Donald Trump: 'I Never Directed Michael Cohen To Break The Law'

Donald Trump: 'I Never Directed Michael Cohen To Break The Law'

Cohen was on Wednesday sentenced to three years in jail for crimes including tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to Congress.

And he said he'd "made a mistake" hiring Cohen years ago.

What Cohen told those Justice Department offices is known, fully, only to them.

Lawyer Lanny Davis, who has advised Cohen, praised Cohen for cooperating and said he would continue to do so.

An emotional Cohen told the court he accepted responsibility for his personal crimes and "those involving the President of the United States of America". He added that "blind loyalty" to Trump "led me to take a path of darkness instead of light".

The payment to McDougal was funnelled through American Media Inc, publisher of the National Enquirer, and prosecutors announced following Cohen's sentencing that AMI had been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for its cooperation.

"He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country", defence attorney Guy Petrillo told the judge.

Trump claimed that USA tariffs on Chinese imports generated $11 billion in the last four months, which appears to be a significant exaggeration.

Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony in West Hollywood, California, May 23, 2018.

Cohen pleaded guilty to the campaign finance charge in August and to making false statements in November.

The president has acknowledged arranging one payment before the 2016 election but denies having a relationship with either of the two women.

Trump has not yet laid out a detailed defense, though he could conceivably argue that the payments were made not for the purposes of advancing his campaign but rather to prevent sex stories from emerging that would be personally humiliating to him and harm his marriage.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Michael Cohen arrived for his sentencing with members of his family Who else has been implicated? The transitive property absolutely applies in this instance (if Cohen = guilty, and Cohen = Trump, then Trump = guilty). He argued that any payments were unrelated to his presidential campaign and thus not a violation of federal law. He tweeted that Cohen "was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law".

At the time of the election, Trump was supportive of Russian denials it meddled in the 2016 election by hacking Democrat emails, despite the Central Intelligence Agency contradicting the claim.

"It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds", Cohen said as he pleaded for leniency before US District Judge William H. Pauley III. Nicolas Roos, the assistant US attorney who prosecuted Cohen in the Southern District, asserted that allowing Cohen to engage in "selective cooperation" would "send the wrong message" that such behavior is rewarded.

He called for a sentence that sends a message that "even powerful, privileged individuals can not violate these laws with impunity".

Trump faces growing political and legal risks from a months' long investigation into the payments by USA prosecutors, which stemmed from the larger continuing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign.

Cohen said in written testimony to two congressional committees that the talks ended in January 2016, before the first electoral contests to select the Republican presidential nominee, when they actually continued until June 2016 after Trump clinched the Republican nomination.

Mr Trump had called for a tough sentence for Cohen, whom he labelled a liar.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr Trump also insisted that he "did nothing wrong" in regards to campaign finance laws. The judge set March 6 for Cohen's voluntary surrender.

Cohen has had at least seven meetings with Mueller's team, which said in court papers that Cohen provided "relevant and useful" information about attempts by Russian figures to influence Trump's campaign. In one instance, he recorded Trump giving him advice about how to buy McDougal's story from the parent company of the National Enquirer.

Daniels was paid $US130,000 to silence her about an alleged decade-old dalliance with Trump.

He said he's unsure if Cohen told Trump that the payments would be illegal, but an audio recording shows Trump knew the objective of the payments.

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