The president’s men are guilty. How bad is it for Trump?

Trump speaks to reporters in West Virginia

Conjecture about a presidential pardon picked up steam in the hours following Cohen's guilty plea Tuesday, in which he implicated President Trump in unlawful campaign contributions.

"He has lost control over Manafort", referring to Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager who was convicted of eight counts related to financial fraud on Tuesday.

Trump's former lawyer is on a fast track to being disbarred in NY following his guilty plea Tuesday on 8 federal counts, including tax evasion and campaign law violations. according to a source familiar with the process.

In a morning tweet, Mr Trump said, "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family".

"Such respect for a fearless man!"

Trump's reaction to Paul Manafort's legal woes was markedly different.

Prosecutors said the payments, created to influence the election by keeping the women's stories out of the public eye, amounted to an illegal and unreported campaign contribution. Although Manafort left Trump's campaign a couple of months before Election Day, it's still an embarrassment to be associated with him, as Trump invariably is.

"A good prosecution is like rolling out a good tube of toothpaste", says Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor turned criminal defence lawyer at NY firm Rottenberg Lipman Rich.

Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis told CBS News that his client had information about election tampering efforts during the 2016 campaign that would be "of interest to the special counsel". "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen", he said. "We will disclose it all to the public".

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"In Cohen's case, because they had him over a barrel, because they had all these crimes that they could prosecute him for, they got him to sign a plea that was not negotiated, it was take it or leave it, and he signed it to save his own hide and get a reduced sentence", Schlapp said. "It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time", he said.

It also increases pressure on Trump personally. Republicans already face tough battles as they seek to keep majorities in the House and Senate in the November mid-term elections. "Witch Hunt!" Trump tweeted.

"Where is the collusion?"

Democratic senators cautioned Trump that pardoning one or both of his former aides would beg serious consequences, thought it's unclear what kind of material threat they could mount without Republican support. "So if there is a conversation and a plan for there to be dirt on Hillary Clinton, and then someone knows the way you're willing to get the dirt is a Russian agent called WikiLeaks ... and then WikiLeaks hacks into an email account, which is a crime, then you have committed a crime of conspiracy".

The first case is potentially more serious for the president.

Trump didn't address the dual court dramas as he appeared at a rally in West Virginia on Tuesday night.

And while Cohen's plea agreement does not include a provision about cooperating with prosecutors, it also doesn't preclude that possibility in the future.

One could argue that it was his worst day, since at least the day that preceded it - in other words, that each concurring day that Trump is in office is a progressively worse version of his presidency because of the cumulative gaffes, lies, and terrible policy decisions he's put forth up to this point.

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