Donald Trump attacks former personal lawyer Michael Cohen

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In another tweet, Mr Trump said, "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen".

Cohen's illegal campaign contributions involved secret hush payments he made on Trump's behalf during the 2016 campaign to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the Republican candidate.

"I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal goal of influencing the election", Cohen said in court.

Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, told NPR's Rachel Martin that his client believes Trump is "both corrupt and a risky person in the Oval Office" and that Cohen would not accept a pardon from Trump.

"Not only is he not hoping for it, he would not accept a pardon", Davis said.

The court filing never mentions Trump by name, but it refers multiple times to a person described as "Individual-1", described as "a candidate for federal office", who started his presidential bid on June 16, 2015 - the day Trump launched his campaign - and who, by January 2017, "had become the President of the United States".

In a string of interviews early Wednesday, Cohen's own lawyer Lanny Davis took aim squarely at the president, dubbing him a "criminal".

Prosecutors say that the editor-in-chief of the tabloid started to negotiate to buy the story "at Cohen's urging", and the media company subsequently "entered into an agreement" to pay $150,000 to acquire the rights to the story of the woman's relationship with "any then-married man".

But that ruling did not directly address whether a president could be subpoenaed to testify in a criminal investigation, a question the Supreme Court may have to confront if Mueller tries to compel Trump's testimony in his probe.

President Trump held a rally Tuesday night but waited until Wednesday to respond to the legal troubles of two close associates. Donald Trump has frequently denied any knowledge of the meeting, which has been at the heart of the investigation over whether Trump's team colluded with Russian Federation.

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Among the things Cohen has special "knowledge" about that he thinks will be of great "interest" to Robert Mueller, said Davis, is information about "a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system" as well as what Trump knew and when about the Russian hacking.

"If this was a personal matter, why wasn't she paid off after the affair or in the intervening decade?" said Mr Paul S. Ryan, the head of litigation at Common Cause. "So that is the functional equivalent of the word 'cooperate.' I don't know why ... they didn't use the word", Davis said.

Perspective on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's plea deal and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's conviction from an global and criminal law specialist. Scoring eight guilty convictions against Manafort is a significant credibility boost for Mueller's team, which has been accused by Trump and his allies of conducting a "witch hunt" against the president.

"Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal'".

Lanny Davis, who represented Cohen in his plea deal with the federal government, told NPR that Cohen would refuse a pardon if it were offered.

But for now, the focus is clearly on Cohen's case, and the implications it may or may not have for President Trump.

Aside from the president's tweets, the White House has been largely mum on Tuesday's developments.

Also Tuesday, prosecutors and defence attorneys for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn agreed to postpone his sentencing after he pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with a Russian official, in a sign his cooperation was still needed in the Mueller probe.

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 crimes:... He added, "Such respect for a courageous man!" Cohen worked for years as Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, two roles that give him extensive knowledge of the president's business and personal dealings.

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