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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.

Jury Convicts Manafort on 8 of 18 Counts

Paul Manafort

Update: 6:04 p.m. Tuesday —  A federal jury in Alexandria, Va., found President Trump’s campaign manager guilty of eight tax and bank fraud charges. The jury was deadlocked on the other 10, the Washington Post reports. 

________________________

Reported from Earlier Today

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The jury in the trial of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman accused of bank and tax fraud, alerted a judge that it is split on at least one count and wanted instructions on how to proceed.

The news came late Tuesday morning on the fourth day of deliberations in a case that could send Manafort to prison for the rest of his life if he’s found guilty.

“Your honor, if we cannot come to a consensus on a single count, how should we fill in the jury verdict form for that count, and what does that mean for the final verdict?” the note asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, the Washington Post reports

The jury is tasked with reaching a verdict on 18 counts filed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the presidential election.

Manafort is accused of hiding millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes on profits he made while working as a consultant for a Ukrainian political party with ties to the Kremlin. He also was charged with lying about his income to obtain loans to support what prosecutors described as an extravagant, excessive lifestyle that included six homes and an assortment of very expensive clothes.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s Longtime ‘Fixer,’ Reaches Plea Deal with Prosecutors

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohn, reached a plea agreement Tuesday with prosecutors investigating money used to silence women who said they had affairs with Trump, according to the New York Times and ABC News.

Prosecutors in New York have been investigating Cohen for bank and tax fraud, along with his role in arranging payments to silence at least two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

The New York Times reported the plea deal does not include cooperation with prosecutors, so it’s unlikely Cohen, who had been Trump’s longtime fixer, is providing investigators with incriminating information on the president.

In July, Cohen’s attorney released a secret audio recording in which Cohen and Trump discuss hush money to former porn star Stephanie Clifford, one of the women claiming to have an affair with the president.

DEA Wants to Increase Marijuana Research While Limiting Opioids Production

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The DEA is recommending an increase in the amount of marijuana grown for research while reducing the production of opioids.

The agency, which has long resisted research that could lead to the legalization of cannabis, wants to more than quintuple the amount of marijuana that can be grown for research, according to a DEA news release.

In an upcoming Federal Register filing, the amount of marijuana that could be produced for research would increase to about 5,400 pounds.

At the same time, the DEA wants to reduce the production of six types opioids by 10% over the next year.

It would be the third time the DEA has imposed limits on the amount of opioids made in the U.S.

Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Probation for Possessing Illegal Firearm, Heroin

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent arrested last year for possessing an illegal firearm and heroin was sentenced to three years’ probation and time served.

Brandon James Herrera was arrested in April 2016 after police in Oceanside, Calif., found a short-barrel rifle and about five grams of heroin in the agent’s trunk, NBC7 reports

Police pulled over Herrera after they said his truck matched the description of a vehicle driven by a suspicious person.

Herrera pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of an assault weapon on July 23.

FBI Frantically Searching for Man Who Was Kidnapped, Held for $2M Ransom

Ruochen “Tony” Liao

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI is frantically searching for a man who was kidnapped in California last month and held by captors for a $2 million ransom.

Federal authorities said Monday that Ruochen “Tony” Liao, a 28-year-old Chinese national, was kidnapped from a San Gabriel shopping center last month by three men on July 16, The Mercury News reports

The captors are demanding $2 million from Liao’s family, which has not paid the money. Authorities have not heard from the kidnappers since.

A witness reported seeing one of the three men, and provided a description to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which created a sketch of the suspect, known as David. He’s described as a Chinese man who speaks Mandarin, is between 35 and 40 years old and is about 6 feet tall.

The other two suspects are also believed to be of Chinese ethnicity.

Liao was spotted entering a black minivan after a business meeting in the Los Angeles area.