On Thursday morning, President Donald Trump responded to Michael Cohen‘s prison sentencing, claiming on Twitter he never ordered his former personal lawyer to commit a crime, saying he should not be blamed in any way for Cohen’s misdeeds.

Cohen, Trump’s 52-year-old former “fixer,” was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for multiple charges including bank and tax fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations related to his hush money payments to Trump’s alleged mistresses. In three tweets, Trump said he “never directed” Cohen to “break the law.”

“He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law,” Trump wrote of Cohen. “It is called ‘advice of counsel,’ and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made.”

“As a lawyer, Michael has great liability to me!” the president added, after saying the charges Cohen pleaded guilty to were “unrelated” to him and that the attorney tried to “embarrass” Trump.


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Later Thursday morning, Trump appeared to compare Cohen’s plea deal to the agreement his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn struck in December 2017. The president slammed the FBI for trying to “scare everybody into making up stories that are not true by catching them in the smallest of misstatements,” and then later called special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia probe a “WITCH HUNT!” once again.


This week, Flynn’s defense team said the former general felt he was duped by the FBI into pleading guilty, and claimed as an excuse that he was unaware that lying to federal investigators was a crime.

Cohen directly implicated Trump in his payments to several women with whom the latter had extramarital affairs, a revelation that has raised questions about a potential indictment and impeachment of the president. Trump has repeatedly denied having had advance knowledge of these transactions, as has one of his lawyers, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

This week, porn star Stormy Daniels — with whom Trump had an affair in 2006 — was asked to pay $293,000 in legal fees after her defamation lawsuit against Trump and Cohen was thrown out by a judge. Cohen had paid Daniels $130,000 just weeks before the 2016 election to silence her about the sexual encounter.

Former President Barack Obama administration Justice Department official Neal Katyal wrote on Twitter this week that Trump’s claims about what he did or didn’t talk about with Cohen about the payments are basically meaningless.

“Reminder: 100 percent lied when he said in April he ‘did not know about the 130k payment to Stormy Daniels’ — why should we believe him now?” former Acting Solicitor General Katyal tweeted Thursday morning.

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