In a previous commentary, I handicapped the impeachment of President Trump at around 99 percent. I was being conservative. For obvious reasons, Democrats are denying any obsession to impeach Trump. They claim that their main focus will be on policy and issues – an agenda for America. That is nonsense.
Impeachment is the number one objective of the House Democrats – including a number who have made no secret of their desire to impeach. They have longed for it –and actually called for it – even before Trump took the oath of office. It was a mainstay in the Anti-Trump Resistance Movement. It was the subject of an ongoing media campaign financed by billionaire Tom Steyer. Impeachment is the entire reason for the flurry of congressional investigations. It is the objective behind the highly biased news media.
Democrats were setting the stage with the Michael Cohen hearings. It is the reason that they gave him an unusually long 30-minute opening statement as a lawyer’s brief against the President – and a long closing statement. The questions were designed to stitch together what appears to be impeachment issues – and remember, impeachment is a political process and does not require hard evidence. The perception of wrong-doing – even if not criminal – is enough to attempt impeachment.
By the way, you need to understand that all the questions and anticipated answers were well known in advance. Congressional hearings are scripted events – not real investigations. It is likely that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was given some in-depth questions to offset her growing reputation as being a dim bulb in the Democrat marquee. And that new narrative was played out with the praise of the fawning media.
Democrats on the Committee acted surprised by the presentation of a check signed by Trump with Cohen on the payee line – a check written while Trump was President. They seized on it as hard proof that Trump committed a crime WHILE PRESIDENT – an impeachable offense. And, again, the anti-Trump media carried the interpretation as factual. CNN’s John Berman repeatedly insisted that it is proof of a crime. Of course, the existence of that check was very well known before the hearings.
The check, in and of itself, proves nothing. Cohen said it was part of the repayment for the money he put out to pay off porn performer Stormy Daniels. He did not offer any support for that contention. It could have easily been a payment for other services to Trump’s personal attorney. We will just have to see what comes out in the coming weeks on that issue.
In addition, the Democrats claim that the check is proof of a crime is highly questionable. Whether the payment to Daniels was an improper campaign contribution by Trump has not been determined by the Federal Election Commission or adjudicated in any court.
They claim that Cohen’s confession to committing a federal election crime and implicating “Individual 1,” the President of the United States. If Cohen confesses to the crime, it automatically means that Trump committed the same crime in conjunction with Cohen. That is the contention and on the surface it sounds reasonable.
It is not that simple. Is it possible that Cohen confessed to a crime that was not a crime and that he did not actually commit? Strange as that may seem, it is exactly what he did. It was because of prosecutorial abuse by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Cohen was potentially facing decades in prison for multiple convictions on tax evasion and bank fraud. Mueller offered Cohen a very short sentence in a plea deal. As part of that plea deal, Mueller insisted that Cohen also confess to the alleged violations of federal campaign laws.
Many knowledgeable legal scholars have expressed opinions that Mueller could never have gotten a conviction on the alleged campaign violation. Many even opine that the case would have been thrown out at the first traditional request for a dismissal.
Yes, it is true. It is arguable that Cohen confessed to a crime he did not commit under pressure to avoid proper punishment for his much more serious crimes — and that it will be very difficult to convict the President because he will fight any such charge – and probably successfully.
Even if true, it would not normally be addressed as a major criminal matter. Normally, violations of federal election laws are handled as a civil matter by the Federal Election Commission and usually results in a fine. Cohen was not getting time behind bars because of that issue. It was for the major crimes of tax evasion and bank fraud.
Folding in the relatively minor issue of an alleged election law violation is disturbing because it gives some indication that Mueller and his team are going out of their way to create the appearance of an impeachable case against Trump. That is not good for Trump or America.
So, there ‘tis.