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The swamp slime is oozing toward Trump

Federal prosecutors bagged two swamp monsters on Tuesday, and the slime is oozing toward President Trump....

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 11:19 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 11:19 AM

Federal prosecutors bagged two swamp monsters on Tuesday, and the slime is oozing toward President Trump.

The culture of corruption that has enveloped Trump for years, in his serial bankruptcies and shady dealings and scandals like Trump University, now has a criminal quality affirmed in two federal courts. This is what Trump does, this is the company he keeps, and these are the practices now closing in on him.

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Nobody outside Trump's family is closer to him than Michael Cohen, who affirmed in the Southern District of New York that he made illegal campaign contributions "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump (according to court papers, Cohen implicated, possibly, a second person involved in the campaign).

Cohen spent more than a decade in Trump's employ as a self-described "fixer" who used tough talk to bully the boss's critics and opponents. (He tried this with me while I was writing a book about Trump, so I know how he operated.)

Now he is admitting that he conspired with the President to break the law. He seems destined to serve prison time for the offenses.

With his plea arrangement, Cohen implicates Trump in the scheme to pay off porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, to prevent them from damaging the Trump campaign with revelations of their alleged sexual affairs with the candidate.

Remarkably, Cohen did not get special consideration for cooperating with federal authorities, which suggests he threw Trump under the proverbial bus voluntarily, supporting his recent statement about putting country first.

The other swamp creature who became a felon Tuesday was Paul Manafort, who was Trump's campaign chairman during the critical period when Trump wrapped up the 2016 nomination. A federal jury agreed he was guilty on eight counts related to schemes to conceal income and avoid taxes. Much of the money involved came from Ukrainian political figures who favored Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, whose government sought to influence the American election in Trump's favor.

Until this moment, Trump has played a game of flipping-the-script with the American people, promising he would rid national politics of the unseemly power players voters abhor. "Drain the swamp" was the phrase Trump used over and over. Instead his campaign turned out to be the most fetid operation in recent political history.

Besides Manafort and Cohen, who were major figures in the campaign, Trump relied on two other convicted criminals, security adviser General Michael Flynn and foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. Both men have admitted to lying to investigators looking into possible cooperation between Trump allies and the Russians, and await sentencing.

As commentators and political partisans sift through the Manafort jury decision and Cohen's deal with the court in New York, they will spin what they find to serve their perspectives. Trump defenders will say that Manafort's crimes were committed before the campaign and thus, have nothing to do with the President. Cohen presents a bigger challenge, since he has said Trump was involved in his wrongdoing. But have no doubt: great effort will be invested in somehow explaining away what he says.

If he holds true to form, the impulsive President will be so enraged, and so incapable of restraint, that he will go after Cohen on Twitter. Expect him to make up some awful name about the man he once counted as his most trusted employee. Of course, nothing the President says will change the fact that the fixer who ran into a problem he couldn't finesse is trying to do the right thing now.

Manafort, unlike Cohen, has defied federal prosecutors and may, in fact, be counting on a presidential pardon. Trump certainly signaled how he felt about his guy with tweets about how unfairly he has been treated. This type of meddling, unheard of where Presidents are concerned, is the essence of the swamp. Trump already has the stink of it on him and it's not going to go away.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7611
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Hennepin1248011773
Ramsey52461895
Dakota46789470
Anoka42717458
Washington27397290
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Goodhue483473
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461151
Itasca458963
Isanti439764
McLeod429861
Morrison424462
Nobles407950
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Steele397616
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Becker386555
Lyon363853
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Martin234932
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 370754

Reported Deaths: 6042
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Polk58203638
Linn21197339
Scott20297246
Black Hawk16085312
Woodbury15232230
Johnson1461185
Dubuque13502211
Dallas1128999
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Story1070948
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Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553593
Sioux516974
Webster515294
Muscatine4878106
Marshall486576
Des Moines466970
Wapello4335122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421072
Plymouth402981
Lee381956
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Jones300857
Henry294237
Bremer287860
Carroll286852
Boone268534
Crawford268440
Benton259655
Washington257051
Dickinson249444
Mahaska232351
Jackson225242
Clay216627
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Tama211771
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198135
Page194522
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Hamilton181851
Harrison179973
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Madison164619
Mills163324
Floyd163042
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Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
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Hancock150134
Iowa149824
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Calhoun138913
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Emmet135841
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Sac130820
Union129935
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Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
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