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Trump’s former lawyer pleads guilty to violating finance laws
23 August 2018, 12:27 | Ivan Casey
Michael Cohen. Yana Paskova Getty Shayanne Gal Business Insider
Former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan Tuesday to eight counts - five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporation contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate.
Earlier this year he admitted arranging a $130,000 payment to quiet porn actress Stormy Daniels' claims that she had an affair with Trump.
Manafort was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.
While Cohen did not name Trump in court on Tuesday, Davis again on Wednesday accused the president of being directly involved. However, by pleading guilty both Cohen and prosecutors would avoid the spectacle and uncertainty of a trial. Davis also said Cohen was willing to share more information about campaign finance violations. "This has nothing to do what they started out, looking for Russians involved in our campaign". "It's just that Mr. Trump won't testify under oath and admit the truth that he is just as much guilty of violating campaign finance laws". "They came from me". "Because that could be - a little dicey", the president continued in the interview, which will air in full Thursday morning on Fox News Channel.
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The investigation first came to the fore in April, when investigators working under referral from special counsel Robert Mueller raided Cohen's home, office and hotel.
Speaking on Wednesday, Lanny Davis also said Cohen would not accept a Presidential pardon from Trump, something Trump has previously hinted that he would use to get himself out of trouble. "'Justice" took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a "deal.' Such respect for a courageous man!"
"The factual basis of the plea, potentially implicating the president in illegal campaign finance violations, adds to the president's legal jeopardy", he added.
Obama's 2008 campaign did, in fact, pay $375,000 to the Federal Election Commission as a result of campaign reporting errors; others, including Republican nominee Bob Dole's 1988 campaign, also paid fines for similar reasons. There are no charges against him and we have commented on this extensively.
Trump said he felt "very badly" for Paul Manafort, and a "sad thing that happened", describing him as a "great man".
Trump noted that 10 of the 18 charges could not be decided in Manafort's case, for which the judge yesterday in Alexandria, Virginia, declared a mistrial.
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Aside from the president's tweets, the White House has been largely mum on Tuesday's developments.
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