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Last week, federal prosecutors in Washington and New York filed sentencing memorandums with federal judges in advance of the sentencings of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and his former personal lawyer had pleaded guilty to federal crimes, and the memorandums, which are required by the federal rules of criminal procedure, set forth the prosecutors’ desired prison sentences for them.

Judges rely on these submissions, as well as on those of defense counsel, before making the mathematical calculations that the law requires. Sadly, sentencing today is largely an algorithmic function, dictated by federal sentencing guidelines, with some room for judicial deviation based on the facts of the crimes and the personal backgrounds of the defendants. In my career as a judge in New Jersey, I sentenced more than 1,000 people using state guidelines that were substantially similar to the present federal guidelines.

When the federal prosecutors made their submissions for the most part public, they revealed two disturbing facts. Special counsel Robert Mueller in Washington revealed that in the government’s view, Manafort had reneged on his plea

agreement by lying to FBI agents who were sent to debrief him about his contacts with the White House. And federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York revealed that some of Cohen’s crimes had been committed with the knowledge of and at the direction of Trump or to shield him.

Then all hell broke loose. Here is the back story.

Manafort, who has been convicted of federal financial crimes in Virginia, opted to avoid a second trial in Washington, D.C., on another set of alleged federal crimes by pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with the special counsel’s office by truthfully telling its FBI agents what they sought to learn about ongoing investigations of President Trump.

The FBI agents wanted to know whether Manafort knew whether Trump committed any federal crimes — such as conspiracy (namely, agreeing to receive foreign assistance during his campaign), obstruction of justice (interfering with the FBI in order to keep it from investigating him) and bank and tax fraud before he was president.

When the special counsel announced that Manafort had declined to be truthful to its FBI agents and Manafort’s lawyers claimed he had been truthful, that conflict set up a dispute that must be resolved by a federal judge — after a public hearing — before she can sentence Manafort. That hearing will most likely reveal what prosecutors wanted to learn about Trump and what they claim Manafort lied about. Even though the hearing — which has not been held as of this writing — could be explosive about Trump, the president claimed he was exonerated by this turn of events.

At the same time, career prosecutors in New York — whose chief, a Trump appointee, has removed himself from the case — asked a federal judge to sentence Cohen to substantial prison time for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty,

notwithstanding the substantial assistance he had provided them in their investigations of the president. Of the president? Yes. The feds in New York City, as well as the special counsel in Washington, are investigating the president? Yes.

How do we know this? We know that Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations. According to the submission of the special counsel, Cohen lied to Congress — about candidate Trump’s efforts to build a hotel in Moscow by cutting a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the presidential campaign — to protect the president, who had publicly denied any campaign-time communications with Russians.

But the most damning thing we learned from the submission of the New York federal prosecutors was that they have evidence that Cohen’s deceptive and criminal payments of hush money to women alleging to have experienced sexual intimacy with Trump before he was an active candidate were made “in coordination with and at the direction of” the president.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York enjoy the highest reputation for excellence in the legal, judicial and law enforcement communities. They know that they cannot ethically make a charge in federal court without corroborated evidence to support it. In their Cohen sentencing memorandum, they chose to reveal the existence, but not the substance, of their evidence against the president.

Think about the significance of this. The Department of Justice has accused President Trump of coordinating with, ordering and paying Cohen to commit a federal crime for which Cohen has pleaded guilty. Stated differently, career federal prosecutors who are not in the office of special counsel Mueller have told a federal judge that they have corroborated evidence that the president committed felonies.

Let’s be clear. If A pays B to shoot someone and B does the shooting, A is as criminally liable as he would be if he had pulled the trigger.

Nevertheless, when the president learned of all this, the revelation of which had been authorized by his chosen but unconfirmed acting attorney general, he claimed that this submission, too, exonerated him. I was sorry to learn that.

These submissions place the president directly in the legal crosshairs of federal prosecutors — closer to knowing about a campaign-time agreement for something of value with Russians than we have heretofore been. And they show a more direct procurer of criminal behavior than we have heretofore had.

The president may want the public to think that none of this troubles him. Yet the evidence of the falsity of his publicly denied proximity to Putin during the campaign and the possession of evidence by the Department of Justice of his pre-presidential criminal behavior are gravely serious, and he cannot reasonably pretend that they are not.

He can try to avoid reality, to paraphrase Ayn Rand, but he cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Those consequences may be fatal to his presidency and to his liberty.

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Robert Mueller 
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  1. Xerxes says:

    “Those consequences may be fatal to his presidency and to his liberty.” Amen

  2. Realist says:

    This from a guy who says the SC Justices are not political.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Definition (Wikipedia): “Sycophancy is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree.”

    Example (Napolitano): “Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York enjoy the highest reputation for excellence in the legal, judicial and law enforcement communities.”

  4. Tom Verso says:

    The judge says above:
    “New York federal prosecutors was that they have evidence that Cohen’s deceptive and criminal payments of hush money to women alleging to have experienced sexual intimacy with Trump before he was an active candidate were made “in coordination with and at the direction of” the president.”

    I’m not sure what exactly was “criminal” in this statement; i.e. what was the crime?

    As I understood the issue: a prostitute said to Trump ‘give me money’ or I will make public statements about our affair’. So Trump tells his lawyer: ‘make the DEAL and give her the money from my personal bank account … not the campaign funds’. So what is the crime?

  5. DKR says:

    Judge, you wrote “criminal payments of hush money to women.” Are the payments themselves criminal? Or is the failure to properly report the payments criminal?

  6. @Realist

    Which of the following best describes Trump?

    A, who admits that he has been a serial adulterer and that he slept with a skanky porn-star while his third wife was pregnant and admits that he paid hush money to the skank, or

    B, who denies that he has been a serial adulterer and denies that he slept with a skanky porn-star while his third wife was pregnant and lies that he paid hush money to the bimbo, or

    C, who is happily married to his first wife and is not a serial adulterer and would never, ever share a bed with a skanky ho.

    Which of the above, ceteris paribus, would you trust to drain the swamp?

    Which of the above, ceteris paribus, would you trust to defenestrate all of the neo-Cohens from his administration?

    Which of the above, ceteris paribus, would you trust to declassify the deep state’s secrets?

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Patricus
  7. nickels says:

    The courts have long been a mockery, and their moral authority is completely spent.
    They have absolutely no power minus the executive.

    The courts can go after Trump all they want, but to no avail.
    Trump has the people, and Trump has the military.

    As I’ve said before, it is long past due for the courts to be dissolved.

    • Replies: @Patricus
  8. And then there’s the US Dept of Justice Inspector General filing on crimes involving famously ‘dirty cop’ Robert Mueller, for a scheme in which Mueller as FBI Director is said to have helped law firm friends defraud millions of client funds, Mueller collecting his share after leaving the FBI – crimes for which Robert Mueller could spend the rest of his life in prison after the I.G. report comes out. Team Trump seems to be holding this file in reserve, as discussed in this article

    May be why Trump is confident enough to re-tweet a photo of Mueller in jail

    And why Trump tweeted, “Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller”

  9. CMC says:

    Let’s be clear. If A pays B to shoot someone and B does the shooting, A is as criminally liable as he would be if he had pulled the trigger.

    Let’s be clearer. This is a crap analogy. Nobody wants to get shot. Lotsa people want to settle disputes. What are the numbers even after suits get filed? 95, 98%? I don’t know but it’s way into the majority, right judge?

    The judge’s analogy is loaded. It’s the old ‘begging the question’ fallacy.

    The nature of the thing is different.

    And that’s how this whole two payments thing unwinds and falls apart —or probably unwinds and should unwind: It wasn’t a bad thing —shooting, it was a good thing —settling.

    ‘Oh, oh oh!’ partisans and others locked into the goal of possibly nailing Trump say, ‘but settling during a campaign makes it related to the campaign and therefore he broke the law in not reporting it.’

    Assuming away evidentiary and other problems, how is that supposed to work? Anyone running for office can’t settle cases anymore? Everything is related to the campaign? Every expenditure? Even a laundry bill?

    By the way, what about the unmentioned alleged victims? What if they want to settle and keep it quiet?

    *sarcasm* Hey I know! Let’s invent a whole new body of law, levels of scrutiny, degrees and differences between primary motivation, secondary motivation, etc. etc. —heck let’s start a commission and create a new bureaucracy… _just to get Trump_ on this. *sarcasm*

  10. Or it may be that after months of grooming prosecutors do what they best. Intimidate people into confessions and scapegoating others to reduce the pain. The target simply says,

    “Tell me what you want to hear.”

    Prosecutors: “We told what we want to hear.”

    Target: “Well, why are we still talking and why are you still prosecuting me.”

    Prosecutors: “You have not told us what we want hear.”
    ———————————

    If they can intimidate a General into perhaps making a false confession about something that might not even have been a crime then a lawyer is child’s play.

  11. As rotten and biased as the US justice system has become, this “he said, she said” bullshit will go exactly no where in a court of law – that is if it survives a grand jury investigation.

  12. The Dems say that Trump’s having paid her hush money is a crime because it interfered with a fair election.

    A coupla questions:

    Why would she come forth with her story after she had received the money? What could have motivated her?

    Was she, perhaps, offered money by the Dems to spill the beans? And if so, doesn’t that also constitute interference in the election?

  13. Realist says:
    @Liberty Mike

    Which of the above, ceteris paribus, would you trust to declassify the deep state’s secrets?

    Your question requires a non sequitur.

    But I believe Trump is a member of the Deep State and will do nothing to eliminate the Deep State. The fact that he paid to hush up his indiscretions is not illegal.

  14. He can try to avoid reality, to paraphrase Ayn Rand, but he cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

    Ex judge Andy, being a Randroid, thinks this is profound.

  15. Patricus says:
    @Liberty Mike

    Liberty Mike,

    Perhaps it would be nice to have chaste politicians who never ever considered infidelities nor engaged in these. There would be a small pool of mankind (or womankind) to choose from. I don’t know if there is evidence that such people are superior in activities outside bedrooms. They might only be distinguished by their low sex drives.

  16. Patricus says:
    @nickels

    I second the comments of Nickels. The federal judiciary in our nation is a dead weight. So many people paid for drivel. As for Napolitano, he gets almost every issue or prediction wrong. Whenever he appears on the screen I switch to the weather channel. These blowhards should be cleaning toilets or harvesting potatoes.

    The Confederate states had no federal judiciary. They lost the war but not because they were largely lawyer free.

  17. U ALWAYS Knew It–Don’t Lie And Say U Didn’t
    (Apollonian, 15 Dec 18)

    All of this related above by Napolitano has always been known and foreseen by “deep-state” and the Jews who are in the midst of it all, as usual.

    BUT, note Trump is not without his defenses and resorts, like, fact he was/is operating against arch-criminals and traitors, the Demon-rats, and without doubt these Demon-rats are AT LEAST as guilty in other things as Trump. Jews/Satanists always knew it and loved it–BECAUSE now they get to manipulate things to their advantage. And things can always get to be all nice and patched-up, don’t forget–all u need do is to promise the Jews a few things, never doubt–they’ll make it all nice and good.

    Thus now u KNOW w. absolute certainty more false-flags will ensue, for benefit of Jews, Satanists, and Israel, the object being to getting Jew S A into more war, Jew S A and it’s abysmally dumb people, the goyim, suffering and dying for benefit of Jews/Satanists, naturally, as usual, of course.

    And we really and truly ALREADY knew all of this long, long ago, truth be told–because this is how things are in Jew S A, the dog wagged by the proverbial tail, slave of Jews and Israel, as usual, as always.

    But regardless, never forget–worst thing we can all do is to being anti-Semitic, u know; we must not observe or consider facts as to why practically everyone is anti-Semitic (even some of the semites), why our ancestors always taught us to be anti-Semitic. And don’t forget the holohoax, u crude gentile vermin.

  18. Tom Verso says:

    Andrew Napolitano was on Fox News emphatically ‘proving’ Trump commented a crime.
    Joe diGenova was on some other programing emphatically arguing that there was no ‘evidence’ of a crime.
    EVIDENCE! What’s that got to do with anything?
    Go Figure!

  19. Tom Verso says:

    The Duran’s Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris’ analysis of The Southern District’s Michael Cohen “Sentencing Memorandum”, renders Napolitano’s conclusions expressed here and vociferously on Fox News interview ridiculous.

    Once again Napolitano demonstrates what everyone knows … judges have nothing to do with ‘justice’. They are political hacks! They serve the masters who hired them to do the job.

    See Mercouris 12/16/2018 talk at:

    http://theduran.com/explosive-michael-cohen-sentencing-memo-exposes-serial-liar-with-nothing-to-offer-mueller-video/

  20. Tom Verso says:

    Yesterday, I wrote that in ‘The Duran’ podcast Alexander Mercouris “renders Napolitano’s conclusion ‘ridiculous’.”
    Today after reading Jeremiah L. Morgan’s article “Why Did Michael Cohen Plead Guilty to Campaign Finance Crimes That Aren’t Campaign Finance Crimes? at the “American Thinker” site, I have to say Napolitoan’s discussion and rants are totally ‘absurd’ and ‘pathetic’.

    As Morgan so cogently notes: “few have shown the desire or spent the time to take a critical, objective look at federal election law to see how it applies to Cohen’s actions.”

    Napolitoan is clearly not one of the “few”

    See:
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/12/why_did_michael_cohen_plead_guilty_to_campaign_finance_crimes_that_arent_campaign_finance_crimes.html

  21. Ayn Rand? Our campaign fianance laws are a subjective, selective-enforcement minefield that hack prosecutors like Baraha in Nap’s hallowed SDNY use to police the yard – just ask Con, Inc’s favorite vaishya.

    Read Schweizer’s “Extortion” and Silverglate’s “Three Felonies a Day” then tell me what common good these laws serve.

    Napolitano is an apparatchik selling Talmud-grade bullshit wrapped in tattered black robes and scented with knock-off cologne.

    • Agree: Futurethirdworlder
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