Here's how Republicans plan to spin the criminal convictions of 2 top Trump aides

  • 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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