Orrin Hatch walks back Trump comment about hush money allegations
16th December 2018

Retiring Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch on Friday walked back comments that he didn’t care about federal prosecutors’ allegations that President Trump committed a crime when he arranged hush money payments to a porn star and Playboy centerfold.

Asked if he had any concerns that Trump was implicated, Hatch told CNN on Monday that: “I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as President,” prompting critics to charge that he believed Trump was above the law.

On Friday, he changed his tune, repeating that he did not trust Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, to be honest, but also praising special counsel Robert Mueller.

“While I don’t believe Michael Cohen is any kind of reliable voice in this process, I have expressed confidence in Bob Mueller and his investigation countless times, including writing in the Wall Street Journal that he must be allowed to complete his investigation,” the 84-year-old lawmaker said in a statement.

“Last October, when Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted, I said, ‘I believe that it’s in the best interest for all parties involved to allow Bob Mueller to conduct a full and vigorous investigation,’” he continued.

“I continue to believe that, and when we see Mueller’s full report and the complete filings from the New York US Attorney’s office, we can determine the path forward. While I believe the President has succeeded in a number of important policy areas, that success is separate from the validity of these investigations, which I believe should be allowed to run their course.”

He also emphasized that he does not believe that anyone is above the law.

“I don’t believe the president broke the law, but one of the core principles of our country is that no one is above the law. That means anyone who does break the law should face appropriate consequences,” he said.

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