Howard Dean: RNC could be charged with obstruction of justice for hiring Cohen

Howard Dean: RNC could be charged with obstruction of justice for hiring Cohen
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Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean claimed Friday that the committee's Republican counterpart could face obstruction of justice charges for keeping President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's attorney Michael Cohen as its deputy finance chairman amid a criminal probe.

In an interview with MSNBC's Ari Melber, Dean said that the Republican National Committee's (RNC) decision to keep Cohen on staff as he is being probed for possible campaign finance violations and wire fraud could end up harming the organization.

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"Mueller is following the money around. When you follow the money around, if this Russian oligarch who was close to Putin gave $500,000 to Cohen and Cohen used it for Trump's benefit, that's obstruction of justice," he said.

"I think the RNC is now at risk of being charged with obstruction of justice for hiring Cohen, in what is most likely a no-show job, to keep his head above water as he gets his head above water, expense-wise, while he gets investigated," Dean added.

RNC spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany confirmed this week that Cohen remained deputy finance chairman for the RNC, a role he has had since April 2017, and dodged questions over whether she was concerned about reports that Cohen may have violated campaign finance law with his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels.

"There's ongoing litigation, and we'll take it step by step, but yes, he is still [serving as deputy finance chair]," McEnany told the online news streaming service Cheddar.

"I have concerns about the violation of attorney–client privilege when the Southern District of New York invaded his office, swept up material, violating the president's privacy, his client's privacy, Michael Cohen's privacy," she added.