On Wednesday, things became even more grim for Mr. Trump after his personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for a series of tax fraud and lying charges. This is the largest punishment to date tied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and it spells the worst for Trump and his family.
On Wednesday evening, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow explained why Mr. Trump’s children are in legal jeopardy in conjunction with the felony counts that Cohen himself and federal prosecutors have said the president was involved in. Maddow said:
‘Where we’re going to land I’ll tell you right now, what appears to be legal jeopardy for the president’s company and specifically for the president’s oldest children on the felony counts in which Michael Cohen himself — federal prosecutors in New York and now a federal judge in New York — have all said the president was involved in.’
Maddow recalled the details of Michael Cohen’s sentencing hearing including the nonprosecution agreement reached by longtime Trump friend David Pecker of A.M.I. — which owns the National Enquirer tabloid. Maddow explained:
‘Well, is there anybody else potentially in trouble for this felony given what prosecutors have made public about the nature of this crime and what they know about it?‘Yeah! Yeah, as it turns out. Yeah, there is someone else potentially in trouble here.
‘And they don’t have a nonprosecution agreement and they don’t have immunity, because that’s the president’s company — and specifically the decision-makers inside his company who would have had the authority in that company to help pull something like this off at the time that it happened during the campaign.’
‘And there appear to be five people who fit that bill. One of whom is the Trump Organization’s financial — chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. He’s been granted immunity by prosecutors in exchange for his assistance in this matter.
‘Then the other four people who were inside the Trump Organization at the time this felony was committed, who apparently would have had the authority within the company to make something like this happen. They happen to be four people who were employed as top executives at the Trump Organization — who all have the same last name.’
‘The defendant Michael Cohen comes before this Court, having pled guilty to five counts of income tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a banking institution, one count of causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of an excessive campaign contribution…and one count of making false statements to the U.S. Congress…each of these crimes is a serious offense against the United States.’
‘While Mr. Cohen has taken steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean. Mr. Cohen selected the information he disclosed to the government. The Court cannot agree with the defendant’s assertion that no jail time is warranted.’