The ongoing Mueller special investigation, along with a number of other intrigues surrounding the allegations of ‘Russian collusion’ are still a story gaining media attention, and one that continues to hold the interest of a number of individuals. Now, the Michael Cohen case has taken yet another strange turn.
In a shocking twist, Allen Weisselberg, who has spent years as President Donald Trump’s Chief Financial Officer, was recently granted immunity by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. What could this development possibly mean? While leftists news outlets mock the President, gleefully saying that his “criminal enterprise” would be undone and making other sickening claims in the press (which aren’t being blackballed like conservatives), they seem to have missed the subtleties of the legal concept of immunity, at very least.
Allegedly, he received this immunity in exchange for testimony he provided during the criminal investigation into Michael Cohen’s conduct.
In other words, Weisselberg had testimony pertaining to allegations of two payments of ‘hush-money’ made to women that the President of the United States allegedly had intimate relationships with, which the federal prosecutors believed to be so important that they offered him some sort of immunity in exchange for said information.
It is still unknown what, precisely, he testified about, though it can be assumed that the testimony pertained to the claim that Donald Trump instructed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to make two payments to women.
The fact that he was granted some sort of immunity is very interesting, given that Weisselberg, along with Donald J. Trump’s two adult sons, were the ones put in charge of the Trump Organization and its assets and business interests.
To be entirely fair, the concept of ‘immunity,’ in a legal sense, can mean a lot of different things, and what is currently known about the immunity granted to the CFO of the Trump Organization is next to nothing.
It is nearly impossible to determine what, exactly, he might have provided that would make his testimony worth immunity.
Though the full details of the deal are not known, and likely will not be known until he is sentenced in December 2018 at the very least, he plead guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a bank, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign intended to influence the election.
There is a possibility, however, that this could be part of an attempt to tie the money to Donald Trump.
Even if President Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels and another woman, that does not necessarily equate to a crime.
Now, if the president instructed him to do so in order to protect his campaign, and told his lawyer to do so by whatever means necessary, showing a willingness to violate the law, experts disagree whether he would be in trouble for that.
The payments to these two women were made with corporate money from the Trump Organization, a business conglomerate that runs hotels, casinos, and other businesses.
The important question is whether or not Donald Trump would have made these payments if he was not running for political office.
Allegedly, there’s more than a few of these kinds of payments in President Trump’s history, which suggests that he might have paid them off either way just to save face.
However, just because they are, that does not mean that they are illegal.
Smith said that the normal reaction to such a crime would be a simple fine, and that he would not expect prosecutors to charge people with “knowing and willful” violations that would carry criminal charges and possible jail time.
Perhaps the most interesting thing that he said concerns how campaign law, as it currently stands, is murky concerning whether or not paying hush money to a former mistress can be defined as a ‘campaign expense’ or a personal one.
More importantly, none of this comes any closer to proving the ‘Russian collusion’ that was the basis for Robert Mueller’s investigation, which seems to be an all-too-easily forgotten claim now.