“Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”
— Richard Nixon
Back on July 3rd we suggested that there was chum in the water and that Mueller was closing for the kill vs Trump. This was based on the reports that Trump Fixer, Michael Cohen, was ready to talk – mostly because Mueller had his balls in a clamp. We referred to Cohen as the village idiot and while it now seems he was smart enough to record his boss, the fact is, he was still stupid enough to also record himself discussing what may turn out to be plans to commit several felonies.
Today it was announced that Cohen recorded conversations with Trump in which they discussed payments to at least one woman, with whom Trump was or had been having an affair. And “affair” is used provisionally as it suggests seduction and martinis in expensive hotel bars, and what we really should say is, there are tapes of Trump and Cohen discussing women Trump was grabbing by the pussy.
But what matters is that the sharks are now going to go into a frenzy. Benito Giuliani now admits the tapes exist. The Department of Justice is investigating Cohen’s role and whether or not campaign finance laws were broken.
In other words, Trump has denied the tapes exist, Guiliani claims the payments were not made and Trump did nothing wrong.
But if the payments were made, and the money came from campaign coffers, then Trump is in the water with the sharks.
But that’s where it gets complicated.
As we have said since this adventure started, Trump is not a creature of the system in the sense that Nixon was a creature of the system. Which is not to say Trump is not a slithering creature of the American system but, it is to say that he will not wave from the steps of Marine One and go off into a lucrative and temporary exile. Trump is going to lock himself and his inner circle in a bunker, in a political gotterdammerung and dare the House and the Senate to get rid of him. He will trust in his ginned up base of atavistic fascists to support him. He will trust in the stacked Supreme Court to exonerate him 5 to 4.
He knows that Mitch Quisling McConnel hates him but hates The New Deal and The Great Society even more and wants to use the court as a hammer to turn the clock back to 1925, when White men ruled, and Negroes and Jews and Mexicans and women all did as they were told.
The closer Mueller gets to Trump the closer America gets to the razor’s edge. The closer we get to the edge the more we run the risk that Trump and his situational allies will shatter the thin remains of the Constitution and establish a hard dictatorship to take over from the soft dictatorship we have now. And consider that if the tape does not implicate Trump in a crime it is a way for the Mueller team to say: This is just a hint of what’s to come so cooperate now, or things will just get worse.
See the details here:
See part one here:
Note: And ask the following question: the New York Times broke this story. So, who told them about the tapes? And why now? Answer: Someone who wants to bring down Trump and did it now because Trump is almost certainly being blackmailed and controlled by Putin Incorporated.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who we generally ignore, is suggesting that the tape was leaked by Trump to distract from the “Russia story” and that because the tape allegedly has Trump saying pay by check, it is exculpatory, proving that, as checks create a paper trail, Trump had nothing to hide.
First, it is well past time for the media to stop insisting that no one can pay attention to more than one story at a time. And that if people are distracted it is not because they aren’t or can’t pay attention but because the 24 hour cable echo chamber is a one trick pony that saturates coverage to the point of being media Novocain and that rather than a short attention span is the problem.
Secondly, and following on from the first point, if the media shifts its focus from x to y, then it is certainly able to make an editorial decision and devote resources to more than one story.
Third, playing devil’s advocate one could assume Trump had decided to shift media attention from his being a wholly owned subsidiary of Putin Inc. to his being a liar, who pays women for sex and then pays them to keep quiet about it.
This is the dumpster fire strategy – as in, Trump, having been caught setting Europe and American foreign policy on fire, decides to distract everyone by setting himself on fire.
While Trump is both stupid enough and crazy enough to pull a stunt like that, the problem for Cuomo is that Robert Mueller doesn’t give a damn about what’s on CNN, nor does the FBI, the DOJ, or the CIA.
And then there’s this: Putin Inc. isn’t going anywhere no matter how many pussies Trump grabs, and it is not believable that Cohen only made one tape. Since he must have made more than one tape, the idea that Trump or Benito Giuliani would release one as a distraction is also unlikely even if we allow for Trump and Benito both being so stupid that they wouldn’t be counted on to pour piss from a boot.
What seems more likely is that CNN, hemorrhaging money and viewers has been scooped by The New York Times and doesn’t want anyone switching channels.
Or maybe, Chris Cuomo just isn’t very bright and the Occam’s Razor explanation is best.
According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, quoting Vanity Fair, the tape was released by Trump’s lawyers. We remain dubious about this. We still reject the idea that there is a quota on things we can pay attention to and we utterly reject the idea that the tape is exculpatory because it is a recording of Trump discussing paying hush money to a prostitute.
And there is another factor potentially at work. Per Maddow and VF, the tape was turned over to Trump’s lawyers by Cohen’s lawyers (and Cohen’s lawyer is Lanny Davis – a universe of intrigue and political connections masquerading as a man) and one must assume that Davis assumed Trump’s lawyers would release it to the media.
As they say in regards to other political labyrinths – welcome to the rabbit hole.
We note with amusement that CNN’s Chris Cuomo was thrilled to reveal that he has the Cohen/Trump tape and played it on his show. Obviously, it is not a distraction from the Russia story, or it is a distraction and CNN and Cuomo are cashing in on it.
And people wonder why so many have contempt for the media.