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Trump declares that he never told Michael Cohen to do any crimes

It's certainly a defense he's welcome to try.


David Covucci


Posted on Dec 13, 2018   Updated on May 20, 2021, 11:32 pm CDT

Yesterday, President Donald Trump‘s former lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to a variety of crimes relating to his time working for Trump and on his 2016 campaign.

Naturally, everyone speculated about how someone doing a multitude of criminal activities relating to the president might implicate the president in a multitude of criminal activities.

But, fret not. The president is innocent, says the president, because he did not “direct Cohen to break the law.”

An advice of counsel defense is not necessarily as airtight as the president may want people to think, but telling people not to break the law is a quality we should want in a president.

But Trump adds, even if he did direct Cohen to do anything, it was not against the law, despite a court ruling it illegal, and sentencing Cohen to three years in prison.

“Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly…… ….stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not… ….guilty even on a civil basis. 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. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!”

Cohen, Trump claims, only pled guilty as part of coordinated effort to embarrass Trump.

And while Trump may not have “directed Cohen to break the law,” he certainly lied about his knowledge of Cohen’s actions, doing so in front of reporters on Air Force One. It was a lie repeated by his Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to the White House Press Corps.

During Cohen’s sentencing yesterday, he said that he felt obligated in his role as Trump’s lawyer to cover up his boss’s misdeeds.

So it’s possible Trump is actually telling the truth here. But also just as equally unlikely, given the president’s history.

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*First Published: Dec 13, 2018, 8:37 am CST