Former federal prosecutor says Trump's tweets on Cohen are 'unseemly'

Former federal prosecutor Joseph Moreno said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE's recent tweets about the role of his former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation make it look like the president is "tilting the scale" in his favor.

"For the chief executive to weigh in on active investigations and prosecutions, one way or the other, it looks unseemly," Moreno told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." "It looks like you're sort of tilting the scale."

Moreno added that his comment suggesting sitting presidents shouldn't weigh in on active investigations also applied to former President Obama's comments on the federal probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection What the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push MORE's email server. 

"It was not President Obama's finest hour, absolutely, for the same reasons. Perhaps it was not as in-your-face as a tweet, but that was also widely seen as a pretty inappropriate to weigh in on something that's a very, very hot, active matter," he said. 

Trump on Monday tweeted that Cohen did not deserve leniency for cooperating in Mueller's investigation, saying Cohen should get a "full and complete" prison sentence.  

 

Cohen had requested that a federal judge spare him prison time, partly because he said he lied to lawmakers in order “to support and advance [Trump's] political messaging.”

Trump last week took aim at Cohen, calling him a “weak person” for pleading guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization's efforts to build a tower in Russia, which never came to pass. The issue is a key part of Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

However, Moreno said the tweets did not appear to be enough to build an obstruction of justice case. 

"It doesn't seem to me that you would take these tweets and build an obstruction of justice case," he said. "It seems like that's a big jump."  

— Julia Manchester