Trump ex-lawyer Cohen pleads guilty - and implicates president

by Dwayne Torres August 23, 2018, 0:32
Trump ex-lawyer Cohen pleads guilty - and implicates president

U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in NY on campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion, ABC News reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

Mr Trump meanwhile repudiated his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who has implicated the president in an alleged campaign finance crime.

Lanny Davis told MSNBC that Cohen is "more than happy" to speak with the special counsel about "the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election", as well as other Russia-related subjects.

A NY judge has formally ended the attorney-client privilege review of items seized from President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, leaving prosecutors to decide what's next in their fraud probe.

Cohen, 51, made the statements as he pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges in federal court in Manhattan, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. In the plea, he said he arranged payment during the 2016 presidential election of so-called "hush money" to two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, exits federal court, 21 August 2018 in New York City.

At a courthouse close to Washington, jurors deliberated on whether the president's former campaign chair Paul Manafort - a man who was instrumental in him winning the Republican nomination - was guilty of a separate slew of charges.

Upon arriving in West Virginia for a rally Tuesday evening, Trump commented on the Manafort's conviction but refused to answer questions about Cohen.

"The deputy U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, Robert Khuzami, said: "[Cohen] worked to pay money to silence two women who had information he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign and to the candidate". The 22-page plea deal admits this as a violation of campaign finance, as these expenses were not declared as such.

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Cohen agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors.

Cohen, who worked as Trump's personal attorney at the Trump Organization, continued to advise the president after the 2016 election.

After initially denying knowledge of the hush money, Trump was heard on a 2016 recording made by Cohen that appears to show Trump was informed of at least one of the payments.

Manafort was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.

"That's why he's no good - that is Michael Cohen against Donald Trump", Levin said.

President Donald Trump suffered a major double blow when two former aides were exposed as criminals in separate court cases - with one accusing the United States leader himself of committing a crime.

Giuliani lashed out at Cohen on Tuesday, calling him a "devious little rat" and saying he has a history of lying.

Michael Cohen; Paul Manafort. Manafort's case had "nothing to do with Russian collusion" Trump said, adding that it "doesn't involve me".

The FBI raided Cohen's home and office on a referral from Mueller. 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.

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