Only someone as blindly devoted to covering up for Donald Trump as Sean Hannity would think that yesterday’s court filings about Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort had nothing ominous about Trump, Russia or Russia collusion in them.
From Hannity's monologue:
HANNITY: Breaking news in the opening monologue. ... We have major developments tonight from the Mueller witch hunt. Here’s what you need to know. First, the special counsel’s memo on Paul Manafort is out. It’s heavily redacted. We know, however, that Robert Mueller believes that Paul Manafort breached his plea deal and lied to investigators, all surrounding alleged crimes, none of which have anything to do with President Trump, none of which have to do with Russia or anything to do with collusion.
FACT CHECK: Yes, the Manafort memo definitely has to do with Russia and collusion. The memo states that Manafort, Trump’s former campaign head, lied about interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, described by Manafort as his “Russian brain” and believed by Mueller and others to have ties to Russian intelligence. Much of the information about Kilimnik in the memo has been redacted so we don’t know all that the Mueller team knows. But we do know that, despite claiming otherwise, Manafort continued to communicate with the Trump administration as recently as February, 2018, despite claiming he had not. Unless Hannity thinks those communications merely had to do with kids’ soccer games or what to binge watch on Netflix, he has to know that those are not good looks for Bedtime Bestie Trump.
But, like the True Trump Footsoldier that he is, Hannity suggested that the bad news in the Manafort document is really about Hillary Clinton!
HANNITY: Instead, a source with knowledge of the investigation tonight telling Fox News that much of the redacted information likely includes potential criminal allegations, we're told, against Tony Podesta. That would be John Podesta's brother. John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chair.
Then Hannity got to the two Michael Cohen sentencing memos, which were more directly damaging to Trump than the Manafort memo, so far as what has been made public.
HANNITY: Also breaking today, two separate sentencing memos were filed against Michael Cohen. First, the Southern District of New York completely rejecting Cohen's pleas for leniency, writing that a substantial term of imprisonment is warranted ... The memo says Cohen's decision to plead guilty rather than seek a pardon for his crimes does not make him a hero. In exchange for Cohen's guilty plea, the prosecutors recommended only a slight reduction to the suggested five-year sentence.
Let's be clear, the one thing that these two filings have in common: nothing to do with Russia or collusion at all. Zero evidence in any of these documents of Trump/Russia collusion, zero.
The president applauded the ruling. He tweeted, "Totally clears the president. Thank you." The president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called these findings "complete exoneration of the president. They have nothing. We're happy about it."
The president and Giuliani are right about this.
FACT CHECK: As one of Fox News’ own “all stars” noted earlier on the Special Report show, the sentencing memo from the Southern District of New York alleges that Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. The Lawfare blog notes that the SDNY, states that Trump “coordinated and directed a surrogate to commit a campaign finance violation punishable with time in prison.” Lawfare also noted that this is not necessarily a violation of statute given that the memo does not state that Trump “knowingly and willfully” violated the law, as is required by the statute. But, Lawfare added, “this is the first time that the government has alleged in its own voice that President Trump is personally involved in what it considers to be federal offenses.”
In other words, it’s nothing close to an exoneration of Trump.
There’s also plenty for Trump to worry about with regard to Russia. As Vox explained, Mueller’s Cohen memo reveals that Cohen is providing the special counsel with “useful” and “credible” information about Russia, Trump, the Trump Organization, and the Trump White House.
But Hannity continued telling his viewers (with Fox’s apparent approval) that the only real victims are the people who have already plead guilty: Manafort, Michael Flynn (who has also been “substantially assisting” the government and George Papadopoulos (who admitted to meeting with someone with “substantial” connections to Russian government officials and also to discussing “dirt” on Hillary Clinton and her emails).
But, hey, maybe collaborating with Russians is Hannity’s idea of being a great American, at least so long as it’s in his interest to lash himself to Trump. He concluded this 12-minute stream of BS with a lengthy attack on Clinton and suggestions that she is the one that should be under investigation.
Watch Hannity prove just how much he’s willing to cover up a criminal conspiracy and evidence of collusion with a foreign enemy so long as it benefits him personally and politically below, from the December 7, 2018 Hannity.
I want the goobers to be shocked….shocked, I tells ya!