We’ve heard it all: Truth isn’t truth. Collusion isn’t a crime. But Mueller’s investigation was supposed to be about the Russians and there’s nothing about them here! However, here are the key questions: 1) Is the President of the United States a criminal?; and 2) Can President Trump do us harm going forward?
After yesterday’s Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen bombshells, let’s take a look at the answers.
1) Is the President of the United States a Criminal?
Yes. President Trump is a criminal. If you didn’t believe it before, and you consider yourself an objective human being, you must believe the President to be a criminal now. The short list of people who have either been convicted of crimes or are cooperating against Trump now: Campaign Chairman, National Security Adviser, and Personal Attorney.
However, merely employing and trusting criminals does not make one a criminal. So let’s dive deeper. Paul Manafort was found guilty of fraudulently hiding money he made by lobbying for pro-Russia Ukrainian politicians. In other words, Trump hired a guy with ties to Russia and who illegally profited off of those ties. Does that make Trump a criminal? No. We just threw that in there for the “this wasn’t about Russia” people. Okay, on to criminality!
Michael Cohen pled guilty yesterday as you well know. But what in his plea impacts Trump? So glad you asked. Michael Cohen pled guilty to organizing the payment of hush money to two women in order to suppress their stories and impact the results of the 2016 Presidential election. Of note, the company that owns the National Enquirer paid one of the women. The reason that Cohen’s actions are crimes is that you are not allowed to use money above a certain amount to impact federal elections. You also must disclose those payments when you’re involved in a campaign.
So where does Trump become personally involved? In open court, Michael Cohen, under oath, told the judge that Trump directed him to commit the aforementioned federal election crimes. Michael Cohen’s lawyer later informed MSNBC that Cohen has information that Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting and both enjoyed and, at times, directed the Russian voter influence scheme. These are things that any person with a brain and the ability to use logic already knew, but now they are on the record. You can say Cohen is lying all you want, but if women who Trump slept with were being paid off before an election, what are the odds that Trump didn’t know about it? And what are the odds that Trump’s son and campaign team were having a meeting in Trump Tower to get information on his opponent without Trump knowing about it? Zero. Trump is a criminal. Those who deny it at this point are knowingly sticking their heads in the sand.
2) Can President Trump do us harm going forward?
Oh gosh yes. He’s the President of the United States. He controls our nuclear weapons. Trump has shown himself to be in this with one person in mind: Donald J. Trump. It is scary to think what this man might do to turn our attention away from his crimes. Can you really say that he wouldn’t start a war? He started a trade war with our allies for no reason, why not a real one with, say, Iran?
What if Trump is indicted and refuses to abide by what the law dictates? What if Trump tells his gung-ho supporters to grab their guns and take to the streets? You can’t possibly think that anything is beneath Trump at this point, right? There are a million “what if’s” when it comes to Trump and self-preservation. Let’s not let it get there. Impeach Trump now. As Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out, Lindsey Graham, in arguing for Bill Clinton’s impeachment, said that “[y]ou don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this Constitutional Republic.” Thank you Senator Graham. Let’s impeach Trump now before this becomes a problem that we can’t fix.