President Trump reacts to guilty verdict in Paul Manafort trial

President Trump reacts to guilty verdict in Paul Manafort trial

President Trump reacts to guilty verdict in Paul Manafort trial

US President Donald Trump, in tweets about the stunning legal setbacks involving two of his former lieutenants, on Wednesday attacked the one who has turned on him and defended the one who has remained loyal.

While the President was aware for weeks of the possible damage Cohen could do in his dealings with federal prosecutors, Trump did not know until Tuesday afternoon that he would be so explicitly implicated in the campaign finance charges.

Davis then appeared on MSNBC and said Cohen is willing to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller about a "conspiracy to collude" with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

We may never know if Trump committed a crime, because a decades-old Justice Department opinion says you can't indict a sitting president.

Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, also made it clear Cohen wouldn't accept a pardon from the president.

And in a Virginia courtroom Tuesday, onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted of financial crimes.

Mr Davis said his client "was talking about Donald Trump" and that he had "directed and co-ordinated" the payments.

He wrote, "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family".

The President has insisted he paid Cohen out of personal funds and that the payments were not meant to benefit his campaign but to resolve a personal matter. Mr Davis set up a website to collect donations for Cohen's legal expenses. I think a lot of this stems from her courage and what she was willing to come forward and do.

Of Cohen's plea, Bannon argued Tuesday that it "takes away the argument from those who are telling the president it's not that bad if he loses the House".

And while Cohen's plea agreement does not include a provision about cooperating with prosecutors, it also doesn't preclude that possibility in the future. Trump's lawyers have been negotiating with Mueller about whether the president would submit to an interview as part of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

A new court filing also said that the Trump Organization approved $420,000 in reimbursements to Cohen in relation to his hush-money payments before the election.

Trump's reaction to Paul Manafort's legal woes was markedly different. "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!"

"No longer can you say Mueller is on a witch hunt when you have his own lawyer pleading guilty to things that were created to impact the election", she said.

Cohen's accusation increases political pressure for Trump ahead of November's congressional elections where Democrats are trying to regain control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Trump denied to reporters in April that he knew anything about Cohen's payments to Daniels, though the explanations from the president and Giuliani have shifted multiples times since.

Trump confidants reasserted late Tuesday that it is the White House position that a president can not be indicted, referring to a 2000 opinion of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice and guidance to executive branch agencies.

Despite his disparate reactions to the Cohen and Manafort cases, Trump could exercise his presidential prerogative to pardon both men - a prerogative that Trump has shown little hesitation exercising since taking office.

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