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Trump Responds to Michael Cohen’s Sentence

President Trump has just responded to Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, being sentenced to prison for three years.

Cohen heads to the slammer

Yesterday, Cohen, Trump’s former fixer and legal representative, was found guilty of tax evasion, lying to Congress, and other crimes. He was sentenced to three years in prison. (RELATED: Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison.)

Cohen’s sentence comes at the end of an investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as it relates to Russian collusion in the 2016 election.

Nothing in Cohen’s criminal sentence has anything at all to do with Russian-Trump campaign collusion, other than Cohen’s lying to Congress about the timetable in which a Moscow Trump Tower deal was being negotiated. The Trump Tower was never built, and no plan was ever agreed to. However, Cohen lied to Congress and testified that talk of such a building hadn’t continued into 2016, when it had.

Part of Cohen’s sentencing was also related to payments he made on behalf of Trump to cover up an alleged affair he had during the presidential campaign. These payments, which, in the murky area of campaign finance law, can sometimes be seen as a campaign contribution, were never recorded as such, thus violating the law.

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During the sentencing hearing, Cohen turned on his former boss, saying he was tricked into being unfailingly loyal:

Trump responds to Cohen’s sentence

That comment was enough to set off President Trump, who responded in kind over Twitter:

Trump’s rash response

Let’s hope Trump cleared his statement with his legal team before issuing them. These kinds of issues are fraught, especially with the ongoing Special Counsel investigation.

It’s not clear whether Trump broke the law in the case of the financial payment. Legal expert Dan Backer says Trump is in no way in the wrong here. He writes,

The bottom line remains this: Trump did not violate federal campaign finance laws. Why? Because the payments to Daniels and McDougal amounted to a “private transaction,” as the president himself acknowledged, for a purpose he believed to be unrelated to politics.

The president is correct that the payments had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with brand management.

President Trump seems to agree with that sentiment, hence his lashing out. Unfortunately, the court didn’t see it that way, and it appears that Cohen is paying for it.

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