My brain is tired. Between writing the book and trying to keep up with the latest Mueller investigation news, my brain is telling me it wants to spend about three days binge-watching episodes of “Gunsmoke.” I will slog on as best I can. However, I do want to register a complaint that the mess surrounding Trump is making Watergate look simple.
One thing I believe I understand is that the investigation has Trump dead to rights on campaign finance violations. This is from Lawfare:
In short, the Department of Justice, speaking through the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is alleging that the president of the United States coordinated and directed a surrogate to commit a campaign finance violation punishable with time in prison. While the filing does not specify that the president â€œknowingly and willfullyâ€ violated the law, as isÂ required by the statute, this is the first time that the government has alleged in its own voice that President Trump is personally involved in what it considers to be federal offenses.
And it does not hold back in describing the magnitude of those offenses. The memo states that Cohenâ€™s actions, â€œstruck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency. While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows.â€ His sentence â€œshould reflect the seriousness of Cohenâ€™s brazen violations of the election laws and attempt to counter the public cynicism that may arise when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful.â€
Even David French at National Review admits that it’s unlikely prosecutors would have made such strong statements about the POTUS without corrorating evidence that supports Cohen’s testimony.
We also have more hints at connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, although nothing new that clearly incriminates Trump. Marcy Wheeler explains what Manafort lied about, which is interesting. But there are so many connections between Trump’s associates and Russians, both the Russian government and the Russian mob. And that’s where my brain freezes.