Author Topic: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...  (Read 371923 times)

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3700 on: August 21, 2018, 06:17:01 PM »
I think that is actually being an accomplice in a conspiracy to break campaign finance law.

I don't think you get to call yourself an accomplice when you're the one directing your employees to break the law.  We usually call that "criminal mastermind", which in this case also feels a bit generous.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3701 on: August 21, 2018, 06:25:38 PM »
A fun angle is that if Trump pardons them, they no longer get to take the 5th because they don't have to worry about self-incrimination. Since plea deals are in play for at least Cohen at this point, that would also include testimony should Trump be taken to court. Good times. The schadenfreude is thick and creamy!

ixtap

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3702 on: August 21, 2018, 06:26:52 PM »
I'm still kind of in shock that this is really happening.  The FBI has rock solid proof that Donald J. Trump committed a federal crime.  He is going to be charged.

It looks like he can't be indicted while in office, so he won't get charged until after we have a new President.  But he's basically certain to be convicted at that point, unless he tries to pardon himself first.

If Congress were doing their job, he would be impeached so that he could be removed from office and then charged. I am not holding my breathe, though.

wenchsenior

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3703 on: August 21, 2018, 06:58:33 PM »
I predict that, in typical crass style, Trump leans incredibly hard on tweeting about the reports that the Iowa college student was murdered by an illegal resident.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3704 on: August 21, 2018, 07:13:18 PM »
I had to go to Fox and screen cap it to make sure that they would actually cover it.  I mean, it's not the main headline, but at least I know all my coworkers have seen it as they remain silent/talk about other things tomorrow.  Working in the South has its disadvantages at times. 

*EDIT* Just saw wenchsenior's post.  Yup.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3705 on: August 21, 2018, 07:18:53 PM »
I'm amazed this isn't the lead story on every news outlet. 

Trump has already publicly admitted that he paid off these two women.  He admitted that he instructed Cohen to pay off these two women.  Cohen has tapes of Trump instructing him to pay off these two women.  Paying off these two women is a crime.  Cohen is going to jail for that crime.  How is Trump not going to jail for that crime too?

As for pardons, I don't think there will be any in the near future.  Michael Flynn plead guilty over a year ago, and still hasn't been pardoned.  Maybe he fears congressional republicans might suddenly grow a spine if he starts offering get out of jail free cards to all of the criminals who put him in the white house.  Probably not, they haven't stood up to him yet so why start now just because he's a felon?

Thinking about all of the indictments, I wonder if this is what draining the swamp looks like?

I don't think you can call it draining the swamp if you're only draining out the people you brought with you.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 07:21:38 PM by sol »

DarkandStormy

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3706 on: August 21, 2018, 07:22:45 PM »
The President is an un-indicted co-conspirator in crimes to influence the 2016 election.

Impeach now.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3707 on: August 21, 2018, 07:32:32 PM »
The President is an un-indicted co-conspirator in crimes to influence the 2016 election.

Impeach now.

Congressional republicans still hold the majority, which means Mitch McConnell decides what the House of Representatives does and Mitch will never bring up articles of impeachment, much less lead his people to vote for it. 

Even if they did impeach, the republicans still hold a majority in the Senate and would never vote to convict or remove from office.  Felon?  No problem, as long as we get to gut medicaid!

And despite the fact that there is solid proof the president committed a felony, he is apparently protected from criminal prosecution while he is still in office.  They can't even indict him, much less impeach him. 

Remember when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue?  That's what we're seeing today.  Any crime the President commits, up to and including a felony, is irrelevant as long as the republicans control Congress.  He's untouchable while Mitch is in control.  Voting them back into the minority is the only viable solution to this problem.

I'm still waiting for the official eruption.  What's his possible defense here?  "I'm not guilty of a felony just because I ordered my employee to commit a felony on my behalf!  He pulled the trigger, not me!"  Somehow I don't think Mueller is going to buy that one.

What other crimes can he admit while maintaining his innocence?  How about "I directed Michael Flynn to disclose classified information to Russian spies during the campaign in exchange for their help hacking voting machines" or maybe "I asked Kushner to set up a secret back channel with Russian intelligence, but it was Kushner who walked into the Russian embasy, not me!"  And let's not forget "I took tens of millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs to bail out my failing real estate deals, but it was the Russians who gave me the money.  It's them you want, not me!  I didn't give them anything in return, I just directed the republican party to ease the Russia sanctions.  See, I'm totally innocent!"

Is this what collusion looks like?  He conspired to commit a crime.  He coordinated criminal activity by working with other criminals to commit criminal acts, up to and including personally directing how and when that criminal activity would go down.  If that's not collusion, what is?

edited to add:  you can substitute "Paul Ryan" for "Mitch McConnell" in this post, because I was being flaky.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 09:56:53 PM by sol »

Kris

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3708 on: August 21, 2018, 07:45:55 PM »
I predict that, in typical crass style, Trump leans incredibly hard on tweeting about the reports that the Iowa college student was murdered by an illegal resident.

Exactly right.

PDXTabs

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3709 on: August 21, 2018, 08:27:41 PM »
It looks like he can't be indicted while in office, so he won't get charged until after we have a new President.  But he's basically certain to be convicted at that point, unless he tries to pardon himself first.

What if he doesn't run for another term, and Pence does, and then pardons him?

MrDelane

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3710 on: August 21, 2018, 09:07:36 PM »
It looks like he can't be indicted while in office, so he won't get charged until after we have a new President.  But he's basically certain to be convicted at that point, unless he tries to pardon himself first.

What if he doesn't run for another term, and Pence does, and then pardons him?

That assumes Pence would win, which would be a pretty big gamble.
Would make more sense to resign (ala Nixon), so that Pence could pardon him.
But I think its safe to assume his ego is much too large to ever take that way out.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3711 on: August 21, 2018, 09:17:34 PM »
Apparently his defense now is that these criminal activities that he personally directed "have nothing to do with Russian collusion.  This started out as Russian collusion and this has nothing to do with that."

Does Trump even understand the legal jeopardy he's in?  Mueller passed off the Cohen and Manafort charges to others, recognizing they were outside of his special prosecutor mandate.  They were both found guilty by the regular old justice department, not Mueller or his team.  The charges brought weren't even related to Russia, and yet Trump is STILL implicated in a felony before they even get to that stuff.

I'm beginning to feel a little pity for him, almost.  He's a 72 year old man with clear signs of cognitive deficiencies, and I'm afraid his lawyers are just spoon feeding him catchphrases to repeat whenever he goes in front of the cameras.  Tonight's speeches and press meetings don't give any indication that he understands his situation yet.  It's only been a matter of hours and I don't think anyone has explained it to him in small enough words yet.  If he wasn't so deliberately disassembling American ideals, I might actually find it kind of sad to watch his meteoric rise to fame fall apart in such spectacular fashion.

PDXTabs

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3712 on: August 21, 2018, 09:20:11 PM »
MrDelane,

That would be the safe thing to do. But the even safer thing to do is to not break a bunch of laws.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3713 on: August 21, 2018, 09:40:17 PM »
That would be the safe thing to do. But the even safer thing to do is to not break a bunch of laws.

Trump has mostly been careful about breaking laws.  It's not illegal to cheat on your wife, even if she is recovering from giving birth and you do it with a porn star.  It's also not illegal to carry on a multi-year affair with a playboy bunny.  It's not illegal to pay those women to shut up about it.  It's not illegal to lie to the press on board air force one about the affairs, or about the hush money.  It's not illegal to stand up and proclaim yourself the "family values" candidate after all of that.  It's gross, but not illegal.

But it IS illegal to make a coordinated and deliberate end run around campaign finance laws.  It's that last step that has Trump in trouble.  He clearly knew the law, and planned out a way to carefully break it without getting caught.  Now some of those previous non-crimes are suddenly a problem, like lying to investigators about whether or not he cheated on his wife multiple times, paid his mistresses hush money, and lied about doing so.  Those non-crimes become evidence of his attempts to conceal a crime, which makes them also a crime.  This appears to be another case of the cover up being worse than the original crime. 

If Trump had just come out in the first place and said "yea I banged a porn star and she was hot" his poll numbers might even have gone UP, with the type of constituents he most needed to get.  "Yea I paid her to shut up about it so the libtards wouldn't spoil my fun, here's a copy of the check I cut her" and he still would have been fine.  It's his constant need to lie about this stuff that's apparently getting him in trouble.

snapperdude

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3714 on: August 21, 2018, 09:43:38 PM »
The President is an un-indicted co-conspirator in crimes to influence the 2016 election.

Impeach now.

Congressional republicans still hold the majority, which means Mitch McConnell decides what the House of Representatives does and Mitch will never bring up articles of impeachment, much less lead his people to vote for it. 




I know you meant Paul Ryan. Sometimes its hard to keep the traitors straight.

PDXTabs

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3715 on: August 21, 2018, 09:45:17 PM »
Sol,

I agree with your analysis, however it ignores anything that might come from the Russia investigation.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3716 on: August 21, 2018, 09:55:43 PM »
I know you meant Paul Ryan. Sometimes its hard to keep the traitors straight.

Oh my goodness, you're right and that's even worse!

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3717 on: August 22, 2018, 12:03:07 AM »
Tonight the news is reporting that after Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit a felony campaign finance violation by paying his mistress $130k, Trump then repaid Cohen using the Trump Organization.  As in, he didn't cut him a personal check, he had his business do it.

This is an important distinction because Donald Trump the individual person cannot be indicted for this crime while he is still a sitting President, but the Trump Organization is a corporate entity that can be indicted. 

Does it make sense to indict the Trump Organization, of which he is the head?  I have no idea.  Corporations can't go to jail, but they can pay fines.  I don't know if such an indictment would prevent Donald Trump the individual person from being indicted for the same crime at a later time.  I don't know if it's a crime to use your personal business to funnel hush money to your porn star mistress.  Is that like a legitimate business expense?  Did he claim it on his taxes?

And I'm still not sure what happens next!  Trump is more clearly implicated as being directly involved in the commission of a crime than Nixon ever was, and in Nixon's case this situation rapidly led to a resignation because the evidence was turned over to Congress for impeachment hearings.  Is that even still on the table?  This thread has spent a lot of time arguing about whether or not it makes sense to try to impeach Trump, but that was mostly before he was a felon.  Is Congress really so cowed by Trump that they won't impeach no matter what crimes he has committed?
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 12:07:21 AM by sol »

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3718 on: August 22, 2018, 12:17:50 AM »
Cohen's lawyer went on tv tonight and started dropping some crazy bombshells, like that Trump had advance knowledge of the Russian hacking efforts because he was talking with Russia, and that Trump directed Cohen to commit a second felony (lying to a bank to get a loan) in order to cover up the first felony (the campaign finance violation), rather than just paying off the mistresses himself. 

Glenstache

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3719 on: August 22, 2018, 12:34:39 AM »
Cohen's lawyer went on tv tonight and started dropping some crazy bombshells, like that Trump had advance knowledge of the Russian hacking efforts because he was talking with Russia, and that Trump directed Cohen to commit a second felony (lying to a bank to get a loan) in order to cover up the first felony (the campaign finance violation), rather than just paying off the mistresses himself.
This seems entirely consistent with Trump's MO of using other people's money whenever possible. I wouldn't be surprised if somehow he underpaid Cohen for this. None of this is a surprise. None of it.  It is just a fine coincidence (?) that it happened on the same day as Manafort. 

former player

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3720 on: August 22, 2018, 01:23:02 AM »
OK, so the Constitution refers to "conviction" by the Senate after a House decision to impeach.

So does either a House decision to impeach on its own or (unlikely) a Senate conviction on impeachment prevent a subsequent criminal prosecution on the same matters?  Because if it doesn't, then either way Trump could be prosecuted after leaving office.  But if a decision to impeach, whether followed by a Senate conviction or not, does prevent a subsequent prosecution then that is another good reason for the House not to impeach: without a House decision to impeach Trump leaves office and perhaps goes straight to gaol.

Of course, there is always the pardon power.  It seems to be accepted that Trump can't pardon himself.  So if he stays in office until the Democrats win a Presidential election then there is no pardon for him.   A Republican Presidential candidate running to succeed Trump would be under enormous electoral pressure to promise not to give him a pardon.   So Trump probably only gets a pardon if he is 1) impeached and leaves office either due to Senate conviction or resignation in advance of a likely conviction, or 2) does a last minute resignation the day before leaving office at the end of his term so that Pence can be sworn in and give him a pardon before the term expires.  Which would cause a big fuss but probably too late to matter, unless Pence can be prevailed upon in advance that it would be unChristian to do this.


Is that right?

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law. - US Constitution

So you probably want to try him after he is removed from office. I would add that after he was (hypothetically) removed from office he wouldn't have any pardon powers, right?


Thanks for the quote from the Constitution - that's very clarifying.
Tonight the news is reporting that after Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit a felony campaign finance violation by paying his mistress $130k, Trump then repaid Cohen using the Trump Organization.  As in, he didn't cut him a personal check, he had his business do it.

This is an important distinction because Donald Trump the individual person cannot be indicted for this crime while he is still a sitting President, but the Trump Organization is a corporate entity that can be indicted. 

Does it make sense to indict the Trump Organization, of which he is the head?  I have no idea.  Corporations can't go to jail, but they can pay fines.  I don't know if such an indictment would prevent Donald Trump the individual person from being indicted for the same crime at a later time.  I don't know if it's a crime to use your personal business to funnel hush money to your porn star mistress.  Is that like a legitimate business expense?  Did he claim it on his taxes?

And I'm still not sure what happens next!  Trump is more clearly implicated as being directly involved in the commission of a crime than Nixon ever was, and in Nixon's case this situation rapidly led to a resignation because the evidence was turned over to Congress for impeachment hearings.  Is that even still on the table?  This thread has spent a lot of time arguing about whether or not it makes sense to try to impeach Trump, but that was mostly before he was a felon.  Is Congress really so cowed by Trump that they won't impeach no matter what crimes he has committed?


I agree it's important that the Trump Organisation is now implicated.  Given that the laws broken helped Trump to win the Presidency a fine that bankrupted the business would be entirely appropriate - I can't see a judge wanting to allow such an organisation to continue in business.


As to the Department of Justice policy against indicting a sitting President, it is only a policy.  The purpose behind the policy is one of not interfering with the President's proper exercise of his office, particularly given that the alternative of impeachment is available.  But I bet that the people drawing up that policy didn't take into account that the crime to be prosecuted was acting illegally with the purpose of stealing the Presidency.   Surely the public interest in ensuring that the election for President is lawfully and legally won outweighs the interests of a President who is only in that position as a result of acting illegally?  I think that there is a very good case to be made that in this specific situation the policy against indicting a sitting President should not apply.


nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3721 on: August 22, 2018, 05:01:22 AM »
One person in Trump's orbit who must be thrilled this all happened right now?  Larry Kudlow, who invited a guy (Peter Brimelow) that runs a whit supremesist website, to his birthday party. His defense is currently "I didn't know he held these views, and if I did I wouldn't have invited him".

Wait, what?  Your 'friend' (close enough to be personally invited to your bday party at your house) runs a white supremacy website and somehow you've never noticed?  It's not like Brimelow was a closet racist - he is a full-throated, recruit-the-youth and raise money for white supremecy racist.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3722 on: August 22, 2018, 05:21:24 AM »
Here's the news tidbit I'm still trying to sort out:

the Trump Organization paid Cohen $480,000 starting in February 2017 using 'sham invoices.'   Two Trump organization executives apparently approved the transaction, with one writing "retainer for the month of January and February 2017" in the first payments.

This raises a number of interesting points
  • Given that Daniels was paid $130,000 and McDowell was paid $150,000, what was the remaining $200,000 paid to Cohen for?
  • Who are the two yet-unnamed Trump Executives?
  • Will the Trump Organization now be in legal jeopardy, and if so how?
  • While the Trump Organization made the first series of payments, Trump himself started paying the latter. What legal issues - if any . does that raise for a sitting president who has supposedly divested himself from his businesses to be paying off private citizens?
  • Was Trump using his own money or his presidential salary to keep politically sensitive details quiet?


partgypsy

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3723 on: August 22, 2018, 06:46:13 AM »
too soon?

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Dabnasty

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3725 on: August 22, 2018, 07:34:29 AM »
too soon?

Not soon enough.

If it happened before the election, we could have avoided so much. As a felon, he wouldn't have been eligible to run, or even vote for that matter.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3726 on: August 22, 2018, 07:50:12 AM »
Here's the news tidbit I'm still trying to sort out:

the Trump Organization paid Cohen $480,000 starting in February 2017 using 'sham invoices.'   Two Trump organization executives apparently approved the transaction, with one writing "retainer for the month of January and February 2017" in the first payments.

This raises a number of interesting points
  • Given that Daniels was paid $130,000 and McDowell was paid $150,000, what was the remaining $200,000 paid to Cohen for?
  • Who are the two yet-unnamed Trump Executives?
  • Will the Trump Organization now be in legal jeopardy, and if so how?
  • While the Trump Organization made the first series of payments, Trump himself started paying the latter. What legal issues - if any . does that raise for a sitting president who has supposedly divested himself from his businesses to be paying off private citizens?
  • Was Trump using his own money or his presidential salary to keep politically sensitive details quiet?

If Trump is the sole owner of the Trump Organization, or at least if none of the other owners object to the payments, then it's just a tax issue that hush money for a Trump affair is probably not a deductible expense.  Not sure if that's a misdemeanor or a felony or what.

Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.  If he were in a lesser office, he would probably get "the process is the punishment" treatment that is so in vogue on the left.  But he doesn't have to worry about that as long as he's president, and even afterwards it will be politically risky to try that.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3727 on: August 22, 2018, 07:53:11 AM »
So the narrative from many liberals is that Trump hired this den of unsavory characters--criminals like Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn--expecting to lose and never attract the scrutiny that would result in them being convicted.

But if the plan was really for Trump to lose, why did Cohen risk so much to squash the Daniels and McDougal stories in October of 2016? Why wouldn't he just let them break and allow Trump to lose?

GuitarStv

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3728 on: August 22, 2018, 08:00:41 AM »
Expecting to lose?

I was under the impression that Trump hired a den of criminals because he himself is a criminal, and these are just the sort of people he hangs out with.  The same way that he hires people woefully unqualified and incompetent for their government positions (Omarosa, Mnuchin, Pruitt, Miller, Carson, DeVos, etc.) because he is woefully unqualified and incompetent for the position that he currently holds.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3729 on: August 22, 2018, 08:08:48 AM »
So the narrative from many liberals...


Sources?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3730 on: August 22, 2018, 08:12:09 AM »
So the narrative from many liberals is that Trump hired this den of unsavory characters--criminals like Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn--expecting to lose and never attract the scrutiny that would result in them being convicted.

But if the plan was really for Trump to lose, why did Cohen risk so much to squash the Daniels and McDougal stories in October of 2016? Why wouldn't he just let them break and allow Trump to lose?

Um, what? I have literally never heard that.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3731 on: August 22, 2018, 08:24:47 AM »
If Trump had just come out in the first place and said "yea I banged a porn star and she was hot" his poll numbers might even have gone UP, with the type of constituents he most needed to get.  "Yea I paid her to shut up about it so the libtards wouldn't spoil my fun, here's a copy of the check I cut her" and he still would have been fine.  It's his constant need to lie about this stuff that's apparently getting him in trouble.

So just a few days ago, info was released indicating that Cohen (and presumbably Trump) initially refused to pay Stormy Daniels off (like sometime in September), but then right after the infamous Billy Bush tape was released in October, they suddenly reversed course and cut the check. This is very strong evidence that the payment was made in relation to the campaign and not for purely personal/family reasons, and therefore even if he had admitted to the whole affair like you suggest, this would still be a campaign violation. Now if Cohen and Trump had just refused to pay to silence Daniels and McDougal for the beginning, then yeah, no crime there.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3732 on: August 22, 2018, 08:28:52 AM »
This is an important distinction because Donald Trump the individual person cannot be indicted for this crime while he is still a sitting President, but the Trump Organization is a corporate entity that can be indicted. 

The Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation issues are probably what will get the younger Trumps, Ivanka and Junior (and maybe Eric too). While for the nation I think the Russian infiltration is paramount, for the Trumps themselves it's almost a sideshow to their other much more serious issues.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3733 on: August 22, 2018, 08:33:44 AM »
Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.

See above, we don't have to speculate, the evidence trail is very clear that the payments were secondary to the election, which make them illegal campaign contributions, i.e. what Cohen pled to in addition to his tax charges.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3734 on: August 22, 2018, 08:41:24 AM »
So the narrative from many liberals is that Trump hired this den of unsavory characters--criminals like Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn--expecting to lose and never attract the scrutiny that would result in them being convicted.

But if the plan was really for Trump to lose, why did Cohen risk so much to squash the Daniels and McDougal stories in October of 2016? Why wouldn't he just let them break and allow Trump to lose?

My read on it has been much different. 
It seems to me that Trump hired people based on the following criteria: i) how much money or power they reportedly had and ii) how often they publicly and emphatically they supported him.

Looking at his cabinet and inner circle. almost everyone scores favorably in those two criteria; almost none are among the '99%' or have been publicly critical.  Many have NW above the $100MM mark (Mnuchin, DeVos, Tillerson, Ross*,  McMahon, Kushner*, Ivanka....) Those that lacked bank accounts with 9 digits before the decimal tend to be high military brass (Flynn, McMasters, Mattis, Kelly, Pompeo). Those not on the list for massive wealth were willing to give full-throated endorsements early on and continued to support him even during his worst tweets and tantrums (Sessions, Flynn, Carson, Pruitt).  Compared any other administration in the last 50 years Trump's is by far the most affluent and (one could argue) contains more people with absolutely no experience running their respective administrations (Carson, McMahon, DeVos, but toss Jackson in that ring too).


*Reported NW high but very questionable.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3735 on: August 22, 2018, 08:45:10 AM »
Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.

See above, we don't have to speculate, the evidence trail is very clear that the payments were secondary to the election, which make them illegal campaign contributions, i.e. what Cohen pled to in addition to his tax charges.

When the scandal first broke about Elliott Broidy paying $1,800,000 to a model to cover up an affair that included her aborting a pregnancy, I told my wife, "Why would you pay that much money to a woman to have an abortion, when you could raise the child for a fraction of that?"

My wife reminded me that--were she to lean I had an affair that had produced a child--she'd take much more money than that from me in the ensuing divorce. (note: our current net worth is much less than the Broidy payment, better just stick with the wife I've got)

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3736 on: August 22, 2018, 08:48:48 AM »
The hits keep coming!  Trump is liable for his bodyguards attacking a group of protesters.  When it rains, it pours.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/21/trump-must-face-claims-of-assault-on-mexican-protesters-judge-says/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.cd9cd63d87b3

talltexan

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3737 on: August 22, 2018, 08:54:31 AM »
I've seen multiple people on this thread questioning my narrative that Trump expected to lose the 2016 election all along. It's easy to find links to claims of this type on the internet. Here are some prominent people who've gone on the record claiming this:

Michael Wolfe (author of Fire and Fury)
Seth Abramson (twitter commentator about the Russian Conspiracy and journalism Professor)
Former VP Joe Biden https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/10/joe-biden-says-trump-never-expected-win-wasnt-prep/
CNN President Jeff Zucker
NPR contribution Adam Davidson https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/adam-davidson-on-russia-and-why-trump-is-a-bad-businessman.html

Like I said, it's a narrative that looks problematic in light of Michael Cohen putting himself in legal jeopardy over the payments in October. But it's a narrative that has a lot of support among people in power and in the pundit class.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3738 on: August 22, 2018, 09:07:07 AM »
So the narrative from many liberals is that Trump hired this den of unsavory characters--criminals like Manafort, Cohen, and Flynn--expecting to lose and never attract the scrutiny that would result in them being convicted.

But if the plan was really for Trump to lose, why did Cohen risk so much to squash the Daniels and McDougal stories in October of 2016? Why wouldn't he just let them break and allow Trump to lose?

I wouldn't question your narrative that the campaign was run with the expectation of losing. The part I would disagree with is that this was the reason he hired criminals. The idea that they would never be thoroughly scrutinized likely played some part in the decision process but I doubt it was the sole reason. Cohen for example was his longtime lawyer, he was bound to play a role. The pool of people willing to A) work for Trump B) do the things Trump asks them to do and C) aren't liars and cheaters is probably pretty small.

To speculate on your actual question, I think Trump building his brand was the whole point of running. If these affairs could damage his brand, it makes perfect sense. On top of that, if he had lost, they probably would have gotten away with it. From Cohen's perspective he was doing what his client wanted and the chances of Trump winning were low, therefore the chance of being caught was low.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3739 on: August 22, 2018, 09:15:38 AM »
This is very strong evidence that the payment was made in relation to the campaign and not for purely personal/family reasons, and therefore even if he had admitted to the whole affair like you suggest, this would still be a campaign violation.

If Trump had just used his personal money to pay off his mistresses, it wouldn't have been a crime (as long as all appropriate documentation was made and taxes were paid).  A private citizen is allowed to pay other private citizens arbitrary sums of money, and the candidate is allowed to self-finance his own electoral campaign.  So even though it was clearly an election expense, it would have been an expense he could have paid for out of his own pocket. 

It's only because he was trying to cover it up that he directed his lawyer to commit multiple felonies.  I think it would have been fine if he had used his own money, just like it was fine when he used his own private plane to fly to campaign rallies (as long as he was paying for it himself).  We get into a whole different set of crimes when we start talking about using campaign donations or congressional funding to pay himself for using his own plane or hotel or whatever.  That's a different kind of fraud, the more mundane kind that republican congressman Duncan Hunter was just convicted for, which is typically called embezzlement.  I'm sure there will be charges brought up on that point at some point in the future, too.

Any bets on how many felony charges against Trump will be required to shake loose the first republican in congress to vote for impeachment?  Three?  Ten?   Thirty?  Clearly it's more than two...

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3740 on: August 22, 2018, 09:16:08 AM »
I've seen multiple people on this thread questioning my narrative that Trump expected to lose the 2016 election all along. It's easy to find links to claims of this type on the internet.

I agree that many others have asserted that Trump expected to lose.  Your question is "why pay off women if he never expected to win the presidency" - here's my response:

Its possible that Trump never expected to win the presidency, but that doesn't mean he wanted news of multiple affairs to be made public.  For decades he has sought the media spotlight, first with tabloids, then as a realty TV star, all the while having Fox News on speed-dial to give his un-informed opinion on the issue-de-jour and suggesting that if only he was in charge the problem would be solved quickly and in the US's favor. 

Assuming your premise is correct - that Trump never expected to actually win - that actually raises two questions: i) why run if you expect to lose and ii) why cover up unsavory stories (when id doesn't matter if you win/lose).  The former is explained by his media-seeking personality: what better avenue to promote himself than as a Presidential contender?  He gets everyone to focus on him for months, and afterwards he gets to sit on the sidelines offering criticisms and overly simplisitc solutions. It's the ultimate media tour. He'd probably get to renew 'the Apprentice' for an even bigger fee due to his expanded office.  Win win.  Except if he's exposed as an adultering shmuck.  Now his wealth may be challenged by the strength of his pre-nup, and businesses are dropping his products because they are toxic.  That wasn't supposed to be part of the plan!  These women agreed not to talk for rather paltry sums, and Cohen was supposed to have it all buttoned up.  Only it wasn't.

As is usually case, hubris is a likely explanation.  He honestly thought no one would find out, because hey, he's big and powerful and he's survived multiple affairs before (even profited from the experiences - remember all those Howard Stern interviews and Playboy covers?!).  The more that comes out the more sloppily this all seemed to have been done.  Cohen had tapes. Multiple executives at the Trump Organization were involved.  At least one noted the payoffs in records.  There were texts exchanged between Cohen and the editor of  the National Enquirer about squashing the McDowell story to benefit President Trump. So there's a paper trail, recordings, and multiple witnesses, all of whom may testify that this was done with the knowledge of DJT and to benefit his image in the presidential election.

And then there's the outcome: 78,000 votes across 3 states determined the presidency, with DJT losing the popular vote. That raises the very real spector that not only was this done to influence the election, but it may have actually resulted in his winning.  Which means the current president may have won the presidency as a direct result of breaking federal campaign finance laws.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3741 on: August 22, 2018, 09:36:55 AM »
but that doesn't mean he wanted news of multiple affairs to be made public.

Maybe?  He didn't seem too shy about publicizing the times he cheated on his first wife, or his second wife.  Why the sudden reluctance with his third wife?

I mean Melania was literally the mistress, to his second marriage.  She knows for a fact that he has never been faithful in a marriage, and she knew that when she married him.  It was part of the deal, and presumably she thought it was worthwhile anyway.

Personally?  If I was a hot young European model from a poor family, and a creepy old man offered to pay me millions of dollars to technically marry him but then not have sex with him, I might have been tempted too.  I think the much bigger story here is about who Melania has been fucking around with, not who Donald has been fucking around with.

Quote
may have actually resulted in his winning.  Which means the current president may have won the presidency as a direct result of breaking federal campaign finance laws.

I don't think it will matter.  I agree that there is a strong legal case to be made that the unofficial policy of not indicting a President for a crime is probably best ignored when the crime is cheating to become the President, but as long as Republicans control Congress nothing will happen.  Mueller could release recordings of Trump saying "Hey Putin, loverboy!  I got those sanctions lifted for you and your voting machine hacks went just like I asked, so want to come over for some netflix and chill this weekend?" and Congress wouldn't impeach.

At this point, I think Donald Trump could have taken the Presidency by military coup and I think Congress would defend him.  American ideals don't mean anything to them.  Democracy is quaint.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3742 on: August 22, 2018, 09:54:03 AM »
I've seen multiple people on this thread questioning my narrative that Trump expected to lose the 2016 election all along. It's easy to find links to claims of this type on the internet. Here are some prominent people who've gone on the record claiming this:

Michael Wolfe (author of Fire and Fury)
Seth Abramson (twitter commentator about the Russian Conspiracy and journalism Professor)
Former VP Joe Biden https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/10/joe-biden-says-trump-never-expected-win-wasnt-prep/
CNN President Jeff Zucker
NPR contribution Adam Davidson https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/adam-davidson-on-russia-and-why-trump-is-a-bad-businessman.html

Like I said, it's a narrative that looks problematic in light of Michael Cohen putting himself in legal jeopardy over the payments in October. But it's a narrative that has a lot of support among people in power and in the pundit class.

I think my problem with what you said before was that I interpreted your phrasing as implying the Trump campaign went into it planning to lose. As in, their strategy was to lose. Which I haven't really heard.

As far as their not expecting to win -- yes, I have definitely seen that put forward as an explanation for how incredibly pathetic and unprepared their transition team was, for example.

As far as why Trump hired the den of unsavory characters -- well,... I mean, sure. I guess you could make that argument that he hired them never expecting that they would attract this scrutiny because he would lose.

But honestly, I think it's more that Trump has lived his entire life as a rich, crooked shyster. He has no morals and has never had to honestly answer for anything he has ever done, because he has always been able to weasel his way out of stuff. He doesn't know what being held accountable looks like. I think he has a blind spot about committing crimes because he's been doing it all his life and it hasn't hurt him at all. Why would he worry about having to be held accountable as president? We have all seen that Trump seemed to believe being president was essentially like being the CEO and majority shareholder of the "company" of the United States. He fully expected to be able to do anything he damn well pleased. Just like he always has, except now he gets to stick his hands even bigger coffers and negotiate bribes on an even bigger scale. The fact that he has people scrutinizing his actions as president, and the actions of other people acting on his behalf, seems to have come as a complete shock to him.



« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 09:55:38 AM by Kris »

Jrr85

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3743 on: August 22, 2018, 10:08:13 AM »
Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.

See above, we don't have to speculate, the evidence trail is very clear that the payments were secondary to the election, which make them illegal campaign contributions, i.e. what Cohen pled to in addition to his tax charges.

You'll have to point that out.  Him making the payment after the Billy Bush tapes doesn't really push it one way or the other.  Maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact of the Bush tape and the Stormy Daniels issue on the campaign, or maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact on his marriage and/or relationship with his kids. 

There may be a smoking gun out there in the form of an email, but I suspect somebody that has been in as much litigation as Trump doesn't engage in business like that over email. 

Kris

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3744 on: August 22, 2018, 10:12:22 AM »
Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.

See above, we don't have to speculate, the evidence trail is very clear that the payments were secondary to the election, which make them illegal campaign contributions, i.e. what Cohen pled to in addition to his tax charges.

You'll have to point that out.  Him making the payment after the Billy Bush tapes doesn't really push it one way or the other.  Maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact of the Bush tape and the Stormy Daniels issue on the campaign, or maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact on his marriage and/or relationship with his kids. 

There may be a smoking gun out there in the form of an email, but I suspect somebody that has been in as much litigation as Trump doesn't engage in business like that over email.

Then, of course, there's the fact that Cohen actually said it...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-longtime-lawyer-michael-cohen-is-in-plea-discussions-with-federal-prosecutors-according-to-a-person-familiar-with-the-matter/2018/08/21/5fbd7f34-8510-11e8-8553-a3ce89036c78_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.66675f176478&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1


sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3745 on: August 22, 2018, 10:19:51 AM »
You'll have to point that out.  Him making the payment after the Billy Bush tapes doesn't really push it one way or the other. 

I think I speak for most of the world here when I say I'm flabbergasted that you would try to defend this sort of behavior.

If the FBI has the evidence that it says it has, then Trump committed multiple felonies for the purpose of securing the election.  He literally broke federal law in order to become the chief law enforcement officer of the country.  He violated his oath of office in order to take the oath of office.  I'm having a hard time imaging a more clear cut case for impeachment.

Well that's not true, I can imagine that he broke the law to become President at the behest of a hostile foreign power, like Russia.  That's looking more and more likely, and I guess that would be an even more severe violation.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3746 on: August 22, 2018, 10:28:27 AM »
I just went on a forum I haven't spent much time on in the last couple years to see how their discussion is going. There are some hardcore Trump supporters on there and none of this makes any difference to any of them.

Various posts in the last couple days - Mueller should be disbarred, fire Sessions, but Obama, but Hillary, but Bill, build the wall, economy is great, damn liberals, etc. etc.

I don't have much hope of anything.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3747 on: August 22, 2018, 10:38:30 AM »
Other than that, it's a question of whether or not Trump paid the hush money to benefit his campaign or benefit his marriage and other personal relationships.  This is a question that probably can't be answered beyond a reasonable doubt, and will prevent any risk of conviction for campaign finance violations provided no campaign money was used to pay the hush money.

See above, we don't have to speculate, the evidence trail is very clear that the payments were secondary to the election, which make them illegal campaign contributions, i.e. what Cohen pled to in addition to his tax charges.

You'll have to point that out.  Him making the payment after the Billy Bush tapes doesn't really push it one way or the other.  Maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact of the Bush tape and the Stormy Daniels issue on the campaign, or maybe they were concerned about the cumulative impact on his marriage and/or relationship with his kids. 

There may be a smoking gun out there in the form of an email, but I suspect somebody that has been in as much litigation as Trump doesn't engage in business like that over email.

Read the indictment (which Cohen has pled guilty to) for particulars.  Count VII specifically charges Cohen with allowing 'Corporation 1' (almost certainly the Trump Organization) with making illegal campaign contributions.  Count VIII mentions Trump Campaign Executives that worked with Cohen to pay off Persons 1 & 2 (presumably Daniels and McDougal). The actions of Cohen were to help 'Candidate [Trump]'.

What is notable throughout is the number of times executives of the Trump Organization, the campaign committee and America Media Inc are mentioned throughout.  This isn't one laywer working with a single client to hide his client's trysts from his spouse.  It was a (poorly) coordinated effort involving no less than 7 named executives from three corporations.

Ultimately, one can break campaign finance laws regardless of intent. The argument that Trump simply did this to keep it from his spouse is immaterial if it also helped him hide an embarrassing story from the public during a very close public election.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3748 on: August 22, 2018, 11:33:29 AM »
Count VIII mentions Trump Campaign Executives that worked with Cohen to pay off Persons 1 & 2 (presumably Daniels and McDougal).

One of the only things that mystifies me about these pleas/convictions yesterday are that Cohen's only mentions Persons 1 & 2. I thought that there must surely be more than the two we already know about, and that Cohen's copious documents would identify those additional to SDNY, and that we'd also see mentions of Persons 3, 4, etc, in the plea itself, setting off a dizzying round of attempts to identify and publish those accounts.

Either it's just those two (ouch, that's gotta hurt Trump in one of the few places it really counts for him; I also think Persons 1 & 2 may feel a little sheepish, they probably bought into Trump's playboy image and this must be a little embarrassing and deflationary), or other Persons are being purposefully withheld in order to limit the public information to the minimum in anticipation of an eventual trial where the full scope of payoffs will be disclosed.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #3749 on: August 22, 2018, 12:17:09 PM »
Count VIII mentions Trump Campaign Executives that worked with Cohen to pay off Persons 1 & 2 (presumably Daniels and McDougal).

One of the only things that mystifies me about these pleas/convictions yesterday are that Cohen's only mentions Persons 1 & 2. I thought that there must surely be more than the two we already know about, and that Cohen's copious documents would identify those additional to SDNY, and that we'd also see mentions of Persons 3, 4, etc, in the plea itself, setting off a dizzying round of attempts to identify and publish those accounts.
...
The crimes that Cohen has confessed to are not a complete list of everything he's ever been involved with.  His own lawyer has publicly stated that Cohen has information on a great number of other things - no doubt they are using that as a potential bargining chip for a plea bargain in exchange for lighter sentencing.

Why cop to those two?  well they;ve already been reported on, and given the extent of people and entitites involved there's little doubt Mueller already had corroboration.  After expressing 'extreme loyalty and fealty' to Trump, Cohen was tossed to the wolves by his former client.  So he seems intent on tearing down Trump while simultaneously trying to get himself the best deal he can (under the circumstances).

Worth noting that when he went in front of the judge the judge mentioned that his guilty pleas  in no way would be covered by any plea bargain struck between him and Mueller, and given the severity of the crimes he was admitting to that he could face the rest of his life in prison regardless.  Cohen accepted this under oath.