By now, most have undoubtedly felt the seismic shockwaves emanating from courtrooms in Virginia and New York. But in the event you haven’t yet heard, inside of a 10-minute span, both Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen were toppled like dominoes.
Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was found guilty on eight counts. Five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. Cohen, the president’s alleged former fixer, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts.
Most notably, and most damaging to the president, Cohen effectively implicated the president. During the allocution, Cohen appears to have stipulated that then-candidate Trump authorized the payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, in violation of campaign finance law.
After Trump’s former campaign boss went down as a convicted fraudster, the day was already poised to be politically-crippling enough. However, his longtime personal attorney effectively naming him as an unindicted co-conspirator, elevated the president’s level of troubles from bruising to hemorrhaging.
And if history is any guide, there’s only one reaction we can expect from the president as he heads to a rally in West Virginia, a loyalist bastion. He’ll seek to divert attention away from today’s damaging news by sparking controversy, attempting to gain control of an unfavorable news cycle.
So the only question is, what will he set aflame?