Trump denies he ‘directed’ Michael Cohen to break the law as prosecutors contend


Posted on: December 13th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In his first reaction since his longtime personal — and now former– attorney and fixer was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes committed while working for him, President Donald Trump again attempted to distance himself, repeating legal arguments and saying he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” contrary to what federal prosecutors contend and what a federal judge has agreed happened.

“He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called ‘advice of counsel,’ and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid,” Trump said in an early morning tweet on Thursday.

I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. 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……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

 

….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…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

….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!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2018

A federal judge in Manhattan, New York sentenced Cohen for multiple crimes, including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

The campaign finance violations stemmed from hush money payments Cohen made to two women who alleged affairs with then-candidate Trump, which court documents said he directed. The payments were made with the intent to influence the outcome of the election, court documents said, but weren’t disclosed as such.

Prosecutors in the Justice Department’s Southern District of New York charged Cohen with eight felony counts in August, including tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution and campaign finance violations. Special counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, tacked on an additional count of lying to Congress last month.

Cohen pleaded guilty to all nine counts and struck a deal to cooperate with ongoing investigations.

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