Trump denies directing lawyer to break law

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen gets 3 years in prison

Trump also has denied collusion with Moscow and called Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt".

Davis, who was previously a lawyer for Cohen, said he will assist him in testifying before any Congressional committee "interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies".

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer to Donald Trump who once said he'd take a bullet for the president, has been given a 36-month prison sentence.

The special counsel's team interviewed Cohen for about 70 hours, but little is known about what he shared. According to Mr Cohen's lawyer, his client had the "misfortune" of being the president's personal lawyer, business partner and all-around fixer for more than a decade.

Trump has not "often" made that claim, although NCRM found one instance of him saying it a year ago.

He wrote: 'I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law.

Federal prosecutors in NY charged that Cohen, just before the November 2016 election, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 and helped arrange a $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal so the women would keep quiet about their past relationships with Trump, who is married.

Prosecutors said that Cohen, at Trump's direction, facilitated the payments - in violation of campaign finance laws - to Daniels and McDougal shortly before the 2016 election to buy their silence about alleged liaisons with Trump a decade before he ran for the presidency.

Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, attended the sentencing and told reporters outside the courthouse, "Michael Cohen is neither a hero nor a patriot".

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Legal analysts said the developments could strengthen a potential case against Trump himself if prosecutors were to pursue one, although Justice Department guidelines say that a sitting president cannot be charged criminally until he leaves office.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, told the court that he had felt it was his "duty to cover up".

"Everyone looked very shocked and I think they were expecting him to have a much lighter sentence, if not any time at all", Scannell said.

Scannell, who was inside the courtroom, said Cohen teared up as he spoke to the judge about bringing pain and shame to his family.

Trump's tweets Thursday offered another layer of defense: that he had done "nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance".

The president denies the affair. He lied for months about his conduct.

Trump has gone from denying knowledge of the payments to saying they would have been private transactions that weren't illegal. "Michael Cohen was sentenced today, President Trump is next". Russian Federation has denied U.S. allegations of interfering in the election to help Trump.

In his first public reaction since the sentencing, Trump said that he was the victim of the attorney's malpractice.

Cohen's crimes included evading $US1.4 million ($A1.9m) in taxes and misleading Congress about his talks with Russians about a Trump skyscraper project in Moscow.

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