Cohen Says Trump Is Lying About Russia Investigation
Dec 15, 2018, 01:15
US President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been sentenced for crimes including those he committed to help his boss win the presidency, and Trump has denied that he had directed Cohen to break the law. The arrangements got made, Cohen says, right after the Billy Bush-Access Hollywood-"grab 'em by the p****" tape emerged.
Cohen talked about the campaign finance violations he pleaded guilty to, and which he said was done at Trump's direction.
Asked if then-candidate Mr Trump knew the payments were wrong, Cohentold ABC's Good Morning America program: "Of course".
"It is called 'advice of counsel, ' and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made", tweeted Trump. That is why they get paid.
The raid was overseen by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan and arose from a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference and potential co-ordination with the Trump campaign.
Cohen admitted to charges brought by federal prosecutors in NY of tax evasion, providing false statements to a bank and illegal campaign contributions.
Asked point blank whether he believed Trump was telling the truth about the probe, Cohen simply said "no".
In his ABC interview, Cohen rejected those accusations, saying they're "absolutely not true".
Politically, Trump's shifting claims could harm his credibility with voters, but legally they may not make much of a difference. He said he lied out of devotion to Trump, who had insisted during the campaign that he had no business ties whatsoever to Russian Federation.
Trump's presence at the discussion potentially undercuts his defense that the payments were a private matter unrelated to the campaign as well as his position that he didn't knowingly and willingly violate campaign finance laws, according to Levinson. Saying he accepted full responsibility for his crimes, Cohen described the burden of his role as Trump's "fixer": "It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds".
He said he's surprised by Trump's argument that Cohen was acting on his own. "Under no circumstances do I want to embarrass the president of the United States of America".
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Neither Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Cohen, nor Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump, immediately responded to requests for comment. More importantly, if prosecutors take the position that hush-money payments made to protect a person's reputation and family should be deemed campaign related expenditures (because they might affect an election), the precedent could be very problematic and far-reaching. "There's a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth".
It is alleged that the National Enquirer, owned by AMI, which is chaired by David Pecker, went along with buying the silence of women who might come forward and allege affairs with Trump. Russian Federation has denied US allegations of interfering in the election to help Trump.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Friday that reporters were "giving credence to a convicted criminal".
Cohen said he had a lot of "fun" working for the Trump organization, but that's over now and Trump has become "a very different individual".
In addition to life behind bars, the former Trump confidant is also subject to forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and fines totaling $100,000.
In a separate case on Thursday, Russian Maria Butina admitted she conspired to infiltrate USA conservative groups during the 2016 presidential campaign and surreptitiously influence policy.
Chinese state media have argued that the United States was abusing the law to hurt Huawei's worldwide reputation. The companies all declined to comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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