Erick Erickson

Contra Pundits, Donald Trump Did Not Have a Bad Day Yesterday

The press thinks yesterday was a bad day for the President. Actually, it was a good day for the President.

Manafort is found guilty by a jury. None of those charges were related to anything connected to President Trump. Though it shows the Mueller team can build a prosecution case, it also shows that some charges are beyond a jury's ability to process and sort out. It seems the Manafort jurors split the baby as best they could.

Michael Cohen, the President's lawyer, pleads guilty. Yes, there is a recurring and ironic pattern that has Team "Lock Her Up" getting locked up. Cohen's guilty plea is far more damaging to the President than Manafort being found guilty. Cohen, by his plea, acknowledges the President's involvement in those acts that Cohen admits are crimes.

This should be bad news for the President. This should be a bad day for the President. Many chattering heads on television are convinced it was a terrible, no good, very bad day for President Donald Trump.

It was not.

It was not a bad day for President Trump because none of this is bringing down the President. It may bring down the House of Representatives, but probably not the Senate. And even if it brought down the Senate, it would not bring about impeachment. To the extent it brings about the downfall of the House Republicans, that probably helps Trump in 2020.

This does not bring about impeachment because you will be hard pressed to find 2/3 of the Senate voting for impeachment. Likewise, because the predicate act on the Cohen issue happened before the Presidency, the leadership of the House Democrats are going to have some qualms -- unstated and never publicly acknowledged -- with pushing impeachment.

None of this has anything to do with Russia, which just gives the GOP a talking point.

On the Republican side, it does not matter. The GOP has now so totally become a party in opposition to the Democrats rather than in support of any position that the President's support is baked in. There is no video of the President using the N word. There is no order Cohen to commit crimes or anything else. Omarosa is off the front page and trying desperately to get back on it with a series of lame videos.

There is just Michael Cohen at center stage. He can now say whatever he wants to say, but the President's supporters will treat him now as a traitor out to get their man because he has not been pardoned so is bitter.

By the end of this week, I expect we will find Trump supporters claiming that the candidate Cohen acknowledged he was working with was actually Hillary Clinton.

No, yesterday was not a bad day for President Trump. It was a good day. He is still President. His supporters still love him. And to the extent this causes voters to put Democrats in charge of the House, it gives the President some group he can more easily vilify. Yes, for a normal President and a normal presidency, yesterday would have been terrible. But this is no normal President and no normal presidency. This presidency feeds off this sort of chaos and his supporters rally to him at times like these.

60 Responses

  • merseyyank

    Aug 22, 2018

    I have no idea if it was a bad day for Trump, the Trumpers, the GOP or the Democrats. I do know that yesterday was another bad day for America. Study the history of why empires decline and fall and at the top of the list is usually a decline in morals and values. Sound familiar Trumpers?

  • centerright

    Aug 22, 2018

    Aside from waffling on immigration, I cannot imagine anything Trump can do that would ever alienate his supporters. In that light, yesterday was just another day.

  • Flowerydawg

    Aug 22, 2018

    To quote Mark Levin " Cohen pled guilty Tuesday to charges of campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and false statements to a financial institution. He alleges that candidate Trump directed him to make hush payments to women whom Trump had affairs with to buy their silence during the presidential election. Levin argued that these payments don’t qualify as campaign finance violations and that Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, convinced his client to plead guilty to criminal offenses that aren’t criminal. “I wanna help the law professors, the constitutional experts, the criminal defense lawyers, the former prosecutors, and of course the professors, I wanna help them understand what the law is,” Levin said. “The general counsel for the Clinton mob family, Lanny Davis, he had his client plead to two counts of criminality that don’t exist.” “Just because a prosecutor says that somebody violated a campaign law doesn’t make it so. He’s not the judge; he’s not the jury,” Levin said. “We didn’t adjudicate anything. It never went to court.” Levin explained that a campaign expenditure under U.S. campaign finance law is an expenditure “solely for campaign activity.” He argued that any supposed reimbursement Trump paid to Cohen with his own money after Cohen paid off Stormy Daniels or any other woman who slept with the president is “perfectly legal.” “A candidate who spends his own money, or even corporate money, for an event that occurred not as a result of the campaign — it is not a campaign expenditure,” he said." This is the best synopsis I've heard about Cohen. He must have been on the hook for something really serious and copped a plea to get a lesser sentence.

  • RealConservative

    Aug 22, 2018

    Regarding the Senate, it might be worth recalling high school chemistry and the process of chemical precipitation. Something can look like a liquid and seem cohesive until it's not and bits start falling out of solution. Should the Senate fall to the Dems, many more Republicans will know that Trump can't protect them and may even harm them. If that happens, herd mentality will take over.

  • DavidMKern

    Aug 22, 2018

    Writing as a Trump supporter, I think Manafort was guilty of tax evasion and his conviction indicates that. I also think that was an issue that should have been dealt with by the IRS instead of an expensive special prosecutor trial that had nothing to do with Trump and Russian collusion. But the reality is that special counsels are political in nature, with one side doing everything to undermine the President and the other side doing everything to cover up any misdeeds by him or his staff. Unfortunately, in the world of Washington politics, what is "good and right" doesn't have very high priority for very many people. As for Cohen, the truth is that he has a history of making pay offs for Trump, and this is not a new story. Rich and powerful people and companies often choose to settle cases by payoffs whether they are guilty or not. Trump may be guilty of everything that he has been accused of, or he may not be. People may have strong opinions about this, but nobody really knows for sure, except Trump and his accusers. Unfortunately, we live in a world where false accusations are common, as the truth is not nearly as important to some accusers, as the new stories that will demean the accused. Harry Reid's false accusations about Romney and his taxes are one example of this. The Bible states that a false accuser should face the same penalty they seek to apply to the accused. In other words, if Brennan's accusation that Trump has committed Treason are false, he himself is guilty of treason, and he deserves the corresponding death penalty. But in a world where false accusers face no negative consequences, and are sometimes rewarded with lucrative book deals and media contracts, false accusations can be very profitable. Thus, whatever Trump did or did not do over a decade ago becomes front page news.

  • JPL

    Aug 22, 2018

    Trump was still able to rage tweet and hurl insults at people. Yesterday wasn't just a good day for Trump, it was a great day!

  • napleslover

    Aug 22, 2018

    All days are normal for Trump. He is above the law just like Obama and Hillary. Nothing will hurt him because his supporters are blinded by loyalty, worship and adoration, just like Obama and Hillary.

  • DC1776

    Aug 22, 2018

    Waiting for real proof that Trump ordered Cohen to violate campaign laws. Until solid proof is presented, all you have is Cohen’s word. And Cohen reeks of ”skuzzy, slimey lawyer” who changes what he says, and what he says he says, often.

  • RicksterLDS

    Aug 22, 2018

    Two claims the left use to make regarding the Clintons may now come back to bite them: 1) This is old news & 2) Everybody lies about sex.

  • Tell It Right

    Aug 22, 2018

    I’m starting to think Cohen didn’t turn on Trump. Cohen’s guilty plea stops a court that would have been decided by a jury (mind-numbed robots programmed by the media on what the campaign finance laws are) from thoroughly examining the payments. Therefore, the guilty plea benefits Trump. Then if it’s appealed it’ll go to a court decided by judges (ostensibly people more trained to look at the law than the media’s interpretation of the law, and see that there's no there there). Again, benefit to Trump.

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