The Manafort conviction, of a sundry eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, seems like a big deal because there was so much fanfare, because the judge made a fool of himself a number of times, and because the jury took a while to decide. But the bigger event today was probably Cohen’s guilty plea to charges of tax evasion and election violations. That took much less time, no trial, presumably a bargain struck.
Here’s the important part: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s fixer and wise guy, pled guilty to paying off two women to keep them silent about affairs they had had with Trump, in coordination with Trump. Cohen explicitly said that he participated in this silencing arrangement “for the principal purpose of influencing the election.” So there you go.
Cohen will probably spend 3 years or so in the stir for that set of guilty pleas (which also involved tax fraud). It remains to be seen how much the former candidate, who apparently colluded, to use a certain term, with Cohen in that matter, will spend in prison. Keep in mind, of course, that the federal election law violation may be only a small part of Cohen’s likely multi-year conviction.
Tomorrow morning is a morning you may want to saunter down to the local news stand and pick up a copy of any respectable national newspaper. The front page is going to have an interesting set of headlines on it, I’ll wager.
Here’s an internet version for you in case you don’t actually have a news stand down the street: