A sample of headlines from Tuesday and Wednesday, following the news that Paul Manafort had been found guilty on 8 counts of tax fraud and that Michael Cohen had plead guilty to a host of charges brought by the NY District Attorney’s Office:
The New York Times: With Cohen Implicating Trump, a Presidency’s Fate Rests With Congress
NBC: The party of ‘Lock her up!’ faces a choice: Defend Trump or investigate?
The Washington Post: Convictions of former associates ramp up pressure on Trump
Axios: GOP fears Cohen set road to impeachment
You get the idea. Based more on the Cohen developments than the Manafort conviction, the media is running with the narrative that we’re now at the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. According to the prevailing wisdom, it goes like this: Because Cohen pled guilty to paying off Stormy Daniels for the purposes of influencing the election, and because Cohen worked for Trump, Trump is guilty of breaking campaign finance law and should probably be in an orange jumpsuit by the end of the year.
Okay, very few analysts, even in the fake news media, are trying to get us to buy that one, but they do think that Trump is guilty of a crime because his old lawyer – facing years upon years in prison – said he was. None of these stories bother to wonder if Cohen is lying to save his skin and none of them bother to take on the thorny issue of whether or not that payment to Stormy actually WAS a crime in the first place. They just assume so because, well, that makes a better story.
The ONLY reason that Stormy count in mixed in with the rest of Cohen’s dirty laundry is because it’s the only thing they can even broadly relate to the president. And you’ll recall, as the media recalls, that all of this is supposed to be related to the president. Right? That’s what Robert Mueller’s witch hunt is all about, correct? Of course it is. So if we’re just talking about some sleazy dudes that Trump happened to do business with, well, that hardly makes for a good show, now does it?
There’s nothing in either the Manafort or the Cohen case that implicates the president of any crime. The only purpose to either of these investigations/prosecutions to convince these men to flip on Trump and dish some dirt.
Scratch that, there’s a secondary (perhaps more important) purpose as well: To generate negative headlines for the president and the Republican Party so they’ll lose in November and Democrats can take back the House.
This is what we, the taxpayers, are paying for. It’s a farce all the way down.