Trump's presidency on a cliffhanger as Manafort and Cohen both guity of multiple fraud charges
Culled from CNN
It was like binge-watching history as two of the President's men went down, CNN reported.
A twisting saga of intertwined legal plots and human drama dripping with hubris, vengeance, betrayal and defiance suddenly combined Tuesday in a frenetic, barely believable burst that left Donald Trump's presidency stained by a tide of crime and corruption.
Michael Cohen, the Trump clan's attack dog, and Paul Manafort, the ultimate Washington swamp creature with the ostrich skin jacket, paid dearly for their association with their former boss in near-simultaneous convictions that will mean years in jail.
Scroll down for video
Trump's riotous, rule-breaking political career is often compared to the voyeurism of a reality show -- a perfect forum for his spinning of alternative truths and narratives.
But Tuesday's theater -- unfolding in courtrooms about 240 miles apart -- was more like the compelling denouement of a slow-building Netflix drama that came together in frenetic, shocking final moments that made their own statement: Truth and facts still matter in America.
Like all good season finales, this surreal cliffhanger tied up some plots but unleashed deeper, more consequential intrigues to tee up more compelling sequels to come. And that may evolve into existential questions for the Trump presidency itself.
For at the end of an afternoon that rocked Washington to its core, the President himself stood accused, under oath -- by his former lawyer, who once vowed to take a bullet for his boss but has now turned a smoking gun directly at him -- of conspiring in and directing a crime.
Tuesday dawned like every other day of the Trump presidency in a flurry of tweets and speculation about Russian election meddling.
There was little sign of the drama to come.
In Alexandria, Virginia, court reporters filled out crosswords and played cards as the Manafort jury ground out a fourth day of deliberations.
In New York, no one expected Cohen's case to suddenly converge with the fate of the former Trump campaign chairman in such a disastrous way for the White House, though reports over the weekend had said charges were likely in his proceeding by month's end.
The first smoke that became a raging legal inferno emerged at 11 a.m., when Manafort jurors sent Judge T.S. Ellis a note. They asked what to do if they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on a single count. Ellis sent them back to their room to try to thrash it out, but it was clear: Manafort's fate was close to being resolved.
But the momentousness of the day began to take shape as sources revealed that Cohen was in talks with prosecutors on a plea deal.
Suddenly, the possibility of dual Trump-related legal dramas playing out at once looked likely as speculation washed across the split screens of news channels showing the doors of court buildings in New York and Alexandria.
By 2:30 p.m., Cohen had surrendered to the FBI. His plea agreement was a done deal and he was soon in court, in a dark suit, white shirt and gold tie.
He had center stage for only a few moments before the nation's necks twisted back to Alexandria, after Manafort attorney Kevin Downing walked into the courthouse telling reporters, "It's a note."
Fueling the drama, the President's motorcade cruised up to the 757 version of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, where he took off for the embrace of Trump-loving West Virginia on what was rapidly becoming a disastrous day.
Scroll down for video
Down below, the Manafort jury had hit a brick wall and announced it had reached verdicts on eight counts but deadlocked on the others. Ellis resolved to talk to jurors individually, raising expectations that their travails might stretch into Wednesday.
But living up to his reputation for running a "rocket docket," the judge decided swiftly to accept a partial verdict, declaring a mistrial on the 10 unresolved charges, and Manafort's moment of destiny was suddenly at hand.
Reporters racing out of the courtroom -- where cellphones and computers are not allowed -- broke the news that Manafort had been found guilty on one count -- before similar verdicts on another seven were quickly confirmed.
As Ellis explained the verdict to Manafort, the man once known as one of the smoothest operators in politics looked on impassively. Some jurors looked him in the eye. One member appeared visibly upset as the jury left the courtroom for the final time. After a combative duel, prosecutors and defense lawyers exchanged handshakes.
And a grim-faced Manafort nodded at his wife of 40 years, Kathleen, as he was led away.
My view: Trump's lies coming home to roost as the 'p***y' grabber is accused of asking his former lawyer to commit crime, which means that the president himself is a corrupt criminal and a shameless fraud. The big question is, what kind of president has two of his former righthand men guilty of multiple fraud offences?, well the answer is very clear, that person is the scammer and a rogue who is still in the White House - the dishonest, deplorable and a "shithole" Trump who sold his soul and his country to Putin, just the two of them and a Russian translator in a dark room at Helsinki and now Karma is slowly knocking at his corrupt Trump Tower door.