The Southern District of New York has just filed its sentencing recommendation on former Trump consigliere Michael Cohen. It’s devastating for Cohen, recommending a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes.
However, Cohen no longer matters. What matters is what the SDNY just alleged in its memo.
There you have it. “Individual 1” is Donald Trump. The Department of Justice has just formally declared that Cohen acted illegally at the behest of and in coordination with Trump to commit a felony.
This is no longer in the realm of newspaper exposes. This is now in the realm of prosecution. Donald Trump, “president”, is an unindicted co-conspirator to campaign finance felonies.
But then there’s Robert Mueller’s memo. Here is the salient part:
Part 2 of collusion. Cohen discussed with Trump and the campaign about reaching out to Russia. Depending on what answers Trump provided to Mueller’s questions, he should be defecating himself right now.
I think the notion among some that Mueller would sweep all of this under the carpet is now put paid to. In these two filings, collusion and criminality have been completely disclosed.
Any other president would be on his way to impeachment and removal. The incoming Democratic House may very well move on impeachment, regardless of the chances for success in the Senate on securing a conviction. But, and call me crazy, I think even the GOP in the Senate must now be given pause by these documents. The country’s legal authorities have now stated that Trump has committed felonies, even if he hasn’t been indicted. There is no longer just smoke, but there is now a raging forest fire. Donald should get out the rakes.
Some further thoughts
So, here’s the elephant in the room: the DoJ dictum that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.
We’ve never faced a situation like this. Remember, Richard Nixon resigned before any indictments came down. He skedaddled, and then Gerald Ford pardoned him.
Today we have the SDNY clearly stating that Trump committed felonies, and Mueller stating that Cohen’s information blew apart Trump’s Russia meeting lies—lies which we can only assume he repeated in written answers to the Special Counsel.
We’re through the looking glass. It’s the height of injustice that Michael Cohen gets slapped with a hefty sentence, and that the man for whom he committed his crimes gets a reprieve.
I don’t have any answers on how to square this circle. But we’re forging into unknown territory, and that will test our institutions.
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