Trump says Cohen payments came from him, not campaign

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But experts said the hush money payments are unlikely to ensnare Trump in a criminal case.

Trump stewed for weeks over the media coverage of the Manafort trial.

The state's attorney general, Barbara Underwood, filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, three of his children and his foundation in June, saying Trump had illegally used the nonprofit as a personal "checkbook" for his own benefit, including his 2016 presidential campaign.

Donald Trump accused his former lawyer Michael Cohen Wednesday of making up "stories" to cut a plea deal, after the longtime fixer implicated him in campaign finance violations on perhaps the worst day of his tumultuous presidency.

Investigators in NY state have issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of their probe into the Trump Foundation, an official with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration confirmed to The Associated Press Wednesday.

"The looming threat is that the potential for more days like the one we just endured is high", said GOP strategist Kevin Madden.

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday, labelled Mr Trump a "co-conspirator" and demanded that the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which is scheduled for early September, be delayed in the wake of Mr Cohen's plea. Cohen, he said, is someone whose "credibility is in tatters, because he's basically been all over the map as to what his story is".

And this hurts what should be a good political environment for Republicans.

Critics including comedian Kathy Griffin gleefully reposted the tweet, which was removed sometime Wednesday morning.

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.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and a Trump confidant, shrugged off the legal developments. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Believing that his arrest was imminent, Cohen turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation because he wanted to spare his children the image of him being perp-walked in handcuffs, according to the person who spoke with Cohen. They did not com out of campaign. Impeachment proceedings are tried in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim 51-seat majority.

Trump has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the payments at the time, while accepting they were made using his funds - to which Cohen had access.

While placing the president in direct legal jeopardy over the hush money payments, Cohen also served notice he is willing to cooperate with Mueller on the Russian Federation investigation.

At nearly the same time, Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud by a jury in Virginia.

And while the president could theoretically be impeached, it remains a remote prospect in a Republican-dominated Congress where even Democrats are focused on letting Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe play out in full.

Steve Bannon, Trump's combative former strategist, put the stakes in sharp relief.

Still, at least one Republican suggested the legal fallout does create a vulnerability for Trump.