Michael Cohen case: Birkin bag, handling 'negative stories'

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Trump attacked Cohen, tweeting, "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!".

Trump then moved on to his longtime personal lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to similar tax evasion and bank fraud charges as Manafort, as well as two campaign finance charges that directly implicate Trump himself.

"But Michael Cohen's simultaneous bombshell guilty plea on Tuesday, in which he admitted paying hush money to women just before the 2016 election at Trump's direction, poses a greater risk to the president".

Trump turned on his former right-hand man Wednesday morning, hours after Cohen told a Manhattan court that he had worked with the president to pay off two porn stars who claim to have had affairs with him.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of NY was even more vague in his warning to the president, who has shown no aversion to issuing politically charged pardons and claimed last July he had the power to pardon even himself.

"If he [Cohen] tells the truth to the special counsel who talks to him, and I believe he will, he will have topics that in my opinion will be of interest to the special counsel in his Russian investigation and related topics", Davis said.

Cohen's own lawyer, in a string of interviews early Wednesday, took aim at the president, dubbing him a "criminal". Trump has denied the affairs with Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Mr Davis set up a website to collect donations for Cohen's legal expenses.

But there was no doubt that Cohen's acknowledgement of a coordinated payoff scheme puts Trump's presidency on the defensive.

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Trump in his tweet did not spell out what he was referring to regarding former president Barack Obama, but he elaborated a bit more on Fox: "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".

Avenatti also told CNN on Tuesday: "I think the biggest problem for Donald Trump is that he lost control".

Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis told CBS News that his client had information about election tampering efforts during the 2016 campaign that would be "of interest to the special counsel". The heavily scrutinized encounter, Davis said, "requires an overt act to be criminal".

"He's without resources", Davis added before mentioning a website he said was a way for people to "help" his client.

In Virginia, Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud, much relating to millions of dollars he earned as a political consultant for Ukraine's former president. "'Justice" took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break'".

Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has said the payments were made to spare the president and his family embarrassment and were unrelated to the campaign.

Cohen would be a prosecutor's "dream cooperator: one who had special insider access to the leader of a powerful, closed, corrupt organization", former prosecutors Mimi Rocah and Elie Honig wrote last month. Trump's lawyers have been negotiating with Mueller about whether the president would submit to an interview as part of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. He added, "Such respect for a fearless man!"

Back in April, Daniels gave a powerful statement indicting Cohen's enabling of Trump's rise.