Courtesy of Courthouse News

When the first batch of Michael Cohen search-warrant materials became public, the files disclosed evidence that President Trump’s former fixer secretly worked for a foreign government.

The new materials released on Thursday proved no less significant, detailing the actions Cohen took after the release of the “Access Hollywood” video threatened to derail Trump’s campaign. Within days of the release, according to the warrants, Cohen exchanged a “series of calls, text messages and emails” with Trump; his then-press secretary Hope Hicks; the National Enquirer’s David Pecker; and Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Keith Davidson.

Detailing Cohen’s illegal hush-money payments to two women, the unsealed pages dispensed with the veiling of “Individual-1.”

“As set forth below, there is probable cause to believe that Cohen made an excessive in-kind contribution to the presidential election campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump in the form of a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, an individual who was rumored to have had an extramarital affair with Trump, in exchange for her agreement not to disclose the alleged affair,” the document states.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ordered the release of the information a day earlier, rejecting the government’s request to protect the privacy interests of third parties.

“The campaign finance violations discussed in the materials are a matter of national importance,” Pauley wrote. “Now that the government’s investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize the materials.”

Nice to see that we still have good competent judges on the job. 

Well, we already knew that Trump lied about his knowledge of, and participation with these hush payments to Stormy Daniels. 

However Hope Hicks participation is an added wrinkle. 

Yesterday Rachel Maddow suggested that the reason this case is now considered closed, and that no further charges will be filed against Trump or members of the Trump Organization who provided the money that Cohen used to pay Daniels, is directly related to the appointment of Bill Barr who likely applied pressure to have this whole thing shut down. 

We will likely never have confirmation of that fact, but it seems beyond odd that this case would end so abruptly.