Cohen Says Trump Is Lying About Russia Investigation

Clay Curtis
December 16, 2018

We learned, as his former lawyer Michael Cohen did in receiving his three-year sentence, that the campaign-finance-related crimes are serious.

Cohen had plead guilty to charges that he made false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for his role in making hush money payments regarding the two women, porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Is Trump in real trouble? "He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters".

During the interview Cohen was reluctant to speak of the Mueller investigation, saying that he doesn't want to jeopardize the probe, but he did give quite an interesting, yet brief answer when asked about Trump's comments regarding his entanglements with Russian Federation.

Three days later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's office, seizing records on topics including the payment to Daniels. He says Trump knew the payments were wrong. He also tweeted that "Attorney-client privilege is dead!"

The charges in that case were brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's office and Mueller's prosecutors have said Cohen has provided key information in their investigation. "I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty".

In recent weeks, Trump has shifted to asserting it was a private transactions that wasn't illegal. "Whatever he did, he did on his own".

Cohen told ABC that's wrong. First of all, nothing at the Trump organisation was ever done unless it was run through Mr Trump.

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Cohen, 52, told ABC "of course" the president knew it was wrong to make the payments, which violated campaign finance laws.

The Cohen criminal cases have intensified the legal pressure on Trump, whose presidency has been clouded by multiple investigations and lawsuits including a US special counsel probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether the president's team conspired with Moscow to help him win.

FILE - The cover of an issue of the National Enquirer is shown, featuring President Donald Trump, at a store in New York, July 12, 2017.

Trump has denied the affairs and argues the payments to the two women were not campaign contributions. More investigations are expected after Democrats take over the U.S. House of Representatives next month, and some top members of the party have said Trump could face impeachment and prison. Cohen said that Trump knew it was wrong, but did it anyway, "to help him and the campaign".

Donald Trump was at a meeting in August 2015 when his personal lawyer Michael Cohen and David Pecker, chairman of the publisher of the National Enquirer, discussed a scheme to pay off women to suppress their stories about having had affairs with Trump, NBC News reported on Thursday.

"I don't think there is anybody that believes that", Cohen said.

He attributed his years of doing Trump's bidding to misplaced loyalty. "The man doesn't tell the truth, and it's sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds", Cohen said.

"(Trump) was trying to hide what you were doing correct?" Others know the truth. "He attacks my family", Cohen said. The people Trump has pardoned so far at the federal level range from Scooter Libby to former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for his unconstitutional tactics against undocumented immigrants. He also claimed his former attorney "made a deal [with prosecutors] to embarrass me".

While Trump has mused about not being opposed to offering a presidential pardon to Manafort, Cohen's prosecution at the state level would make him ineligible for a pardon.

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