For Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail yesterday by a judge who didn’t buy Cohen’s contrite sentencing statement. The judge pointed out that the crimes Cohen committed deeply undermine our Democracy, from lying to Congress to campaign fraud intended to subvert the outcome of a presidential election. In his statement, Cohen again asserted that he had violated campaign finance law under the direction of President Trump, and lamented his years covering for Trump’s “dirty deeds.”
The Cohen sentencing was highly damaging to Trump, implicating him as a co-conspirator. If Trump weren’t shielded by the presidency he would almost certainly be under indictment along with Cohen. But perhaps the biggest blow yesterday came moments after the Cohen sentence was handed down. The Southern District of New York prosecutors unsealed a cooperation agreement with the parent company of the National Enquirer and it’s publisher, David Pecker, who had also aided Trump in violating campaign finance laws by giving one of Trump’s mistresses what has become known as a “catch and kill” publishing deal, effectively buying her silence shortly before the election to eliminate the chances that she would tell her story to the media.
The cooperation agreement states that the parent company of the National Enquirer and David Pecker will not be charged, and implies that they will instead divulge everything they know about Trump, including every story they ever buried for him. More importantly, it’s safe to assume that they will confirm that Trump knew about and authorized the “catch and kill” arrangement, which qualifies as a campaign finance violation. Here is the full story in the New York Times:
Keep in mind that the campaign finance crimes implicating Trump are a mere sideshow to the Mueller investigation. They are being prosecuted by another arm of the Justice Department. We have yet to see most of what Mueller has been working on, but all signs point to a conspiracy by Trump and his family. So it’s safe to imagine that we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg—but it already appears large enough to sink the Trumptanic.
Forgive the title, I couldn’t resist. But keep resisting…