The investigation carried out by the specially authorised prosecutor Robert Mueller on the presidential elections in 2016, after which the Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected US President against the Democrat Party’s candidate Hilary Clinton.
The Democrats claimed that Russian intelligence services had intervened with the elections, and provided Trump with information that he could use against his rivals.
If this claim is revealed to be true, a thing much wanted by half of the people in the US –dismissal of Donald Trump of the presidency without waiting for the next elections– might be realised.
COHEN’S CONFESSIONS INCREASED THE PRESSURE
A crucial turn was taken regarding the acceptance of this claim by judicial authorities just recently, when Michael Cohen, ex-attorney of the US President, admitted to the charges against him.
Cohen was charged with the claims that he had paid off during the electoral campaign two women with whom the President had had an affair in the past – Playboy model Karen McDougal and pornstar Stormy Daniels.
The US laws dictate that all of the expenses of the candidates during the electoral campaigns must be considered campaign expenses, and be transparent.
Cohen’s justification for the charges that can be qualified as electoral corruption was: “I paid them off because I personally love Trump and his wife, and I am close friends with them.” Trump, on the other hand, denied that he had had an affair with McDougal and Daniels, and claimed that he was informed about the pay-off of Cohen afterwards.
Besides, it was speculated that, even though Trump knew about the pay-off, he could attest that he did that not to get the upper hand in the electoral run, but to “protect his family” and “prevent himself from falling into disrepute as a businessman”, and that this could be a justified position.
However, after facing a long jail time, Cohen stated that Trump had known about the pay-offs, and that he was ready to cooperate with the Prosecution.
Having announced that he would cooperate with the Prosecution and the FBI, Cohen admitted to all of the charges against himself on 22 August, causing the circle around Trump to tighten.
The same day that Michael Cohen admitted to the charges, Paul Manafort, director of the electoral campaign of Trump, was found guilty 8 times in the investigation commenced and executed by Robert Mueller – 5 times for misrepresenting the income-tax return, 2 times for banking fraud, and once for not declaring the accounts in foreign banks.
NO DIRECT EVIDENCE FOR “RUSSIAN INTERVENTION” YET
Though the cases of Cohen and Manafort have legally weakened Trump’s case, there is not direct evidence regarding the “Russian intervention” in the elections. On the other hand, in the lawsuit where Manafort was found guilty, it is rumoured that good material was also found for an investigation about foreign intervention. Part of the charges against Manafort on the issue of not declaring the accounts in foreign banks is related to the income he received by giving his services as a consultant to a pro-Russian party in Ukraine. Still, some supporters of Trump consider a victory that Manafort was found guilty eight times out of 18.
However, it is thought that the fact that Manafort was found guilty would have a heavier psychological impact on him, and that he would cooperate regarding his own interests just like Cohen, provided that President Trump has not granted a presidential amnesty.
Michael Cohen has already declared that he was ready to cooperate with the FBI and Specially Authorised Prosecutor Mueller about the Russian intervention in the elections. All the same, Manafort’s attorneys announced that they would not consider such a thing, and the claims regarding Trump having taken an amnesty into his agenda have already appeared in the media.
IS A DISMISSAL POSSIBLE FOR TRUMP?
After the emerging developments in the cases of Cohen and Manafort, the US media declared the last Wednesday “Trump’s worst day”, and covered the claims on dismissal.
If this happens, something very much wanted by many governmental officials and nearly 50% of the voters in the US will be realised. In fact, the door to this possibility was legally opened last April when the FBI raided Cohen’s house and office. Adding Cohen’s agreement on cooperating with Robert Mueller to the tapes and recordings captured with the raid, it seems more difficult for Trump to “beat the rap” than it was a week ago.
It is also understood that Mueller and the FBI are focused primarily on affecting the congressional elections on November 6, and that the process could be accelerated if the Republican majority is broken in the Congress.
One of the things that the US press whines about most is that the society in the country is seriously “polarised” and “adopting a partisan attitude”. It is extrapolated that an atmosphere has been created in Trump administration that is more suitable for racist views to be voiced more comfortably and gallantly in the public sphere, and that it fuels social conflicts.
American people have not been this seriously politicised, and the conflicts inside the government have not been reflected on the street this directly in years. It is seen that in the US, where pro- and anti-Trump people face off on streets from time to time, it gets harder and harder to dismiss Trump with a smooth transition, and that the Democrats have pinned their hopes upon the congressional elections on November 6.