Faced with a growing threat to his presidency, President Donald Trump struck a blow against his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, one day after the previous fixer, where Trump became involved in a campaign to silence women to buy that said they had sexual relations with him.
Two men who used to be very close to Mr Trump were found guilty of fraud and violating the law on campaign financing.
Source: 1 NEWS
Trump accused Cohen today of coming up with "stories to get a deal" from federal prosecutors, Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations that the lawyer said he had carried out in collaboration with Trump.
"If someone is looking for a good lawyer, I strongly advise you not to keep Michael Cohen's services!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.
In a split screen for the history books, Cohen's confession came to the crimes in the federal court in New York yesterday at almost the same time that former Trump campaign president, Paul Manafort, was convicted by a jury in Virginia for financial crimes . Manafort is standing in the District of Columbia in September for various charges, including acting as a foreign agent.
The back-to-back setbacks stemmed from the work of Robert Tilman, who investigates Russia's attempts to defeat voters in the 2016 elections, including hacking e-mails from Democrats, or the Trump campaign perhaps cooperated and whether the president himself hindered justice in investigating both.
Trump has re-indicted the probe on Twitter as a "witch hunt & # 39;" Wednesday.
Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said this morning that Cohen has information "that might be interesting" for the special counselor. Davis said that Cohen is not looking for a presidential pardon.
"My observation is that the topics related to hacking and the crime of hacking … that there are subjects that could appeal to Michael Cohen are interesting for the special counsel," said Davis in a series of TV interviews.
Mr. Cohen is accused of tax fraud and campaign financing violations.
Trump quickly weighed up on Twitter, took his chance on Cohen and praised Manafort and said he has "such a respect for a brave man!"
Manafort, according to Trump, had enormous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to & # 39; break & # 39 ;. "
But there is no doubt that the recognition by Cohen of a coordinated payout arrangement puts the Trump chair on the defensive.
"It will be difficult for the president to discredit all of this, it's all about him," said David Weinstein, a former federal public prosecutor who is not involved in the case.
Cohen and Manafort played a prominent role in the political advance of Trump in 2016.
The former campaign chairman was convicted today by a special counselor who investigates Russian interference.
Source: Associated Press
Cohen once said that he would hit a bullet for Trump, and was intimately familiar with Trump's personal, business and political intercourse for more than a decade. Cohen released a sneaky recorded audio from Trump in which a payout via a third was discussed with Karen McDougal, who said she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.
Cohen initially denied payments to the women – McDougal and actress Stormy Daniels for adults – or that Trump had some knowledge of it. But he changed his story when the prosecutors closed. Davis, his lawyer, told CNN Wednesday of Cohen: "There has been an evolution in his loyalty to Donald Trump."
Payments to women can be considered as an illegal campaign release if the money was clearly intended to influence the 2016 elections.
Trump has acted differently on Twitter by saying: "Michael Cohen pleads (guilty) guilty of two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime."
He also complained that "President Obama had a major campaign financing violation and could easily be solved!" Trump apparently referred to a fine on the campaign of the former president of 2008 about missing and delayed disclosure of high-dollar donors in the last days of that race.
In a deal with federal prosecutors, Cohen pleaded guilty of eight counts, including tax evasion. He could get about four to five years in prison when sentencing December 12.
Manafort has been convicted of eight crimes, including charges for filing false tax returns and failing to report foreign bank accounts. Prosecutors will decide whether they will try again against 10 other charges.
Manafort was a well-connected Republican advisor and lobbyist who, according to prosecutors, earned $ 60 million in foreign funds for Russia-backed politicians in Ukraine. He was campaign chairman for months during the GOP nomination in 2016.
Trump said Tuesday that the legal developments had nothing to do with Russian election intervention and that he & # 39; bad & # 39; felt for both men. During the rally in West Virginia he concentrated on developments in the field of trade, taxes, North Korea and his plans for a space power.
"Where is the collusion?" he asked.
His supporters sang Trumps campaign products "Drain the swamp!" and "Lock her up!"
The White House is trying to keep the focus on the elections in November when the control of Congress is at stake. Trump allies, like former strategist Steve Bannon, try to frame the elections as a referendum on the possible deposition of the president. Trump confidants have long argued that the fate of the president in such a scenario would ultimately be more a question of politics than of law.
Also Tuesday, prosecutors and defense lawyers for the former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn agreed to postpone his conviction after he pleaded guilty to lie to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian official, in a sign that his cooperation still needed was in the Mueller probe.
Trump confidants confirm that it is the position of the White House that a sitting president can not be charged. They refer to a 2000 opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel of the Ministry of Justice, which provides legal advice and guidance to executive agencies.
Trump's lawyers have said that Mueller intends to comply with those guidelines, although Mueller's office has never confirmed that independently. There would probably be no bar against charging a president after he or she left the White House.
For many in the neighborhood of Trump, Cohen represents a greater threat than even the Russia investigation, stemming from the decade that Cohen worked as the fixer of the then celebrity of the real estate developer.
An FBI raid at the Cohen office in New York and the hotel room in April confused the president, who publicly complained about what he thought the government was going too far while he personally worried about what Cohen might have after he had worked for the Trump organization for ten years.
Those in Trump's job, including his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, steadily attacked Cohen, suggesting he was unreliable and lying about what he knew about Trump's business transactions. When Cohen's team produced a recording that Trump's former fixer had made about a payment to keep a woman silent about an alleged affair, Giuliani tried to challenge Cohen's credibility and question his loyalty .
Trump cooked for weeks about the media coverage of the Manafort lawsuit. Although the procedure was not related to Russian election intervention, Trump has seen confidants accusing the Manafort of & # 39; a warning shot & # 39; from Mueller.
"What is important is that a jury found that the facts presented to them by the special prosecutor justify a conviction of someone surrounding the president," said Weinstein.