“Individual 1” aka the President of the United States, Donald Trump, took to Twitter Monday morning where he appeared to quote a Fox News show host, confessed his involvement in a “private transaction,” blamed the “Democrats” for attempting to call that “private transaction,” a campaign contribution, and where he turned a smoking gun into a “smocking gun,” twice in the same tweet.
Twitter users were quick to send the hashtag #SmockingGun trending on Twitter.
A break-down of the two tweets
Friday, former Director of the FBI, James Comey, sat for a six hour interview with both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee. On Saturday, as agreed upon between Comey and the House committees, his testimony was released to the public.
Collusion is not a crime, as retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) notes in Comey’s interview page 28:
Mr. Gowdy: Let’s assume that collusion and conspiracy are synonyms, and we’ll just use the word “conspiracy” because the word “collusion,” despite its nonstop use, has no criminal consequences.James Comey Interview, page 28
President Trump in part tweeted “So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution…….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine.”
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s onetime lawyer and self proclaimed “fixer,” pleaded guilty in August to making illegal campaign contributions. His plea agreement was reached with New York prosecutors, not the Special Counsel’s Office.
Pursuant to the plea agreement in August, Cohen plead guilty to making illegal campaign contributions, on Friday, New York prosecutors released a forty-page brief in which they detail the crimes that Cohen admitted he committed.
From the linked court documents regarding Cohen’s illegal campaign contributions: (Page 11)
On approximately June 16, 2015, Individual-1, for whom Cohen worked at the time, began an ultimately successful campaign for President of the United States.
During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories – each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 – so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election. With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election.
In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1. As a result of Cohen’s actions, neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election.New York Prosecutors Sentencing Memo, pg. 11
Cohen reached a plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office in November of 2018. As the News Blender reported, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress regarding a business real-estate project called the Moscow Project.
He was pursing the deal to build a Trump hotel in Moscow at the request of Individual 1 and lied about not only when the project was ended, but also his contacts with the Russian Government.
As a reminder President Trump on Friday after New York prosecutors released their sentence recommendations and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office released their sentence recommendation regarding Michael Cohen, President Trump tweeted “Totally Clears the President. Thank you!”