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Archive for August 22nd, 2018

GOP Rep. Hunter Indicted Over Lavish Personal Expenses from Campaign Funds

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, via U.S. Department of Defense.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted Tuesday on dozens of charges that allege they used campaign donations to pay for personal expenses, from family vacations and dental work to theater tickets and school tuition.

The Republican from Alpine, Calif., is accused of spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses between 2009 and 2016 and filing false campaign finance records to cover up the unlawful spending, the Wall Street Journal reports

House Speaker Paul Ryan stripped Hunter of his committee assignments.

“The charges against Rep. Hunter are deeply serious,” Mr. Ryan said in a statement.

Nevertheless, Hunter claimed the 60-count indictment was politically motivated.

According to the indictment, Hunter and his wife used the campaign funds for ski trips, hotel stays, European vacations, dinners and even video games.

Watergate Prosecutor Calls Trump ‘An Unindicted Co-Conspirator’ After Cohen Plea Deal

Nick Akerman

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Nick Akerman knows a thing or two about corruption in the White House: He was one of the Watergate prosecutors who helped bring down President Nixon.

So what did Akerman think of Michael Cohen implicating his former longtime client, President Trump, on Tuesday?

“There’s no question about it,” Akerman told MSNBC. “This makes the president of the United States an unindicted co-conspirator.”

The ominous term, “unindicted co-conspirator,” was used by the Watergate grand jury to describe Nixon’s involvement in the scandal.

“This is the first time this has happened since Richard Nixon was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Watergate trial,” Akerman said. “This is a big deal.”

Akerman wasn’t alone in using the Watergate-era phrase to describe Trump.

“If the prosecutors accept what is in this indictment, then the president just became an unindicted co-conspirator,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. “If they believe that what’s in this indictment was true, and that he was directed to make this payment … then the president just became an unindicted co-conspirator, and he could become an indicted co-conspirator depending on the timing and circumstances.”

Cohen’s Attorney: ‘No Doubt That Donald Trump Committed a Crime’ And Tried to Cover It Up

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Cohen’s attorney dropped a bombshell on President Trump on Tuesday night.

“I do know Michael Cohen has information that would be of interest to Mr. Mueller in his probe of a conspiracy to corrupt American democracy,” Larry Davis told CNN’s Don Lemon.

Davis didn’t stop there:  “There is no doubt that Donald Trump committed a crime and, more than that, a cover-up of the crime. Because he did not want to write the check to Stormy Daniels.”

The devastating comments for the president came just hours after Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud and violating campaign finance laws in federal court in Manhattan.

Cohen, who faces about four to five years in prison, said the money he paid to two women who claimed to have an affair with Trump was intended to buy their silence.

“I participated in the conduct for the purposes of influencing the election,” Cohen said about the payments to Daniels and Karen McDougal.”

Davis said Cohen felt “liberated” after pleading guilty to eight criminal counts.

“Patriotism and love of country caused him to recognize the danger of this particular President, his lack of suitability to be President of the United States,” Davis said of Cohen.

How One Disastrous Hour Could Change Everything for President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

It was a devastating hour for President Trump.

Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud.

At roughly the same time, the president’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, implicated Trump in a payoff scheme to silence women who said they had an affair with him.

The revelations served to undermine Trump’s repeated claims that he is the victim of a “witch hunt.” And even more, it provided more evidence to special counsel Robert Mueller, who already is investigating whether the president colluded with Russia and obstructed justice.

The news also could increase the chances that Trump, depending on what happens during the midterm elections, could face impeachment proceedings. Republicans who have defended Trump are now going to find it much more difficult to stand behind the president.

Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the Manafort has severely damaged Trump’s credibility.

“This verdict makes it absolutely clear that the Mueller probe is not a ‘witch hunt’ — it is a serious investigation that is rooting out corruption and Russian influence on our political system at the highest levels,” Warner said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “The President’s campaign manager was just convicted of serious federal crimes by a jury of his peers, despite the President’s continued attempts to undermine the investigation which has brought Mr. Manafort to justice. Any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manafort or interfere in the investigation into his campaign would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress.”

But most damaging to Trump were Cohen’s statements to a judge while in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday. The 51-year-old attorney said he had paid $130,000 and $150,000 in hush money to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Cohen said the money was meant to buy their silence “with the purpose of influencing the election.”

Cohen faces about four to five years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of tax fraud, one of bank fraud and two counts of violating campaign finance laws.