Trump calls ex-lawyer Michael Cohen a 'rat'

In a Twitter post, the US President indirectly called Cohen an informer giving away inside information to authorities.
President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen. (Photo | AP)
President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen. (Photo | AP)

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump called his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen - who was sentenced to three years in prison after cooperating with prosecutors in several investigations, including the so-called "Russia probe" - a "rat" on Twitter.

The term "rat" is traditionally used in organised crime to refer to a "turncoat" or "informer" who has confessed to authorities and given law enforcement authorities inside information about the organisation.

The initials DNC refers to the Democratic National Committee and "Crooked" is one of Trump's favourite expressions for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he defeated in the 2016 election and whose use of a private email server to send certain official emails while she was secretary of state - deemed by the FBI to have been reckless but not harmful to national security - he continually mentions.

Cohen, who at one time had publicly said that he would "take a bullet" for Trump, was sentenced this past week to three years in prison for assorted crimes, including violating campaign finance laws in deeds which he testified under oath that the US President directed him to undertake.

Cohen was sentenced by a New York court for, among other things, paying hush money to two women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Trump, but he was also handed prison time for matters linked to the Russia probe, including his involvement in a project to build a "Trump Tower" in Moscow.

Trump reacted this past week to the accusations against his former personal lawyer, tweeting "I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law."

Since May 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been heading an investigation - independent of government - into possible links between members of Trump's election campaign and the Kremlin, which US intelligence agencies accuse of interfering in the 2016 elections, but he has also been examining potential obstruction of justice by Trump himself.

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The New Indian Express