Trump Denies Directing Cohen to “Break the Law”

“Michael has great liability to me!”

CaptionWang Ying/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

President Donald Trump denied on Thursday having directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to “break the law.” The president’s statements come a day after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.

Trump has come under scrutiny for allegedly directing Cohen to make hush-money payments during the 2016 election to silence women about their alleged affairs with the then-presidential candidate. In an apparent attempt to further shield himself from mounting legal troubles, Trump on Thursday claimed that the payments did not violate campaign finance laws. He also claimed that Cohen made statements implicating the president in order to “embarrass” him and receive a more lenient sentence.

Trump’s tweets directly challenge federal prosecutors, who in a court filing last week said Cohen arranged the payments “at the direction” of Trump in violation of campaign finance laws. They also contradict Trump’s previous public statements professing to have no knowledge of the payments.

Trump has yet to comment on the explosive admission from American Media Inc.—the parent company of the National Enquirer—that it paid $150,000 to suppress a damaging story about the president and “prevent it from influencing the election.”

On Thursday, NBC News reported that Trump has privately expressed increasing fear over the prospect of impeachment.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate