Trump In the Mire

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The wagons are circling, the knives are out, the day of reckoning may be at hand for one Donald J. Trump.

The typically unsubtle Trump tweet (above) sent out less than 24 hours after Michael Cohen, who’d worked as Trump’s personal attorney for years, pleaded guilty to eight counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

It’s the first conviction secured by Robert Mueller – the special prosecutor investigating links between the Trump election campaign and Russia.

The reaction was unsurprising to the latest insult from the U.S. President.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was found guilty of eight counts of fraud. Minutes later Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud and campaign finance violations.

It’s been a gruelling 24 hours for Donald Trump with two of his former associates facing prison sentences. The investigation that has led to these cases has been branded a ‘witch hunt’ by the US President.

The investigation into Russian interference in the US election in 2016 is what’s led to the events of the last 24 hours. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer and ‘fixer’, pleaded guilty to 8 charges.

They include paying hush money to two women – which Cohen says was under Mr Trump’s direction, seemingly implicating the President.While the President himself has slammed the investigation into Russian collusion that got him to this point:

It’s unclear yet what the full legal ramifications will be for Donald Trump.

Elizabeth Warren, the high-profile Democrat senator has urged Congress to pass a law to make sure that the special counsel’s investigation is protected, after she said the Trump administration is “the most corrupt administration in living memory.”

Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis says on MSNBC that Cohen has information regarding a Russian conspiracy to “corrupt American democracy” and “a failure to report that knowledge to the FBI.”

In an interview on MSNBC, Davis says: “There is no dispute that Donald Trump committed a crime”.

Davis explained what Cohen told the court under oath yesterday.

“The president of the United States directed him to commit a crime meaning the president committed the crime and covered it up because he didn’t sign the cheque to keep quiet the affairs with the two women.”

https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1032225891303284737

The president has followed up his tweet denouncing Michael Cohen by expressing his sadness for Paul Manafort, his former campaign chair, who could face decades in jail.

He praises Manafort, who was convicted on eight of 18 charges – some of which were financial crimes that allowed him to fund a lavish lifestyle – and says how much he respects that he refused to cooperate with prosecutors in order to get a plea deal.

He then tries to deflect: