Guilty, Guilty: One Left To Go

Guilty, Guilty: One Left To Go


Leonard Zwelling

Today, Tuesday, August 21, 2018 was a good day.

The wheels of justice took two large cranks and mopped up two cranks. Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of white-collar crime—tax evasion, bank fraud, and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud of various types. But, in what is the most stunning development, Mr. Cohen implicated “the candidate” (that would be Agent Orange) in the payoffs of $150,000 (Karen McDougal) and $130,000 (Stormy Daniels) to keep the women who had consensual sex with Mr. Trump quiet so as not to hurt his chances of being elected. That will constitute election laws violations by exceeding the spending limits on a campaign contribution. This would make Mr. Trump guilty of a criminal conspiracy (no Russians, yet, but a felony, nonetheless).

Keep in mind that Mr. Manafort also has to go on trial for lobbying violations and other white-collar crimes in the District of Columbia next month. Also count on Mr. Cohen trying to minimize his jail time by cooperating with Mr. Mueller and the rest of the “witch hunters,” who seem to keep finding witches. How? The chances are pretty good that Mr. Cohen knew about the Trump Tower meeting of June 2016. This is the one Don, Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort attended with Russians who said they had dirt on Hillary. That’s a crime.

I know, I know—even this won’t convince Trump’s supporters that he has no place in the White House, but he’s just a common thug, the center of a vast family conspiracy to hide the truth. Well, this truth is the truth and these guys are officially felons now. One will trade in his ostrich jacket for a jumpsuit the color of his former boss’ hair and the other will likely be singing like a bird to get his sentence reduced.

Now comes the good part.

Are there pardons in the future of these guys or even in Mr. Trump’s own future? My guess is at this point that Trump will stick around long enough to make sure his kids don’t go to jail and that he doesn’t either (oh—he’ll pardon himself) and then he’ll quit.

My family has been giving me grief for weeks because I predicted (as has Michael Avenati) that Trump will not make it through his first term. The outlines of how this will go are becoming clearer. Mr. Trump did try to fix the election in various ways by suppressing damaging information about his extramarital affairs and by seeking dirt on his opponent from Russian sources.

As this blog has said for months, Mr. Trump’s presidency is running on fumes and now we have the outlines of how it finally runs out of gas.

The American people were duped into voting for a huckster, and not even a particularly smart one at that. This is sad but true. The Democrats get part of the blame for sending forward two lackluster candidates from which the country could choose. There’s a lesson here for one and all.

For the GOP, they simply have to limit their available candidates to something less than 17. It was the ability of Donald Trump to glean a consistent plurality that gained him the eventual nomination.

For the Dems, think young. No more old guys or even old gals.

The country has been through hell for the past 20 months being run like the second team practice for a Godfather remake. The clean up has begun. Recovery to follow.

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