"It's called flipping and it nearly ought to be illegal".
The guilty plea was part of a double dose of bad news for Trump: It came at nearly the same moment his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted in Alexandria, Virginia, of eight financial crimes in the first trial to come out of special counsel Robert Mueller's sprawling Russian Federation investigation.
And a Quinnipiac University Survey released this month found just 36 percent of voters would like Democrats to begin the impeachment process against Mr. Trump if they take over the House, compared to 58 percent who oppose the notion - including 59 percent of independent voters.
Cohen said that at Trump's direction, he moved to keep both former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels from publicly disclosing damaging information that would hurt Trump's campaign. While Trump denies the affairs, his account of his knowledge of the payments has shifted. Prosecutors described supporting evidence including text messages, audio recordings and financial records.
The section of USA code dealing with conspiracy states that if "two or more persons conspire either to commit any offence against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any objective, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both", should the crime committed be a felony.
Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said his client had information that would be of interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether the 2016 Trump campaign conspired with Russian Federation to influence the election. Nixon talked that way in private, among friends and co-conspirators; Trump just blurts it out.
The Trump Foundation issued a statement criticising the lawsuit as "politics at its very worst" and accusing the attorney-general of holding its $1.7m in remaining funds "hostage for political gain".
The Associated Press first reported the existence of the subpoena on Wednesday. As for whether a president can pardon himself, not surprisingly, courts have never had to answer that question.
Michael Cohen personally called tax officials in NY the same day he received a subpoena from state investigators looking into the Trump Foundation.
Trump was apparently referring to a fine levied on the former president's 2008 campaign over missing and delayed disclosure of high-dollar donors in the final days of that race. Recognition of this reality is why the Democratic Party is assuring America that impeachment is not what they have in mind.
Taking the House would put newly elected Democrats under fire from the right for forming a lynch mob, and from the mainstream media for not doing their duty and moving immediately to impeach Trump. The violations become a criminal matter when those laws are broken in a "knowing and willful" manner, said Larry Noble, the former general counsel of the FEC who is now senior director at the Campaign Legal Center.
The US president made the comments as his White House struggled to manage the fallout after his former lawyer Michael Cohen said Mr Trump directed a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of two women who say they had affairs with him.
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