Trump says the buck stops with ... Michael Cohen.
There's never a self-made problem so big that Trump can't find someone else to blame it on.
Now that's it's been revealed Trump likely committed felonies to influence the 2016 election, Trump claims he didn't commit any crimes, but if he did, it was most definitely not his fault.
When asked by Reuters about directing his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to set up a shell company in order to funnel hush money to a mistress, Trump first said that it wasn't even a crime.
"Number one: it wasn't a campaign contribution," he said, which is obviously a lie, since the payment was made for the express purpose of helping Trump's campaign.
But then Trump pivoted, admitting that it was, in fact, related to the campaign. "If it were, it's only civil. And even if it's only civil, there was no violation based on what we did."
Trump does not have any formal legal training. Obviously.
Federal prosecutors allege Cohen, at the direction of Trump, set up a secret shell corporation to pay Trump's mistress $130,000 so she would not speak about her affair with Trump in the final weeks of a closely watched national election. Then Trump and Cohen repeatedly lied about the arrangement and hid the payments from the authorities.
Far from "only civil," prosecutors say the crimes "sought to influence the election from the shadows." Further, the "brazen violations of election laws," breed cynicism "when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful."
So if the crime Trump claims he didn't commit is actually a crime (and the Trump-appointed prosecutors in the Southern District of New York say it's a crime), Trump is pretending he can escape culpability by whining that Cohen didn't stop him from committing said crimes.
"Michael Cohen IS a lawyer. He's supposed to know what to do. That's what you rely on people for. That's what you pay lawyers for," Trump said.
"Cohen should have known what he was doing. I hope he did," Trump added. Even with his poor track record of hiring lawyers, Trump nonetheless went on to add, "My lawyers say frankly that everything he did was fine."
The crimes Cohen and Trump committed aren't minor paperwork snafus. They are sophisticated attempts to deceive the public, criminal actions intended to impact the outcome of democracy's most foundational tool: free and fair elections.
In a further attempt to escape any consequences for his actions, Trump pretends it would be ridiculous for the new Democratic House majority to try to impeach him.
"I'm not concerned, no," he tell Reuters when asked about the possibility. Then he adds, "I think that the people would revolt if that happened."
If Trump were impeached, there might be people marching in the streets. But much to Trump's dismay, the crowd would have a much more celebratory atmosphere.
Published with permission of The American Independent.