Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen testifies Trump told him to commit a crime

by Wade Massey August 23, 2018, 0:30
Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen testifies Trump told him to commit a crime

A more serious potential legal development for Trump is his former lawyer, Cohen, telling a federal judge earlier Tuesday in New York City that he made hush money payments to two women "for the principal goal of influencing the election" of Trump and that the presidential candidate ordered him to do so.

The criminal cases against both Cohen and Manafort continue to give credence to Mueller's investigation, which Trump has repeatedly referred to as "rigged" or a "witch hunt".

The president went on: "Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime".

He said the allegation that Trump asked Cohen to facilitate "hush money" payments to women the then-mogul allegedly had affairs with is not illegal, even if the subject is a political candidate.

Cohen's plea did not include an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors, but Davis, on Twitter, said he "would tell the truth about Donald Trump".

Ross Garber, a lawyer who has represented four Republican governors in impeachment proceedings, said Cohen's statement "dramatically increases the likelihood that, were Democrats to take control of the House in the midterms, they would begin an impeachment investigation".

Later Wednesday, Trump told Fox News that the payments "didn't come out of the campaign".

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

In April, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's New York City home and office.

The president said the two payments - which totalled $280,000 - "came from me" and noted a May tweet in which he acknowledged paying Cohen a monthly retainer to stop "false and extortionist accusations".

Trump's name didn't come up in the federal courtroom in Manhattan, but Cohen said he had paid two women, apparently porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, "at the direction" of an unidentified candidate in 2016, and that a $150,000 payment in August 2016 was for the "principal goal of influencing" the 2016 presidential election.

51-year-old Cohen had previously said he would "take a bullet" for President Trump, faced with a jail sentence from the NY courthouse between three and six years his resolution has melted.

Previously, Cohen said he paid off Trump's mistress Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket. "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!"

Reporter: Can you say the President has never lied to the American people? The other for $150 000 related to former Playboy model Karen McDougal. It made him question the president's loyalty.

Mr Trump tweeted he felt "very badly" for Mr Manafort, who was found guilty on Tuesday of bank and tax fraud.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG has said it had paid Cohen almost $1.2 million in a consulting deal; USA telecommunications company AT&T Inc. said it made payments of $600,000; and South Korea's Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. said it hired him for $150,000.

Sentencing will be delayed until the prosecution determines whether they wish to pursue a retrial for the remaining 10 counts, or accept the eight guilty verdicts and call it a day.


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