President Donald Trump is denying he told one-time personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to pay hush money to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.
On Twitter, the president called the payments “a simple private transaction,” not a violation of campaign finance laws, which Cohen is going to jail for.
“People who say this is just about giving money to women to be quiet don’t understand the gravity of directing money through money laundering, through bank fraud, through wire fraud,” said former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi.
President Trump denies the affairs and his supporters say it was Cohen, not the president, who broke the law.
“If you hire an attorney to deal with your issues, you assume that attorney is going to follow the legal balance,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Some legal analysts believe it was Cohen’s attempt to negotiate a deal for a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 campaign that may be more serious.
“I think in the long term Russian collusion is going to be much more consequential and will lead, I think, to criminal charges,” said former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner.