Jarrett: 'Deceptive & Misleading' to Suggest Trump Is 'Unindicted Co-Conspirator' in Cohen's Crimes
Fox News legal analyst and bestselling author Gregg Jarrett said it's "deceptive and misleading" for pundits and lawmakers to suggest President Trump is an "unindicted co-conspirator" in crimes committed by Michael Cohen.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and confidant, admitted Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2016 by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.
Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.
"If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?" Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, tweeted Tuesday.
Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election. If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?
— Lanny Davis (@LannyDavis) August 21, 2018
On "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday, Jarrett said even if Cohen is telling the truth that Trump directed him to pay off the women, Trump would not have done anything illegal.
He explained that if Trump was behind the payoffs, it would not have been solely to help his chances in the election, but also for personal and commercial reasons.
"As long as there is a secondary or dual purpose, the law says it's not a campaign expense," Jarrett said.
He added that in order to criminalize an illegal campaign contribution, which is normally a civil penalty, prosecutors have to show willful and knowing violation of campaign finance laws.
"The fact that a prosecutor in New York says this was a crime, and, under pressure, Michael Cohen agrees to that, doesn't make it so. It hasn't been litigated. There was no trial, no judge, no jury. So, Lanny Davis' statement is very misleading and deceptive," Jarrett said.
"It's blatantly unfair to somebody to be labeled an 'unindicted co-conspirator.'"
Watch more from Jarrett above, and check out his New York Times' bestseller "The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump."