US political warfare intensifies after Cohen plea, Manafort conviction


US political warfare intensifies after Cohen plea, Manafort conviction

Patrick Martin

23 August 2018

The political warfare between the Trump White House and its opponents in the military-intelligence apparatus, the Democratic Party and the corporate media reached a new level of savagery Wednesday in the wake of the legal blows to former Trump aides the previous day.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight felony counts, including income tax evasion, bank fraud and filing false statements with the government, after a three-week jury trial in Alexandria, Virginia. Former Trump attorney and self-styled “fix-it man” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts in a federal court in Manhattan, including income tax evasion, bank fraud and two counts of violating federal campaign finance laws.

In the most damaging aspect of the day’s events, Cohen declared in open court, as his guilty pleas were made before federal Judge Kimba Wood, that in orchestrating payoffs in 2016 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels he had acted “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” in other words, Trump. He stipulated as well that the purpose of the payoffs was to suppress their accounts of sexual relationships with Trump in light of the presidential election.

One of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, followed up this statement by posing the question: “If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Davis, a longtime Democratic Party operative who worked as a defense lawyer against impeachment for President Bill Clinton, made the rounds of television interview programs Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, all but…

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