Michael Cohen Says He Worked With Trump to Pay Hush Money to Two Women Before the Election
NEW YORK – August 22, 2018
Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to tax fraud, campaign finance violations and bank fraud in federal court in New York.
Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate campaign contribution and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.
Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said Cohen decided, as a lawyer, that he was above the law and would pay a "very, very serious price" for his actions.
According to the representative of the New York Prosecutor's office, Cohen did not pay tax in the amount of $1.3 million from the income of $4.3 million received from the IRS in 2013-2016. At the same time, he admitted that he illegally received a loan in the amount of $ 500 thousand.
Cohen also admitted that he arranged to make payments "for (the) principal purpose of influencing (the) election" at the direction of a candidate for federal office but did not give the candidate's name.
Michael Cohen, told a federal court on Tuesday that he had paid off two women to silence them before the 2016 election at Trump’s "direction," and admitted that the payments were illegal.
Cohen made the extraordinary admission that he paid a pornographic actress "at the direction of the candidate," referring to Trump, to secure her silence about an affair she said she had with the billionaire in 2006.
An attorney for Cohen said Mr Trump directed Cohen to commit a crime.
"If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?" Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement.
Cohen once said he would "take a bullet" for Mr Trump, but their relationship has deteriorated since an FBI raid on Cohen's office, hotel room and home in April.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that federal prosecutors were focused on more than $20 million in loans obtained by Cohen from taxi businesses owned by him and his family.
The loans are part of the investigation into whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.