What has happened?
- Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has admitted in federal court that he lied to Congress when he said the Trump Organization wasn’t pursuing a building project in Russia during his boss’ presidential campaign. At the time, he claimed the Trump Tower Moscow project ended in January 2016 and there had been no talks with Russian officials about it. Now he admits the project ran at least until June and Cohen discussed it with an assistant to Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri Peskov.
Cohen earlier pleaded guilty to bank fraud, breaking campaign finance laws and tax evasion when he paid off one of Trump’s mistresses, the adult film actress who goes by Stormy Daniels.
- We have learned that conspiracy monger Jerome Corsi tipped Trump’s friend Roger Stone when WikiLeaks was about to release Democratic emails stolen by Russian military intelligence that would raise doubts about Hillary Clinton’s health. Trump promptly started talking about Clinton’s health on the campaign, which suggests Stone told him.
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, has revoked the plea agreement of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, alleging that Manafort lied to prosecutors.
Manafort has already been found guilty by a jury in Virginia of eight financial crimes related to his lobbying work for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine. The special counsel’s office is now considering bringing more charges against him.
What does it all mean?
- Schindler argues Trump never expected to win the presidency and only ran to prop up his businesses.
- It seems awfully likely that Russian spies used WikiLeaks as a go-between to influence the election and indirectly gave the Trump team a head’s up whenever they were about to release anything damaging on Clinton.
- Manafort may have only pretended to cooperate with prosecutors in order to pass information on to Trump’s lawyers and convince the president to pardon him.