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Trump denies misguiding Cohen

Michael Cohen after his sentencing in an array of cases, including arranging hush money for two women.

Michael Cohen after his sentencing in an array of cases, including arranging hush money for two women.   | Photo Credit: AP

Was led astray by misplaced admiration for Donald Trump, says former lawyer

Donald Trump on Thursday denied directing his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to break the law after the U.S. President's longtime close ally was sentenced to three years for campaign finance violations and other crimes.

“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Cohen, 52, apologised on Wednesday for covering up the “dirty deeds” of his ex-boss as he was handed jail time for multiple crimes, including hush money payments implicating Mr.Trump.

Pleading for leniency in a packed Manhattan courtroom before U.S. district court judge William H. Pauley III, Mr. Cohen said he had been led astray by misplaced admiration for Trump.

An emotional Mr. Cohen told the court that he accepted responsibility for his personal crimes and “those involving the President of the U.S.”

In his first public comments since Mr. Cohen's sentencing, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that legal experts had cleared him of any wrongdoing and repeated his denial that he had broken campaign finance laws, arguing that Mr. Cohen's crimes did not involve campaign finance.

“Mr. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he pleaded to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not guilty even on a civil bases,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Cohen admitted charges brought by federal prosecutors in New York of tax evasion, providing false statements to a bank and illegal campaign contributions.

He also pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress – a charge stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Mr. Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 7:41:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-denies-misguiding-cohen/article25735145.ece

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