U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified on Tuesday that Trump had directed him to commit a crime by arranging payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election to silence two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. 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.
Cohen did not name Trump in court, but his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said afterward that he was referring to the president.
“Today he (Cohen) 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 in a statement.
“If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Davis said.
Michael Cohen, the personal lawyer and “fixer” who once said he would “take a bullet” for Donald Trump, struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty Tuesday to charges including campaign finance fraud, bank fraud and tax evasion, according to two people familiar with the plea bargain.
AP : Two people familiar with the financial fraud investigation of Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, say he has reached a plea agreement.
The people spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
They did not know the details of the agreement.
The investigation into Cohen has pulled back the curtain on Cohen’s role as the president’s loyal “fixer.”
Earlier this year he admitted arranging a $130,000 payment to quiet porn actress Stormy Daniels’ claims that she had an affair with Trump.