So Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort got convicted of eight counts of various forms of fraud on the same day that Trump's former lawyer and so-called "fixer," made a plea bargain on eight counts of various crimes. Cohen also said he would testify that Trump ordered him to pay off some porn stars who claimed he had consensual sex with them about 10 years ago. And then the Left went nuts talking about impeachment and what not. What's new?
While none of this looks good for Trump, he'll survive this. Indeed, his poll numbers haven't budged since these revelations came to light. And this shouldn't be too surprising if we examine exactly what these crimes were.
First off, Manafort was convicted of old crimes that predated his tenure with Trump and had to do with financial corruption, not helping Putin elect Trump. So while it looks bad for Trump to have hired him, it doesn't, in and of itself, create problem for Trump legally.
Regarding Cohen, yes this is some sleezy stuff. But legally speaking, as Alan Dersowitz notes, Trump is likely in the clear,
"A few things are clear. A candidate is free to contribute to his or her own campaign. It also is not criminal for a candidate to pay hush money to women whose disclosures might endanger his campaign. So if candidate Trump paid hush money to his two accusers, there would be no violation of any campaign or other laws. To be sure, if he did so for the purpose of helping his campaign — as distinguished from helping his marriage — his campaign would have to disclose any such contribution, and failure to do so might be a violation of a campaign law, but the payments themselves would be entirely lawful."
But even if it was done for his campaign, is that impeachable? Obama had to pay $375,000 for campaign reporting violations back in 2008. It didn't even come close to bringing down his presidency.
And of course, none of this directly tied Trump to anything to do with Russia and collusion regarding the 2016 election. So legally speaking, Trump is probably fine.
What this does is make Trump look like a philandering asshole. But everyone already knew that about him. And that includes his supporters. In many ways, I believe Trump is so popular amongst his supporters because he is such an asshole. The Left has been browbeating conservatives for years. Indeed, think about the fury that would erupt on the Left if conservatives tried to shut down every liberal speaker as Antifa does while committing a variety of assaults and felonies when doing so. Trump's fans feel like the Left has been attacking them for years. Well, Trump drops all the Romney-like pretenses of civility and goes right back at them. That's why they like him.
The fact that he hired someone who committed financial crimes a decade ago and cheated with even more women than was previously known is hardly going to change anyone's mind about him.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
Star Slate Codex
Consulting by RPM