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Maddow explains how Cohen testimony could give prosecutors leverage to ‘negotiate’ a deal where Trump resigns from office

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday explained why Michael Cohen’s scheduled public testimony on Wednesday could give federal prosecutors the leverage necessary to negotiate Donald Trump resigning from office.

“Michael Cohen, of course, has pled guilty to nine felony charges including lying to Congress and two campaign finance felonies in which he and federal prosecutors told the federal judge overseeing Cohen’s case it wasn’t just Cohen that committed those felonies, the president himself was also implicated in them,” Maddow reminded.

“The anticipation for what Cohen will say in this open hearing tomorrow has been stoked all day today by multiple news agencies reporting that Cohen is basically bringing a dump truck with him to describe his years of dealings with President Trump and the Trump Organization,” she explained.

“We’re told Cohen is prepared to testify in matters touching on everything from the president’s personal behavior, to the way the president has filed — or not filed — his taxes, to alleged criminal behavior by the president during the time he has been president,” she continued.

“And on that last point, which I think is maybe more important than we are ready for heading into that testimony tomorrow, apparently Cohen is prepared to bring documents tomorrow to Congress that specifically relate to the campaign finance felonies for which Michael Cohen is about to go to prison,” she noted.

Maddow noted The Wall Street Journal is reporting Trump cut “hush money” checks while in office.

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“If this Wall Street Journal report tonight is correct and Michael Cohen is in fact going to hand over financial documentary evidence tomorrow of the president’s involvement in that illegal campaign finance scheme — which Cohen has pled guilty to already,” she explained. “I mean, think about it, this is already a case where federal prosecutors right now are butting up against this idea that a president has nothing to fear from the criminal law.”

Maddow noted the benefits to prosecutors of using a sealed indictment.

“First, it would effectively stop the clock on any statute of limitations and crimes committed by the president,” she noted. “That would make it so the president couldn’t use his de facto immunity from prosecution while he’s serving in office to run out the clock on the statute of the limitations for any of his crimes.”

“Of course, the second major benefit to prosecutors, if they brought a potential sealed indictment against the president, is that that could set the stage for negotiations of the same kind that the Justice Department entered into with Spiro Agnew in 1973,” she noted.

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Maddow noted Trump could, “trade away his resignation — just like Agnew did, in exchange for prosecutors making some or all of the charges go away.”

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LISTEN: Here’s the creepy broadcast at Trump’s rally telling supporters the right way to deal with protesters

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign in Orlando, Florida.

Those who entered the venue were treated to a pleasant female voice booming out instructions to protestors — and a creepy warning.

"While we all have the rights to free speech, this is a private event paid for and hosted by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and you came to hear the president," said the voice. "To accommodate the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, while ensuring an orderly rally, we have provided a secure area outside the venue for all protesters, and we ask anyone wishing to demonstrate to please exit to that secure area."

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Ukrainian-Russian developer with Trump Tower Moscow ties suing after getting bilked for $200,000 at inauguration

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It is illegal for foreigners to donate to presidential inaugurations, but a new lawsuit sheds light on how wealthy foreigners attempted to buy access to the Trump administration.

"A Ukrainian-Russian developer who wanted access to President Trump’s inauguration filed a lawsuit on Tuesday saying he was bilked out of the $200,000 he paid for what he thought would be V.I.P. tickets to the event," The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"The developer, Pavel Fuks, who once discussed a Moscow real estate project with Mr. Trump, said in the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, that he had paid the money to a firm at the direction of Yuri Vanetik, a prominent Republican fund-raiser and sometime lobbyist," the newspaper explained. "But, the lawsuit said, Mr. Vanetik failed to come through with the promised tickets, and Mr. Fuks ended up watching the inauguration from a Washington hotel bar."

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Indicted Republican gets his passport back — so he can leave the country prior to his bribery trial

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Despite being indicted and waiting to stand trial, a North Carolina judge returned the passport of a top Republican and is allowing him to leave the country.

Former North Carolina GOP Chair Robin Hayes spent a decade in Congress and was once the Republican nominee for governor.

In April, Hayes was indicted on bribery and wire fraud charges.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, a federal judge will temporarily return Hayes' passport for him to travel abroad in July, WSCO-TV correspondent Joe Bruno reported on Tuesday.

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