Before I get started on this post, I have a correction to make. A few months ago when the Stormy Daniels scandal rose to the surface, I wrote about it, and I passed along some bad information after having been duped by inference from a media report comparing this scandal to the trial of John Edwards. I should have known better than to not look up the similarities before writing about them. After looking up the facts, here is what happened:
John Edwards was charged in Federal court with five counts of corruption. According to this 2012 Washington Post Article:
Prosecutors tried to prove that Edwards conspired with his close aide, Andrew Young, and two wealthy donors—the Texas lawyer Fred Baron and Mellon, the Virginia heiress and Kennedy clan intimate—to conceal the affair with Hunter and the child he fathered with her. But they were hampered by a lack of witnesses who could say that Edwards knowingly violated campaign finance laws.
Johnny Reid Edwards, a honey-voiced North Carolina lawyer who parlayed his boyish good looks and inspiring personal history as the son of a mill-worker into a meteoric political rise, was acquitted of one count Thursday in a corruption case, as the judge declared a mistrial on five other charges on which the jury was deadlocked.
The case was never retried and Edwards was never convicted for using campaign cash to pay off a mistress. It was much ado about nothing. Of course that does not mean that it may have turned out differently if witnesses had been available, but as it stands, it looks like prosecution of Edwards on these charges was an entire waste of time.
The differences here in the case of Trump and the women who have agreed to non-disclosures, as I have heard, and I am providing a disclaimer that all I know is what has been insinuated by the rumor mill thus far, is that the funds that went to pay for the non-disclosure agreements for Stormy and the Playboy Bunny came from a Ukrainian billionaire that Trump met at a rally in September 2015 shortly after announcing his candidacy. The rumor is that the billionaire, who so far remains unnamed, attempted to donate a six-figure sum to the campaign proper, but the donation was refused as illegal. There is lack of clarity about how Cohen ended up with the money instead, which he put to use in ‘tying up loose ends,’ but that is what I am hearing.
If any of this is true, and I am not saying that it is, it could be as much of a farce as the collusion story, it’s large enough of a problem with compelling enough evidence for Mueller’s team to get a warrant from a Federal District Court in New York, rather than the kangaroo FISA court. On top of that, it’s a huge deal to raid the office of an attorney who representing the subject of an investigation, unless the attorney is suspected of complicity in a crime which is not protected by privilege. According to reports, the warrant was for tax returns and information related to the non-disclosure agreements executed by Cohen. At the very least Cohen is likely in for a wild ride. What it means for Trump himself remains to be seen. But there’s stink all around him and it would be surprising if he comes out the other end of this without smelling pretty bad himself.