Followed by some far more relevant things.
Tuesday was a day of bombshell news from the courts, with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort convicted on 8 of 18 charges for tax and bank fraud and former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen pleading guilty to, among other things, campaign finance violations at the direction of “a candidate for federal office” for the purpose of influencing the election.
The second development has the most potentially damaging implications for President Trump and has unsurprisingly triggered wall-to-wall coverage from all the major outlets.
While every syllable Cohen spoke to the judge is being parsed and re-parsed, one little detail has been unfairly discriminated against for its complete irrelevancy — noted only glancingly by a few outlets, including BBC and Time, but never given the headline-attention it so clearly doesn’t deserve. The injustice ends here.
Judge William H. Pauley II asked Cohen, whose voice was noticeably “quavering,” if he had been drinking before his seismic confession. Cohen’s response:
At dinner the night before, he had one glass of a 12-year-old Glenlivet Scotch on the rocks.
Good to know.
In addition to that quirky, irrelevant detail, Cohen also said a bunch of far more relevant things, like pleading guilty to one count of making an excessive campaign contribution in violation of campaign finance law at the behest of “a candidate for federal office” for the “principal purpose of influencing an election.”
“I participated in the conduct for the purposes of influencing the election,” he said of his “hush money” payments to both Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied having knowledge of the payments during the election.
The payment of $150,000 in the summer of 2016, which went to former Playboy model McDougal, was made “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” he said. The $130,000 payment to Daniels in October 2016 was also made “at the direction of the same candidate.”
Cohen also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, and single counts of making false statements to a financial institution and willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution. While that all could end up putting him behind bars for decades, he’s realistically looking at 46-63 months.