MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2023
Why Cohen got three years: In this, the possible Week That Was, we're going to show you some of the ways we blue tribe viewers may perhaps get misled by our own tribe's corporate tribunes.
(More correctly, "some of the ways we get misled" on a regular basis.)
For one example, consider what Chuck Rosenberg said this very morning. According to the leading authority, here's who Rosenberg is:
Chuck Rosenberg is an American attorney. He formerly served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) and for the Southern District of Texas; as a senior FBI official on the staff of two FBI Directors; as Counselor to the Attorney General; as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General; as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in EDVA in Norfolk and Alexandria; and as the former Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In short, Rosenberg's vastly experienced. In the current context, he's one of several legal analysts who are able to go on MSNBC and offer informative legal analyses without reciting every Standard Tribal Script.
Also, without revealing how much they hate Donald J. Trump as part of every presentation.
In short, the fellow is pretty much "just the facts." This morning, early in the 6 o'clock hour, he engaged in this exchange on Morning Joe concerning the so-called "hush money" payment to Stormy Daniels:
SCARBOROUGH (3/20/23): Michael Cohen got sent to jail for being part of this scheme. Why?
ROSENBERG: Well, he pled guilty to, I believe, eight felonies under federal law, and not just this scheme. There was a tax scheme, he had made false statements. So there were more, and more serious, offenses to which he pled guilty.
This is a narrower piece of what he pled guilty to. Now, he had an integral role, if he is to be believed, in the Trump "hush money" false bookkeeping caper. But he, Cohen, pled guilty to many more offenses, and that was in the federal system, not in the state system.
On the down side, Rosenberg isn't supposed to be saying things like that on our own blue cable. On the brighter side, no one on our cable channel will ever attempt to flesh out the implications of what Rosenberg said.
Here's what Rosenberg said:
If you watch blue tribe cable news, you will constantly hear a presentation which takes this general form:
Michael Cohen got sentenced to three years in prison for the hush money payment. Why shouldn't Donald J. Trump get the exact same treatment?
Blue cable stars recite that script until the cows come home. In fact, Cohen was sentenced to prison for a cocktail of federal offenses, as described by the leading authority on the matter:
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate for the "principal purpose of influencing [the] election."
In Rosenberg's assessment, the charges relating to the hush money payment were less serious than some of the other charges. That may or may not be an accurate assessment, but Cohen pled guilty to eight offenses, only two of which were connected to the payment to Daniels.
(Also, please note: Cohen pled guilty to these charges, in part as a way to lessen his possible sentence. He wasn't found guilty of the hush money charges by an actual jury during an actual trial.)
As such, it's false to say that Cohen got three years for the payment to Daniels. Still, you'll hear that embellished version of the facts over and over and over and over on programs like Deadline: White House, and even on Morning Joe.
Last Thursday, another vastly experienced legal analyst—Neal Katyal—outrageously said, on Deadline: White House, that he can imagine reasons why Merrick Farland hasn't decided to pursue Donald J. Trump in federal court for the "hush money caper."
Instantly, Katyal's angry multimillionaire host pushed back hard against his ridiculous statement. Katyal quickly backpedaled away from his momentary heresy. On Deadline: White House, Merrick Garland is wrong, wrong, wrong, and no other thoughts need apply!
At any rate, you will hear, again and again, that Cohen got three years for the hush money caper. It's an embellished version of the facts—a misstated version designed to pimp tribal Storyline and send us happily off to bed with sugarplums dancing in our easily satisfied heads.
Should Trump be facing federal charges for the hush money caper? Personally, we're inclined to regard this as the ultimate Mickey Mouse criminal charge, whether we're talking about federal or state court.
But having said that, no! Michael Cohen didn't get three years for his role in this matter, no matter how many times you hear Hacks Like Us recite the inaccurate statement.
We're routinely misled by Hacks Like Us! Tomorrow morning, we'll look at an especially ugly evergreen charge.
Later this week: Look who said that Stormy Daniels could have been charged with extortion! Never mention views like that on our blue tribe's programs!