This is a developing story.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former longtime personal attorney, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court.
Cohen pled guilty to evading personal income taxes, making an unlawful corporate campaign contribution, making a false statement to a financial institution and making an excessive campaign contribution in October 2016, the Washington Post reported. He could face a prison sentence of 46 to 63 months, the judge said.
Cohen was shaking head and appeared to be holding back emotions as the potential prison sentence was announced, according to the Post.
Cohen’s lawyer said the hearing was a powerful statement against Trump, noting that Cohen swore under oath that Trump directed him.
“If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Lanny Davis said.
Cohen acknowledged the charges and said he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. Cohen said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, per the same candidate’s orders. It was later repaid by the candidate. He didn’t identify the candidate or silenced person, but the facts match Cohen’s payment to former porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she and Trump had an affair, as well as Trump’s repayment of Cohen’s efforts.
Cohen also said that the purpose of the payments were to swing the results of the election, which Trump won.