We knew this already — and we knew that Trump lied about it, claiming not to know about the payments — but this says that prosecutors believe that Trump ordered Cohen to commit a crime.
That brings us to the second document that dropped at the same time, from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office. In contrast to the New York prosecutors, Mueller states that Cohen’s cooperation in his investigation was substantial and helpful. But much of what Mueller has to say is vague. For instance:
Cohen provided the [special counsel’s office] with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with [Trump Organization] executives during the campaign.
What does that refer to? We don’t know. That means that there is more to this story that Mueller has yet to reveal.
And he will reveal it. One of the remarkable things about the discussion we've been having lately is that the president still seems to think that he can be saved from whatever this investigation uncovers. He just announced that William Barr will be his next attorney general, and the New York Times reported that in private, "Mr. Trump has also repeatedly asked whether the next pick would recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia in its interference in the 2016 election." It's as though he thinks this investigation is in its early stages and can be quashed by a properly loyal underling.
But at this point it doesn't matter. It's far too late. Trump's former aides have cooperated, they've conducted their interviews with the special counsel, they're being sentenced, the documents have been reviewed, the connections have been traced, and the full picture is soon to be revealed.
This scandal can’t be hidden away. Republicans in Congress can’t save Trump, his attorney general can’t save him, and no amount of desperate tweets can save him. Accountability is on its way, and it’s arriving very soon.