Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer new poll numbers showing Americans overwhelming reject the idea of felons voting from behind bars, an idea promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders. They also shudder at reports – apparently from Michael Cohen – that Cohen helped Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. squash the possible release of highly embarrassing photos, and that eventually triggered Falwell’s endorsement of Trump in early 2016. And Jim unleashes a terrific rant in response to the pro-choice CNN guest who says a pregnant woman does not have a human being inside of her.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen savaged the president as a “racist, a con man, and a cheat,” but also may have provided important evidence that Trump did not conspire with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
While slamming Trump as a corrupt businessman who broke campaign finance laws, cheated on his wife, lied about a Trump project in Moscow, and treated his presidential bid like an infomercial, Cohen also admitted he had no direct evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia.
He does believe Trump knew about Roger Stone’s contacts with Wikileaks around the time that emails from Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee were released.
Former Justice Department official Victoria Toensing says this hearing is a turning point as the Democrats pivot away from Russia and look for other reasons to investigate the president.
“The Democrats now know that there’s nothing in the Mueller report. So what are they going to do? They’re going to go after his finances. That’s what this is all about laying the groundwork to impeach the president,” said Toensing.
Beyond that, Toensing says Democrats are trying to turn two non-issues into scandals. She says Trump was perfectly free to negotiate business dealings in Russia up until his inauguration. She also says the payments to adult film performer Stephanie Clifford, while unseemly, were also legal since Trump paid Cohen from personal funds rather than campaign coffers.
Listen to the full podcast as Toensing explains why she believes neither of those matters were criminal and why Cohen ended up pleading guilty for those payments if there was no crime.
Buzzfeed sparked a furor Thursday night with a report alleging Special Counsel Robert Mueller has detailed evidence showing President Trump directed former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, but Buzzfeed’s own reputation has some experts holding their powder dry before reaching any conclusions.
Cohen has already pleaded guilty to perjury charges related to his congressional testimony, and prosecuting documents claim he did so at the behest of a person most believe to be Trump.
According to the Buzzfeed report, Trump specifically told Cohen to tell lawmakers that the Trump Organization scrapped plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow in January 2016. In reality, the plans were shelved in June or July of that year.
Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier says he has not seen any documentation of Trump suborning perjury but he remains very confident in the accuracy and veracity of his sources. That revelation raises suspicions for some since Buzzfeed suffered heavy criticism for publishing the Steele dossier in January 2017 without verifying the contents.
How damaging is this to President Trump if it is true? What sort of corroboration would remove any doubt? And how important is that corroboration given Cohen’s admission as a serial liar.
Listen to the full podcast as I discuss all these questions and more with former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, now a contributing editor at National Review Online.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the Buzzfeed story alleging President Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie under oath to Congress. It’s potentially very serious but more questions need to be answered before Buzzfeed can be trusted to have the story right. They also scratch their heads as Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announces his resignation just two weeks into the new Congress to take a job in the private sector. And they discuss the theatrics of Speaker Pelosi and President Trump as they try to one-up each other in the stalemate over a partial government shutdown.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back with another full serving of crazy martinis. First, they question the motives and geometry skills of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who publicly insists that Lindsay Graham is somehow “compromised” because he’s become more supportive of President Trump. They also dissect the bumbling scheme confessed by Michael Cohen, who says Trump directed him to pay thousands of dollars to rig online polls in 2014 and 2015. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Finally, Jim shares some lesser-known details and oddities from the career of former Vice President Joe Biden that he uncovered for his latest article.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start popping the popcorn as Democrats start squabbling with each other over 2020. Rahm Emanuel calls Beto O’Rourke a “loser” and many Democrats are very frosty with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for leading the charge against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken last year. They also shake their heads in the wake of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea as the president who says he only selects the best people winds up calling Cohen weak and not very smart. And they react to the story of a Southwest Airlines employee mocking a girl named Abcde but also point out the girl’s mom is setting her daughter up for a lifetime of teasing and frustration. They also share some of their favorite stories about unusual names.
It’s been a rough week for former allies of President Trump, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller scrapping the plea agreement with former campaign chairman over allegations of lying and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleading guilty once again to lying under oath – this time to congressional investigators about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
And while Trump critics lick their chops in hopes of bringing him down and the president’s defenders point out there is still no one in Trump’s orbit accused of malfeasance in the 2016 campaign, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy says Mueller is not letting the lack of a crime slow him down.
“What Mueller is trying to do here is build a collusion case without a crime,” said McCarthy, who is also a contributing editor at National Review Online and a Fox News contributor. He led the successful prosecution of those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist plots against New York City landmarks.
But McCarthy says Mueller sure makes it seem like there was underlying criminal behavior.
“Despite the fact he doesn’t have a crime that would turn that into a criminal conspiracy, he’s camouflaging that with a bunch of false statements pleas that he has taken from people in Trump’s orbit and also the fact that he has these two indictments against Russians,” said McCarthy.
“So the Press reports that Mueller is investigating collusion between Russia and Trump and many people have pleaded guilty in the investigation. And they leave out the inconvenient fact that the guilty pleas of the Trump associates have nothing to do with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the indictments of the Russians have nothing to do with the Trump campaign,” said McCarthy.
But McCarthy also points out that despite not having an underlying crime, Mueller has unearthed deception from former Trump associates, including Michael Cohen’s admission that he lied about talks between Trump’s people and the Russians about a Trump Tower in Moscow cut off in January 2016 as he entered the primary season when those talks went until June, by which time Trump had already clinched the nomination.
McCarthy says Mueller can now use statements like that to discredit public statements Trump has made to the contrary. He also finds it interesting that Trump cut off talks with Russians about the real estate project just days after the Russians promised but failed to hand over damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Listen to the full podcast as McCarthy explains how rare it is to withdraw a plea agreement but also how Manafort is in a very unusual position. He also details the “perversity” of the special counsel position that allows those prosecutors to keep hunting for targets even when there is no underlying crime.
“Mueller has been allowed to essentially cast his line wherever he chooses to and fish around for a crime until he finds one,” said McCarthy.