Trump threatens to "get involved" if Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn’t investigate Hillary Clinton

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"Last week proves. that the special counsel is the least important element in this investigation" into the president and the 2016 campaign, Dershowitz added, referring to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's pleading guilty in NY on Tuesday to tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

A chief focus for investigators was Cohen's role in making payments during Trump's campaign to women who claimed they had sex with Trump, and whether campaign finance laws were violated.

A person close to the Trump family who requested anonymity to describe private discussions said Weisselberg is viewed with the highest respect by family, calling him "truly a class act".

The Daniels payment was charged as an excessive personal contribution and the National Enquirer money was charged as an unlawful corporate contribution, both "for the principle goal of influencing the election", Cohen said in court.

He said possible investigations include on Trump's "contact with the Russians, and including his tax returns, which the American people have not seen but I promise a Democratic majority will ensure that they do see".

For context, NBC News compared the percentage of voters aware of the Manafort and Cohen stories to that of the "Bridgegate" scandal that hobbled former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The Enquirer endorsed Trump for president in 2016, the first time it had ever officially backed a candidate.

"David" is apparently David Pecker, a Trump friend who is the chairman and CEO of American Media and publisher of the National Enquirer, which had agreed to purchase McDougal's story. Guy Petrillo, an attorney for Cohen, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Cohen investigation was referred to federal prosecutors in NY by USA special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible co-ordination between Trump's Republican campaign and Russian officials.

But early one April morning, more than three dozen federal agents raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room.

According to The Times report, the DA's investigation would try to determine how the Trump Organization accounted for the reimbursement it paid Cohen, who was Trump's personal lawyer at the time he facilitated the $130,000 payment to Daniels in 2016.

Davis has strongly telegraphed that Cohen is willing to cooperate with Mueller's investigation.

Michael Cohen leaves a U.S. Federal Court building in Manhattan on Tuesday. Trump has routinely denounced the probe as a "witch hunt".

Giuliani also dismissed claims that the president gave orders for any hush payment dealings, referring to the evidence tape where Cohen allegedly discusses payment to the Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight counts, including filing false tax returns and two bank fraud charges that will nearly certainly guarantee years of prison for him.

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