by Ian Millhiser // Think Progress
Federal prosecutors filed a raft of court documents on Friday involving former Trump consiglieri Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. The biggest revelation in these documents is that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan now believes that Donald Trump himself committed criminal violations of the law.
The crucial words here are “acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.” The same document identifies “Individual-1” as someone who Cohen used to work for and who “began an ultimately successful campaign for the President of the United States,” so there’s no question who this term refers to. And, if Trump directed Cohen to commit criminal activity, then Trump is also implicated in those crimes and subject to prosecution.
So that’s the good news for anyone hoping to see Trump perp-walked across their television screen some day. The bad news is that the likelihood that Trump will experience any consequences for his actions — even if there is ironclad proof that Trump committed very serious crimes — is close to zero so long as Trump occupies the White House.
Simply put, the framers of our Constitution had no idea how politics actually work. And that left us with a Constitution that offers no good remedies against a criminal president.