Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion, Campaign Contribution Violation

Thursday, 23 Aug, 2018

Lanny Davis, Mr. Cohen's attorney, said on Twitter: "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 objective of influencing an election".

U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday accused his former long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen of "making stories" in order to get a "deal".

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders maintained President Donald Trump "did nothing wrong" relating to the hush money payments made to women who claimed affairs with him during the 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney has entered a federal courtroom in NY where two people familiar with his case say he will plead guilty to federal fraud charges.

At nearly the same time, Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud by a jury in Virginia.

Mr. Cohen said he organised hush money for two porn stars, who allegedly had sexual relations with Mr. Trump, who directed him to pay them off.

And in a Virginia courtroom, onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been convicted of financial crimes. The man often described as Trump's "fixer" said in court that the payments were meant to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Cohen's then-lawyer called the use of search warrants "completely inappropriate".

There has been no indication that Cohen will talk to or cooperated with Mueller's team.

Cohen now faces potential jail time and could yet decide to throw open the window on decades of dealings with his former mentor Trump in return for a lenient sentence.

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NY state investigators reportedly have issued a subpoena to Michael Cohen as part of the Trump Foundation probe; Laura Ingle reports.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts in all, including tax evasion and making a false statement to a financial institution.

"Any effort to pardon Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort in and of itself would be a gross assault on the rule of law, and constitute high crimes and misdemeanors", Wyden said, quoting the prerequisite for impeachment in Section 4, Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

With both Cohen and Manafort facing prison sentences and other ongoing investigations, the pair are under mounting pressure to seek a deal that would involve cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

The president's longtime lawyer dealt him a bitter political blow on Tuesday as he admitted to felony charges in NY that included making illegal campaign contributions - and implicated the president.

Trump has repeatedly played down Russian interference, and denounces Mueller's investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt". Trump could, as they say, shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, and Sanders could still say he has done nothing wrong and has not been charged with a crime.

In April, federal agents raided Cohen's home and office and seized millions of pages of documents and bank records.

"I believe that a pardon from Donald Trump would by definition be dirty", Davis said, because Trump has "acted so corruptly in his business endeavors and in the number of lies that he utterly unapologetically articulates everyday as president of the United States".

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.