President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE on Monday said Democrats are "wrongly" calling a "simple private transaction" a "campaign contribution," referring to payments made by his former attorney to two women who alleged affairs with the president more than a decade ago.
In a pair of early morning tweets, Trump claimed that a payment by Michael Cohen was "done correctly," adding that he would not be liable if it was done incorrectly, and that Cohen was "just trying to get his sentence reduced."
“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE’s testimony. No Smocking Gun...No Collusion.” @FoxNews That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018
....which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s - but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018
Trump's tweets appeared to be prompted by comments by a Fox News host who said Democrats "can't find a smoking gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia." The president misspelled "smoking" as "smocking," something he first did in August.
Cohen in August pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud and two counts of campaign finance law violations related to payments he made during the presidential campaign to adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. He said in his plea at the time that he violated campaign finance law at the direction of the candidate, a reference to Trump.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last Friday filed documents that laid out allegations against Cohen, and stated that he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of "Individual-1," whose description matches Trump.
Trump claimed in a tweet shortly after the filing was made public that the filing "Totally clears the president." He did not provide additional context.
Democrats have seized on the filings, which came days after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE filed court papers that laid out the extent of cooperation between prosecutors and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and suggested the president may be in growing legal jeopardy.
“The president has now stepped into the same territory that ultimately led to President Nixon resigning the office. President Nixon was an unindicted co-conspirator, a — certainly a different set of facts,” Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyExpats plead with US to deliver COVID-19 vaccines Growing number of Democrats endorse abolishing debt limit altogether Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase MORE (D-Conn.) said Sunday on ABC.
"My takeaway is there's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time," Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' Schiff: McCarthy 'will do whatever Trump tells him' if GOP wins back House Jan. 6 panel to pursue criminal contempt referral for Bannon MORE (D-Calif.) said on CBS.