‘The president committed a crime’: Michael Cohen’s lawyer tells ITV News there is no doubt Trump violated campaign laws

  • Video report by ITV News Washington correspondent Robert Moore

US President Donald Trump is guilty of criminal charges, Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davies has told ITV News.

Mr Davies told ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore: "We have a president of the United States – if it wasn’t for the fact he is president - he would be subject to indictment, conviction and imprisonment."

And he confirmed Cohen, who acted as both lawyer and 'fixer' to Mr Trump, will cooperate with the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

It follows Cohen’s admission on Tuesday to violating campaign finance laws during the 2016 election.

Cohen said he did so in "coordination with and at the direction" of "the candidate" - Donald Trump - in order to influence the outcome of the election.

The 51-year-old's admission relates to “hush money” payments to two women Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who accused Mr Trump of sexual misconduct before he took office.

Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen. Credit: AP

Mr Davies told ITV News there is no doubt the president acted illegally.

“Let me be clear – the president of the United States committed a crime," he said.

"Not only because he knew and approved of the illegal payment to protect the news about Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affair but he approved and signed the cheques."

When asked if Cohen will divulge any knowledge to Mr Mueller’s investigation, Mr Davies said: “Everything he knows about Donald Trump – he will tell the truth to Mr Mueller and anyone else."

He said Cohen "knows a lot about a lot of subjects that he looks back on and he isn't so proud he helped Mr Trump do".

Mr Davies said a turning point came for Cohen when Mr Trump appeared to side with Russia over his own intelligence officials at the Helsinki Summit in July.

Mr Davies told ITV News: "When our president sides with Vladimir Putin against his own intelligence community including the Director of Intelligence Dan Coates – who he appointed – he stands at a podium with Vladimir Putin and agrees with a Russian dictator against his own intelligence community.

“Mr Cohen was traumatised for the future of our country that a president would do such a thing.”

Mr Trump denies any collusion with Russia and tweeted Cohen “made up stories to get a deal”, adding:

Cohen's admission of guilt came at almost the same moment that Mr Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted of financial crimes in a separate case.

Manafort was convicted in Virginia on charges brought by Mr Mueller.

The verdict raised immediate questions of whether the president would seek to pardon Manafort, who was the only American charged by Mueller to opt for trial instead of cooperating with the investigation.

Paul Manafort is facing years in prison. Credit: AP

Mr Trump defended Manafort on Twitter as he again rounded on Cohen.

Following the latest developments, there has been further doubt raised about the future of Mr Trump's presidency.

But ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore said it is too early to start writing his political obituary.

Mr Trump’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, also defended the president as he sought to cast the blame solely on Cohen.

"There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr Cohen," he said.