The Manhattan district attorney’s office is considering pursuing criminal charges against the Trump Organization and two senior company officials in connection with Michael D. Cohen’s hush money payment to an adult film actress, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter. Trump Organization Could Face Criminal Charges From Manhattan D.A.:
A state investigation would center on how the company accounted for its reimbursement to Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he paid to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, who has said she had an affair with President Trump, the officials said.
Both officials stressed that the office’s review of the matter is in its earliest stages and prosecutors have not yet made a decision on whether to proceed.
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As the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., considers opening an investigation, the New York State attorney general’s office has moved to open a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Cohen has violated state tax law, an inquiry that would be unrelated to the federal tax evasion charges that he pleaded guilty to on Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the state matter.
If Mr. Vance decides to proceed, it would not be the first time he investigated members of the Trump family. He was faulted for not pursuing charges against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who were under criminal investigation in 2012 over allegations that they misled buyers interested in the Trump SoHo condominium project.
The attorney general, Barbara D. Underwood, in recent days sought a referral from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, which is needed to conduct such an inquiry and to prosecute any violations of state tax law it might uncover, the person said. Such requests are seldom denied. The state’s double jeopardy laws do not apply to tax crimes.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged accessories, Attorney General, conspiracy, Department of Justice, misappropriation of funds, money laundering, organized crime, RICO, Special Counsel, Tax Evasion
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing “collusion,” i.e., a conspiracy to defraud the United States of America, between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
But yesterday Donald Trump’s consigliere (fixer) Michael Cohen testified under oath in pleading guilty to a second act of “collusion,” i.e., a conspiracy to defraud the United States of America, between himself, Donald Trump, and David Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc. (the National Enquirer).
I would also hasten to add Keith Davidson, the attorney who originally represented both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and conspired with Michael Cohen. National Enquirer Schemed With Michael Cohen to Silence Stormy Daniels: Prosecutors.
Lawrence O’Donnell laid out the case for this second act of “collusion” in a commentary (video) on Tuesday night.
Rush Transcript (excerpts):
Today in a federal court in Manhattan Michael Cohen said “guilty your honor” eight times, and he also said “at the direction of,” twice. And both times he meant “at the direction of” the president of the United States. And so today, Donald Trump made history by becoming the first president of the United States to be accused under oath in federal court of ordering someone to commit a federal crime to win a presidential election. “At the direction of.”
Today Michael Cohen said under oath Donald Trump made me do it, my boss made me do it, he told me to break the law. “At the direction of.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Editorial, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged collusion, conspiracy, Department of Justice, Special Counsel
Donald Trump’s consigliere (fixer) Michael Cohen once said he would “take a bullet for Donald Trump.”
But today Michael Cohen entered into a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and agreed to be a cooperating witness. Just call Mikey Flipper today.
The big news: in counts seven and eight to which Michael Cohen plead guilty, involving payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, Donald Trump is effectively identified as an unindicted co-conspirator, for the first time since Richard Nixon.
Bloomberg News reports from the courthouse, Cohen Faces December Sentencing on U.S. Charges: Plea Update:
Cohen Acted for Candidate in Violating Campaign Law (4:43 p.m.)
In acknowledging the charges against him, Cohen said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or the person who was paid, but those facts match Cohen’s payment to Clifford [Stormy Daniels] and Trump’s repayment.
Cohen Payment Was to Hide Alleged Affairs: U.S. (4:47 p.m.)
The prosecutor told the judge the purpose of the payments was to ensure that the individuals did not disclose “alleged affairs with the candidate.” Besides the $130,000 payment, Cohen admitted to making an illegal contribution of $150,000, which was how much McDougal received from the National Enquirer’s publisher to quash her story.
Lawfare Blog has a copy of the Michael Cohen plea agreement. Michael Cohen Plea Agreement (Scribd).
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged bank fraud, campaign finance, conspiracy, Department of Justice, Special Counsel, Tax Evasion
Donald Trump “went there” this morning on the Special Counsel’s Russia probe.
Trump is, once again, setting up Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be the fall guy by signaling he is now ready to pull a Nixonian “Saturday night massacre” if the Attorney General does not do as he is directed by the president, a clear violation of the independence of the Department of Justice from undue influence over criminal investigations by the chief executive. With Robert Mueller closing in, Trump is in a panic and is abusing the powers of the presidency to obstruct justice in order to protect himself.
Chris Cillizza at CNN reports, Donald Trump just tweeted something new about the Russia investigation — and it’s huge:
President Donald Trump has made his displeasure with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, special counsel Robert Mueller and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election he is leading crystal clear over the past year. But he took that critique to new heights on Wednesday morning, suggesting that Sessions needed to step in and end the investigation.
That seems like a pretty clear directive, no?
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged Attorney General, conspiracy, Department of Justice, obstruction of justice, propaganda, Special Counsel