First off, what is perjury? See that line in the teeny tiny type near the one where you’re supposed to sign a legal document (like a tax form or an insurance or loan application) that says, “I attest the above statements are true under penalty of law.”?
Yeah, well, people go to jail for that stuff. It’s called Fraud.
Likewise when you submit a written (or verbal) deposition in any criminal or civil legal proceeding including (but not limited to) statements to Courts, Federal Agencies (think SEC or IRS), and certain types of investigators. You can lie to Mall Rent-A-Cops and your local and State PD pretty much constantly (in most States) and while your prevarications can be used to impeach your credibility it’s not a crime in and of itself.
Not so FBI Agents and Federal Prosecutors including Special Counsels, also Senate and House Committee testimony, written and oral, whether sworn or not.
Now technically it’s not “Perjury”, it’s called making false statements or something like that, but it is its own special crime that carries jail time or a fine or both.
Yesterday that’s what Michael Cohen pled Guilty to.
Now the immediate consequence of this is that Donny Boy Jr. is in intense legal jeopardy because he told exactly the same lies to the same people that Cohen did. The Prosecution rests your Honor.
What about Donny Boy? As you’ll recall just last week Donny Boy turned in his homework, the answers to the written questions that Mueller had sent him, and thought himself oh so clever that he had negotiated an open book test and limited the subject matter to the area he felt most comfortable answering. Art of the Deal baby.
At that he was late, requiring like 17 extensions. That red ‘F’ with the circle around it at the top of your paper? It means ‘Fail’, see me after class.
But the bigger failure is this, even with his advantages he probably got them all wrong anyway.
Among the more interesting theories I’ve heard is that Mueller knew early on that Manafort was effectively a spy for Team Trump and used him to spread his own misinformation that led Trump to believe that the lies he has told about his Conspiracy with Russia to Defraud the United States were holding and he could therefore repeat them without consequence. I kind of hope this is not true since it plays into the InfoWars Alt-Right Conspiracy Theory about Deep State sabotage (and believe me, I don’t like the Deep State any more than they do but our reasons are different and mine are proven historical facts) of Trump and his regime.
But it is highly likely, more so given the questionable ethics of Donny Boy’s Defense Team to run an espionage operation against the Special Counsel (which they have admitted), that Trump, delusional in his deceptions and cover stories he can barely keep straight (Stable Genius? Hah!), has told several LIES in his sworn Deposition.
Yeah, well, people go to jail for that stuff.
Sorry about the video, it has audio dropouts, isn’t synced very well, and has video glitches too, but it’s the best available. I got it from this piece on Raw Story which contains a partial transcript.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explains how Trump’s written answers may have doomed him in impeachment trial
by Bob Brigham, Raw Story
29 Nov 2018 at 23:07 ET
At the end of “The Rachel Maddow Show” and start of “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell, the two MSNBC anchors spent over six minutes discussing “the worst Thursday in the history of the Trump presidency.”
“If the president turned in written answers that — that basically gave the same lies that Michael Cohen had previously been trying to get away with, [Robert] Mueller’s office knew at that time they were lies, then they make their decision they’re going to go ahead and put forward the evidence those are lies the president’s already made a submission,” Maddow speculated. “I mean, they’ve got him.”
“Yeah, so the clock may have started ticking tonight on — on a chapter in history which will end with the United States Senate having to decide in an impeachment trial, ‘is this perjury enough?’” O’Donnell noted.
“Because if there is a perjury here, if Donald Trump has put perjury in writing according to the special prosecutor’s analysis of the evidence based on what Michael Cohen has told him, if that is what the special prosecutor is going to report, a Democratic House of Representatives is going to have to move on impeachment if that happens,” O’Donnell explained.
“It’s also going to shine a very harsh light on the decision by president’s legal team that they would have him — they would negotiate to the ends of the earth to make sure that the president would only have to put his answers in writing rather than speaking them out loud in his usual word-cloud sort of way,” Maddow said.
“I mean, the president speaks so elliptically, that might have actually been a pretty good way out of perjury trap, because he never quite says anything declaratively,” she noted. “That’s the way he’s gotten out of lots of depositions and lots of legal proceedings in the past.”
“In this case, by insisting he would only give his answers in writing — if his answers are lies, they’ve got them in writing and there’s no wiggle room there,” Maddow noted.
“Yeah, and the president’s legal team thought they scored a huge victory by limiting the questioning to matters involving Russia,” O’Donnell added as Maddow laughed.
The Perjury Trap, such as it is (all you have to do is tell the truth instead of lying) is already sprung.
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.