Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison

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The President had previously denied knowledge of the payments, but overnight tweeted only that he "never directed Michael Cohen to break the law".

Cohen's wrongdoing was initially exposed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between Team Trump and Russian Federation during the election campaign - a probe the president has repeatedly dismissed as a 'witch hunt.' Federal prosecutors then pursued additional charges against Cohen.

Trump, in his tweets, did not address Cohen's claim, nor what NY prosecutors say was then-candidate Trump's involvement in making a $150,000 payment to McDougal through American Media Inc.

It's not unreasonable to say that the expectation is that Trump will eventually be charged with a campaign finance felony.

"I felt it was my duty to cover up his own dirty deeds", Cohen said, referring to Trump.

"The fact that he was in the room will increase his culpability and will make his lawyers very nervous", said Jessica Levinson, a professor of election law and governance issues at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. I don't think they even paid any money to that tabloid.

On Tuesday, Trump's former fixer entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to tax and bank fraud charges and campaign finance violations. The sentence represents the longest prison sentenced imposed to date in connection with special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Prosecutors said the McDougal payment violated federal law against corporate campaign contributions, while the money that went to Daniels exceeded the $2,700 limit on campaign donations.

Cohen's cooperation with Mueller's investigation has prompted speculation that he may have implicated President Trump in criminal behavior.

"Whatever he did, he did on his own", Trump said of Cohen.

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Pelosi's encounter with Trump came as she continues to try and win votes among fellow Democrats to be elected speaker next month. House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she told President Donald Trump she prayed for him, NBC News reported .

'Because what that means is, this is not simply Michael Cohen's word against Donald Trump's, it is now Donald Trump's word against everyone else, ' he added.

As part of the deal, AMI acknowledged it made a 150,000 United States dollar payment to the model "in concert" with the Trump campaign with the intent of influencing the election.

Taken together, some of the people who know Trump and his business and campaign best are now cooperating with the government, although former campaign chair Paul Manafort's deal blew up over his alleged "lies" to investigators.

Before he was sentenced to three years in federal prison, Cohen pleaded for leniency to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III. But according to The New York Times, Trump treated Cohen "poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired".

You don't appear to have a viable advice of counsel defense because you were not seeking legal advice from Cohen at the time, and the burden would be on you to prove that.

The raid was overseen by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan and arose from a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference.

"They told that to a federal judge".

He said Cohen "probably was not guilty" of those campaign violations but pleaded guilty to benefit himself.

Earlier this week, Trump compared his situation to one involving President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Prosecutors in NY confirmed last week in a court filing that they believed the president ordered the payments to protect his campaign. Prosecutors say he never fully co-operated.

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