- President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes on Tuesday.
- The investigation into Cohen focused on a $US130,000 payment the lawyer facilitated to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump.
- Trump has denied the allegation, and Daniels is suing Cohen and Trump to void the non-disclosure agreement.
- Shortly after Cohen’s guilty pleas, Daniels and her lawyer Michael Avenatti said they were “vindicated.”
- Daniel added that and Avenatti “look f orward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong.”
Stormy Daniels, the porn star at the center of President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen’s criminal investigation, and her lawyer Michael Avenatti said they were “vindicated” by Cohen’s guilty pleas on Tuesday.
Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes, and said he made illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of the candidate” and with the “purpose of influencing the election.”
Though the case didn’t mention Daniels by name, Cohen pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to the Trump campaign on the same day he facilitated a $US130,000 payment to the porn star. Federal law prohibits individuals from donating more than $US3,500 to presidential campaigns.
Cohen’s payment to Daniels was part of a non-disclosure agreement over Daniels’ allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump. The president has repeatedly denied the allegation of the affair, and Daniels is currently suing Cohen and Trump to void the non-disclosure deal.
Shortly after Cohen entered his guilty pleas on Tuesday, Daniels appeared to celebrate the news by tweeting: “How ya like me now?! #teamstormy.”
“And thank you Michael Avenatti,” she added in an ensuing tweet, addressing her lawyer.
She also told NBC News in a statement: “Michael [Avenatti] and I are vindicated and we look forward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong.”
Avenatti also spoke of his vindication to various news networks on Tuesday.
He told MSNBC on Tuesday:
“She has been vindicated this afternoon. I have been vindicated based on what we’ve gone through over these past five or six months, what she’s gone through. I applaud her courageousness and her fortitude in coming forward. I think a lot of this stems from her courage and what she was willing to come forward and do.
“The $US130,000 payment – count eight [of Cohen’s charges] – absolutely, directly relates to her. That’s the payment that was made to her. It relates to the President of the United States, Donald Trump, and we’re going to get to the bottom now in connection with the civil case as to what the president knew, and what he knew about it, and when he knew it, and what he did about it.
“The likelihood of me getting a deposition of the President of the United States under oath just went through the roof – no question about it.
“Our case is no longer going to be stayed and we’re going to press forward as aggressively as possible.”
He added that Cohen’s guilty plea now posed a “significant problem” for Trump, who now “has a lot of explaining to do.”
A new court filing also said that the Trump Organisation approved $US420,000 in reimbursements to Cohen in relation to his hush-money payments before the election.
Avenatti also told CNN on Tuesday: “I think the biggest problem for Donald Trump is that he lost control. He has lost control over Manafort,” referring to Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager who was convicted of eight counts related to financial fraud on Tuesday.
“He’s lost control over Cohen. These two individuals now are going to be looking to cut their own criminal sentences,” he added.
Here’s a clip of Avenatti’s MSNBC appearance:
WATCH: Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy Daniels, responds to Michael Cohen pleading guilty to multiple counts today. pic.twitter.com/ReUMINUejb
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 21, 2018
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s current personal lawyer, said according to NBC News: “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen. 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.”
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