Trump echoes popular right-wing talking point about Michael Cohen that experts say is 'nonsense'
President Donald Trump has echoed a popular right-wing talking point in recent days as his latest defense from the plea deal to which his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen agreed earlier this week. The campaign-finance crimes Cohen pleaded guilty to? Well, they aren't actually crimes, Trump and others say. It's an argument that campaign-finance experts say is "nonsense." In cutting a deal with federal prosecutors, Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, and two counts related to campaign-finance violations. Cohen said under oath that Trump directed him to arrange the pay offs that were deemed in violation of the law just before the 2016 presidential election to boost his candidacy.
Prosecutors wrote that they could back up Cohen's admissions through evidence obtained from the FBI's April raids on Cohen's home, office, and hotel room. The evidence, they wrote, included documents, electronic devices, audio recordings made by Cohen, text messages, messages sent on encrypted apps, phone records, and emails.
The campaign-finance crimes Cohen pleaded guilty to? Well, they aren't actually crimes, Trump and others say. It's an argument that campaign-finance experts say is "nonsense." Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center and a Republican former chairman of the FEC, wrote in The Washington Post that Trump and others were wrong about whether or not Cohen had admitted to actual crimes.
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