Trump 'strongly suggests' anyone needing a lawyer pass on Cohen

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But he did not mention Trump or offer any indication that his office planned to pursue action against the president.

Updated 3:01 p.m. | Donald Trump has broken his silence about campaign finance violations his former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to Tuesday.

Manafort, who ran Trump's 2016 election campaign for three pivotal months, is likely to be sentenced to years, if not decades, of prison time after his conviction on eight fraud charges.

Cohen told a judge that he directed the payments "for the principal objective of influencing the election" and "in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" - a reference to Trump. Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal objective of influencing an election.

Also on Twitter and in the Fox News interview, Trump falsely claimed that Cohen had admitted guilt to two counts of campaign finance violations that are "not a crime" - they are, in fact, felonies.

In one case, a Virginia jury found Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, guilty of tax evasion and bank fraud. As long as Republicans maintain congressional majorities beholden to a Trump-loyal voter base, it's unlikely that we'll see much of a response from the GOP. But veteran federal prosecutors say the eight convictions for financial crimes validate the special counsel established to investigate ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Dershowitz started by calling out pundits who claim Cohen's implicating Trump in the hush money payout makes the president an unindicted co-conspirator in Cohen's crime, noting they are just wrong "as a matter of basic criminal law".

In August 2016, McDougal was paid $150,000 by American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, for the rights to her story, which the company then shelved.

Davis raised eyebrows on that front on Tuesday night, saying during an interview on MSNBC that Cohen has knowledge "of interest" to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing the Russian interference and whether there was coordination between Russia and Trump's campaign.

In that inteview, as he did during several TV appearances, Davis encouraged donations to Cohen's new "Truth Fund", which has been set up on the GoFundMe website.

Daniel Petalas, former prosecutor in the Justice Department's public integrity section, said the issue of whether Trump violated the law comes down to whether Trump "tried to influence an election, whether he knew and directed it and whether he knew it was improper".

He added that in order to criminalize an illegal campaign contribution, which is normally a civil penalty, prosecutors have to show willful and knowing violation of campaign finance laws. I tweeted about it. "Justice" took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.' Such respect for a fearless man!

Trump defended Manafort, praising him in another tweet as "a courageous man".

Specifically, he said Cohen was willing to provide the special counsel Robert Mueller with evidence that Trump worked with Russian Federation to sway the election.

The White House insisted Trump was not concerned "at all" that Cohen might implicate the U.S. president by cooperating with Mueller. Democrats are eagerly anticipating gaining subpoena power over the White House - and many are openly discussing the possibility of impeaching Trump - should they retake control of the House in November's midterm elections.

His comments contradict a statement made earlier by Cohen under oath in which he said the president had instructed him to make the payments. Look, they're not interested in Cohen, they're interested in Trump...

The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice and guidance to executive branch agencies, has held that a sitting president can not be indicted. "It's a witch hunt and it's a disgrace".

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