Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why Picking a Lawyer Without a Conflict of Interest Matters

PowerLineBlog points out that Trump's former lawyer pleaded guilty to something that is not actually illegal:
However, one of Cohen’s guilty pleas relates to Trump and the 2016 election. Cohen admitted violating election law by paying money to sexual partners of Trump in order to keep them quiet during the campaign. The theory is that these were illegal campaign contributions.
Let’s be clear. The fact that Cohen entered this guilty plea doesn’t mean he actually broke campaign finance laws. There is a substantial argument that the payments to Stormy Daniels and the other woman weren’t crimes. Election law expert Bradley Smith, among others,maintains that paying hush money to silence people with potentially damaging information on a political candidate does not constitute a campaign contribution. In my view, this is a murky area of the law.
Cohen simply decided not to contest the campaign finance count against him in order to avoid major prison time for violations he apparently couldn’t plausibly contest — tax evasion and bank fraud. These are violations that, unlike the election law count, carry severe sentences.
If Trump reimbursed Cohen for these, then Cohen gave nothing to the campaign. No campaign finance violation.  Why would Cohen confess to a non-crime?  Cohen is represented by Lanny Davis, one of Clinton's fixers.


  1. Other explanations include getting a break on his tax frauds, those are real crimes although I'm hardly certain he is really guilty of them, as long as he was willing to include a plea to this political non-crime. The only reason he's being prosecuted is his association with Trump, he's shown he's not very moral, thus it makes sense he'd hire a political lawyer on the other side who has no trial experience, and cut a plea deal to go along with the political prosecution of Trump.

    Which shows something that's going to increasingly cripple Trump: he's unwilling or unable to protect his own people.

  2. Not only that but tax money is used to cover up sexual peccadilloes of congress critters much like Cohen did for Trump.