The mood is grim today within the normally upbeat MAGA community that resides in the Twittersphere. As if the recent controversy over the banning of conservative user accounts wasn’t enough to make many somber, yesterday’s Court proceedings in both the Manafort and the Cohen cases were a blow to President Trump’s image.
Liberal zealots were quick to pounce, having got the whiff of blood in the water. Yes, it would be disingenuous to say that these convictions don’t cast a shadow on what has thus far been an extremely effective administration.
However, not everything is as it seems. While Democrats like Mad Max Waters or Chuckles Schumer may be pounding their chests in some malignant victory celebration, let’s examine just what the truth of the matter is.
Manafort was convicted on eight counts, which included tax and bank fraud. The charges were in no relation to either the President, nor the 2016 campaign to elect Donald Trump. Missing from the lengthy trial and it’s rulings is any evidence of a Russian collusion or conspiracy to interfere with the election. Any claims to the contrary simply aren’t true.
The Cohen conviction is a little different. Cohen plead guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, which he claims we’re relative to a hush money payoff to prostitute Stormy Daniels. Cohen claims the payoff was offered at the behest of then Candidate Trump.
So, let’s unpack this. First, both the President and Cohen have consistently denied the alleged affair occurred, and so far, no evidence to the contrary has been presented. As for the campaign finance violation, first, you must decide if Cohems assertion is credible. His integrity is already seriously suspect given that he willingly breached legal ethics when he broke attorney client privilege.
But, assuming for a second it were true, campaign finance violations are relatively minor infractions that are punished by fine.
They are not grounds to establish articles of impeachment, a fact Barack Obama was most likely relieved to learn in 2013 when he was slapped with a record breaking 375,000 usd fine for multiple FEC violations. USNews and World Reports chronicled at length the FEC inquiry and subsequent findings. See the full article here.
These setbacks are in my opinion, not much more than “shiny objects” offered to distract the public. The President needs to remain focussed, and not fall into the obvious trap that’s been set by the opposition. Any moves to pardon or commute sentences for either man will only fuel the flames and cause further, more stubborn problems.