When I heard the news this week of Michael Cohen's plea bargain with prosecutors in regard to the Stormy Daniels case, I was taken aback.
It seems in the midst of my heading south, I had lost track of the daily stream of Trump stories almost entirely. I doubt I'm hardly the first to blend said stories together. Yet, it is clear now that with such damning words on the part of Cohen, things have taken a decidedly nasty twist for Trump.
Michael Cohen has claimed, in open court, that President Donald J. Trump violated campaign finance law.
See, in paying porn star Daniels, as well as Playboy model Karen McDougal, it seems that Cohen used money in some way associated with the Trump presidential campaign and the Trump Organization. Likewise, Cohen also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and accessing a line of credit that he was not to be party to.
Further throwing fuel on the fire, Trump (who had previously claimed to know nothing about payments and that any payments that were made were completely made by Cohen) said in a separate interview that he was, in fact, the one that made the payments, and that any monies transacted to Daniels and McDougal had nothing to do with Cohen or his own presidential campaign.
All of which smacks of a blatant lie from a man backed into a corner.
And what's the cherry on top of all of this, is Trump's major supporters. The people in middle America who he claimed (and still does claim) to be an ardent defender, are unphased by all of this.
"He's only human."
"Everyone wants to talk about sex."
"I'd vote for Trump again, just like everyone would vote for Bill Clinton again."
That last point, I must admit is not without merit, given the repeated abuses both Bill and Hilary have wrought upon the federal bureaucracy. Still, to be the enemy of a criminal does not make your own champion impervious to scrutiny. If you truly believe Bill Clinton is wrong, why would you want your guy to act like him?
This cult of personality around Trump is remarkable in present-day America in the same way that abject poverty is invisible to those in the developed world who have never seen it, even when it is right under their nose. In the typical line of thinking, such cults smack not of the United States, but of dictatorial regimes like North Korea or Russia, uncoincidentally the same countries that Trump has cozied up to in the past year and a half.
Ironically though, I believe this could be more dangerous or damaging to Trump than any smoking gun Special Counsel Mueller may find in relation to Russia, where I get the feeling that Trump has always been uncomfortably close to Russian decisionmakers, but not close enough to be criminal.
The case of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal seems, at least based on Michael Cohen's testimony, to be a different case entirely.
Given the ever-approaching midterm elections, calls for impeachment will be an ever further question given the alleged criminal nature of the sitting President of the United States. If Democrats take the House of Representatives in the fall (FiveThirtyEight gives them approximately a 75% chance of doing so) the ball will be squarely in their court as to whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings, as there are likely too many Trumpites in the House for the Republicans to do anything short of a (further) bombshell revelation.
My own personal feeling on the matter is that impeachment is not a term that should be taken lightly. Removing a president for wrongdoing and subsequently prosecuting him or her is something that has never quite happened in the history of the United States (even if it would have been appropriate in some cases) and should only be spoken of in the gravest of circumstances.
If what Michael Cohen says is true, I cannot deny that this would constitute the gravest of circumstances.