Courts Video

Cohen Sentencing; Senate Confirms First Judicial Nominee in Two Months

I was on Fox News “Fox & Friends FIRST” to discuss the Cohen sentencing and President Trumps’ setting a record in terms of appointing judges to the Circuit Court.

FOX NEWS: Did Cohen break the law or are the goal posts being moved in the hopes that prosecutors could go after the President himself? Joining us to explain it is attorney and spokeswoman for the Judicial Crisis Network Gayle Trotter. Let’s take a look first at the sentencing that Michael Cohen received yesterday: three years in prison for tax evasion, making false statements, campaign finance violations, $50,000 fine, $500,000 forfeiture, $1.4 million restitution, and a voluntary surrender date of March 6. His attorney said that he will spend the time between now and March 6 working with Robert Muller and telling him as much as he knows about President Donald Trump. So what are the implications with all of this, if anything, for President Trump?

TROTTER: Well just because someone pleads guilty to a crime does not mean that a crime has actually been committed. Michael Cohen, as you know, was pressured into this plea agreement based on a very expansive and aggressive interpretation of the campaign finance law. Now even if you accept Michael Cohen and the prosecutor’s version of the events, that does not mean that the President committed any offense. In fact when you look at the prior precedent on this issue and you look at the underlining statute, the whole issue is whether not something was done for the purpose of influencing an election. Certainly in this case and others that have been part of this chain of cases, it is clear to see that this action could have been taken irrespective of the election, and that is the key legal issue for the President going forward.

FOX NEWS:  Prior precedents, one of those being a prior presidential contender John Edwards?


FOX NEWS:  What happened in that case?

TROTTER: The court did not hold that up because John Edwards was able to make the case with his lawyers that he would have made that expenditure irrespective of the election. I think when you look at the logical outcome of the prosecutor’s argument on that, you’re saying that campaign finances should be expended on behalf of this type of an arrangement and most people who contribute to a presidential campaign or another campaign don’t expect that their contributions would go towards that. Certainly in the case where you’re trying to keep information that is publicly embarrassing not out there, there’s certainly a reason to contain it that is completely irrespective of influencing any election.

FOX NEWS: The President’s attorney Rudy Giuliani came out with his statement, a couple of them, and one of the things he pointed out he said you know the idea that Michael Cohen was blindly loyal to President Trump, which is part of what Michael Cohen said in court yesterday, he said that’s absurd. Giuliani says on the one hand Cohen says he was blindly loyal then he recorded his client without permission and then leaked it to the press. So which do you have? Which Michael Cohen are you talking about here?

TROTTER: That’s a great point. Any attorney knows that the idea that you would record your client without their permission, it just makes the skin crawl. It is a violation of every idea of moral legal implication that you would have on the loyalty to your client. So certainly Mr. Giuliani is making a very strong argument hear that rebuts what the prosecutors have said about the relationship that Michael Cohen had with the President.

FOX NEWS: Let’s move on to some business that is getting done: the Senate confirming the first judicial nominee in two months yet despite Democrats resistance, President Trump still setting a Circuit Court record in terms of appointing these judges. The amount of the numbers he’s appointed between the inauguration and December 2nd: 30 for President Donald Trump. Compare that to 11 for President Barack Obama. Then you can look at the rest of the numbers there. So finally another appointment, still very successful for him.

TROTTER: Yes, President Trump continues to deliver on this very important promise to re-balance the federal judiciary and appoint high quality judges who understand that the role of a judge is to interpret the law, not to make the law. Now the Senate has the ability to continue to push forward on these nominations. We have many people in the pipeline, many vacancies, and it’s the responsibility of the Senate to do their job and to continue to vet and confirm these nominees. President Trump has fulfilled his end of his presidential duty and now the Senate should continue to move with haste to confirm these nominees.

FOX NEW: Doing it without Democrats and without Jeff Flake. Thank you so much.