<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "AAll eyes are on Capitol Hill. The House Democrats, demonstrating the greatest strength of their majority, have not wasted time following President Trump's State of the Union address to announce in-depth inquiries into the president and his entourage: there will be probes in his administration, the 2017 presidential transition, the Trump campaign in 2016, and the Trump organization – the real estate company Donald Trump has spent his entire life leading . "data-reactid =" 18 "> All eyes are on Capitol Hill Democrats in the House, demonstrating the strength of their majority, have not lost time after President Trump's statement the speech of the Union to announce in-depth investigations into the president and the people surrounding him: his administration, the 2017 presidential transition, the 2016 Trump campaign and the Trump organization – the real estate sector that Donald Trump has devoted all his life to directing.

It's a net, or at least as much as congressional committees can gather. Their investigative powers are not comparable to those of federal prosecutors and FBI agents, who compel to testify before a grand jury, execute search warrants, arrest suspects and lay indictments for obtain the cooperation of potential witnesses.

This is one of the reasons why Trump's most consequential action may take place in the United States, which receives the least attention from the national media: the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

<p class = "canvas-atom-text-canvas Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "This should not minimize congressional probes. that Rich Lowry and I discussed in this week's episode of The McCarthy Report, Adam Schiff (D, California), Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and the Chairs of other relevant House committees set the stage for impending battles over the scope and disclosure of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's report to the Department of Justice. Justice. They open the front to the president's real estate empire, run by the president's family. Investigations will allow him to recover his tax returns and investigate fraud charges raised during an explosion in October 2018. New York Times Report on the wealth accumulation of the Trump Empire and explore the Trump Organization's relationship with Deutsche Bank, which has been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for helping oligarchs Russian money launderers. "data-reactid =" 21 "> Congressional polls As Rich Lowry and I discussed in the episode of this week's The McCarthy Report, Adam Schiff (D, California), Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and the Chairs of other relevant House committees set the stage for impending battles over the scope and disclosure of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's report to the Department of Justice. Justice. They open the front to the president's real estate empire, run by the president's family. Investigations will allow him to recover his tax returns and investigate fraud charges raised during an explosion in October 2018. New York Times report on the wealth accumulation of the Trump Empire and explore Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank, which has been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for helping Russian oligarchs to launder money .

Simultaneous games with at least five congressional committees will exhaust the administration. Still, federal prosecutors in Manhattan represent the most immediate threat of a criminal danger to the president.

The SDNY has already obtained a guilty plea from Michael Cohen, former lawyer and so-called "repairer" of Trump. Two of the eight charges related to campaign funding violations resulting from the payment of hidden sums to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs. alliances with the real estate mogul a decade before becoming president. In the guilty plea, the prosecutors had named Cohen Trump as superior, who had directed him in the transactions.

This was unusual: prosecutors normally do not name people publicly unless and until they have been charged with crimes. Moreover, even though Trump and Cohen have acted together, Cohen's plea does not necessarily mean that Trump is guilty. (As we have explained, the president has strong defenses if he is accused of violating the funding of his election campaign – a transgression which, incidentally, is often sanctioned by an administrative fine and not by a criminal prosecution. .)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "However, the SDNY does not name names unnecessarily. Prosecutors may have locked Cohen in the context of a future campaign finance case against the president (under the leadership of the Justice Department, a sitting president can not be indicted). mind and hope to establish a model of Cohen taking the direction of Trump."data-reactid =" 25 "> Still, the SDNY does not give names devoid of anything It may be that prosecutors have locked Cohen for the purpose of a future campaign finance case against the president. Under the direction of the Ministry of Justice, a president in office may also not be indicted.) It may also be that they have other investigations in mind and hope to establish a model of Cohen taking the direction of Trump.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The question should be examined in the light new revelations the criminal investigation of the SDNY on Trump's inauguration committee. the Wall Street newspaper reported that the committee (a non-profit organization to which the campaign finance laws apply) has been subpoenaed to a grand jury for a series of documents. Subpoenas provide a better understanding of what investigators are reviewing. Prosecutors describe not only the documents they require; they expose the possible crimes that the grand jury can accuse. "data-reactid =" 26 "> This question is worth considering in the light of new revelations about the criminal investigation of the SDNY into Trump's inaugural committee. the Wall Street newspaper reported that the committee (a non-profit organization to which the campaign finance laws apply) has been subpoenaed to a grand jury for a series of documents. Subpoenas provide a better understanding of what investigators are reviewing. Prosecutors describe not only the documents they require; they specify the possible crimes that the grand jury can accuse.

According to CNN, which also reports having seen the subpoena, the SDNY indicates that the investigation involves several fraud and money laundering offenses related to the collection and reporting of contributions. These include donations from foreign nationals and "straw donors" (a nominee substituted for the actual donor of funds), as well as non-compliance with reporting requirements (for example, donors pay vendors directly, rather than in the context of the Inaugural Committee). business).

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The list of potential crimes is completed by" the conspiracy against United States ". As I have already pointed out on other occasions, the label of "conspiracy against the United States" is a misrepresentation; the offense, under section 371 of the Penal Code, is a conspiracy to commit a federal crime, or at defraud United States. Nevertheless, the "conspiracy against the United States" is an essential element of the prosecutions initiated by the special advocate Robert Mueller. "Data-reactid =" 30 "> The list of potential crimes is completed by the" conspiracy against the United States. "On other occasions, the label of" conspiracy against the United States "is a misrepresentation, the offense, under section 371 of the Penal Code, consists of a conspiracy either to commit a federal crime, or to at defraud United States. Nevertheless, the "conspiracy against the United States" is one of the pillars of the prosecution by special advocate Robert Mueller.

This is not unimportant here. Trump's inaugural committee finances were managed by Richard Gates – vice president of the Trump campaign and former lobbying partner of campaign chair Paul Manafort. Gates and Manafort have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States as part of Mueller's investigation. After being Mueller's star witness in the Manafort affair, Gates would cooperate with the SDNY prosecutors.

Despite my reservations about the "conspiracy against the United States," the theory of crime is that the country is defrauded by acts that undermine the legitimate functions of a government agency. If, for example, Ukrainian lobbyists Gates and Manafort fail to register as foreign agents, they conspire to defeat the ability of the Ministry of Justice to maintain a register of foreign agents (even if thought never came to them in the mind).

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It's easy to see how prosecutors could develop this reasoning elastic to reflect the Federal Election Commission's record of contributions and campaign expenses. Newspaper reports (according to two anonymous sources) that Gates asked suppliers who provided services at the inauguration "they would be willing to accept a payment directly from donors, or through channels outside the committee". ;inauguration". Such arrangements would mean that the committee did not account for all donations and expenses. Prosecutors could make a conspiracy against the United States, ie a criminal agreement preventing the FEC from keeping and disclosing accurate records. "Data-reactid =" 33 "> It is easy to see how prosecutors could broaden this process – elastic reasoning to account for the Federal Election Commission's record of contributions and campaign expenses. Newspaper reports (according to two anonymous sources) that Gates asked suppliers who provided services at the inauguration "they would be willing to accept a payment directly from donors, or through channels outside the committee". ;inauguration". Such arrangements would mean that the committee did not account for all donations and expenses. Prosecutors could incorporate this into a conspiracy against the United States – that is, a criminal agreement to prevent the FEC from keeping and disclosing accurate information.

Trump's inauguration committee received $ 106.7 million, twice as much as President Obama's inaugural committee in 2009, the former record holder. The committee reports expenditures of $ 103 million; prosecutors obviously want to know where the money went. The committee has publicly released $ 61 million, but it is not required to make all information about suppliers public.

The possible influence traffic is an important part of the probe. I'm sure you'll be shocked to see that goes back to Michael Cohen.

In the memorandum they had filed before Cohen's conviction, sentenced to three years in prison, SDNY prosecutors reported that he had monetized his Trump connection at a reasonable price. He has raised millions of dollars in consulting fees from companies who have been impressed by his promises of unique insights into the president and access to it. Prosecutors recognize that Cohen's promises "have been essentially hollow."

<p class = "canvas-atom-text-canvas Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Cohen's connection to the inaugural committee is unclear . Newspaper reports that FBI agents who searched the premises of Cohen last April had obtained a recorded conversation in which Stephanie Winston Wolkoff – one of the most influential advisers in the field of the inauguration – had tells Cohen that she[ed] "data-reactid =" 37 "> Cohen's connection to the inaugural committee is unclear. Newspaper reports that FBI agents who searched the premises of Cohen last April had obtained a recorded conversation in which Stephanie Winston Wolkoff – one of the most influential advisers in the field of the inauguration – had tells Cohen that she[ed] about how the inaugural committee was spending money. "

<p class = "canvas-atom web-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Cohen spoke of the inauguration with Imaad Zuberi , a California venture capitalist and former Sri Lankan registered agent. The daily beast reported, based on two unidentified sources, that Zuberi would have been informed that he would have access to senior officials of the Trump administration, including the president, if he paid a million dollars on the rise to attend the inaugural events. Zuberi, a staunch supporter of President Obama and Hillary Clinton who wanted to join the Trump group, ended up donating more than $ 900,000 to the inaugural committee. He is the only donor specifically named in the subpoena addressed to the committee by the SDNY; Prosecutors require all documents related to communications with him. "data-reactid =" 38 "> Cohen discussed the inauguration with Imaad Zuberi, a Californian venture capitalist and former Sri Lankan registered agent. The daily beast reported, based on two unidentified sources, that Zuberi would have been informed that he would have access to senior officials of the Trump administration, including the president, if he paid a million dollars on the rise to attend the inaugural events. Zuberi, a staunch supporter of President Obama and Hillary Clinton who wanted to join the Trump group, ended up donating more than $ 900,000 to the inaugural committee. He is the only donor specifically named in the subpoena addressed to the committee by the SDNY; prosecutors require all documents related to communications with him.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The SDNY also looked for documents concerning at least one directly from the donor (ie, not only by the committee's subpoena), it is Franklin Haney, and the documents refer to a $ 1 million contribution he made to the Trump inaugural committee in December 2016. Michael Cohen Haney is a developer in the field of nuclear energy One month before making the inaugural gift of Mr. Trump, his company signed a contract to purchase a power plant partially completed nuclear project with the Tennessee Valley Authority for $ 111 million. Newspaper Haney agreed to pay $ 10 million in consulting fees to Cohen if he managed to secure a $ 5 billion loan from the government and other funds for the project. "data-reactid =" 39 "> The SDNY also requested documents relating to at least one directly from the donor (ie not only by the committee's subpoena), this is Franklin Haney , and the documents refer to a $ 1 million contribution he made to Trump's inaugural committee in December 2016. Michael Cohen Haney is a developer in the field of nuclear energy. Mr. Trump's inaugural gift, his company had signed a contract for the purchase of a partially completed nuclear power plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority for $ 111 million. Newspaper reported that Haney had agreed to pay a $ 10 million consulting fee to Cohen had he managed to secure a $ 5 billion government loan and other funding for the project.

<p class = "canvas-canvas canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It should be noted that Cohen is not considered as a "cooperating witness" of the SDNY (as explained by the prosecutors in their memo on the above-mentioned sentence.) He provided information to Mueller's staff (particularly concerning the negotiations during the 2016 for the eventual construction of a Trump tower in Moscow) and met with the SDNY.But the term "cooperating witness" has always been a technical term in the SDNY, where I have been a prosecutor for nearly 20 years. applies only to a witness who enters into a formal co-operation agreement by agreeing to tell the government all and to testify honestly in exchange for the leniency of the sentence. "data-reactid =" 40 "> It should be noted that Cohen is not considered a" cooperating witness "by the SDNY (as prosecutors explained in their aforementioned sentencing memo). provided information with the Mueller staff (particularly regarding the negotiations during the 2016 campaign for the possible construction of a Trump tower in Moscow) and with the SDNY prosecutors, but "cooperating witness" has always been a technical term in the SDNY, where he has served as a prosecutor for almost 20 years and applies only to a witness who enters into a formal co-operation agreement by agreeing to tell the government all and to testify honestly in exchange for the leniency of the sentence.

Cohen was not willing to reveal everything he knew about possible misconduct, by himself or by other people. He is one of those geniuses who think they can keep ahead of the investigators, seemingly cooperating in disclosing only things that he thinks he has already discovered. Mark my words: he will never be ahead of the SDNY and the FBI. So, there is no cooperation agreement and the prosecutors of SDNY did not give Cohen the motion for a conviction that would have allowed the judge to impose a sentence without a prison. Indeed, they asked for a term of imprisonment even though Cohen had turned down the Trump Tower beans in Moscow for Mueller. As a result, despite his recent guilty pleas, Cohen is still vulnerable to prosecution and enjoys a real privilege under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination. I would not hold my breath in the expectation of this Congressional testimony that he says he is ready to give. (Did you notice that his long-awaited appearance was quietly postponed this week?)

An interesting question then: Does Cohen cooperate with the SDNY inquiry into Trump's inauguration committee? For now, he looks more like a target. That is, it looks like someone who might come to regret not having reached the agreement and become a full-fledged cooperator when he got it. l & # 39; occasion.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Plot against the United States. Prosecutors like this because it's so flexible. And then there's this black-letter criminal law doctrine that says, "Once a conspiracy is established, only a slight connection to the conspiracy is necessary to justify a conviction." In other words, to prove that a conspiracy is culpable, prosecutors do not have to show that he participated from the beginning, that he knew all the other conspirators, that he knew all the details or that he was involved in all wrongdoing. (See "Federal Law on Conspiracy: A Brief Overview," Congressional Research Service document, page 8.) This is why prosecutors are able to convict the big culprits who, for purposes of deniability, isolate themselves from the intense efforts of the underlyings.The challenge is to establish that there really was a plot; Once done, it is easy to group together the members. "data-reactid =" 43 ">Plot against the United States. Prosecutors like this because it's so flexible. And then there's this black-letter criminal law doctrine that says, "Once a conspiracy is established, only a slight connection to the conspiracy is necessary to justify a conviction." In other words, to prove that a conspiracy is culpable, prosecutors do not have to show that he participated from the beginning, that he knew all the other conspirators, that he knew all the details or that he was involved in all wrongdoing. (See "Federal Law on Conspiracy: A Brief Overview," Congressional Research Service document, page 8.) This is why prosecutors are able to convict the big culprits who, for purposes of deniability, isolate themselves from the intense efforts of the underlyings.The challenge is to establish that there really was a plot, once this is done, it is easy to regroup the members.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "To sum up, so we have a company known as the Asset Inauguration Committee, including at least some of the activities that the SDNY seems to consider as a conspiracy against the United States. We have Richard Gates, the senior Trump campaigner and the first committee who has already acknowledged his involvement in a conspiracy against the United States and who would certainly not be opposed to pleading guilty to another, if that could have happened. help avoid prison. And you have Michael Cohen, who, the last time he had been involved in a fraud case – a hidden money deal using fictitious names, a payment arrangement in which his repayment was concealed in the form of fees – was too happy to tell prosecutors that Donald Trump put him up to it. To summarize, we have a company known as Asset Inauguration Committee, including at least some of the activities that the SDNY seems to consider as a conspiracy against the United States. We have Richard Gates, the senior Trump campaigner and the first committee who has already acknowledged his involvement in a conspiracy against the United States and who would certainly not be opposed to pleading guilty to another, if that could have happened. help avoid prison. And you have Michael Cohen, who, the last time he had been involved in a fraud case – a hidden money deal using fictitious names, a payment arrangement in which his repayment was concealed in the form of fees – was too happy to tell prosecutors that Donald Trump has put him up.

If I worked in the White House, my attention would not be on Adam Schiff or Bob Mueller. I would be focused on the SDNY.

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