Trump praises Paul Manafort for refusing to ‘break,’ unlike Michael Cohen

Virginia Carson
August 24, 2018

His plea came as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges in his financial fraud trial stemming from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

But by the time Trump weighed in on the two events on Wednesday morning, it was clear that his opinion of his two former employees differs wildly.

Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz has sought to dampen excitement over a plea deal taken by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, saying that "every candidate" violates election laws when they run for president.

In civil court, Daniels may now be able to depose the president in her lawsuit regarding the nondisclosure agreement that Cohen helped secure, Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, said in a tweet.

"A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case".

Also on Twitter and in the Fox News interview, Trump falsely claimed that Cohen had admitted guilt to two counts of campaign finance violations that are "not a crime" - they are, in fact, felonies. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations that the lawyer said he carried out in coordination with Trump.

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"I know everyone's interested in the same question: What does [Cohen] know and is it going to be harmful to Trump?"

In dramatic testimony on Tuesday, Cohen told a federal court in Manhattan that Trump had directed him to arrange payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

Cohen's guilty plea could add to Democratic calls to impeach the president.

A lawyer for Cohen took aim at Trump, saying they would refuse a pardon if it were offered.

Trump spoke out a day after taking a remarkable one-two legal punch, courtesy of Cohen as well as his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The verdict, he said, "doesnt involve me, but I still feel, you know, its a very sad thing that happened".

Cohen initially denied making the payments to the women - McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels - or that Trump had any knowledge of them.

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Davis served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 1998. "He's criticizing Cohen for pleading guilty and identifying others who were involved in the crime, and he's praising Manafort for essentially hanging tough and not talking", Sandick said. Manafort faces separate charges in September in the District of Columbia that include acting as a foreign agent.

"They have survived the Russian Federation thing, but no one knows what's next", said former campaign aide Barry Bennett.

Cohen did not name Trump in court, but his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said afterward that he was referring to the president.

Trump later contested whether the campaign-finance counts to which Cohen plead where even valid.

One of those pardons Davis brought up specifically in Wednesday's interview: the one issued to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a staunch Trump supporter.

"Just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn't mean that it implicates the President on anything". It was the first trial victory for prosecutors in the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation Trump has derided as a witch hunt.

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Cohen would be a prosecutor's "dream cooperator: one who had special insider access to the leader of a powerful, closed, corrupt organization", former prosecutors Mimi Rocah and Elie Honig wrote last month.

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