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Trump Directed Hush Money Payments, Knew It Was Wrong, Alleges Ex-Lawyer

15 December 2018

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace weighed in on Michael Cohen's first interview after being sentenced to three years in prison, saying, "Hell hath no fury like a fixer scorned". The man doesn't tell the truth.

Cohen said in an interview aired Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Trump directed the payments in 2016 so the women's stories would not damage his election chances.

The Cohen case has intensified the legal pressures on former reality television star Trump, whose almost two-year presidency has been clouded by multiple investigations and lawsuits, including a USA special counsel probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign and possible obstruction of justice. "He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters".

"And here, less than 24 hours later, Cohen is saying, 'Everything I did was at the explicit direction of Donald Trump, and he knew exactly what he was doing, '" Wallace said. "He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law". The publication bought McDougal's story of her alleged 2006-2007 affair with Trump with the express goal of killing it so it would not surface before Election Day in November 2016, to boost Trump's chances of winning the White House.

American Media reached a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution by fully cooperating with authorities disclosing its role with Trump in making the payment to McDougal. They certainly didn't abandon him after the story started to get out.

Legal analysts said the developments could strengthen a potential case against Trump himself if prosecutors were to pursue one, although Justice Department guidelines say that a sitting president cannot be charged criminally until he leaves office.

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Cohen was sentenced after telling a federal judge that his "blind loyalty" to Trump led him to "cover up his dirty deeds".

Trump has said he never directed Cohen - who is due to surrender to custody by March 6-to break the law. If (Michael) Bloomberg decides to run for president he can say I'm not taking a nickel by contributors.

Von Spakovsky also challenged those who believe President Trump's actions constitute a civil offense.

Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said that after Mueller completes his investigation, Cohen would cooperate with congressional committees as they consider possible wrongdoing by Trump and his aides.

"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".

Trump said on Twitter yesterday that he had never directed Cohen to do anything illegal, and that Cohen should have known better.

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"You have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about - two weeks or so before the election", Cohen said.

There was no immediate response from Trump to the Cohen interview, but a White House spokesman dismissed Cohen's comments as those of a "self-admitted liar".

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he did not think a payment was made to AMI and that Cohen only did "low-level work" for him.

Reiterating something he said in court Wednesday, Cohen said he feels unburdened by acknowledging what he did for Trump. "I don't want to jeopardize any of their investigations", he said.

"The special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them was credible and helpful", he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during an interview.

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Trump Directed Hush Money Payments, Knew It Was Wrong, Alleges Ex-Lawyer