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The swamp slime is oozing toward Trump

Federal prosecutors bagged two swamp monsters on Tuesday, and the slime is oozing toward President Trump....

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 11:19 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 11:19 AM

Federal prosecutors bagged two swamp monsters on Tuesday, and the slime is oozing toward President Trump.

The culture of corruption that has enveloped Trump for years, in his serial bankruptcies and shady dealings and scandals like Trump University, now has a criminal quality affirmed in two federal courts. This is what Trump does, this is the company he keeps, and these are the practices now closing in on him.

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Nobody outside Trump's family is closer to him than Michael Cohen, who affirmed in the Southern District of New York that he made illegal campaign contributions "at the direction" of then-candidate Trump (according to court papers, Cohen implicated, possibly, a second person involved in the campaign).

Cohen spent more than a decade in Trump's employ as a self-described "fixer" who used tough talk to bully the boss's critics and opponents. (He tried this with me while I was writing a book about Trump, so I know how he operated.)

Now he is admitting that he conspired with the President to break the law. He seems destined to serve prison time for the offenses.

With his plea arrangement, Cohen implicates Trump in the scheme to pay off porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, to prevent them from damaging the Trump campaign with revelations of their alleged sexual affairs with the candidate.

Remarkably, Cohen did not get special consideration for cooperating with federal authorities, which suggests he threw Trump under the proverbial bus voluntarily, supporting his recent statement about putting country first.

The other swamp creature who became a felon Tuesday was Paul Manafort, who was Trump's campaign chairman during the critical period when Trump wrapped up the 2016 nomination. A federal jury agreed he was guilty on eight counts related to schemes to conceal income and avoid taxes. Much of the money involved came from Ukrainian political figures who favored Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, whose government sought to influence the American election in Trump's favor.

Until this moment, Trump has played a game of flipping-the-script with the American people, promising he would rid national politics of the unseemly power players voters abhor. "Drain the swamp" was the phrase Trump used over and over. Instead his campaign turned out to be the most fetid operation in recent political history.

Besides Manafort and Cohen, who were major figures in the campaign, Trump relied on two other convicted criminals, security adviser General Michael Flynn and foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. Both men have admitted to lying to investigators looking into possible cooperation between Trump allies and the Russians, and await sentencing.

As commentators and political partisans sift through the Manafort jury decision and Cohen's deal with the court in New York, they will spin what they find to serve their perspectives. Trump defenders will say that Manafort's crimes were committed before the campaign and thus, have nothing to do with the President. Cohen presents a bigger challenge, since he has said Trump was involved in his wrongdoing. But have no doubt: great effort will be invested in somehow explaining away what he says.

If he holds true to form, the impulsive President will be so enraged, and so incapable of restraint, that he will go after Cohen on Twitter. Expect him to make up some awful name about the man he once counted as his most trusted employee. Of course, nothing the President says will change the fact that the fixer who ran into a problem he couldn't finesse is trying to do the right thing now.

Manafort, unlike Cohen, has defied federal prosecutors and may, in fact, be counting on a presidential pardon. Trump certainly signaled how he felt about his guy with tweets about how unfairly he has been treated. This type of meddling, unheard of where Presidents are concerned, is the essence of the swamp. Trump already has the stink of it on him and it's not going to go away.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
Lauderdale6097192
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Lamar503965
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Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
Neshoba3485154
Pearl River3468105
Leflore3111109
Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
Alcorn272354
Pike268981
Itawamba268063
Scott259648
Yazoo255256
Prentiss252553
Tippah249250
Copiah249049
Coahoma248054
Simpson242171
Leake237367
Grenada223272
Marion222073
Covington219973
Adams213671
Wayne212634
Winston207371
George204339
Newton199046
Attala196963
Tishomingo194161
Chickasaw189044
Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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