Trump Says Innocent In Legal Scandal, Blames Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen gets 3-year prison sentence

The sentence was in line with what federal prosecutors asked for.

Trump had called for a tough sentence for Cohen, whom he labelled a liar. If Trump wins reelection, when he leaves office the statute would have expired on any campaign finance violations from his 2016 election. "As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better".

Earlier this week, Trump compared his situation to one involving President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.

Cohen, 52, said he was taking responsibility for his crimes "including those implicating the President of the United States of America".

Cohen said it was his "blind loyalty" to the president that led him to ignore his own "moral compass" and "cover up [Mr Trump's] dirty deeds".

Trump's tweet Thursday comes a day after Cohen was sentenced to prison for crimes including arranging hush money payments to hide Trump's alleged affairs.

Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony in West Hollywood, California, May 23, 2018.

Aside from the fact that Cohen (and now Pecker) are reported to have told prosecutors pay-offs were made with Trump's knowledge, the President has gone back and forth on this - first saying he did not know about the payments and now insisting the payment was a "private transaction". Mueller, who also is examining whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe, has secured guilty pleas from several former Trump aides including his former campaign chairman and national security adviser, and has indicted several Russian Federation individuals and entities.

He went on to call Mueller's investigation 'of utmost national significance, no less than seen 40 years ago in Watergate'. He said he lied out of devotion to Trump, who had insisted during the campaign that he had no business ties whatsoever to Russian Federation.

It's unclear what federal prosecutors in NY will decide to do if they conclude that there is evidence that Trump himself committed a crime.

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Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Michael Cohen arrived for his sentencing with members of his family Who else has been implicated?

"He has provided consistent and credible information about core Russia-related issues under investigation", she said without elaborating.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and other charges, saying he and Trump arranged the payment of hush money to Daniels and McDougal to influence the election.

At the time of the election, Trump was supportive of Russian denials it meddled in the 2016 election by hacking Democrat emails, despite the Central Intelligence Agency contradicting the claim.

As part of the sentence, the judge ordered Cohen to forfeit$500,000 and pay restitution of almost $1.4 million. Furious, Trump called the raid a "disgrace" and said the Federal Bureau of Investigation "broke into" his lawyer's office.

He called for a sentence that sends a message that "even powerful, privileged individuals can not violate these laws with impunity".

The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday it had reached a deal with AMI to forego prosecution as long as the company admitted it made the $150,000 payment "in concert with a candidate's presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicise damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 election".

Last month, Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress by concealing that he was negotiating a proposal to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow deep into the presidential campaign season.

Lanny Davis said Cohen "continues to tell the truth about Donald Trump's misconduct over the years".

Pleading for leniency in a packed Manhattan courtroom before US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III, Michael Cohen said he had been led astray by misplaced admiration for Trump.

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