Verdict and Plea: Manafort and Cohen In Court [VIDEO]

Verdict and Plea: Manafort and Cohen In Court [VIDEO]

Verdict and Plea: Manafort and Cohen In Court [VIDEO]

Today is quite the day in federal court. Both Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were either learning their fate or taking fate into their own hands, as Manafort’s jury returned with a verdict on 8 of 18 counts, and Cohen decided to plead guilty to eight violations of campaign finance law.

Manafort was up first, and learned the verdict was in on eight counts. But a mistrial was declared on the other ten.

A federal jury in Virginia convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts related to bank and tax fraud, making him the first campaign associate of President Trump found guilty by a jury as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

But after four days of deliberations, the jury told Judge T.S. Ellis III on Tuesday afternoon that it could not come to a decision on the ten other counts. A mistrial was declared on those counts.

The jury began deliberating last Thursday after a three week trial where prosecutors said Manafort hid income earned from political work overseas from the IRS while fraudulently obtaining millions in bank loans. Manafort, 69, had pleaded not guilty.

Manafort was stone faced as the verdict was read. The government has until Aug. 29 to decide whether they will move to retry the 10 counts deadlocked on by the jury.

At almost the same time, Michael Cohen was pleading guilty.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, admitted Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.

As part of a plea deal, Cohen admitted that the payments were coordinated with Trump in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

In total, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.

Cohen could have received up to 65 years in prison if convicted of all charges. However, as part of his agreement, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence between 46 and 63 months. The deal does not involve a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors.

We are living in the worst-written reality show ever.

So far, President Trump has only reacted to the Manafort verdict.

But he will apparently be in West Virginia at a rally tonight, so hold onto your hats, everyone.

So, what does this mean for the president?

Yes, this is doubleplusungood for Trump politically. But then there’s this…

One of these things is not like the other, and has nothing to do with the other.

The Manafort verdict is embarrassing to Trump, in the sense that this is his former campaign manager who has just been convicted of tax fraud. Cohen, on the other hand, sounds like he just implicated the president in a federal crime. What happens now? I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know what the legal implications are of Cohen’s plea deal. But here’s what I do know:
1) Democrats now are going to redouble their efforts for the midterms, because if they get the House, they will push impeachment.
2) Trump is going to undoubtedly say something at the rally in West Virginia – and every single media outlet in existence will cover it.
3) I am totally fine with a President Pence.

What say you?

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Ava Gardner