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Trump: 'I Never Directed Michael Cohen to Break the Law'

Trump: 'I Never Directed Michael Cohen to Break the Law'
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By    |   Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:25 AM

President Donald Trump spoke out on Twitter Thursday in the wake of his former private lawyer's sentencing to insist that he "never directed Michael Cohen to break the law" and accused the lawyer of trying to "embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence."

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes, including hush money payments to women ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

"He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law," Trump wrote. "It is called 'advice of counsel,' and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly......"

He continued in a second tweet:

"....stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not..."

Trump concluded:

"....guilty even on a civil basis. Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!"

Trump has gone from denying knowledge of the payments to saying they would have been private transactions that weren't illegal. Prosecutors have implicated Trump in a crime, but haven't directly accused him of one.

Cohen' lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Wednesday that he is willing to reveal publicly what he knows about Trump once Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is finished.

The special counsel’s team interviewed Cohen for about 70 hours, but little is known about what he shared. Cohen has admitted to lying to Congress and Mueller’s investigators about the timing of a proposed Trump tower in Moscow and Trump’s involvement in the project. Davis said that false testimony was shared with the White House before Cohen submitted it to Congress and it is possible Trump was aware at the time that Cohen would make false statements.

Cohen pleaded guilty in New York in August, saying that “Individual-1” (widely identified as Trump) schemed to silence two women about affairs with the Republican candidate before the 2016 election. Cohen acknowledged that such payments amounted to illegal campaign donations — and said he arranged for them at Trump’s behest.

It was also revealed in court filings Wednesday related to Cohen that at least one unidentified aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign joined the attorney in an August 2015 meeting with the publisher of the National Enquirer to discuss suppressing negative news stories during the election.

Material from Reuters, Bloomberg News, and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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President Donald Trump spoke out on Twitter Thursday in the wake of his former private lawyer's sentencing to insist that he "never directed Michael Cohen to break the law" and accused the lawyer of trying to "embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison...
trump, michael cohen, twitter
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2018-25-13
Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:25 AM
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