Yesterday, Trump’s attorney and longtime partner in crime Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including campaign finance violations centered around the hush money he paid out to cover up Trump’s extramarital affairs.
To make matters worse for the administration, Cohen expressly stated that not only did Trump know about the payments, he directed Cohen to make them on his behalf. Today, the president made matters even worse for himself by giving an interview with Fox News during which he said that knew about the payments but only found out “later on.” He also insisted the money came from him personally and not his campaign.
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Norm Eisen, a former White House Ethics chief under Obama, has pointed out that Trump actually admitted to two crimes in his interview. Eisen said that Trump’s admission that the hush money came from him contradicts documents he signed which claimed otherwise.
“The president, in his usual clumsy way, has stumbled into another federal crime because he signed his federal financial disclosures under false statements penalty. 18 U.S.C. 1001. Guess what? If you owe somebody money, he just said ‘yes I knew about the payments.’ He repaid Michael Cohen. He had to list that on his forms. He ommitted!” Eisen explained.
Eisen added that his watchdog group has issued a criminal referral over the issue, which led to a complaint from the Office of Government Ethics to the DOJ.
“It may not be the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning,” Eisen said ominously.
Anyone who has ever signed any kind of official government form remembers the large text that warns that their signature places them “under penalty of perjury” if the information is incorrect — and this likely isn’t the first time Trump will find himself guilty of perjury before this is all over.