Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani
Trump’s veiled threats of blackmail or extortion on Cohen’s father-in-law are illegal. In my opinion, rather than depending on Congress to do more than use strong words, Cohen should file a criminal complaint against Guiliani and Trump.
WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, announced through a spokesman Wednesday that he wouldn’t testify before Congress on Feb. 7 because of “threats” from the president.
“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” said Lanny Davis, a Cohen spokesman. “This is a time when Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: Two weeks ago, I wrote the following regarding Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony:
Knowing Trump as Americans do now after two tumultuous years in office, it is conceivable that the president…
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Keep in mind that the jury did not acquit Manafort on the 10 other counts but rather, they hung.
In the last few hours it’s been reported than Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and has implicated the president in breaking electoral law.
Most significant amongst the guilty pleas is that of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign, directly implicating the president himself.
Speaking during the hearing, held at a Manhattan court, Mr Cohen said that he had been instructed by ‘a candidate for federal office’, alluding to Mr Trump, who was not named directly during today’s proceedings.
Mr Cohen said that he had acted ‘for the principal purpose of influencing [the] election’.
The president’s former lawyer payed ‘hush money’ to two alleged mistresses of Mr Trump, one of whom is Stormy Daniels, who Mr Cohen previously admitted to paying on the eve of the election in order to win her silence.
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AS REPORTED BY MSN
“Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, made the extraordinary admission in court on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had directed him to arrange payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to keep them from speaking publicly about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cohen acknowledged the illegal payments while pleading guilty to breaking campaign finance laws and other charges. He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.”
“I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016, Mr. Cohen said.
The guilty plea and Mr. Cohen’s statements in court represent a pivotal moment in the investigation into the president: a once-loyal aide admitting that he made payments at the behest of Mr. Trump to shield him from politically damaging disclosures.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers have, for months, said privately that they considered Mr. Cohen’s case to be potentially more problematic for the president than the investigation by the special counsel.
But Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said in a statement after Mr. Cohen’s plea, “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.”
In federal court in Manhattan, Mr. Cohen made the admission about Mr. Trump’s role in the payments to the women — an adult film actress and a former Playboy playmate — as he pleaded guilty to two campaign finance crimes.”
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