Hey, T, looks like a couple of our Leavenworth Handicap horses came in.
T: I went back and checked our last Leavenworth story and it looks like we both saw the Cohen thing coming. Manafort was a festering corpse a long time ago, but I think Cohen was a pretty good call.
J: Was the last one after the raid? The timeline is starting to run together a little bit.
T: For sure. Remember when we thought Trump was innocent?
J: Yeah, I think that was back in L2.
T: What do you think the upshot is? How does this move the Rustigation needle?
J: I think Cohen’s conviction is the bigger immediate problem for the demagogue-in-chief. Cohen placed him at the scene of the crime, if you will … he said that he committed a felony campaign finance violation at Trump’s direction. That’s very, very bad. Manafort’s conviction was bad, but he was getting tried for stuff that was peripheral to the Russia thing. Mueller’s not done with him, though; he’s going on trial again next month, and that trial will feature Manafort’s Russian contacts much more prominently.
T: Did you see Trump’s response? It boils down to, “I didn’t do it, there’s nothing wrong with doing it, in fact whoever did it should get a medal for doing it, but I didn’t do it – but it would be good if I did – but I didn’t do it and whoever did it (not me) should be locked up with Hillary!”
It’s where this is headed, I think, from Trump’s angle. Trump can’t say anything without spinning it into, “I’m winning!” … so when he gets stuck with these either/or things – where he’s either guilty of one thing or guilty of another – the rubber band in his brain starts smoking like he’s an Asimov robot watching two humans having rough sex.
J: Trump can no longer credibly claim that Mueller’s investigation is a witch hunt, not after the convictions and guilty pleas. Trump doesn’t know what to do, which is why he’s been relatively quiet about this whole thing. He won’t know what defense he should use until Fox News tells him. Sure, the surrogates are trooping out there, but you can see their hearts really aren’t in it. They’re spinning like dervishes, but it’s got to be in the back of their minds that there is a whole Nike store’s worth of other shoes to drop.
T: I suppose, with Manafort ordering a prison-issue salad tosser and Cohen being hooked up to more recording equipment than Lennon’s corpse at a Beatles reunion, it might be time to update the Leavenworth race.
J: What is this one going to be called? I think the last one was, “Return of the son of the holy redundant step-nephew in the final stages of
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