Never-Trumpers Better Hope This Will Be Enough [OPINION]
Living In Massachusetts as a Republican, one sometimes gets a glimpse at what it must be like to feel like a Yankees fan living three blocks from Fenway Park.
It's bad enough for liberals to deal with the reality of a polite, gentlemanly Republican president like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. or W. Bush, but Donald J. Trump has many, many of them in primal rage.
His willingness to throw insults toward any public critic of his is unprecedented. Actresses, actors, singers, rappers, governors, congressional representatives--they all get personalized heckles from this president. Even the most staunch Trump supporter has to have cringed a dozen times by now, even if they wouldn't admit it.
So when Mr. Trump lives through a week such as this, fingers are crossed, prayers are made and possibly animals sacrificed by the Trump haters seeking to get him out of office, no matter the means.
The president's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was found guilty of a long list of crimes (10) with a sole juror holding out on just one of them. Manafort was hired by then-candidate Trump specifically to garner delegate votes at the 2016 Republican Convention. He was highly successful in doing that, and then was supplanted soon after as the campaign stalled for a bit.
Manafort resigned mid-August of the election season when the whispers of Russian collusion and possibly illegal Ukraine business dealings turned to printed accusations by major media outlets. These crimes were unrelated to the campaign and took place long before Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.
They were unveiled by special counsel Robert Mueller's legal team during the intense investigation into Trump-Russian collusion. As of this date, no charges have been filed related to that.
Another blow to the president this week is that his former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in court to eight counts, including campaign finance violations. Cohen told the court that he paid off two women with "hush money" to avoid any scandals related to the decade-old sexual trysts the president is said to have had with a porn star and with a Playboy model.
Some anti-Trump pundits and elected officials see this as checkmate in terms of a path to impeachment. Other legal minds such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz suggest that if the money came from Trump's own pockets and not from registered campaign funds, Mr. Trump will have no legal problems.
In fact, Dershowitz stated that even if the cash came from Trump's campaign, it would be Cohen--not Trump--who could face the courts for that transaction. Cohen is also on record stating that he went behind Trump's back and made the payment to Stephanie Gregory Clifford (a.k.a. porn star Stormy Daniels) for his own personal gain while he was writing a book titled Trump Revolution: From the Tower to the White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.
Cohen had apparently decided long ago to roll Trump under the bus with a tell-all book. He was instantly successful, getting major interest when shopping the book around to publishers--until word got out that his office was raided by the FBI. It was all down hill for him then.
We learned that Cohen stated that he secretly taped the president, wrote a book and planned to make millions, telling the world all of his own client's behind-the-scenes activities.
Cohen subsequently went on to testify to a senatorial panel earlier this summer, under oath, that he had no knowledge of anyone on the Trump campaign team meeting with any Russian operatives. He has now reversed his sworn testimony (a crime) and promised prosecutors information related to that in order to lower his prison time.
No matter which information you would believe, all will agree that Cohen is a liar, and that will be a major problem for prosecutors looking to indict the President of the United States. Motivation will be low-hanging fruit for the defense, as one considers the money he planned to make, and of course, his flipping for more lenient sentencing.
It is very interesting that Cohen decided to make Lanny Davis his attorney. Davis is a longtime Clinton attorney and, of course, Hillary Clinton was Trump's 2016 presidential opponent where Davis served as counsel and campaign strategist.
Still, after seeing Donald Trump walk away unscathed from so many dirty and ugly things during his campaign, this may be the best chance "Never-Trumpers" will get in order to force him to resign or be impeached before his first term ends. Yet he seems to walk away from more blows than Halloween's Michael Myers, so we'll have to wait and see. Also, Mueller's investigation is not yet complete. They now have new leads thanks to Cohen's new information.
My advice? Buckle your seat belts--but don't hold your breath.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RadioKenPittman. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.