It’s OK for Trump to break the law because “every candidate violates the election laws when they run for president.”

NOT The Onion. This one is real.

In case you didn’t notice, this is the worst defense ever, because it then mandates this syllogism:

Every candidate for President violates the laws

Trump was a candidate for President

Therefore, Trump violated the law

Alan Dershowitz is a law professor and I’m no lawyer, but I have to think that an admission that “the accused violated the law” is probably not the optimal legal defense. Personally, I would go with “my client followed the standard precedent set by every previous President, which is clearly not in violation of any laws.” Oh, sure, that would be a lie, but it at least has a chance of working on a jury, as opposed to “my client violated the law,” which must inevitably produce the Bialystock and Bloom verdict.

Venezuela pulls ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ because inflation has made the top prize meaningless

In US currency, a million bolivars is currently worth four dollars and two cents.

That was the value when I started typing the sentence. It was probably quite a bit lower by the time I added the period. By the time you read this, it probably won’t be enough to buy a roll of toilet paper.

That’s just theoretical. Venezuela actually has no toilet paper.

Although they can use bolivars.

Cohen pleads guilty

“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.”

“Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”

Cohen chose to plead guilty to eight counts. Here is a list. He is likely to be sentenced to 3-6 years in prison. Had he gone to court and been found guilty, he might have faced about 65 years in the hoosegow.

Here is something important buried deep inside the story: The terms of the plea deal do NOT require him to co-operate with the Mueller investigation!

Manafort jury: guilty on 8 counts, no agreement on the other 10

“Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.”

Given the hopelessly deadlocked jury, the judge declared a mistrial on the other ten counts. As of the time I type this, the prosecutors have not said whether they intend to re-try the ten undecided counts. To complicate matters still further, Manafort still has to face seven more counts in a completely separate trial.

Manafort’s defense team has not discussed its appeal strategy.