President Donald Trump responded Wednesday to the guilty verdicts against his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was facing allegations of tax and bank fraud in the first trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.
In a series of tweets overnight, Trump sought to contrast Manafort's posture with that of Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer and fixer, who on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) entered a guilty plea in a Manhattan federal court on eight counts.
Visibly crestfallen, the 51-year-old Cohen detailed how he made pre-election hush payments - "with the goal of influencing the election" - to two women alleging affairs with Trump: the porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Lanny Davis told MSNBC that Cohen is "more than happy" to speak with the special counsel about "the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election", as well as other Russia-related subjects.
It is somewhat inexplicable that Manafort has not made a deal with prosecutors to tell them what he knows about possible collusion by the Trump campaign with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.
Paul Manafort, Trump's ex-campaign manager, was convicted of financial fraud and faces a further trial in September.
"The Michael Cohen Truth Fund is a transparent trust account, with all donations going to help Michael Cohen and his family as he goes forward on his journey to tell the truth about Donald Trump". "We continue the witch hunt".
But Politico points out the documents outlining Cohen's plea deal don't appear to provide any examples or evidence that Trump directed Cohen to do anything.
Lanny Davis, who represented Cohen in his plea deal with the federal government, told NPR that Cohen would refuse a pardon if it were offered. The president initially said he knew nothing about it. But it's unlikely he'll find himself in a courtroom facing criminal charges, at least while he's president.
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"And [Cohen] has flatly authorized me to say under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump".
The President responded to the Manafort verdict but had no word on the Cohen guilty plea until Wednesday morning.
Michael Cohen turned against Donald Trump after the President backed Vladimir Putin ahead of U.S. intelligence services.
"My message to the president: you better not talk about pardons for Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort tonight, or anytime in the future", Schumer wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
After first denying that he knew anything about Cohen's actions, Mr Trump earlier this year acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for payments he made in late 2016 to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
In a Twitter rant Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump responded to Tuesday's disgusting afternoon of legal news regarding current and former members of his inner circle. "'Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to 'break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal".
He also told CNN that "Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to the special counsel about whether Donald Trump knew ahead of time about the hacking of emails".
Mueller is investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and whether there was any cooperation or links with the Trump campaign.