The New York Times is reporting that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, has been convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud offenses. Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty to eight violations of banking, tax, and campaign finance law. He also told a judge that he worked to buy the silence of two women who had allegedly had affairs with Trump. This all occurred on one day, 21 August, 2018.
What this will mean for Trump is hard to say, but it clearly undercuts his legal standing and presents him with a host of new difficulties. The Washington Post described the Manafort conviction as “a major if not complete victory for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.” The paper also ran Cohen’s entire plea agreement on its site.
So far, perhaps the best interpretation of these astonishing events has come from Michael Avenatti, who is Stormy Daniels lawyer. On Tuesday, he warned Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to “Buckle Up Buttercup. You and your client completely misplayed this…”
Let’s hope that Mr. Avenatti’s got it right.