Before prison, Michael Cohen could be called to testify before Congress

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen gets 3-year prison sentence

He directed me - as I said in my allocution and I said as well in the plea - he directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters, including the one with McDougal, which was really between him and David Pecker, and then David Pecker's counsel.

Trump has denied the affairs and argued the payments to Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels were not campaign contributions.

The US attorney's office said it will not prosecute the National Enquirer's parent company over its efforts to suppress an embarrassing story about Mr Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.

In an exclusive interview on Good Morning America, Cohen declared that the real objective behind the payoffs to Donald Trump's mistresses was to protect his presidential campaign.

"I'm angry at myself because I knew what I was doing was wrong", said Cohen. More importantly, if prosecutors take the position that hush-money payments made to protect a person's reputation and family should be deemed campaign related expenditures (because they might affect an election), the precedent could be very problematic and far-reaching.

Campaign finance laws require campaign contributions to be disclosed and bar individual donations of more than $2,700.

"At the appropriate time, after Mr Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr Trump and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies", Davis said in a statement.

Trump reacted on the same day by calling Cohen "a weak person and not a very smart person".

Prosecutors have said the payments violated campaign finance laws.

And he said he'd "made a mistake" hiring Cohen years ago.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr told CNN this week, "I think it's safe to say if they were indicted, they were on our list". "And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds", said Cohen.

"I will not be the villain of his story", Cohen concluded.

Given that the Manhattan investigation is in its early stages, it's hard to say for certain how serious this is, but when combined with other reporting, it sure looks we are entering stage two of the Mueller investigation. "As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better".

The Cohen case has intensified the legal pressures on former reality television star Trump, whose almost two-year presidency has been clouded by multiple investigations and lawsuits, including a US special counsel probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, possible collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign and possible obstruction of justice.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump in a series of tweets distanced himself from Cohen, saying that he never directed Cohen to break the law and that the payments were unrelated to his campaign.

Though prosecutors have implicated Trump in a crime, they haven't directly accused him of one, and it's not clear that they could bring charges against a sitting president even if they want to because of Justice Department protocol. Cohen pleaded guilty to that charge last month.

On Thursday, Trump wrote on Twitter, "I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law".

"Here's the truth: The people of the United States of America - the people of the world - don't believe what he's saying", Cohen said.

Trump also has denied collusion with Moscow and called Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt". Prosecutors in the Southern District of NY, and with Mueller's office, would presumably be bound by that legal guidance unless the Justice Department were to nullify the opinions.

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