We’ve reached the Fifth Amendment stage of Donald Trump’s demise


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Al Pacino once played a grizzled football coach who thought he’d seen it all, only to have his third string quarterback vomit all over the field before taking a snap, prompting Pacino to mutter “That’s a first.” It’s pretty much the reaction that seasoned political observers have whenever Donald Trump finds yet another way to reach a new low (both the disbelief and the vomiting). This time around things have gotten so ugly that Trump’s attorney just pleaded the Fifth Amendment. To be clear, the attorney wasn’t entering the plea on Trump’s behalf. The attorney himself is pleading the Fifth.

Michael Cohen, whose status as Trump’s “attorney” is roughly as legitimate as Trump’s status as the “president,” pleaded the Fifth today in the civil trial centered around his payoff to Trump’s mistress Stormy Daniels. Cohen is afraid that if he admits to his actions in civil court, it’ll make it easier for prosecutors to nail him in criminal court. He’s right about that.

It’s a classic no-win situation for Cohen. Pleading the Fifth probably means he’s going to lose the lawsuit, which could cost him a lot of money, at a time when Vanity Fair says he’s already crying to his friends about his legal bills. But the larger story here is that it makes Trump look so bad.

The court of public opinion will conclude that Donald Trump is so guilty, even his attorney is having to plead the Fifth. Trump has already had one frantic and borderline maniacal meltdown about the deteriorating Cohen situation. He knows how bad it is for him – and it just got a whole lot worse.

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