By Hayley Miller,HuffPost
President Donald Trump on Thursday placed all the blame on his former personal attorney Michael Cohen for any campaign finance violations that may have resulted from hush money payments during his 2016 election campaign.
“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” Trump tweeted. “He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. … That is why they get paid.”
I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. 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 was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges related to lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
Federal prosecutors said in a court filing last week that during the campaign, Trump directed Cohen to pay off women who alleged they had sex with Trump while he was married to his wife, Melania.
The first payment in question ― $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels ― violated campaign finance laws against donations of more than $2,700 in a general election, according to prosecutors.
The second payment under legal scrutiny is $150,000 made by American Media Inc. to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal, which prosecutors say constituted an illegal corporate donation to Trump’s campaign. The National Enquirer’s parent company was chaired at the time by Trump’s longtime confidante, David Pecker.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors revealed American Media has admitted that “its principal purpose” in paying McDougal was to “suppress” her story about an alleged affair with Trump for the explicit purpose of influencing the election.