That would be “National Security Journalist” Marcy Wheeler to you.
Mueller Probe Could Lead to Indictment of the Trump Organization
December 10, 2018
Federal prosecutors have accused President Trump of committing a federal crime by directing illegal hush money to two women during the presidential election. The accusation was revealed Friday in filings made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, including a damning sentencing memo for Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to paying adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the campaign in order to prevent them from speaking to the media about their alleged affairs with Trump. The sentencing memo was made public along with two new sentencing memos from special counsel Robert Mueller: one for Cohen and another for Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort. “We keep talking about whether you can indict a sitting president,” says independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, editor of EmptyWheel.net. “There’s still a debate about that, but, really critically, you can indict a corporation. You can indict Trump Organization.”
And to think, I knew her when she was just a foul mouthed blogger.
It’s Not the Campaign Finance Violation or the Simple Private Transaction, It’s the Conspiracy to Commit Fraud
December 10, 2018
While it is true that Cohen pled guilty to campaign finance violations, that’s not what SDNY lays out in this memo. Rather, they lay out conspiracy to defraud the United States, which carries a five year prison sentence, on top of any campaign finance or money laundering prosecution to carry out that fraud. That’s the same charge that Trump appointee Dabney Friedrich just upheld for the Russian trolls that helped Trump win, the same charge that Rick Gates and Paul Manafort have pled guilty to, the same ConFraudUS that Mueller has built all his interlocking indictments around. And there, it’s not so much the intent or success of the attempt to thwart campaign finance oversight that matters, it’s the conspiracy to do it and the secrecy and sophisticated means by which you do it.
So Trump may want to claim this is a “simple private transaction,” just like all the other hush payments he has orchestrated with his buddy Pecker over the years.
But when you carry out such “simple private transactions” in the context of an election then it becomes conspiracy to commit fraud.
And to reiterate: it’s not just Trump himself that can be charged with ConFraudUS for this, it’s also The Company and whichever spawn served as The Executive seeking to hide the payback for Cohen’s hush payments.
Heck. Even the NYT is beginning to figure this out.
What it means is that both Trump (after he’s no longer President) and his company (as soon as SDNY gets around to charging it and its executives) are on the hook for cheating to get elected.