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How Republicans plan to spin criminal convictions of 2 top Trump aides

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Donald Trump
President
Donald Trump speaks to the media after he steps off Air Force One
on Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, West
Virginia.

AP Photo/Alex
Brandon


  • Talking points from the Republican Party revealed how
    defenders of President Donald Trump should spin the guilty
    convictions of his former personal attorney Michael Cohen and
    former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the
    Washington Post.
  • Trump’s defenders should say their cases have nothing
    to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian
    government.
  • The party is also recommending that Trump surrogates
    argue in TV interviews that Cohen’s plea deal does not mean
    that Trump also violated a campaign finance law.

Talking points from the Republican Party reveal how defenders of
President Donald Trump should spin the guilty convictions of his
former personal attorney Michael Cohen and former campaign
chairman Paul Manafort.

Washington
Post
 reporter Josh Dawsey obtained the memo, which
advises Trump backers to say their cases have nothing to do
with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian
government.

The party is also recommending that Trump surrogates who appear
in TV interviews argue that Cohen’s plea does not mean that Trump
also violated a campaign finance law, according to the memo.

The GOP also wants its members to say that the White House and
witnesses for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia
investigation have cooperated with the probe. It also calls for
Mueller’s investigation to be brought to a close.

Mueller is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016
presidential election, the Trump campaign’s possible coordination
with Moscow, and whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in the
course of the probe.

The memo Dawsey obtained also includes Trump’s personal attorney
Rudy Giuliani’s statement on Tuesday to The New York Times.

“There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President
in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen,” Giuliani
told
 The Times. “It is clear that, as
the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of
lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.”

A jury found
Manafort guilty of eight counts
of tax fraud, bank fraud, and
failure to report foreign bank accounts after a high-stakes
criminal trial. They were unable to reach a verdict on the
other 10 counts he was accused of, and the judge declared a
mistrial on those charges.

Cohen struck a deal with
prosecutors
to plead guilty to eight federal crimes,
including five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank
fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution,
and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

During his plea entry, Cohen said he had made the
illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of
the candidate” and with the “purpose of influencing the
election.”

He did not identify said candidate by name, but the criminal complaint, which
refers to said candidate as “individual 1,” said that person
became president of the United States in January 2017 — meaning
it can be only be Trump.

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