Was the strange language in Michael Cohen's guilty plea a set-up?

Michael Cohen, who was snatched out of obscurity and made famous and wealthy by Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion and bank fraud and two counts of making excessive campaign contributions.  Within the language describing the campaign law violations was the following:

... in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for public office.

While Donald Trump was not named, there was little doubt that the reference was to the payments made by Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal on Trump's behalf.

Within a matter of minutes, the always vigilant mainstream media began immediately calling Trump a criminal and beating the drums for impeachment.  The justification: If Cohen was guilty of breaking the law, so, therefore, was Donald Trump.  Bret Stephens, the resident "conservative" at the New York Times, tweeted:

That sentiment was mirrored by many other denizens of the anti-Trump media.

But what law was broken?  As Cohen agreed to a guilty plea, it was the federal prosecutor who enumerated, with Cohen's attorney's concurrence, what he would plead guilty to and which laws he violated.  In the case of the so-called campaign contribution on behalf of Donald Trump, per Bradley Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Committee, these payments do not constitute an in-kind campaign contribution.

As he recently explained on Mark Levin's radio show:  

None of these expenditures helped Mr. Trump's campaign.  There's all kind of reasons why he may want to make these expenditures even if the allegations made by Stormy Daniels are untrue.  Just for family harmony or commercial viability over the long term.

Historically, the FEC has said these things are not campaign contributions.

When the FEC wrote the regulation that says what constitutes campaign expenditures and what constitutes personal use, it rejected specifically the idea that a campaign expenditure was anything related to a campaign, and instead says it has to be something that exists only because of the campaign and solely for that reason.

So why did the prosecutor include in the guilty plea that Michael Cohen violated campaign finance laws when clearly the monies came from Donald Trump's personal funds and, per Mr. Smith above, had no direct bearing on the campaign?

Mr. Cohen recently retained Lanny Davis, best known for being the energetic legal enforcer of Clinton, Inc. and many others in the Democratic Party over the years.  He has also been vociferous in his condemnation of Donald Trump since Hillary stunningly lost in November of 2016.  In short order, Michael Cohen turned on his former benefactor in an effort to get the best deal he could with the charges he was facing – which could have landed him in jail for 30 years or more.

It was apparent to me that Lanny Davis's primary charge was to rescue Cohen from the prison term his innumerable foibles and illegalities would generate.  But there was also a political and personal side benefit to Davis's retainer: embarrass and indirectly charge Trump with a crime.  This would provide a fig leaf of legal grounds for impeachment should the Democrats take over the House of Representatives or, if that did not eventuate, to drive Trump's approval down to the point that he would became essentially impotent and thus unviable in 2020.

Did Davis, in negotiating Cohen's guilty plea with the prosecutor, insist that the campaign finance charges be included?  Would the prosecutor, anxious to notch Cohen's scalp on his belt, agree, as these two charges of the eight were the least serious and, based on recent history of other violations of campaign financing, comparatively meaningless in terms of jail sentences or fines?  It certainly appears so, as these two insignificant charges were important only to the anti-Trump cabal, which includes Lanny Davis.

To amplify this point, Lanny Davis sent out the following tweet after the hearing:

"The principal purpose of influencing an election"?  How does paying someone to sign a non-disclosure agreement influence an election?  Is Mr. Davis clairvoyant?  Does he know for certain that the signatory to such an agreement would absolutely, without fail, tell all if there were no agreement?  These agreements are entered into on a routine basis.  No doubt Mr. Davis has been party to one or more.  Further, would he and his fellow travelers advocate that when Joe Kennedy paid off the innumerable paramours of John Kennedy when he ran for president, those actions unduly influenced an election?  

Additionally, per the FEC, these agreements, regardless of when they are entered into, are not in violation of the law.  Per Mark Levin, a renowned constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to an attorney general:

Let's say a candidate says, "Get a nondisclosure agreement, pay the funds out of my pocket, because I don't want this person to attack me during the campaign for something that occurred before the campaign."  That's perfectly legal.  That's not a campaign expenditure.

This entire sorry spectacle is no more than another feeble attempt to overturn an election wherein the "chosen one," Hillary Clinton, inexplicably lost.  After 16 months, Robert Mueller and his unfettered and unrestrained army of prosecutors are no closer to achieving this ultimate objective, so Michael Cohen, thanks to his foibles, stupidity, and greed, was the pawn in the latest gambit.

Photo credit: Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Michael Cohen, who was snatched out of obscurity and made famous and wealthy by Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion and bank fraud and two counts of making excessive campaign contributions.  Within the language describing the campaign law violations was the following:

... in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for public office.

While Donald Trump was not named, there was little doubt that the reference was to the payments made by Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal on Trump's behalf.

Within a matter of minutes, the always vigilant mainstream media began immediately calling Trump a criminal and beating the drums for impeachment.  The justification: If Cohen was guilty of breaking the law, so, therefore, was Donald Trump.  Bret Stephens, the resident "conservative" at the New York Times, tweeted:

That sentiment was mirrored by many other denizens of the anti-Trump media.

But what law was broken?  As Cohen agreed to a guilty plea, it was the federal prosecutor who enumerated, with Cohen's attorney's concurrence, what he would plead guilty to and which laws he violated.  In the case of the so-called campaign contribution on behalf of Donald Trump, per Bradley Smith, former chairman of the Federal Election Committee, these payments do not constitute an in-kind campaign contribution.

As he recently explained on Mark Levin's radio show:  

None of these expenditures helped Mr. Trump's campaign.  There's all kind of reasons why he may want to make these expenditures even if the allegations made by Stormy Daniels are untrue.  Just for family harmony or commercial viability over the long term.

Historically, the FEC has said these things are not campaign contributions.

When the FEC wrote the regulation that says what constitutes campaign expenditures and what constitutes personal use, it rejected specifically the idea that a campaign expenditure was anything related to a campaign, and instead says it has to be something that exists only because of the campaign and solely for that reason.

So why did the prosecutor include in the guilty plea that Michael Cohen violated campaign finance laws when clearly the monies came from Donald Trump's personal funds and, per Mr. Smith above, had no direct bearing on the campaign?

Mr. Cohen recently retained Lanny Davis, best known for being the energetic legal enforcer of Clinton, Inc. and many others in the Democratic Party over the years.  He has also been vociferous in his condemnation of Donald Trump since Hillary stunningly lost in November of 2016.  In short order, Michael Cohen turned on his former benefactor in an effort to get the best deal he could with the charges he was facing – which could have landed him in jail for 30 years or more.

It was apparent to me that Lanny Davis's primary charge was to rescue Cohen from the prison term his innumerable foibles and illegalities would generate.  But there was also a political and personal side benefit to Davis's retainer: embarrass and indirectly charge Trump with a crime.  This would provide a fig leaf of legal grounds for impeachment should the Democrats take over the House of Representatives or, if that did not eventuate, to drive Trump's approval down to the point that he would became essentially impotent and thus unviable in 2020.

Did Davis, in negotiating Cohen's guilty plea with the prosecutor, insist that the campaign finance charges be included?  Would the prosecutor, anxious to notch Cohen's scalp on his belt, agree, as these two charges of the eight were the least serious and, based on recent history of other violations of campaign financing, comparatively meaningless in terms of jail sentences or fines?  It certainly appears so, as these two insignificant charges were important only to the anti-Trump cabal, which includes Lanny Davis.

To amplify this point, Lanny Davis sent out the following tweet after the hearing:

"The principal purpose of influencing an election"?  How does paying someone to sign a non-disclosure agreement influence an election?  Is Mr. Davis clairvoyant?  Does he know for certain that the signatory to such an agreement would absolutely, without fail, tell all if there were no agreement?  These agreements are entered into on a routine basis.  No doubt Mr. Davis has been party to one or more.  Further, would he and his fellow travelers advocate that when Joe Kennedy paid off the innumerable paramours of John Kennedy when he ran for president, those actions unduly influenced an election?  

Additionally, per the FEC, these agreements, regardless of when they are entered into, are not in violation of the law.  Per Mark Levin, a renowned constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to an attorney general:

Let's say a candidate says, "Get a nondisclosure agreement, pay the funds out of my pocket, because I don't want this person to attack me during the campaign for something that occurred before the campaign."  That's perfectly legal.  That's not a campaign expenditure.

This entire sorry spectacle is no more than another feeble attempt to overturn an election wherein the "chosen one," Hillary Clinton, inexplicably lost.  After 16 months, Robert Mueller and his unfettered and unrestrained army of prosecutors are no closer to achieving this ultimate objective, so Michael Cohen, thanks to his foibles, stupidity, and greed, was the pawn in the latest gambit.

Photo credit: Twitter.