Trump Downplays Ex-Campaign Manager, Personal Lawyer Becoming Felons

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Trump's former campaign manager was convicted of financial crimes and faces up to 240 years in jail.

That assessment of his supporters' loyalty proved prophetic.

Mr. Trump seems to be alluding to the fact that candidates can spend limitless amounts of their own cash on their own campaigns.

The assertion by President Donald Trumps former lawyer that he broke campaign finance laws at the direction of then-candidate Trump could spark calls for impeachment hearings - but probably will not have any legal consequences for the president while he is in office, according to legal analysts.

Cohen said once he'd take a bullet for Trump, and was intimately familiar with Trump's personal, business and political dealing for more than a decade. "There are no charges against him". "Together, we are building a safer and stronger America".

Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, argued that Cohen's plea knocks back the argument that the investigations swirling around Trump are a "witch hunt", as the president has called Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

They add that this may or may not be a campaign finance law violation.

"It's my observation that Mr. Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to the special counsel about the issue of whether Donald Trump, ahead of time, knew about the hacking of emails, which is a computer crime", Davis told CNN in an interview Wednesday.

Stumping for candidates in West Virginia on Tuesday night, Trump did not mention Cohen or Manafort, but did again attack Mueller's investigation as "fake news" and a "witch hunt".

For Trump to be charged, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would probably need to a waive a long-standing Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG has said it had paid Cohen almost $1.2 million in a consulting deal; US telecommunications company AT&T Inc. said it made payments of $600,000; and South Korea's Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. said it hired him for $150,000. Cohen released a secretly recorded audio of Trump discussing a payout made via a third party to model Karen McDougal who says she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.

Sources close to the White House have acknowledged to NPR that advisers are "very worried" - or at least ought to be - about the mounting legal troubles swirling around Trump and his former associates.

"Can you say that the president has never lied to the American people?" Still, Giuliani argued that Trump "probably does" have the power to pardon himself.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not comment directly on Cohen or Manafort.

And while the president could theoretically be impeached, it remains a remote prospect in a Republican-dominated Congress where even Democrats are focused on letting Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe play out in full.

During an MSNBC interview, he also said Cohen was willing to tell the special counsel Robert Mueller about it.

Even so, Trump tells Earhardt he only knew "later on". Cohen, he said, is someone whose "credibility is in tatters, because he's basically been all over the map as to what his story is". But he said: "Obviously it's not good for Trump".

As for Trump's legal exposure in the Cohen case or anything that may come out of the Mueller probe, it is longstanding Justice Department policy that a sitting president can not be indicted.

In the meantime, Mueller is believed to be preparing a report that Congress could use as the basis for impeachment hearings.

  • Zachary Reyes