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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

In an explosive admission, Michael Cohen implicated his former client President Donald Trump in campaign finance violations Tuesday as he pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan.

Cohen said he violated the law in making hush money payments during the campaign at the direction of a candidate for office — which could only be the president.

The payments pertain to Stephanie Clifford (better known as Stormy Daniels) and Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign. Both women have said they had affairs with Trump prior to the campaign.

Many observers noted that while Cohen’s claims seem to involve Trump is directly involved in a crime, the Justice Department policy dictates that a sitting president cannot be indicted. However, that policy is not ironclad, and some have speculated that special counsel Robert Mueller might choose to circumvent it.

In addition to serving as Trump’s personal attorney, Cohen also served as the deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee.

After Cohen entered his plea, Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami gave a brief press conference to discuss the charges. He said that Cohen failed to pay taxes on $4 million and lied on a bank loan application by hiding $14 million of debt. These charges come in addition to the campaign finance charges.

Cohen “decided that he was above the law, and for that he is going to pay a very, very serious price,” Khuzami said.

(This story is developing.)

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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