Robert Mueller investigation continues


Jack Hertafeld, Copy editor

On August 21, 2018, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes, some of which he stated were under the direction of the president.

The most notable of these charges relate to the illegal paying off of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to keep quiet about their affairs with Trump before the election. Daniels was paid using $130,000 of campaign funds, and McDougal was paid through an unlawful corporate contribution from American Media Inc.

What is most important about these offenses is that Cohen told the judge that he was ordered by Trump to commit them, directly implicating Trump in a conspiracy to manipulate the 2016 election. Due to Trump’s status as the president, it is unlikely that he will be indicted for these charges any time soon. This does not, however, negate the significance of Cohen`s crimes or anything else the Mueller investigation has turned up.

Cohen is the fourth of Trump’s close associates to plead guilty to crimes stemming from the Mueller investigation, following Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort and Sam Patten. However, Mueller’s testimony is significant to the case because the crimes implicate a large network of people and companies in a criminal conspiracy.

Since the election, Mueller’s investigation has been gradually stirring up leads in various sectors, both domestic and international. There is not enough information yet to begin to grasp the bigger picture of these many links, but the investigation continues steadily forward .