Despite a lack of evidence, House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters remains zealously convinced that President Donald Trump is basically a criminal mastermind who must — for the safety of all Americans — be locked up for good, with the key preferably tossed down the sewers.
And of all the crimes he’s allegedly committed, Waters appears to believe paying hush money to various women during the 2016 presidential election and then lying about it is the worst.
“This president has lied. He said he had not paid off anybody, but he certainly has,” she said Friday when asked by MSNBC host Chris Hayes whether Trump has ever committed a “high crime.”
Except Trump’s payment via his then-attorney, Michael Cohen, to various women to stay silent about their extramarital affairs wasn’t illegal, according to legal experts such as Alan Dershowitz.
“The law is clear that the president may contribute to his own campaign. … It is not a crime to contribute to your own campaign. [Even] if he had written a letter to these two women saying, ‘You’re going to hurt me in my campaign, I’m going to pay you $150,000 to help me get elected president and you have to keep it quiet, it’s hush money.’ It’s not a crime,” he noted last summer.
Plus, if paying hush money were illegal, a boatload of current congressmen would be in prison right now. Between 2008 and 2012, over a quarter of a million dollars in taxpayer funds was spent by certain congressmen to quietly settle claims of sexual harassment, age discrimination, race discrimination, etc., according to an Office of Compliance report released two years ago.
A settlement is essentially equivalent to hush money.
Details from the OOC report revealed that $85,000 was paid out for “sexual harassment and harassment because of retaliation” claims, while another $20,000 was paid out for “sexual harassment because of retaliation & sex discrimination” charges.
House Administration Committee releases new stats on settlements of claims made against member offices. pic.twitter.com/tVDMOEJvMu
— Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) December 19, 2017
Nice try, though, Waters.
When her interview with Hayes first began, she falsely claimed she’s been investigating Trump since before he even announced his candidacy for office.
“As you know I have been looking at this president before he was inaugurated, and I came out early talking about impeachment because I knew all about Manafort and Flynn and Sater and all of these people,” she said.
Waters never once raised a single concern about then-businessman Trump before he announced his candidacy for office in the summer of 2015. Moreover, the conviction of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had zero to do with him. Flynn’s conviction was based on “process crimes,” while Manafort’s was based on shady actions he took years before he joined the president’s campaign.
As for Felix Sater, he’s a Russian-born real estate executive and longtime government informant who once worked with Cohen on an innocuous project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The lawyer’s convictions are unrelated to this deal.
“And so I’m not really surprised. Not a lot of new information but it’s information that needs to be investigated, needs to be explored, because the Republicans certainly did not do anything with this information,” Waters continued, referring to the “information” gleaned during Cohen’s testimony to Congress last Wednesday.
“So whether we’re talking about collusion or obstruction of justice, we’re talking about finances, we’re talking about the foundation, this really needs to be investigated and explored.”
During Cohen’s testimony, he suggested his former boss once used his charity for personal profit.
“Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event,” he said.
“The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself.”
Despite Cohen being a known liar who was literally convicted for lying to Congress, his testimony Wednesday to Congress was believed to a T by Waters.
“I think the foundation has been used by him to avoid paying taxes on money he’s earned,” she said to reporters after the hearing.
To be clear, there’s no evidence to prove this allegation, just as there’s no evidence to prove any of the other allegations — many of them glaringly dubious — that have been made about Trump.
There is however enough evidence to suggest that perhaps Waters and her Democrat peers are the ones who deserve to be investigated, according to social media:
A full scale investigation. Is needed for many of these Democrats in Congress. How did they all become Millionaires on a $174,000 salary?
— Barbara Folb (@recruiter01) March 2, 2019
I believe she hired her daughter and gave her a high salary.
— Suzanne Sheffield (@ussheffield) March 2, 2019
She has no business throwing rocks when her list of atrocities over the years is long and she is still in office!!
— Bryan Bijonowski (@colabear13BB) March 3, 2019
Look who’s calling the kettle black!
— David Eastlake (@DavidEastlake3) March 2, 2019
— Judy (@Judy_VA_MAGA) March 2, 2019
— Holly Fitzgerald (@Lady_Fitz5) March 3, 2019
And you Maxine committed one when you called for violence against the Trump administration. I want @senatemajldr to call for a investigation into these threats.
— Tim Cook (@TimCook45283270) March 2, 2019