This is big.
Two new legal filings related to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, are very, very bad news for Trump.
Most strikingly, federal prosecutors are now claiming that Trump himself committed a felony when he directed Cohen to commit campaign finance violations.
And as if that weren’t enough, Cohen has given special counsel Robert Mueller new information about contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.
Cohen entered guilty pleas to crimes in two different investigations — one led by federal prosecutors in New York that’s looking into the Trump Organization’s finances, and one led by Mueller that’s looking into the Trump campaign’s potential links to Russian election interference.
Prosecutors in both cases released their sentencing recommendations for Cohen on Friday.
It’s not the best news for Cohen. He could still face several years in prison despite his decision to turn against his former boss and cooperate with prosecutors.
But it’s much worse news for Trump.
“Just to make it crystal clear, New York federal prosecutors concluded that the President of the United States committed a felony,” CNN legal analyst Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter.
Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general of the United States, agreed with that assessment.
“The real news right now is not about Cohen’s sentence,” Katyal wrote. “It is about the conclusion by federal prosecutors that Donald J. Trump has committed a serious felony.”
And that alleged felony was indeed very serious, prosecutors emphasized. Because women Trump had affairs with were paid off to stay silent, Americans were prevented from hearing their stories ahead of the presidential election.
The revelations in the Mueller sentencing memo are also shocking. For one thing, Cohen admitted that he had direct conversations with Trump, all the way back in September of 2015, about reaching out to Putin for a meeting.
Cohen also gave Mueller’s team “useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation,” and “relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House” in 2017 and 2018.
It’s probably time for certain “persons connected to the White House,” especially Trump, to panic.
Published with permission of The American Independent.