Trump’s Troubles Are Just Getting Started
Tuesday’s news had an almost surreal quality, like something out of a political thriller: While President Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort was convicted of fraud, his former attorney Michael Cohen told a federal court that the commander in chief ordered him to violated campaign-finance laws by paying hush money to at least two women with whom the president had affairs. But as strange as it sounds, this saga is still in its early stages. The turbulent pace of the news cycle in the Trump era has habituated political observers to dramatic developments. But even by recent standards, Tuesday’s events represent a dramatic escalation of legal peril for the president and his allies. Trump’s former campaign chair, his former deputy campaign chair, his former national-security adviser, and his former attorney have all been implicated in federal crimes.
Cohen’s plea deal also raises the possibility that investigators are looking into the Trump Organization itself and its role in facilitating the payments. “There's two executives from the Trump organization, who were involved in facilitating the reimbursement to Cohen,” said Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Center.“It’s not clear whether they knew he was being reimbursed for this illegal contribution to the campaign. But these Trump Organization executives could also be facing some sort of criminal liability.”
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