Michael Cohen, sadly only looking like he is being pinched by the long arm of the law.
Most of us have some awareness of the Iran hostage negotiations in 1980, in which the Reagan campaign seems to have sabotaged the release of our hostages until after the election in a blatant specimen of treason which was never punished in any way. What most people will not remember is the crucial incident in this ugly spectacle of betrayal- a trip by William Casey, Reagan's campaign manager, to Madrid to meet with Iranian mullahs to make the deal to delay the release of the hostages, in return for promises of future sales of weapons to Iran, fulfilled later in Reagan's reign by the sale of 2,000 TOW missiles to the Iranians in another blatantly illegal specimen of treason, which again, being committed by a Republican administration was never punished in any way.
Republicans provided supposed evidence that Casey's trip never happened; only years later was it discovered that the evidence was a lie, and of course the hapless Democrats just let this treachery slide by without consequences.
I think it is very instructive to consider this sordid event, in light of the Trump administration denial of a crucial claim of the Steele dossier, that Michael Cohen was in Prague during the campaign to make a deal with the Russians for them to interfere in the Presidential campaign on behalf of Trump. A year of the most belligerent denials that Cohen was ever in Prague, then or any other time, was backed up by displaying his passport, which contained no Czech visa stamps.
We now discover, via reporters from the McClatchy news service that this claim is false, and that in fact Cohen was in Prague in 2016, during the campaign, and met with Russian officials and a number of Eastern European hackers:
"WASHINGTON- The Justice Department special counsel has evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to two sources familiar with the matter."
Cohen seems to have taken a private jet to Germany, and then crossed the border from Germany to the Czech Republic, a crossing that does not require showing a passport under European Union regulations, thus rendering the "evidence" of his passport meaningless. If the information compiled by this investigation holds up (and there is at present no reason to doubt it) it is a confirmation of one more of the explosive claims of the Steele Dossier, and is virtually smoking gun proof of treason on the part of the Trump campaign.
This incident is strikingly similar to the treachery of the Reagan incident, so I thought it would be interesting to provide this excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article recounting it:
"The Reagan administration and Republicans always denied that they had any back-door negotiations with Ayatollah Khomeini's revolutionary regime during the Iran hostage crisis. Specifically, they denied that Reagan's campaign manager, William J. Casey, traveled surreptitiously to Madrid in the summer of 1980 to meet with a representative of the ayatollah, and to suggest that it might be in Iran's interest to stall the negotiations over the release of the American hostages. Casey allegedly intimated that a Reagan administration would resume arms sales to the Iranians. These allegations seemed too outrageous, too outlandish to be believed...
...we now know that Casey took time off from his campaign duties sometime in the summer of 1980 to visit Madrid. For "purposes unknown...
...it is now reasonable to conclude that Casey did something. The Iranians dragged out the negotiations over the release of the hostages. President Carter believed these negotiations were nearly successful in late September 1980, but suddenly new demands were made that stalled the talks. Polls showed Carter within single digits of catching Reagan until about 10 days before the election. Carter lost decisively, and the hostages were inexplicably released minutes after Reagan was sworn in as president... In retrospect, this was the beginning of the scandal that broke in 1987, when it became known that the Reagan administration had been exchanging weapons for hostages."
Shortly after this incident, Casey developed a bizarre case of "brain cancer" the main symptoms of which were to render him unable to either speak or write, thereby making it impossible for him to be deposed. He eventually died, without ever regaining these allegedly lost abilities.
And before moving on, let me just mention that the campaign of Richard Nixon made deals with our Vietnamese partners to prevent progress toward a peace agreement, with the same treasonous intent:
"Nixon’s Vietnam Treachery...Nixon insisted that he had not sabotaged Johnson’s 1968 peace initiative to bring the war in Vietnam to an early conclusion. “My God. I would never do anything to encourage” South Vietnam “not to come to the table,” Nixon told (President Lyndon) Johnson...Now we know Nixon lied. A newfound cache of notes left by H. R. Haldeman, his closest aide, shows that Nixon directed his campaign’s efforts to scuttle the peace talks, which he feared could give his opponent, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, an edge in the 1968 election. On Oct. 22, 1968, he ordered Haldeman to “monkey wrench” the initiative."
In other words, Trump's treasonous action to gain the White House was not an anomaly in Republican politics, but at least the third specimen of clear treason carried out to rig Presidential elections. Three Republican Presidents in the last half century have been illegitimate, elected via a campaign of treason. And their reigns have caused massive damage to the United States. That is the reality we live with in this nation today.
It must be made clear that Donald Trump is not some sort of diseased growth on the body of Republicanism; his behavior is completely in keeping with the standard operating procedures of this anti-American, terminally corrupt organization. Only its total elimination can provide hope of our rejoining the ranks of decent nations.
A slight addition to my comments: It occurred to me that I should have pointed out that there is no evidence in all of our history of a Democratic Presidential candidate ever engaging in treachery that comes even close to these three examples. One more example to demonstrate the maliciousness of the standard argument that both parties are the same.