On Wednesday, CNN provided an absolutely stunning recap of the timeline of Donald Trump’s “payment plan” for the hush money that he used to silence at least two women with whom he carried on extramarital affairs shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to their youngest son Barron.
The payments Trump made in the form of checks to his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen were actually repayments since Cohen used his own money to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, then entered into a scheme with Trump to recover that money from funds in the Trump Organization.
Former FBI agent Josh Campbell was a guest on the network this morning, and the perspective he provided as hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota provided a thumbnailed timeline, complete with images of the actual checks signed by Trump himself and others as reimbursement for the hush money payoffs, was actually a new way of looking at something Trump has been saying all along — that he committed no crimes.
That’s been Trump’s mantra for more than two years now, in fact.
But the checks, published by the New York Times, tell the story of a man who at the very least knew that the practice of paying someone off for their silence — perhaps something Mr. Trump has done throughout his entire life — takes on a whole new gravity once someone is in the White House. And that’s really what all of this is about, the fact that this hush money scheme wasn’t something that took place entirely during the campaign.
The signatures on those checks were from the President of the United States.
In fact, as Berman and Campbell discussed in the CNN segment, the other business of being a President that was occurring as the checks were being written in February, March, May, August, September, October, and November, all in 2017… Well, it wasn’t small business. He was firing Michael Flynn for lying — then signing a check. He was meeting with world leaders — then signing a check. He was accusing the British government of spying on the US — then signing a check.
In short, with the fact that he had to pull himself away from legitimate business as the President in order to secretly reimburse his lawyer for assisting in a scheme that likely helped him get elected, there’s no way that Trump hasn’t known all along that what he was doing was a crime — or he could have done it all in public, and he never would have had to deny, roughly a million times, that he knew anything about the payments.
Watch the segment here:
The President has claimed he committed no crimes, but as he sat down on multiple occasions to sign off on checks to Michael Cohen in furtherance of an apparent campaign finance violation, he HAD to have known he was breaking the law. What other new violations will we learn about? pic.twitter.com/NHkIyRxJQt
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) March 6, 2019
Featured image via screen capture