Double Hit of Cohen, Manafort Puts Trump Back On His Heels

The president's almost daily attempts to dismiss the criminal investigations engulfing the White House all but collapsed.

U.S. President Donald Trump. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump has long mocked the criminal investigations that have engulfed the White House, calling them “rigged witch hunts” that were pursued by Democrats and helped by the dishonest news media. But in two courtrooms 200 miles apart on Tuesday, his almost daily attempts to dismiss these investigations all but collapsed, and the legal setbacks he suffered within minutes of each other could open fissures among Republicans and expose Trump to the possibility of impeachment, writes The New York Times. 

In Manhattan, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer and personal lawyer, admitted in court that Trump directed him to break campaign finance laws by paying off two women who said they had sexual relationships with Trump.

Meanwhile, in Alexandria, a jury found Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty of eight counts of tax and bank fraud. According to The Times, this is the most significant victory yet for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump now faces a grim legal and political landscape. Mueller is investigating whether Trump and members of his campaign conspired with a foreign power to win the election, and whether the president tried to obstruct the investigation from the White House. On top of that, the midterm elections, which could hobble the second half of his presidency, are only months away.

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