While the politicians and many of the pundits on the right were testing out their new catchphrase, "process crime" on your crazy right-wing Uncle Liberty, Fox was also testing another one. To minimize the damage for Trump following Michael Cohen's plea deal with Robert Mueller, John Lauro tried out the term, "jaywalking."
Here's Neil Cavuto and former federal prosecutor, John Lauro, telling everyone that lying to Congress is no big deal, and just move on along, there's nothing to see here with Trump and his dealings in Moscow.
CAVUTO: We're hearing folks saying at the very least this drags on awhile. Does it?
LAURO: It does. But I have a completely different read on it. I was shocked by how inconsequential this charge is. It has nothing to do with Russian collusion, nothing to do with people in the campaign, aware of things going wrong with Russia. In fact, this is the equivalent of jaywalking under a federal statute, a federal prosecution. So I'm quite shocked at how little Mueller has.
One other thing that is worth mentioning, under Department of Justice policy, you have to plea to the most serious charge that the government is aware of. If Mueller had the goods on something in the campaign linking Cohen to some kind of Russian involvement, then he would have had to plead guilty to that. The fact that he did not, and he simply plead guilty to lying to Congress says a lot, mostly about what Mueller does not have in the investigation.
CAVUTO: It's a very good point, because what is also revealed here is this so-called Trump Tower that was going to be built in Moscow, never was. Getting Donald Trump to go to Moscow to try to close the deal with Cohen never happened. So it would appear at just a surface level that there's no there, there, but am I missing something?
LAURO: No. In fact that's what I was shocked about. You know in the business world, Neil, these are complicated transactions, and in face, nothing ever happened with the tower. There was on an initial letter of intent discussing the possibility of a deal. There were no contracts signed, no property identified, no marketing agreements, nothing.↓ Story continues below ↓
So what Cohen lied about was a big zero. The conduct itself underlying what was going on is not illegal. The fact that Trump as a private citizen running for president, wanted to build a tower in Russia is not illegal.
The fact that Cohen lied about it to Congress is incomprehensible to me. Maybe he thought he was acting out of some loyalty to Trump, apparently, but once again, it has nothing to do with Russian interference in the election.
Now, people will make a big deal out of it because it's Michael Cohen, but in terms of what the special prosecutor is charged with, looking at Russian interference in the election, this is a big fat zero.
In fact, what it tells me is that he doesn't have anything substantive information implicating anyone at a high level in criminal activity linked to the Russians.
Minimizing the charges says nothing about Cohen's guilty plea and cooperation agreement. How much longer can Fox News bail water out of Trump's sinking ship? We're about to find out.