Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

A federal judge sentenced Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, including Trump-directed felonies intended to influence the 2016 election.

“Mr. Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct,” Judge William H. Pauley said at the sentencing hearing.

The judge rejected Cohen’s plea for a lighter sentence of no jail time, saying that the nature of Cohen’s crimes call for jail time and to send a signal about general deterrence.

“Mr. Cohen’s crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress,” Judge Pauley said.

In addition to tax fraud, Cohen pleaded guilty to working with Trump in a scheme to secretly pay hush money to two of Trump’s mistresses. The goal of the payoff was to influence the 2016 election, fearing Trump’s multiple affairs, including an affair immediately after his wife gave birth to their child, could impact Trump’s chances in the election.

The payoffs amounted to illegal campaign contributions, which both Cohen and Trump repeatedly lied about.

In addition, the judge sentenced Cohen to two months in prison for lying to Congress, which he will serve concurrently with his 3-year sentence.

In addition to jail time, Cohen must forfeit $500,000 in assets, pay $1.4 million in restitution, and pay a fine of $50,000, according to Bloomberg.

Even though Trump himself is implicated in the crimes, many Republican lawmakers spent the last few days downplaying the importance of such criminal activities. The judge in the case obviously took the felonies much more seriously.

In a now-deleted 2015 Tweet, Cohen mocked Hillary Clinton, saying, “when you go to prison for defrauding American and perjury, your room and board will be free!”

Cohen reports for his prison sentence on March 6, 2019.

Hillary Clinton will spend that day doing whatever she wants, as she is not a criminal.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Header image source.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)