Trump says found out about payments made by Cohen after the fact

Adjust Comment Print

Testimony from President Trump's former longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Tuesday that Mr. Trump directed him to violate campaign finance law - claims he made as he pleaded guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations - renewed questions on Capitol Hill about the possibility of impeachment.

On perhaps the worst day of Trump's tumultuous time in office, his former fixer Michael Cohen told a federal judge on Tuesday he had made illegal campaign contributions - in the form of payments to silence women alleging affairs with Trump - at his boss' request.

Cohen said in court Wednesday that he was directed by a "candidate for federal office" - which many have assumed to be Trump - to make the hush payments, reopening a debate about whether a president can be indicted.

"I believe that a pardon from Donald Trump would by definition be dirty", Davis said, because Trump has "acted so corruptly in his business endeavors and in the number of lies that he utterly unapologetically articulates everyday as president of the United States".

As he waited to go on air, Davis also said that Cohen has information about improprieties in the Trump charitable foundation that would be of interest to the New York Attorney General, who is investigating the foundation.

Trump's statements appeared to be a reminder to others who might consider implicating him that loyalty is a trait critical to the president.


Davis served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 1998.

If Donald Trump ever wants to retain the legal services of Michael Cohen again for some reason, he's going to have to wait several years.

While the full implications for the Republican president remain unclear, Cohen's admission - and the prospect of more dirt-spilling to come - puts Trump in legal jeopardy, further emboldening his opponents as the country heads towards close-fought midterm elections in November. Both Daniels and McDougal have said they had past relationships with Trump.

But that ruling did not directly address whether a president could be subpoenaed to testify in a criminal investigation, a question the Supreme Court may have to confront if Mueller tries to compel Trump's testimony in his probe.

Both Trump and his foundation have already been sued by the NY attorney general, who alleged that the foundation had engaged in "persistently illegal conduct" under the future president's leadership. And with the legal risks for the president mounting, it's safe to say the Cohens are off Donald Trump's Christmas card list. Outside allies of the White House said they had received little guidance on how to respond to the events in their appearances on cable news.

Manafort on Tuesday was found guilty of eight of 18 federal charges related to bank and tax fraud.


Mueller's investigation, which began in May 2017, has resulted in the indictment of more than 30 people and five guilty pleas.

It was already clear, Davis said, that Trump "publicly cheered it on" - an apparent reference to then-candidate Trump's appeal to Russian Federation in July 2016 to "find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

Trump soon weighed in on Twitter, taking his shot at Cohen and praising Manafort, saying he has "such respect for a courageous man!"

"Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal, '" tweeted the president.

The Mueller investigation has clouded Mr Trump's presidency for more than a year and Tuesday's developments increase pressure on him personally.


Comments