Trump Finally Responds to Michael Cohen Sentencing: 'I Never Directed Him to Break the Law'

Michael Cohen will begin serving time on March 6, 2019, likely at the Federal Correctional Institute Otisville, in upstate New York

Photo: Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock; Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Donald Trump has responded to his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen‘s three-year prison sentence.

On Thursday, one day after news of Cohen’s court appearance, the president denied his involvement in his former fixer’s crimes.

“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called ‘advice of counsel,’ and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid,” Trump wrote in his first of three tweets.

“Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance,” he continued.

“Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead [sic] to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not guilty even on a civil basis,” Trump said, adding, “Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook. As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!”

Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal counts, including tax fraud, breaking campaign finance laws and illegal “hush money” he paid during the 2016 presidential election to buy the silence of pornstar Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal — who both claim they had affairs with Trump. (Trump and the White has previously denied the allegations.)

In a sentencing memo filed last week, federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York wrote that “Individual 1” — Trump — directed Cohen to make the hush money payments, which are felony campaign finance violations.

Trump Lawyer Investigation, New York, USA - 12 Dec 2018
Michael Cohen. Julio Cortez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Cohen will begin serving time on March 6, 2019, likely at the Federal Correctional Institute Otisville, in upstate New York.

In court on Wednesday, the father of two told the judge, “I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to. The personal ones to me and those involving the President of the United States of America.” He further called his sentencing “one of the most meaningful days of my life.”

Also on Thursday, Trump attacked Cohen during an on-air interview.

Calling Cohen’s allegations an attempt to “embarrass” him, the commander-in-chief told Fox News, “I never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did, he did on his own. … What he did was all unrelated to me except for the two campaign finance charges that are not criminal and shouldn’t have been on there. They put that on to embarrass me.”

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