Trump attacks ex-lawyer after prosecutors say he acted at president’s direction - MissiveBlog

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Monday, 10 December 2018

Trump attacks ex-lawyer after prosecutors say he acted at president’s direction


President Donald Trump on Monday defended hush-money payments to two women made by Michael Cohen, and said if there’s liability it belongs to his ex-lawyer, not him.




‘SIMPLE PRIVATE TRANSACTION’


In a pair of tweets, Trump called payments to two women who alleged sexual relationships with him a “simple private transaction.”

Federal law, however, requires that payments for the purpose of influencing elections must be disclosed. On Friday, federal prosecutors in New York said that Cohen, in paying Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels for their silence, “acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” and at Trump’s direction


TRUMP DRAWS FIRE FOR ATTACKING DEMOCRATS

Trump also cited a Fox News report as saying Democrats were unable to find a “smocking [sic] gun” tying his campaign to Russia, and added that it was Democrats who were “wrongly calling” the payments a campaign contribution.

George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and a frequent Trump critic, pointed out on Twitter that it wasn’t Democrats who uncovered violations.

“No, the criminal campaign-finance violations were found by professional line prosecutors in a Republican-controlled United States Department of Justice,” wrote Conway. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is run by Trump appointee Geoffrey Berman, 

although he has recused himself from the Cohen probe. It is run instead by Berman’s deputy, Robert Khuzami, who has been identified as a Republican and donated to John McCain’s presidential campaign.

The president argued that even if the payments were campaign contributions, that would be a civil and not criminal case. Citing a failure by the Obama campaign to disclose the identities of donors, Trump said “there would not even be a fine.” In 2013, President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission.

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