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Trump falsely says Michael Cohen's actions 'weren't crimes'

President Donald Trump maintained the felony counts Michael Cohen admitted to were not actual crimes in an i...

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 3:18 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 3:19 PM

President Donald Trump maintained the felony counts Michael Cohen admitted to were not actual crimes in an interview aired Thursday.

"What Michael Cohen pled to weren't crimes," Trump told Fox News.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Donald Trump

Michael Cohen

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Political Figures - US

Campaign finance

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Politics

Barack Obama

Federal Election Commission

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Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two felony campaign finance violations -- making an excessive campaign contribution and causing an unlawful corporate contribution. Those are crimes. And he confessed to them under oath, saying he willfully violated those laws at Trump's direction.

"He made a great deal. He was in another business totally unrelated to me where I guess there was fraud involved," Trump said, suggesting Cohen accepted a plea deal on the campaign finance violations because the other crimes he admitted to were more serious.

"A lot of lawyers on television and lawyers I have say they aren't crimes," Trump said on the campaign finance violations. "He makes a better deal when he uses me."

Violations of campaign finance laws can be handled as a civil matter with the Federal Election Commission or as a criminal matter by the Justice Department. The violations become a criminal matter when those laws are broken in a "knowing and willful" manner, said Larry Noble, the former general counsel of the FEC who is now senior director at the Campaign Legal Center.

The President also argued that President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign too had campaign finance violations.

"If you look at President Obama, he had a massive campaign violation, but he had a different attorney general and they viewed it a lot differently," Trump said. "So Obama had it, other people have it. Almost everybody that runs for office has campaign violations."

Obama's campaign was fined $375,000 by the FEC -- one of the largest fines levied against a presidential campaign -- for missing reporting deadlines on $1.8 million in contributions. The violation did not rise to the level of a criminal violation because there was no indication the misreporting was willful and the fine was assessed as part of a conciliation agreement with the FEC.

"There's no comparison," Noble told CNN. "There's no presidential campaign that I'm aware of that hasn't had campaign finance violations. A lot of money flows through them and they almost all have some violations."

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Hennepin18197820
Ramsey7047261
Dakota4049103
Anoka3410113
Stearns284220
Washington193843
Nobles17496
Olmsted163523
Scott141017
Mower10842
Rice10028
Blue Earth8595
Wright8205
Carver7922
Clay75240
Kandiyohi6771
Sherburne6577
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Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3551
Steele3331
Nicollet32013
Benton3103
Watonwan2990
Winona24916
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2021
Beltrami2000
Chisago1821
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Goodhue1778
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Becker1471
Pipestone1439
McLeod1400
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Polk1353
Itasca13412
Douglas1320
Waseca1300
Pine1280
Carlton1260
Dodge1230
Murray1221
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Chippewa991
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Pope450
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Redwood320
Marshall290
Kanabec281
Wilkin283
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Mahnomen241
Wadena230
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Red Lake200
Lake180
Stevens160
Clearwater150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson30
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 46100

Reported Deaths: 887
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9781203
Woodbury365651
Black Hawk302262
Linn214587
Johnson195915
Dallas179635
Buena Vista178612
Scott161512
Dubuque154929
Marshall139424
Pottawattamie122723
Story111714
Wapello85032
Muscatine83048
Webster7366
Crawford7213
Sioux6022
Cerro Gordo57917
Tama53929
Warren5341
Jasper45825
Wright4441
Plymouth4438
Louisa37814
Dickinson3754
Clinton3213
Washington28810
Hamilton2411
Boone2312
Franklin2256
Bremer1927
Clarke1883
Carroll1821
Emmet1812
Clay1711
Shelby1691
Hardin1660
Marion1550
Allamakee1504
Poweshiek1508
Benton1451
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1312
Guthrie1285
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1152
Buchanan1141
Henry1143
Pocahontas1141
Lyon1060
Madison1052
Clayton993
Cherokee981
Harrison980
Lee973
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware911
Iowa901
Monona900
Winneshiek861
Mills830
Calhoun822
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto800
Kossuth780
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Jefferson770
Winnebago770
Mitchell760
Page760
Grundy741
Union721
Monroe677
Worth610
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Howard490
Cass481
Montgomery453
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