False Pretenses

30 November 2018


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Cohen's Guilty Plea Ties Candidate Trump to Russian Business


Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for President Donald Trump's businesses, walked into a federal court yesterday and copped a guilty plea to a single charge of lying to Congress. In his statement in court, Mr. Cohen tied Donald Trump, who was then running for president, to a business project to build a Trump Tower Moscow. The future president denied throughout the primary season that he had anything going on with Russia, but the fact is he was working on this deal until at least June 2016, long after he had won numerous primaries. In short, he was nominated and elected on false pretenses.

The news moved pretty quickly yesterday, knocking the collapse of the Paul Manafort cooperation deal off the front page, back page and all the pages in between (hard to believe it only happened Monday). The Washington Post reports, "Trump, identified as 'Individual 1 in Cohen's guilty plea, was said to have received direct updates from Cohen as he pursued a Moscow Trump Tower project with the Kremlin, up until June 14, 2016."

Yet, Mr. Trump said such things as this from a July 2016 tweet, "I have nothing to do with Russia." In January of this year, he told a reporter, "I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we've stayed away." This just isn't true.

The man ran on an America First platform. One can argue whether this is a good policy or not, or even what it means exactly. What it clearly does not take into account is a president with a multi-million dollar pay-off if he manages to build a luxury apartment building in the center of another nation's capitol city. In the case of Donald Trump and Moscow, there are credible reports that part of the plan included a gift to President Vladimir V. Putin in the form of a $50 million penthouse in the planned Trump Tower Moscow, a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act if it happened.

Glenn Kopp, a former federal prosecutor, explained, "It creates the potential for Trump to feel an obligation to pay back President Putin, or Russia in general that . . . do not put the best interests of American forward. You are creating a potential vulnerability for a future leader of America."

Lost in this is the fact that a document from Robert Mueller's office on Tuesday links Trump ally Roger Stone to Wikileaks and the data dump of the stolen Democratic National Committee emails.

The Atlantic reports, "According to a draft document from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russian interference in the election, the conservative author Jerome Corsi tipped off Roger Stone, a Trump friend and former political adviser, that WikiLeaks would release a tranche of emails hacked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The tip came in August, weeks before the October release. Corsi provided the document to NBC News and then several other news organizations. As per his practice, Mueller has not commented."

Roger Stone and Donald Trump are known to have had late night phone calls throughout the campaign, and the idea that this Wikileaks crime did not get a mention is hard to credit. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump, and Mr. Trump could not help himself but praise Wikileaks on the campaign trail. He said at a rally, "This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart, you gotta read it." At another rally, he told the crowd, "This just came out. WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks." And at yet another, "Getting off the plane, they were just announcing new WikiLeaks, and I wanted to stay there, but I didn't want to keep you waiting. Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks."

This is not anywhere near the end game, despite what some of the chatterati believe. This doesn't end with Donald Trump's resignation, impeachment or electoral defeat. His actions in business during the last 30 years are now the focus of prosecutors. His loans from Deutsche Bank (which laundered Russian mob money for years and has paid fines for having done so), his ties to Russian oligarchs and gangsters, and his tax shenanigans will lead to the downfall of the Trump Organization and the Trump family because the investigation will continue long after he is an ex-president. Not even a pardon form a successor can save him because state laws will take him down.

© Copyright 2018 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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