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Big Day in the News: August 21, 2018

(Manafort, Cohen, Tibbitts, Cuomo)

By Gary F. Zeolla



      August 21, 2018 was a bid day in the news, with three storylines reaching their fruition and a fourth still in the news. In this article, I will review these four storylines and offer some commentary on them.


Paul Manafort


      Paul Manafort was the head of Donald Trump’s campaign for all of three months. That is the only dealings now President Trump had with him. Trump fired him from that job when he lost faith in him and when Trump had slid in the polls. As such, it really made no sense that Manafort became an object of Robert Mueller’s investigation. Manafort was long gone before any supposed “collusion” would have happened. But then, Muller’s investigation has gone far beyond his original mandate of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      That is the background to the arrest, imprisonment, and trial of Manafort. But none of this had anything to do with his time working for the Trump campaign. All of the allegations against him concern tax and bank fraud allegations that occurred about decade before Manafort started working for Trump. As such, this trial should not have even been prosecuted by Muller and his team. It should have been left to the local District Attorney (DA) or the Federal Department of Justice (DoJ). It also should never have received the media coverage it has, as it is by no means the only trial in the country concerning tax and bank fraud.

      In fact, these charges had been investigated years ago by the local DA but were never pursued . But Manafort made the “mistake” of becoming associated with the now President, and that is the only reason he is now in prison. If he had never been Trump’s campaign manager, his crimes would never have been reinvestigated, and he would still be a free man.

      However, the media is trying to use Manafort’s conviction to prove the Mueller investigation is not a “witch hunt” as the President calls it. But again, the tens of millions of dollars Mueller has wasted should not have gone towards this trial that had nothing to do with Trump, Russia, or the 2016 campaign. It could have been investigated and prosecuted at far less cost to taxpayers by the local DA or DoJ.

      As to whether Manafort should have been found guilty of 8 of the 18 charges against him, I have no idea. I am not a tax or banking lawyer. But I do know that our tax and banking regulations are so complex that even those well-versed in them get confused and don’t always agree on what is legal or not legal. And that type of complexity and confusion applies to the next case.


Michael Cohen


      Michael Cohen was a longtime lawyer for Donald Trump from before he even became a candidate for President. As such, at least there is some basis for bringing Trump’s name into the case against Cohen.

      Cohen pleaded guilty to several counts of tax and bank fraud. Those crimes have nothing to do with the President. But what might is Cohen pleading guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations. Those are due to “hush money” paid to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels.

      This money was to keep them from talking about alleged affairs they had with Donald Trump a decade ago, long before he even thought of running for President. However, the payments were made shortly before the election, and that is where the potential problem for Trump comes in.

      First, let me say, that if the allegations of adultery are true, then that is a sin that Trump needs to repent of. He needs to seek forgiveness from God by confessing his sins and trusting in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for those sins. He also needs to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with his wife Melania, if he hasn’t already.

      However, if those affairs occurred, Karen and Stormy are just as guilty of adultery as Trump is. As such, they also need to repent and seek forgiveness. But in their cases, they not only need to seek forgiveness for this act of sexual sin but, as a Playmate and a “porn star” respectively, they have committed many other acts of fornication and other sexual sins that they need to seek forgiveness for.

      I make these points very clear in my two-volume set God’s Sex Plan. In it, I demonstrate that the Bible declares premarital sex, extramarital sex, and pornography to be sins. Trump committed the second sin if these affairs happened, but Karen and Story committed all three.

      Moreover, being such immoral women puts a cloud on their testimony that they in fact had an affair with Trump, as Trump continues to deny it in both cases. But whether true or not, it is sadly true that hush money is often paid by rich businessmen to women in such cases.

      That is done to keep news of the affair either from their wives, which would cause the obvious marital difficulties if their wives found out, or from the public, which would cause a black eye on their business that could hurt the bottom line. It was in that vein that Trump probably agreed to the payments, if in fact he did so as Cohen claims.

      If Trump were still just a businessman, there would be nothing illegal about such payments. Again, they happened all of the time, with the law never getting involved. Where the legal difficulty comes in is with our very complex campaign finance laws. These are just as complex as our tax and bank laws, and it is just as easy to run afoul of them as the former.

      To be clear, Cohen pleading guilty does not prove he in fact committed a crime. Cohen was looking at a possible 65 years in prison if his case went to trial. By copping to a plea, he was able to negotiate that all the way down to 3-5 years.

      That is standard practice in our criminal justice system. Even if someone is not guilty of a crime, they might cop a deal rather than throwing the dice with a trial. Manafort did the latter and lost and is now looking up to 80 years in prison, which to say, the rest of his life.

      The point is, if the case had gone to trial, Cohen’s lawyers would have argued that he did not break any laws with the payments, and he might have won; but he might have lost. Unlike Manafort, Cohen did not want to take the risk of what would also be a life sentence for him, so he pleaded out, not arguing the merits of the case.

      However, President Trump will never accept such a plea deal. In fact, his lawyers are already arguing that no laws were broken, as are some talking heads on TV, well, at least on Fox News, where you get unbiased reporting. On Trump-hating CNN and MSNBC, all of their talking heads are of course saying that Trump without any doubt broke the law. But even former FCC chairman Bradly Smith has come out publicly and said no laws were broken.

      The reason laws were not broken is even if Trump knew about and repaid Cohen for the hush money, Trump paid him back with his own money, not money donated to the campaign, and an American can do what he wants with his own money. Moreover, all he has to say is the purpose of those payments was to save the embarrassment it would cause to him and his wife and family and not solely to benefit the campaign, and that would make it legal. Again, such is done all of the time.

      But even if laws were broken, there is still the question of if a sitting-President can be indicted. The legal consensus seems to be that he cannot, at least not while he is in office. He would have to first be removed from office via impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate. But that will only happen if Democrats take control of both Houses of Congress.

      What that means is, if you want the President impeached and removed from office, then vote Democrat in the upcoming election. But be forewarned—an impeachment trial will consume and tear apart the country, as it did in the late 1990’s when President Clinton was impeached. Nothing will get done that will benefit the country, while much could happen that could hurt it. I say that, as it was while the country was consumed by the Clinton saga that Al Qaida was planning 9/11.

      Also like back then, the Special Counsel ended up far from its initial purpose. Kenneth Starr was supposed to be investigating the Whitewater investment scandal, but we ended up with a semen-stained blue dress. Mueller was supposed to be investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, but we have ended up with hush money paid to two very immoral women. Both of these situations are very dark marks on the morality of the leaders of our country.


Mollie Tibbitts


      Lost in the midst of the reports about the preceding two legal cases was the discovery of the body and murderer of Mollie Tibbitts. This college student had been in the news over the last month, ever since she went missing while on a jog in Iowa on July 18. As I was flipping channels an August 21st, only Fox News ever talked about this case. I never saw a report on it on CNN and MSNBC. Now, maybe I missed it, but if those stations did talk about it, it was only for a minute or two, then they were back to being gleeful over Trump’s potential impeachment.

      But even if it hadn’t been such a busy news day, stations like CNN and MSNBC probably would still have buried the outcome of the Mollie case, as that outcome contradicted their open borders/ abolish ICE desires and buttressed Trump’s call for a wall on the southern border, greater border security, and enforcement of immigration laws. That is because Millie’s murderer turned out to be an illegal alien.

      This of course is by no means the first time an American citizen has been murdered by an illegal alien. There have been hundreds of such cases in recent years, along with many more Americans being victimized in other ways by illegal aliens, such as three woman being beat and raped by an illegal alien. But the mainstream media buries all such cases, as it just does not fit their narrative of all illegals being good people who are just looking for a break.

      This is not to say all illegal aliens commit crimes in addition to the crime of entering the country illegally. Far from it. Most are smart enough to keep their heads down so as not to attract the attention of ICE. But there are a sufficient number of criminal illegal aliens to make Trump’s attempts to curb illegal immigration commendable, not condemnable as the left and media would have it.

      That said, my heart and prayers go out to the family of Mollie. Until her body was found, I am sure they were still hoping and praying she would be found unharmed. But now that we know she was murdered by an illegal alien, I doubt very much her family will be a part of the open borders/ abolish ICE crowd. The same goes for the families of the many other victims of such murderers.

Update: Right after I posted this article, I saw a report on The Five on Fox News where they played a clip from CNN. In it, one of CNN’s female talking heads refereed to “some girl in Iowa Fox News is talking about.” The context was she was criticizing Fox News for talking about Mollie rather than the “more important” stories of Manafort and Cohen. I wonder how the parents of Mollie felt about their daughter being referred to as “some girl” and her murder being looked upon as an unimportant story.


Andrew Cuomo


      This news event began a few days before August 21, 2018, but it was still being discussed on that day, before the above new stories broke. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared in a speech, “America was never great.” That of course, is in direct contradiction to President Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA).

      Cuomo’s point is that America was never great for women, blacks, and other minorities, in that they were oppressed throughout American’s history. And sadly, that attitude is shared by many Millennials. That was demonstrated by Fox News, when it took on the street interviews of about 15 Millennials. Almost all of them agreed with Cuomo that America was never great.

      But what does Trump mean by “Make America Great Again?” He explains that at each of his rallies, such as the one in West Virginia the night of all of these events. First, it must be noted that as always, only Fox News carried the rally. CNN and MSNBC were too focused on rejoicing over the idea of a Trump impeachment to let Trump speak for himself.

      But in the rally, Trump was in no way seemingly concerned about such, as he was his normal jubilant, boisterous self. And as always, he touted all of his accomplishments since taking office, which have been many. And he ended the rally as he always does by declaring, “We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again.”

      It must be noted that America being wealthy, strong, and safe benefits all Americans, women and minorities included. But none of that will happen if Trump gets impeached.

      In fact, if he does, the economy will falter, hurting all Americans. America will lose its standing in the world, making all Americans less safe. Funding for the military will be gutted, making America weak again. But most of all, America will be divided more than ever, making it in no sense great.




      In no way does the conviction of Manafort and the plea bargain of Cohen implicate President Trump in any crime or impeachable offense, no matter how much Democrats and the media might claim it does. But the Mollie Tibbitts murder is yet one more reason why we need President Trump’s polices, including his support for border security.

      As such, as much as I might bemoan Trump’s infidelities and attempts to cover them up, those in no way affect me nor the average American. But a Trump impeachment would have devastating consequences for all Americans. That is why I will continue to support President Trump’s policies, though I might not like his character. And it is why I will vote Republican in November and encourage others to do so, to save the country from the devastating effect a Democrat takeover of Congress and the resultant impeachment trial would have on the USA.



      The sources for the information in this article came from channel surfing between Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC on August 21-22, 2018 and from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s comments on their radio shows on those days in regard to these events.



Big Day in the News: August 21, 2018 (Manafort, Cohen, Tibbitts, Cuomo). Copyright 2018 By Gary F. Zeolla.

The First Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

    This three-volume set covers the impeachment of Donald J. Trump that occurred over the fall of 2019 to the winter of 2020.  It was yet one more attempt to oust the President from office by Democrats, who never accepted he won in 2016. A complaint about a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky led to an impeachment inquiry to begin in early September 2019. Along the way, the corruption of Joe Biden that Trump wanted investigated and which led to the impeachment inquiry is discussed.

The above article was posted on this website August 22, 2018.

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