Trump-Russia Roundup: December 6 – December 12

“The Department of Justice Calls Donald Trump a Felon.” That headline and more in this week’s Trump-Russia Roundup:



A criminal conspiracy to help swing the election.

Trump’s former lawyer and personal “fixer,” Michael Cohen, was just sentenced to three years in prison for crimes stemming from Mueller’s investigation — crimes that implicate Trump himself.

Cohen confessed to Mueller that Trump directed him to offer illegal hush money payments to at least two women in order to keep affairs from the public during the campaign. He defrauded the American people in order to win the election.

That’s a felony.

Cohen’s sentence makes it clear: Mueller’s closing in on the truth and on Trump. Get caught up on this week’s Trump-Russia news:

The New York Times: Michael Cohen, Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Who Implicated Him in Hush-Money Scandal, Sentenced to 3 Years
The scandal could threaten Trump’s presidency by implicating him in a scheme to buy the silence of two women who said they had affairs with him.

The New York Times: Prosecutors Say Trump Directed Illegal Payments During Campaign
Prosecutors in Manhattan said Cohen “acted in coordination and at the direction of” an unnamed individual, clearly referring to Trump.

The Hill: Dem: Cohen filing means Trump committed two felonies
Rep. Lieu (D-Calif.) argued last week that federal prosecutors’ latest filing in a case involving Cohen means that Trump allegedly committed two felonies.

New York Mag: The Department of Justice Calls Donald Trump a Felon
Prosecutors have not formally charged Trump with a crime — it is a sentencing report for Cohen, not Trump — but this is the U.S. Department of Justice calling Trump a criminal.

Fortune: Feds Accuse Individual-1—Also Known as Trump—of a Crime in Michael Cohen’s Sentencing Memo
Trump coordinated with Cohen to commit federal campaign fraud, prosecutors state in a sentencing memo filed Dec. 7 advising a substantial prison term for crimes to which Cohen has pleaded guilty.

Wired: The Mueller Investigation nears worst-case scenario
Mueller and investigative reporters have uncovered and assembled a picture of a presidential campaign and transition seemingly infected by unprecedented deceit and criminality, and in regular—almost obsequious—contact with America’s leading foreign adversary.

Yahoo News: Trump first wanted his attorney general pick William Barr for another job: Defense lawyer
Trump has tapped Barr for an even more important position: attorney general, a post that, if he is confirmed, would put him in charge of the Mueller investigation.

Vox: William Barr, Trump’s pick for attorney general, will hold the fate of the Mueller probe
Barr, a veteran Republican lawyer who served as attorney general under President George H. W. Bush, will be returning to the Justice Department at a strange time, as Trump has spent much of the past year feuding with Sessions.

The Washington Post: The red flags on Trump’s new attorney general pick, William Barr
Trump’s new pick to be the attorney general has a record of making similar comments, and despite some favorable comments from Democrats, those could pose a problem in his coming confirmation fight.

The New York Times: Trump Talks of Pardon for Manafort and Escalates Attacks on Russia Inquiry
Escalating his attacks on the special counsel investigation, Trump said last week that a presidential pardon for Manafort was “not off the table,” casting him and other subjects of the inquiry as victims of prosecutorial abuse.

The New York Times: Mueller Says Manafort Lied About Contacts With Trump Officials
Last week, it was revealed Manafort lied to federal investigators about his contacts with Trump administration officials and his interactions with a Russian linked to Moscow’s intelligence services.

The Washington Post: Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina poised to plead guilty in case involving suspected Kremlin attempts to influence NRA
Butina was accused of working to push the Kremlin’s agenda by forming bonds with NRA officials and other conservative leaders and making outreach to 2016 presidential candidates.

Quartz: Maria Butina’s guilty plea could tie the Trump campaign closer to Russia
Butina is expected to plead guilty this week to charges related to being a spy for the Kremlin, which could reveal closer ties between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Russia, and the National Rifle Association.

That’s it (for now!). It’s all real news. Nothing fake here.

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