Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMichael Cohen exits federal court after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors on August 21, 2018 in New York City.
- President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight federal crimes in a surreal court hearing Tuesday.
- As part of his plea deal, Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion for failing to report more than $US4 million between 2012 and 2016.
- One count of giving a false statement to a financial institution between February 2015 and April 2016
- One count of willful cause of an unlawful corporate contribution relating to hush money payments between June 2016 and October 2016.
- One count of excessive campaign contribution to October 27, 2016 – the day a $US130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels was finalised.
- Cohen stated during his plea entry that he made the illegal contributions “at the direction of the candidate” and with the “purpose of influencing the election.” Though he was not directly named, that candidate is widely believed to be Trump.
- After landing in West Virginia for a campaign rally Tuesday night, Trump initially dodged shouted questions from reporters about Cohen’s plea deal.
- But Trump’s current lawyer Rudy Giuliani said: “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.”
- Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, suggested his client’s plea deal has everything to do with Trump. “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 purpose of influencing an election,” Davis said.
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