Michael Cohen is going after his former boss, saying in a bombshell interview that Donald Trump was involved every step of the way with hush money payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with him in the months after his son was born.
Trump’s former personal lawyer was sentenced this week to three years in prison for a slew of federal charges, including campaign finance violations for hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump. Prosecutors said that the payment, which was not reported to the FEC, amounted to a campaign contribution as it was meant to influence the election and increase Trump’s odds of being elected. The president has vehemently denied having any involvement, saying that Cohen orchestrated the payment on his own, but Cohen said in a new interview that this wasn’t the case.
In the interview with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, Cohen said, “of course” Trump knew it was wrong to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who was paid off through the parent company of the National Enquirer. As the Daily Mail noted, Cohen thinks that no one is buying Donald Trump’s denials.
“Here is the truth,” he said. “People of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”
Cohen added that Donald Trump’s claim that he had nothing to do with the hush money payments does not make sense given that Trump had total control over everything that happened in his business empire.
“First of all, nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters,” Cohen said.
Legal experts say Donald Trump could face serious trouble for the allegations. Cohen identified Trump as the person named “Individual-1” in the court documents, a person who led the efforts to pay off the women. That would leave Trump on the hook for felony charges as well, though the Department of Justice is believed to have a policy not to indict a sitting president. As legal experts and many of Trump’s critics have noted, that means he very likely faces charges as soon as he leaves the White House.
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