Former Trump Surrogate, Christie, Sees Big Trouble for the President in New York

Former Trump Surrogate, Christie, Sees Big Trouble for the President in New York December 9, 2018

It would seem that everyone is looking at last week’s news as ominous and a signal that stormy legal seas are ahead for the president, except the president.

Then again,  President Trump’s unhinged behavior across social media suggests that he’s more upset over the information in the court filings against Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort, than he’s saying.

All three men were part of Donald Trump’s campaign efforts. Flynn went on to work as national security adviser in the Trump administration, for about 3 weeks, before his secretive dealings with Russian officials, as well as lobbying work for Turkey forced his resignation.

And speaking of former Trump campaign clingers and surrogates, not all of them are looking to pipe sunshine up our backsides, in regards to the court filings.

Some of them pay attention, and actually have experience in working as prosecutors.

One such former Trump surrogate is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Christie’s assessment of last week’s news seems at odds with Donald Trump’s assertion that the news has cleared him of anything.

Christie was particularly concerned with the filings on former Trump attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen.

“The language in the sentencing memo is different from what we’ve heard before,” Christie told ABC’s “This Week,” noting that Trump’s former attorney Cohen has previously said he violated campaign finance law at the president’s direction. “The only thing that would concern me if I was the president’s team this morning about this sentencing memo is the language.”

“The language sounds very definite,” Christie said. “And what I’d be concerned about is, what corroboration do they have?”

“Because everyone knows that Michael Cohen is not going to be the most effective or trustworthy witness on the stand, given some of his past statements,” Christie said. “When prosecutors sound that definitive they’ve got more usually than just one witness.”

“Now the flip-side for the prosecutors is, they’d better have more than one witness on this because if you’re shooting at the president of the United States and the only bullet in your gun is Michael Cohen, well I think that’s a problem,” Christie added.

“So I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how this thing plays out.”

Oh, you said a mouthful, Governor.

So let’s go down that road, a bit.

Is Michael Cohen the only bullet in the gun of prosecutors for the Southern District of New York, or that of Robert Mueller?

Well, we have to keep in mind that there are two different cases going on, as it pertains to Michael Cohen.

Cohen is facing his own issues with bank fraud, tax fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance law violations. These issues are completely separate from the Russia probe.

I’ve mentioned it before, but long before the Russia probe wraps up, Trump’s goose may be cooked by what goes on in New York.

There is documented evidence that implicates Cohen in the payoff of two of Donald Trump’s mistresses, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, a month before the 2016 election.

Cohen set up a shell company and funneled the payments to the women through that shell company. He later testified under oath that he made those payments at the instruction of, and with full knowledge of then-candidate Trump.

But Michael Cohen is a snake and a liar!

Yes, yes. I know. I think that was what Governor Christie was getting at, when he suggested Cohen wasn’t exactly “trustworthy.”

There is ample opportunity to point out where Cohen has been caught in a lie.

That being said, I want to take the time to remind everyone that David Pecker, longtime Trump pal and CEO of American Media, Inc., the company that owns The National Enquirer, has also agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors.

Pecker, according to multiple sources, has a lockbox full of dirt on Trump (as well as other celebrities), as part of a move called “catch and kill.”

The company would pay women (like Karen McDougal) for the exclusive rights to their stories, and then would bury those stories, to protect the rich and connected, like Trump.

We haven’t heard what Pecker knows about the payoff of Daniels an McDougal, but we do know he’s been cooperating.

Christie went on to say he doesn’t think there’s much for Trump to fear from Mueller’s investigation.

Christie said that he’s maintained that “the Michael Cohen situation is much more perilous for the White House than was [special counsel] Bob Mueller.”

“There’s no Russia collusion, there’s been no proof of Russia collusion, and I don’t think there’s gonna be,” Christie said. “This is the stuff that should be much more concerning to the White House legal team and that language is very very strong and very definitive so the prosecutors better have corroboration.”

You may be right, but when we take what we already know, and who we know is cooperating, I’m going to say prosecutors know what they’re doing, so the president and his supporters had better buckle up for what comes next.

 

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  • JASmius

    I have to say, I think the headline above is oversold. Christie sounds to me like he’s all but claiming that the SDNY prosecutors *don’t* have anything but Michael Cohen’s testimony; just with more subtlety than Rudy Giuliani (or Trump himself) ever manages. You’ll notice that he faithfully spouted the standard Trumpie nonsense about “no collusion” despite all the redactions in Mueller’s sentencing memos on Cohen and Paul Manafort. Just a nominally less blatant version of standard Redcap whistling past the graveyard.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I’m less certain than you are. On the one hand, it has become the nature of headlines to oversell the contents of the articles.

    On the other hand, I think there’re real teeth in Cohen’s testimony and agree that the language is quite assertive and confident – more so than I would have expected on the word of Cohen alone. It is quite reasonable to believe that with David Pecker cooperating with Mueller as well (and his safe full of ‘catch & kill’ ‘dirt’ on Trump presumably available to back up Cohen’s revelations about Trump’s pre-election actions and associates) and with the Trump Organization under investigation with several of the major players of that organizations not willing to go to jail for Trump or to risk their own assets by lying for Trump, and with the NYS prosecutor’s office now having solid evidence (from Mueller) for leads and Trump under scrutiny in the WH and unable to bully or bribe his way out of this prosecution, I think Trump truly IS in big trouble – but much of the evidence is my suspicion about what Mueller would likely have access too – and indications that he HAS that information more than public proof that he has a smoking gun in hand.

    I think Trump is being boxed in from a variety of sources and directions:

    Judicial Watch is pressing the emoluments lawsuit and recently having been allowed by a judge to begin discovery, immediately started distributing subpoenas to other DC hoteliers, to Trump organization, and to lobbyists & other competitors to Trump properties around the US (I don’t think they can compel evidence from overseas corporations with a US subpoena) to gather evidence that Trump has been enriching himself by violating the Constitutional emoluments clause.

    The NY Southern district has been looking into both the Trump Foundation (which has pretty much been required to fold it’s tent as a fraudulent “charity” and the Trump organization. In their investigation into the Trump organizations, Cohen’s records would be a HUGE asset. So are the current executives that are cooperating with the prosecutors. There is also popular public support for the Southern NYS investigation now that Trump has become a national target of liberals and Democrats (but I repeat myself).

    Trump’s support for MBS has also initiated yet another investigation and lawsuit(s) – this time looking into whether Trump’s otherwise inexplicable continued support of Saudi Arabia is due to a personal side-deal, promises of money from the Saudi Royal family (or MBS personally) or whether the Saudis are funding Kushner’s enterprises or Trump projects in exchange for continued US military support for their war against Yemen and Qatar (given that Qatar is a US ally in the region and home to the largest US air base in the region).

    Trump’s deployment of the military to the southern border may be in violation of the War Powers act and Congress is starting to talk about “reigning him in” and limiting his power while the continued deployment is draining scarce DOD funding which means DOD cannot both build up (rebuild) and sustain border deployments at the same time.

    Meanwhile, Mueller’s memo and likelihood of pressing additional charges against Manafort indicates that Mueller’s recommendations seem to carry a lot of weight with sentencing judges – Flynn gets a slap on the wrist, Cohen gets concurrent sentences (It’s NYS rather than Mueller that is recommending Cohen get “significant jail time”, but Mueelr seems ready to throw the book at Manafort. I’m thinking throwing the book at Manafort (as well as re-trying him for earlier deadlocked charges from VA plus trying him in DC for additional infractions) may be Mueller making an example that lying to his investigators will have consequences. This in turn may be setting expectations for Mr. Corsi and Roger Stone when they get subpoena’d about their Wikileaks actions.

    With Cohen’s records and cooperation and that of David Pecker and Trump Organization key executives, I think Trump can pretty much kiss his organization goodbye when he leaves office. The Trump foundation is already toast. Add to that charges against Trump Jr, Kushner, and possible retaliation by the Chinese government against the Trump Organization for Trump’s personal insults and rhetoric (if not his actions) while president. We are also seeing Congress ramping up the rhetoric and threatening moves against Trump over his unexplainable support for the Saudis, his tariffs, and his close (too close?) ties to Russia, China, and N. Korea.

    ….and the Mueller train keeps rolling along….