Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a variety of federal offenses, including arranging payments to an adult film actress and a former Playboy model to buy their silence over their alleged affairs with Trump.
Trump faces growing political and legal risks from a months' long investigation into the payments by U.S. prosecutors, which stemmed from the larger continuing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump's campaign.
Trump, in his tweets, did not address Cohen's claim, nor what NY prosecutors say was then-candidate Trump's involvement in making a $150,000 payment to McDougal through American Media Inc.
Here's the breakdown of where things stand on the Mueller investigation at this time: Four people have been jailed or sentenced to jail, including Michael Cohen; Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted and will be sentenced soon; two have pleaded guilty - Michael Flynn and Rick Gates; more than two dozen people including Russian nationals have been charged and finally, Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and two others are "persons of interest". Cohen said he chose not to enter into a full cooperation agreement because "the sooner I am sentenced, the sooner I can return to my family".
"The fact that he was in the room will increase his culpability and will make his lawyers very nervous", said Jessica Levinson, a professor of election law and governance issues at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
"It is called 'advice of counsel, ' and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made", tweeted Trump. That is why they get paid.
Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and possibly a few Fox News legal analysts, have made that claim, but they are not campaign finance lawyers.
Cohen admitted charges brought by federal prosecutors in NY of tax evasion, providing false statements to a bank and illegal campaign contributions.
Cohen said it was his "blind loyalty" to the president that led him to ignore his own "moral compass" and "cover up [Mr Trump's] dirty deeds".
It’s increasingly looking like China was behind the massive Marriott data hack
Checking into a Marriott operated hotel in China means your data is in Chinese Government hands. This week, media reports from Reuters and The New York Times connected the breach.to Beijing.
Trump has denied the affairs. Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved modest credit for his decision over the summer to admit guilt and co-operate in the federal investigation of efforts by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election, but his assistance "does not wipe the slate clean". It is possible to thank Cohen for shedding light on Trump's activities while also condemning him for the life he has chosen and making clear that he has not earned the redemption he claims. He added that other lawyers, who he didn't name, have said that he did nothing wrong and that Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations that weren't criminal.
Mr. Trump told Faulkner that the crimes Cohen pleaded guilty to were "all unrelated to me except for the two campaign finance charges that are not criminal and shouldn't have been on there".
He has also denied the main focus of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller: whether his campaign colluded with Moscow in its meddling in the 2016 campaign.
Mueller referred the Cohen prosecution to federal prosecutors in NY earlier this year.
Earlier this week, Trump compared his situation to one involving President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, attended the sentencing and told reporters outside the courthouse, "Michael Cohen is neither a hero nor a patriot". However, the sentence still stressed the seriousness of violating campaign finance laws and seeking to influence the outcome of an election.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said past year he would not pursue state election law charges against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in part because the parties involved in making legally questionable transfers of campaign funds relied on the advice of their attorneys.