Right = Zero

  31. Since Stormy has now been ordered by the judge to pay Trump $293,000 is that a campaign contribution? And is it embezzlement if Trump keeps it?

    Or is it an emolument?

    1. Careful! Don’t let your drooling drip onto your keyboard

  32. “f Trump did not recognize hush payments to his (alleged) former mistresses as illegal campaign contributions, he is not criminally culpable.”

    Hmmm, when did the doctrine of “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” change?

    Now I’ll state that out of pocket payments of hush money for decades old allegations are not illegal. Unable to hang collusion charges on President Trump prosecutors are scrapping the underside of the bottom of the barrel. Next i’ll remind everyone that historically campaign finance violations like former President Obama’s $5 million dollar violation are settled with a fine and not prison time.

    1. Hmmm, when did the doctrine of “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” change?

      Wrong point. If not for “intent” — you could be charged with murder for ACCIDENTALLY killing someone.

      For the rest, you have no clue what you’re talking about, and have NO qualifications to make such a claim. (See Judge Nap) You’ve been bamboozled on a $5 million Obama violation. And your claim to know what evidence Mueller has is either a lie, or propaganda by Fox Pravda

      Collusion has NOTHING to do with Mueller’s appointment, is not a crime, amd not even a legal term! When Trump manipulated his cult with “no collusion,” that’s about as useless as I did NOT assassinate Abraham Lincoln!

      Obstruction is what caused the Special Prosecutor. And there Trump is NAILED

      Fox’s Judge Nap says that Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone.

      Are you also not aware that Trump’s entire inner circle are PROVEN to have lied about contacts with the Russian government — including Don Jr and Jared? — when Trump said there were NONE, as he also LIED about Stormy?

      Another close friend, the publisher of the National Enquirer has signed a plea agreement. ADMITTING he paid off McDougal, to INTENTIONALLy influence Trump’s. election.

      NOW will you seek additional news sources?

  33. Maybe Mueller won’t charge Trump (or report him, or whatever) for the hush money stuff. Federal prosecutors have a reputation for not making charges they can’t prove. Mueller is an above-average federal prosecutor. So if the Trump supporters here have a point, then maybe Trump doesn’t share Cohen’s fate.

    On the other hand, if Mueller does go after Trump over hush money, my bet will be on Mueller having Trump dead to rights on whatever specifics he sets out to prove.

    Leaving that aside, I’m guessing at least the following other criminal conduct is likely to get charged (or otherwise attributed) to Trump before this is over:

    1. Unregistered agent of a foreign power.

    2. Emoluments violations, or accepting a bribe.

    3. Money laundering.

    4. Tax evasion.

    5. Some kind of conspiracy to help foreigners violate U.S. election laws.

    Interested to hear from Trump supporters which of those they think are unlikely. Especially interested to discover if anyone thinks all of that is out of the question, and Trump is going to come out okay.

    1. Oooh, you got the money laundering! That’s been in the background, but the biggie. Trump likely laundered over a half-billion for Russia — when NO other bank would tough America’s worst credit risk — after 5 bankruptcies and 7 other business failures. duh

      Now, Kushner has massive loans from the same source. If THOSE turn out to be totally unsecured (cash), add Jared to Don Jr’s confessed conspiring with Russia.

  34. This is old news, and will soon be forgotten again as it was forgotten before. Hush payments are legal, and unlike the John Edwards case, the money was not withdrawn from campaign funds. Taxpayers unwittingly have paid over 30 million dollars in hush money to protect congressmen, even alleged pedophiles, from a slush fund. If this is not an issue, why would hush money paid from Trump’s own pocket be an issue? We hire lawyers because they know the law better than us, so we would expect them to follow the law–why else would we hire them? It is absurd to expect clients to research laws to make sure their lawyers are acting properly.

    1. Hush payments are legal,

      What are your qualifications to spout such nonsense?

      Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of beans, … Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone. … Trump can be indicted now, but not prosecuted until he leaves office —

      (which would obviously be immediate impeachment/conviction, followed by criminal prosecution and prison..)

      SOMEBODY convinced you that …

      1) Cohen, an attorney, will KNOWINGLY serve 3 years in prison for a … non-crime.
      2) Cohen’s attorney agreed, also a …. non-crime.
      3) An independent Grand Jury issued indictments for a … NON-CRIME
      4) A judge presided over a trial and sentencing for a … NON-CRIME

      REALLY?

      THIS JUST IN. The publisher of National Enquirer signed a plea agreement, THREE MONTHS AGO, CONFESSING that his bribe to Karen McDougal was INTENDED to protect Donald’s candidacy … conspiring with Trump campaign since August, 2015.

      So Mueller had Trump’s ass in September. Releasing it now means he has even more … and the kill is near.!!!

      cont’d

      1. Part 2/2

        The tabloid publishing company that killed damaging stories about Donald Trump is telling U.S. prosecutors about the plans hatched with members of Trump’s team in the earliest days of the campaign.

        ? AMI admitted it worked with the campaign to kill stories “about the presidential candidate’s relationships with women” and agreed to cooperate. As early as August 2015, Pecker agreed to identify any damaging information about Trump that came his way and suppress it by buying the stories and not publishing them — a practice known as “catch and kill.”

        “You now have AMI admitting that the payments were made for the purpose of influencing the election … It’s a critical admission because, if true, it transforms the payment into a criminal violation as opposed to simply a private transaction.”

        Under the Sept. 20 agreement, AMI won’t be prosecuted and must cooperate for three years. The deal marks a change of allegiances for one of Trump’s biggest supporters, AMI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Pecker.

        …. THREE YEARS …

        We know Trump’s lifelong senior accountant has been cooperating, but no details HERE yet.

        If you thought he was crazy with Pelosi and Schumer .. the next tweet storm will be MASSIVE.

      2. Perjury is a crime and Cohen is a liar. If I hire a lawyer, I would hope that he doesn’t blame me for his legal mistakes: he is the expert in law, not me.

        1. Hush payments are legal because in a hush payment contract, no one is expected to do anything illegal. If someone pays money to an assassin to kill someone else, that is obviously illegal; however, keeping quiet about an affair is legal, and paying money to keep quiet about an affair is also legal (unless one person is underage). In fact, Stormy Daniels breached the contract by not keeping quiet, which is why she was recently forced to pay Trump’s legal expenses for her frivolous lawsuit.

          1. NON-RESPONSIVE … EVASION
            What are your qualifications?

            REPEAT
            Fox’s Judge Nap says you’re full of beans, … Trump committed three crimes on Stormy Daniels alone.

            SOMEBODY convinced you that …

            1) Cohen, an attorney, will KNOWINGLY serve 3 years in prison for a … non-crime.
            2) Cohen’s attorney agreed, also a …. non-crime.
            3) An independent Grand Jury issued indictments for a … NON-CRIME
            4) A judge presided over a trial and sentencing for a … NON-CRIME

            REALLY?

            THIS JUST IN. The publisher of National Enquirer signed a plea agreement, THREE MONTHS AGO, CONFESSING that his bribe to Karen McDougal was INTENDED to protect Donald’s candidacy … conspiring with Trump campaign since August, 2015.

            WHY DID HE BELIEVE HE WAS GUILTY IF A …. NON-CRIME

            I link to proof You have NOTHING

  35. Are you saying that the 30 million dollars in hush payments paid from a slush fund to protect congressmen is illegal? Then why is nothing being done about that?

    1. Are you saying that the 30 million dollars in hush payments paid from a slush fund to protect congressmen is illegal?

      WHAT WAS IT USED FOR? IT PAID DAMAGES TO THE WOMEN .

      Then why is nothing being done about that?

      WHERE IS YOUR PROOF THAT IT WAS USED TO INFLUENCE AN ELECTION …. NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM A SPOUSE.

      Giuliani said it was like that for Trump … but it EXPLODED in BOTH their pusses.

      Trump committed INTENTIONAL FRAUD … reimbursed Cohen over several months of a fixed amount ,… reported as a monthly retainer (legal fees)…. REALLY FUCKING STUPID … because the he had to also reimbursed Cohen’s taxes on INCOME-THAT-WAS-NOT-INCOME!!!

      About as stupid as Donald Junior PROVING he KNOWINGLY conspired with the Russian government, who TOLD Junior, IN WRITING that the Russian government was committed to help elect his father!!

      The SLIME and CORRUPTION is oozing EVERYWHERE,
      Jump ship. … This could be VERY painful for you … granting loyalty where none was deserved

      1. The slush fund also paid damages not only to women, but also to underage children, and therefore the money was used to cover up the crime of pedophilia.

        1. Source? How many underage children signed non-disclosure agreements — which would not be legally binding?

          (And the fund was shut down yesterday — news reports say 16 hours, Check the timestamp for this)

          1. Non-disclosure agreements are only for consenting adults; they are never made for cases of pedophilia because criminals do not want to create a paper trail. The intellectual heroes of the left are Foucault and Derrida, who advocated the legalization of pedophilia in France. Foucault in particular was a disgusting human being who was both a sadist and a pedophile and unfortunately influenced many of the top political figures in the USA, who need slush funds to cover up their crimes. Monkey see, Monkey do.

            1. Still no source. Monkley be, Monkey be

              Typically nonsense. REALLY stupid on the paper trail, so you also have no idea what is done with non-disclosure agreements!!! I’m gonna pay a thousand dollars to this 12-year-old girl, if she promises not to squeal on me.
              And crosses her heart.
              Typical Trumpster, when caught in a lame excuse. Go lamer.

              VERY psycho bullshit on the left, from the psycho right

              That’s three strikes.
              The whole thing blew up in your puss.

              Still true. Left – Right = Zero

  36. No reasonable person would conclude that Cohen was making the payments on his own behalf. He was acting as Trump’s legal representative with the understanding that his expenses would be reimbursed. Even the prosecution admits that Cohen is an expert in campaign finance law. Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and lying to Congress. Cohen pleads guilty to these less serious campaign finance charges to get a more favorable sentence for these other more serious charges.

  37. Fox News’ Judge Napolitano: We Now Know Trump ‘Committed a Felony’

    “We’ve learned that federal prosecutors here in New York City, not Bob Mueller and his team in Washington, D.C., career prosecutors here in New York City, have evidence that the president of the United States committed a felony by ordering and paying Michael Cohen to break the law,”

    “How do we know that? They told that to a federal judge. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to a federal judge unless they actually have that hardcore evidence. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to a federal judge unless they intend to do something with that evidence.”

    ? AMI, the National Enquirer’s parent company, “which ties a bow on all of this, which connects the dots between the payments to the two women who claim they had intimate relationships with the president, and the line running through all of that is the president himself.”

    “Prosecutors have told us through these filings that they have evidence that the president committed a felony?” Shep Smith asked his guest.

    “The felony is paying Michael Cohen to commit a felony,” Napolitano concluded. “It’s pretty basic.”

    Then again, total nobodies like my paperboy say it’s a Witch Hunt.

    LOCK HIM UP

  38. Bloomberg News https://bloom.bg/2zTAhBZ

    The tabloid publishing company that killed damaging stories about Donald Trump is telling U.S. prosecutors about the plans hatched with members of Trump’s team in the earliest days of the campaign.

    ? AMI admitted it worked with the campaign to kill stories “about the presidential candidate’s relationships with women” and agreed to cooperate. As early as August 2015, Pecker agreed to identify any damaging information about Trump that came his way and suppress it by buying the stories and not publishing them — a practice known as “catch and kill.”

    “You now have AMI admitting that the payments were made for the purpose of influencing the election ? It’s a critical admission because, if true, it transforms the payment into a criminal violation as opposed to simply a private transaction.”

    Under the Sept. 20 agreement, (((with Mueller))) AMI won’t be prosecuted and must cooperate for three years. The deal marks a change of allegiances for one of Trump’s biggest supporters, AMI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Pecker.

    Three Years!

    We know Trump’s lifelong senior accountant has been cooperating, but no details HERE yet.

    1. UPDATE (Pecker flip) That’s his name!

      The August 2015 meeting where Pecker CONSPIRED with the Trump campaign ….Trump was there …

      According to court filings, Trump was joined by Michael Cohen, who was his attorney at the time, and David Pecker, the chairman of American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer.

      During the meeting, the group discussed a plan to shield Trump from potentially damaging stories….

      Trump’s attendance was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in a November article. The meeting returned to the spotlight Wednesday when federal prosecutors announced that they agreed not to prosecute AMI for campaign finance violations in exchange for its cooperation.

      The newspaper reported that Trump asked Pecker what he could do to help his presidential campaign.

      Wall ….. Street …. Journal

      Pecker agreed to cooperate for three years. Yet unknown is why Allen Weisbereg flipped 6 months ago (The Trump accountant, since Donald’s dad)

  39. It is incredible that so many people are enraged over an alleged campaign violation when campaign violations are common, and they are resolved with a slap on the wrist (e.g. the campaign violations of John Edwards and Barack Obama). As a libertarian, I think all campaign finance laws are stupid and should be abolished. Therefore, I regard breaking campaign finance laws like Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus. Trump should be able to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels and not report it–and if there is anything illegal about that, this is no longer than land of the free.

    1. You’re no libertarian. Libertarians oppose force and fraud. You say our elections should be unprotected from intentional fraud. … or you have very little knowledge of the facts and evidence,

  40. Stormy Daniels was not forced to sign the non-disclosure agreement; and there is nothing fraudulent about keeping certain information private. In fact, the information become public anyway–and it affected Trump’s relationship with Melania more than it affected the election. We know that political leaders have affairs (JFK, Bill Clinton etc), so what do you want me to do when I realize that this is still happening? Yawn?

    1. Stormy Daniels was not forced to sign the non-disclosure agreement;

      SHE WAS PAID. THAT’S HOW IT WORKS. TRUMP DENIED KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT IT — UNTIL HE FLIPPED ON HIMSELF.

      ere is nothing fraudulent about keeping certain information private.

      But there is about other.

      In fact, the information become public anyway-

      Was that intentional — by Trump or Cohen?
      Melania?
      Ivanka?

      and it affected Trump’s relationship with Melania more than it affected the election

      Then why did Trump record the payments FRAUDULENTLY, spread out over several months … and REPORT them fraudulently as “legal fees” … then FUCK UP even more, y reimbursing Cohen’s taxes on INCOME-TRUMP-THEN-SAID-IS-NOT– INCOME???

      so what do you want me to do when I realize that this is still happening

      Same thing Trump does .. pull some laughably LAME excuses out of his ass. . But unlike you, he’s not totally clueless on the facts and issues.

      Still waiting for where you got your law degree …

  41. Thankfully I am not a lawyer; I did think about obtaining a law degree, but I didn’t want to be corrupt like the Clintons. However, I am sure that lying is NOT a crime (unless done under oath); if it were a crime, we would put all politicians in jail (actually not a bad idea, since most of them are corrupt, and become rich from lobbyists in exchange for their votes). If I had signed a hush agreement, I would also lie about it in order to protect my privacy. Telling the truth in this instance would defeat the purpose of the hush agreement–and as I said before, lying is not illegal. In fact, lying is legitimate in order to defend your privacy from nosy people who have no right to your secrets.

    1. Thankfully I am not a lawyer;

      That explains your TOTAL lack of qualifications. You go on to reveal total ignorance of the facts … and even what the issues are.

      I did thin about obtaining a law degree, but I didn’t want to be corrupt like the Clintons.

      Infantile. Petty. Tribal partisan hackery,

      However, I am sure that lying is NOT a crime (unless done under oath);

      (lol) That’s NOT the issue. As you’ve seen SEVERAL times,. Typical Trumpster diversion.

      if it were a crime, we would put all politicians in jail

      LAME Trumpster diversion. Or so totally ignorant of the matter. Or dishonest.

      If I had signed a hush agreement, I would also lie about it in order to protect my privacy.

      Would you file FRAUDULENT reports on what the money was spent on, thereby PROVING your own guilt? Do you know ANYTHING?

      Telling the truth in this instance would defeat the purpose of the hush agreement–and as I said before, lying is not illegal.

      As *I* said before, that is cowardly diversion, or you are totally ignorant of both the known facts and the issue.

      Next you go TOTALLY off the rails.

      Cont’d

      1. Part 2/2

        In fact, lying is legitimate in order to defend your privacy from nosy people who have no right to your secrets.

        That’s even wackier, We DO have a right to know and HE has NO right to keep such actions secret, Knowingly paying someone to commit a felony makes YOU guilty of the felony — just like paying someone to commit murder. Do you know ANYTHING?

        Another Trumpster publicly humiliates himself. Blindly reciting brainwashed slogans and soundbites, with NO qualifications ? and denying KNOWN facts that he has seen.

        Left – Right = Zero
        BOTH corrupted by power.

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