President Trump, Michael Cohen, Julia Manchester discussed on Best of Jim Bohannon
You can follow me on Twitter at jimbotalks. It portion of the program we're going to be talking a bit about the latest developments in the Russia probe which has shifted a bit. But essentially, President Trump is now intuition of shifting the blame saying he never directed. His former personal attorney Michael Cohen to break the law. Jeff Seleny explains. I never directed him to do anything wrong. President Trump speaking out today against his longtime lawyer and fix her. Michael Cohen saying the charges that led to Cohen's three year prison sentence were intended to embarrass the president. Because what he did was all unrelated to me except for the two campaign finance charges that are not criminal and shouldn't have been on. They put that on embarrass me. They put those charges onto embarrassment, but the president's views spelled out in a flurry of tweets an interview with Fox News is at odds with the facts, he insisted that the campaign finance charges against Cohen relating to the hush money payments to porn star. Stormy Daniels and playboy playmate. Karen McDougal criminal Michael Cohen, plead guilty to something crime. But that's not true. The charges are criminal. And part of the reason Cohen received a prison sentence of three years along with tax evasion. Bank fraud in line to congress, the president increasingly isolated as friends turn on him, including National Enquirer publisher, David pecker who accepted immunity from federal prosecutors about the hush money payments. But the. President also trying to muddy the waters on that front. Let me just say I don't think I have to go check. I don't think they even paid any money to that tabloid. Okay. I don't think we made a payment to that tabloid though. It appears to be true. Trump didn't pay American media Inc. Federal prosecutors say Trump directed the company to pay McDougal to keep her from telling your story about an alleged affair during the two thousand sixteen campaign. The president had kinder words for another one time friend former national security adviser, Michael Flynn fired by Trump and now cooperating with special counsel Robert Muller's Russia probe while Trump said Flynn didn't lie. I have a feeling that. Maybe he didn't. He's a tougher kind of a guy then, but they took a general that they said didn't lie and they convinced him he did lie, and he made some kind of a deal. That's precisely what Flint pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. And it's now awaiting sentencing Jeff with that report. So let's take a look at where we are here with Julia Manchester joins us tonight. A reporter for the hill dot com. The definitive voice of Capitol Hill. Julia Manchester covers national politics as breaking news reporter at the hill. Julia good evening. Thank you for having me. Jim. Where do we stand now in this regard? The president says that I never directed. Michael Cohen to do anything wrong. If if the people at the National Enquirer, their their their parent company are are saying that they acted in accordance with with the Trump campaign. How do you specify that? In fact, what they did they did. So at the behest of the Trump campaign per se. I mean, it would require something in the way of of of a big and writing because of the actions are are understood here, but the motivation is something else again, but they're in. I guess lies the distinction between this let's say the case of former Senator John Edwards. Yeah. Absolutely. And I think it is a little I guess mighty where we stand because I think people looking at this case right now, it's very polarized. So I actually talked to a former federal prosecutor about this early earlier today, and you're seeing some people looking at this saying this is a complete slam dunk for I guess, you could say the molar camper for the Muller camp and trying to tie the president directly to. However, there's another camp of people who say not so fast because an or you know, in order to really get Trump implicated in all of this you have to be able to prove intent, and that's very hard to do according to many legal experts in this case, you know, the president is going to say that this is a civil matter. This is a private matter. This wasn't related to the campaign, and he's also not directly to the campaign, at least she's also going to say that I didn't direct this. He has said that it's a mistake that I hired Cohen says he hires money good people. But Cohen was a mistake on his part. So very muddy in terms of where we stand on this. But we'll really have to see I think there's a lot more to go for I guess to find out where this all we even the long term. I'm however, we're seeing reports come out saying that President Trump was a third person in that room in two thousand fifteen I believe with David Packer and Michael Cohen when they. Just went out. There was a decision made to make that payment. So that could put President Trump and a very difficult position. We need to make a key distinction here because it's not I guess necessarily clear to everyone who's who's listening and the distinction would be that merely paying money to someone to keep their mouth shut is per se. Not illegal it, maybe tawdry. And and the like, it it may in the eyes of many people, although not in a courtroom be admission that what we would want them to shut up about actually occurred. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether or not this was a move made to improve the president's chance of the Donald Trump's chances of being elected president. It's the be campaign finance angle that makes this at all tenable, if you don't have that leakage, then you have something that is embarrassing but not illegal, right? Absolutely. Absolutely. I think you know, the president has been trying to distance themselves from that verbiage from the campaign part of this. Like, I said before we heard him say, this was a civil matter. I wasn't directly involved that's his language on fish one. Eight six six five O JIMBO is our number one eight six six five zero five four six two six Jillian Manchester. Our guest reporter for the hill dot com. Sharon calls in from crane, Missouri to join our discussion tonight. Hello, sharon. Hello, jim. Okay. Termi daniels. Okay. She signed a nondisclosure agreement. Right. And Colin recommended to the president that they do this now porn gave him legal advice. That's not an attorney. And. I should have known if he was going to get the president. And it's kind of trouble now. If they prosecute the president on this. I'm wanted the name of every single individual that has drawn out of that seventeen million dollar pool. That's up there on Capitol Hill that have played off people who have accused members of congress and other persons of power up there to show their sexual harassment that was not their personal money that was that was that not tax money. Julia, Manchester, right? Yes. Yes. That's correct. Again, we're we're talking here about the president's money. A sheriff's point is very well taken. In fact, I'm rather surprised I guess that there is shall we say such exuberance on the part of members of congress, even democratic members of congress because it would seem to me this is a can of worms that more than a few of them would not care to have opened. Absolutely. I think democratic members of congress know, we have to look at the timing of all of this. This comes right before Democrats takeover, the majority in the House Democrats really itching to really bring out a lot of oversight against the president. And we're seeing the word impeachment really floated around, and we talked to you know, ever since these developments came out. I'm we've seen crowds really look at this. I think they're going to be cautious about this. But they're definitely going to use some oversight on this in the future their body area. Like you said, and it may not be a can of worms they want necessarily open. But in terms of investigating the president. I think this is something very interested in. Yeah. Maybe even with some collateral damage from their own ranks. We'll continue our discussion Jillian Manchester.