Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) on Monday dismissed federal charges implicating President Trump in crimes committed by his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen at his direction, saying that he doesn’t care about the argument made in a court filing by the Southern District of New York because Trump is a good president.
“I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as president,” Hatch said in an interview with CNN.
“The Democrats will do anything to hurt this president,” he told CNN. “What happened before he was elected president is one thing, but since he’s been elected the economy’s done well, our country is moving ahead. We’re in better shape than when we were before he became president. And I think we ought to judge him on that basis.”
When CNN reporter Manu Raju noted that it was federal prosecutors, not Democrats, that made the allegations about Trump, Hatch responded, “You think he’s a Republican, do you?”
“All I can say is this, President Trump before he became president, that’s another world. Since he’s become president, this economy has charged ahead. We’re all better off,” Hatch added.
Hatch’s comments come days after federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York implicated Trump in a scheme to silence women who alleged during the 2016 campaign that they had extramarital affairs with him before he became president, according to court documents.
Friday’s sentencing memo marked the first time federal prosecutors sought to directly connect the president to those campaign finance violations, writing that Cohen acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who was referred to as “Individual-1” in the court filing.
“While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows,” prosecutors in New York wrote Friday. “He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1,” referring to President Trump.
“In the process,” prosecutors continued, “Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.”