The Herald reports:
Paul Manafort, the longtime political operative who for months led Donald Trump’s winning presidential campaign, was found guilty of eight financial crimes today.
It is the first trial victory of the Special Counsel investigation into the President’s associates. A judge declared a mistrial on 10 other counts the jury could not agree on.
The verdict was part a stunning one-two punch of bad news for the White House, coming as the President’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was pleading guilty in New York as part of a separate deal with prosecutors.
The Cohen plea is the more significant one. Manafort’s corruption was pre-Trump, and at this stage there is no link to Trump. Of course will he now do a plea bargain or is he hoping for a pardon from Trump?
The Cohen plea is far more dangerous for Trump. The WP reports:
President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Manhattan courthouse to eight violations of banking, tax and campaign finance laws in a federal investigation that scrutinized his business dealings and efforts to silence women with negative stories about Trump.
Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a bank and two campaign finance violations: making an unlawful corporate campaign contribution and making an excessive campaign contribution.
The campaign finance violations are the dangerous ones as Trump may be named as a co-conspirator on them.
Politico further reports:
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, stated Tuesday that Trump directed him to pay women to stay silent about damaging stories during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The statement came as part of a plea deal that Cohen struck Tuesday afternoon with federal prosecutors in New York.
Not a good day for Trump.