Donald Trump Slams Lawyer Michael Cohen, Praises Paul Manafort

Donald Trump Slams Lawyer Michael Cohen, Praises Paul Manafort

Donald Trump Slams Lawyer Michael Cohen, Praises Paul Manafort

Trump then moved on to his longtime personal lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to similar tax evasion and bank fraud charges as Manafort, as well as two campaign finance charges that directly implicate Trump himself.

Cohen, 51, told Judge William Pauley III that "in coordination with, and at the direction of, a candidate for federal office", he arranged payments to two women for their silence "for the principal objective of influencing the election". 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.

Cohen's lawyer Davis explained his client's about-face as "Michael fulfilling his put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump".

"We have definitive evidence that Donald Trump committed a crime and a crime involving the corruption of American democracy", Davis said of payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump.

Davis told CNN he believed his client had information that would be of interest to the special counsel, but he did not give further details.

On Wednesday, Trump broke his uncharacteristic silence over the Cohen case in an early morning tweet that appeared to be an attempt to make light of the situation. Both Daniels and McDougal have said they had past relationships with Trump. Davis later underscored that Cohen was talking about the president.

"He does not want anything from Donald Trump", Davis told MSNBC.

President Donald Trump responded Wednesday to the guilty verdicts against his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was facing allegations of tax and bank fraud in the first trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan said it was "aware of Mr Cohen's guilty plea to these serious charges" but would need "more information" to be able to comment.

But Davis noted, as have others, that what "Donald Trump and all of his henchmen miss when they say "no collusion, no collusion, no collusion" is the issue of criminal conspiracy, which he distinguished from collusion.

Cohen's plea came as Manafort, who served as chairman of Mr Trump's campaign, was found guilty on eight charges in a separate financial fraud trial in Alexandria, Virginia, stemming from a federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

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The GoFundMe campaign - dubbed the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund" - had raised roughly $40,000 of its $500,000 goal by noon ET on Wednesday.

And he sought to discredit Cohen - contrasting his actions with those of Manafort, whom he called "such a fearless man".

Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, argued that Cohen's plea knocks back the argument that the investigations swirling around Trump are a "witch hunt", as the president has called Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

After four days of deliberations, the 69-year-old was found guilty of eight counts of financial fraud.

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

The president has yet to say whether he would sit down with Mueller, though reports indicate that White House Counsel Don McGahn has been cooperating extensively with the investigation.

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

The president's legal difficulties could also have political implications.

Trump's allies, including Manafort's predecessor leading Trump's 2016 campaign, Corey Lewandowski, have questioned Cohen's credibility, calling him a "serial liar" and noting that he admitted to dishonest behavior as part of his guilty plea.

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