Preeminent attorney Shanin Specter suggested that President Donald Trump’s Saturday morning Twitter attack on his former fixer, Michael Cohen, could blow up in his face.
While spending the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, President Trump accused his former attorney, Michael Cohen, of “perhaps illegal” behavior by recording a conversation with Trump during which the two reportedly discussed a hush money payment.
Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. These agreements are…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2018
“Is there not now a public war between the two?” asked CNN host Michael Smerconish.
“Yes, Mike, there appears to be,” Specter answered. “This is a very surprising tweet from the president this morning where he suggests his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, committed a crime.”
“The significance of this tape is that it may indicate there was criminal conduct by either President Trump or Michael Cohen or both of them,” Specter explained.
Specter suggested the tape may fall under the crime/fraud exception to the attorney/client privilege.
“Read the tea leaves now, who would have motivation to put this in the public domain?” Smerconish asked.
“Michael Cohen,” Specter immediately answered.
He suggested Cohen’s motivation could be that, “if he still entertains the thought that the president might pardon him, the putting of this tape in the public domain is a pressure point on the president that he can do the president great damage.”
“It’s extraordinary that the president would suggest that Michael Cohen has committed a crime in relation to the tape recording of this conversation, which, by the way, appears to have occurred in New York State, in which there is one party consent and I’m sure that President Trump knows that,” he argued.
“So not only is suggesting that Cohen committed a crime in recording him, but to accuse his former lawyer, who simply said may have the goods on him of committing the crime is a terrible, terrible idea,” Specter continued.
Trump declared war on Michael Cohen this morning https://t.co/UpXQwlla9I
— Raw Story (@RawStory) July 21, 2018
White House aides want Trump to stop saying his Ukraine phone call was ‘perfect’: CNN’s Jim Acosta
On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said President Donald Trump's aides were frustrated with the president's defense of his phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he apparently tried to use military aid to extort political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Furthermore, there is fear in the White House that some Republicans may defect and vote to impeach the president — which would wreck their narrative.
"I just spoke with a source close to the White House a short while ago who objected to the president continuing to say that his phone call with the leader of the Ukraine was 'perfect,'" said Acosta. "Nobody really is echoing that message on behalf of the president. It doesn't seem that anybody here in Washington, except for the most partisan of partisans feels, that the president's phone call with the leader of Ukraine was perfect."
House Democrat smacks down Trump’s claim of ‘doctored’ transcripts: ‘Those transcripts are reviewed by those witnesses’
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," during a discussion of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's legal situation, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) trashed President Donald Trump's claim that the transcripts from the impeachment hearings were somehow falsified.
"I will say that the craziness continues," said Connolly. "For the president today to assert, based on nothing, the transcripts were doctored and don't really reflect the deposition of the witnesses we heard from — and by the way, those transcripts are reviewed by those witnesses and their attorneys before they're released for accuracy — but secondly, of course, to have the chief of staff of the president actually suing his own White House to get a decision about whether or not he's required to respond to congressional demand for testimony or the White House directive really brings us into all-new territory in terms of craziness. And it's really disturbing to watch."
Trump’s decision to cut off Ukraine aid is something ‘you would expect to read about in a dictatorship’: Ex-Obama official
On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," former Obama administration official and national security analyst Samantha Vinograd excoriated President Donald Trump for his decision — further laid out in newly released House transcripts — to suspend military aid to Ukraine.
"This process that is described and echoed in other depositions is a process that you would expect to read about in a dictatorship, where a leader rules by fiat and his national security team scrambles to find a legal justification and to sell a bill of goods to legislators and the American people about why the president has made a certain decision," said Vinograd.