Oh, you need context for my schadenfreude. It goes like this:
Right around noontime today word started trickling to Twitter that big things were afoot in New York City regarding trump's "In DEEEEEEEP SH-T" lawyer buddy Michael Cohen. In Virginia, the jurors for the Paul Manafort Bank Fraud trial - not to be confused with the Manafort Campaign Fraud trial scheduled for DC this September! - were sending letters to the judge about their forms for "Guilty/Not Guilty" to see if there was a third option for "We're Stuck". It was less a sign that it was a Hung Jury on all 18 COUNTS Manafort was facing, and more a sign they had decided on some of them and needed confirmation on the ones they could not resolve.
By 3:00 PM EDT, word had gotten out that Cohen was going to plead guilty by 4:00 PM to some of the charges he was facing involving illicit payoffs to women trump had affairs with and was trying to bribe to keep them silent during the 2016 campaign. Referring to Adam L Silverman at Balloon Juice:
According to the reporting, which is changing and updating as new details emerge, Cohen will plead guilty this afternoon to bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign finance violations. The New York Times is reporting that this will be a straight guilty plea – there is no cooperation agreement at this time...
Granted, it looked like Cohen was going to play the role of a loyal capo and take his prison time for the don. There was/is still wriggle room for him to plead out down the road.
Still, just as that was getting Twitter aflutter, the jurors in the Manafort trial sent another note to the judge around 4:09 PM, let me link to Southpaw's tweet here for this bit:
It looked like the jury - which was not sequestered - saw the Cohen thing happening and they decided "Fuck it, let's make this a double-header and get ourselves home in time for Wheel of Fortune."
So while trump's personal lawyer who may literally know where all the bodies are buried was begging for jail time in New York, trump's associate and campaign manager during much of 2016 was found Guilty on eight of eighteen charges relating to Bank Fraud, Tax Fraud, and
Of the two moments, Cohen's is the bigger worry for trump. Manafort's convictions are related to things that barely had anything to do with trump or his campaign: Again, that's in the September trial coming up. All this jury did was establish Manafort is a criminal who could have financial reasons to commit the other crimes the later trial is focusing on.
Cohen, meanwhile, not only has direct dealings with trump for years, he also is confessing that his deals he made to these women happened with trump's knowledge. Yes, trump is not directly named, but the implications are there:
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to eight criminal counts, admitting that "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" he acted to keep information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle...
Appearing in court on Tuesday, Cohen said of the charge linked to (Playmate Karen) McDougal that it was done "for the principal purpose of influencing the election." Regarding the charge linked to (porn actress Stormy Daniels), Cohen said the money "was later repaid to me by the candidate."
Assistant US Attorney Andrea Griswold said prosecutors would have been prepared to present evidence during a trial that these were so-called hush payments.
"The proof on these counts at trial would establish that these payments were made in order to ensure that each recipient of the payments did not publicize their stories of alleged affairs with the candidate," she said...
The "candidate" is not named, but trump is essentially an unindicted co-conspirator at this point.
For all of trump's bluster about all of these investigations - Mueller's investigation into trump's ties to Russia and likely Obstruction of Justice trying to protect ally Michael Flynn (already pled Guilty), the federal investigations in Cohen, the state investigations into the corrupt trump Foundation - being JUST A WITCH HUNT, every investigation has proven results in uncovering trump's entire criminal empire (and the interconnected corruption of fellow travelers in the White Collar Crime Industry).
trump can well try to pretend his innocence in all of this, but his ties to each and every guilty person found out brings to light his own twisted, greedy, corrupt ways.
It would be a complete delight to watch all of this unravel, but I still dread this one truth: A wounded and cornered animal can be one of the most dangerous creatures in the world.
trump is getting cornered right now, finding fewer places to hide. he's wounded, losing key allies - seriously, WHO is left that can handle trump's expected attempt for reelection in 2020? - and exposing himself to a world he can't keep lying to every day. The odds of him lashing out have gone UP not down.
trump is getting to the point - maybe already has - where he has nothing to lose by blowing up the whole damn thing.
Hence the schadenfreude. Part of me wants to party forever now, part of me dreads trump's response.
Stay vigilant, peeps. We're not to a safe place yet.