Part of the reason is that this revelation that Cohen helped broker a deal on a Trump Tower Moscow — and then criminally tried to cover it up out of ‘loyalty’ to Trump — comes after Trump has submitted answers to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
If Cohen’s answers differ greatly from Trump’s and Mueller has independent corroboration of Cohen’s version of events – the results could be devastating for Trump.
Cohen’s plea says he specifically discussed the ongoing project with Trump during the election so it would be difficult for the president to claim ignorance.
‘In other words, both Cohen and Trump tried to disguise the extent of Trump’s ties with Russia – which in the context of the campaign may have been part of a conspiracy to help get him elected’ Rubin wrote.
And unlike Paul Manafort – Rubin noted – Cohen appears to be a genuine cooperator with Mueller — he has no dubious backchannel to Trump.
She also argued that Trump’s decision to cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin just after Cohen’s revelations suggests he’s ‘conducting foreign policy to avoid implicating himself in wrongdoing’.
Perhaps most devastating for Trump however is as Rubin argued – even without speculating about any other unknown facts – if Cohen’s plea is true it could partly justify impeachment on its own.
This is because Trump lied about his relationship with Russia to win the election.
He said over and over that he had no ties and no deals with Russia.
It now seems obvious that that was not true and he knew it.