Trump Flatly Denies Michael Cohen’s Claims In Court

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump flatly denied his former attorney Michael Cohen’s claims in federal court that he was directed to break campaign finance law when making a payment to two women threatening to surface sexual allegations against the then-candidate for president, in a series of Thursday morning tweets.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in federal prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to a litany of charges, including two related to allegedly circumventing campaign finance law at the direction of Trump.

“COHEN made or caused two separate payments to women to ensure that they did not publicly disclose their alleged affairs with a presidential candidate in advance of the election,” the Department of Justice said in its sentencing release.

President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York.
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. (Getty / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ)

“COHEN made or caused both of these payments in order to influence the 2016 election and did so in coordination with one or more members of the campaign,” the DOJ continued.

The president’s tweets lay out Trump’s likely legal strategy in combatting Cohen’s claims to the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York. The president maintains that if any laws were broken they were at the direction of Cohen without his own knowledge and that he did not knowingly or willingly violate any laws.

Michael Cohen, leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House in lower Manhattan. August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Michael Cohen, leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House in lower Manhattan. August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

DOJ also revealed Wednesday that it had a cooperation agreement with American Media Inc. (AMI), the organization which owns the National Enquirer. DOJ noted that “AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election.”

AMI’s cooperation with DOJ indicates the that the Southern District of New York is interested in pursuing a legal case against Trump.

Tags : department of justice donald trump michael cohen southern district of new york
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