Donald Trump accuses Michael Cohen of lying under pressure
Aug 23 2018 by Cristina Jennings
US President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday that hush payments made by his former lawyer before the 2016 election did not breach campaign finance rules.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that President Trump did nothing wrong if he gave Michael Cohen money out of his pocket to pay women to keep them quiet about claims they had sexual relationships with him more than a decade ago. "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?". A majority of the House is required to impeach a president.
Mr. Trump seems to be alluding to the fact that candidates can spend limitless amounts of their own cash on their own campaigns.
Prosecutors did not go as far as Cohen did in open court in pointing the finger at the president, saying Cohen acted "in co-ordination with a candidate or campaign for federal office for purposes of influencing the election". "The NDA was basically the instrument of the payoff in the illegal scheme to protect the electoral interests, under that theory", he said.
In an interview with Sky News on Wednesday, Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis confirmed that the candidate his client was referring to Donald Trump. In the near term, he is seeking to depose Trump in Daniels's main civil case against the president. But veteran federal prosecutors say the eight convictions for financial crimes validate the special counsel established to investigate ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
The other issue is that, according to Cohen's guilty plea, the payments were made to benefit Trump's campaign.
Neither of these statements answers the question of Trump's criminal liability. Anyone charged with a state crime in relation to the investigation could not be cleared by a presidential pardon.
Trump's lawyers have said Mueller plans to adhere to that guidance, though Mueller's office has never independently confirmed that.
"It's depressing that this president has surrounded himself with such rogues", says Gil Troy, a presidential scholar at McGill University in Montreal.
Stephanie Clifford, the adult-film star who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, arrives to perform in Florida earlier this year.
"I'm assuming he's not going to be indicted because he's a sitting president", Wisenberg said. Will calls for impeachment, popular only on the Democratic fringe in Congress, ramp up ahead of the November 6 midterm elections?
The biggest threat Trump faces may prove to be political, rather than criminal.
Even if Cohen does not cooperate with Mueller, his case could still bear on the special counsel's investigation in another way. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.
James Gazzale, a spokesperson with the state's department of taxation and finance, confirmed that Wednesday's subpoena asked Cohen "for relevant information in light of the public disclosures made yesterday", adding, "We will be working with the NY attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney, as appropriate".
"They weren't taken out of campaign finance, that's a big thing", Mr. Trump said.
Questioned by the federal judge, Cohen said he had paid sums of $130,000 and $150,000 each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, acting at his boss's request, in a bid to buy their silence "with the objective of influencing the election".