Trump suggests 'flipping' should be made illegal after Michael Cohen turns on president

'This whole thing about flipping they call it, I know all about flipping for 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 23 August 2018 16:33
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Donald Trump: Michael Cohen 'flipping' to get better plea deal

Donald Trump has suggested plea bargains should be made illegal in light of his former lawyer Michael Cohen admitting a range of financial crimes.

The US president claimed people facing prosecution who decide to cooperate with the government “just make up lies” in order to get a lenient sentence.

Cohen told court during his guilty plea that the the president was implicated in campaign finance violations over payments to two women who claim Mr Trump had affairs with them. The president, who has denied all such allegations, dismissed Cohen's remarks by saying: “He makes a better deal when he uses me”.

Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to eight charges, including to arranging to make payments “for [the] principal purpose of influencing the election”. He claimed it was at the direction of Mr Trump.

The president is alleged to have attempted to buy the silence of the two women; former porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer, has said his client will refuse any pardon by Mr Trump, branding the president a “criminal” and a “dangerous person”.

“I know that he wants to tell the truth about Mr Trump and when he first came to me we had long conversations about his views, about the suitability of Mr Trump to be president of the United States," Mr Davis told CNN.

He has also said his client “has information” on the president that would interest Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Sarah Sanders: It is a "ridiculous accusation" to say Trump has ever lied

On Thursday morning, Mr Trump discussed plea deals during a sit-down interview with Fox News' show Fox & Friends. He said: “This whole thing about flipping they call it, I know all about flipping for 30, 40 years I’ve been watching flippers.

“Everything’s wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed, it’s not fair.”

Asked about his relationship with Cohen, who was one of the president’s closest associates for more than a decade, Mr Trump said he was a “part-time” lawyer for him, “one of many”.

Mr Trump claimed Cohen “made the deals” with Ms Daniels and Ms McDougal without his knowledge, before adding moments later the money came from his personal wealth rather than out of the Trump campaign’s finances.

“He pled to two counts that aren’t a crime, which nobody understands,” Mr Trump continued. “I watched a number of shows – sometimes you get some pretty good information by watching shows – those two counts aren’t even a crime. They weren’t campaign finance.”

Critics were quick to raise the spectre of impeachment over the payments to the two women.

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