Michael Cohen said he paid hush money at ‘direction’ of Trump

Michael Cohen
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Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance and other charges.

He made the extraordinary admission that he paid a pornographic actress “at the direction of the candidate,” referring to Mr. Trump, to secure her silence about an affair she said she had with Mr. Trump.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami told reporters on Tuesday after Cohen’s guilty plea that he submitted invoices to the candidate’s company to obtain reimbursement for the unlawful campaign contributions.

“Today, as you heard, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony charges. Five of those dealt with tax evasion for the years 2012 through 2016, through which he failed to report approximately $4.1 million in reported income. Approxmiately 2.5 of that money was from interest payments from a personal loan that he failed to report. Approximately $1.3 million of that money was from the operation of his taxi medalion business. Approximately $100,000 of that money was from brokerage commissions and over $200,000 was from consulting fees. That’s over $4.3 mllion over a five-year period, which tranlates into a loss for the United States Treasury of approximately $1.3 million. “

Khuzami said Cohen decided, as a lawyer, that he was above the law and would pay a “very, very serious price” for his actions.

“These are very serious charges and reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over an extended period of time,” Khuzami said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to charges including campaign finance fraud stemming from hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The 51-year-old Cohen said in federal court in New York on Tuesday that he made the payments in coordination with Trump, who wasn’t named, to influence the election. Both women claimed Trump had affairs with them, which he denies.

The other charges Cohen pleaded guilty to involve bank fraud and income tax evasion.

As part of his plea agreement, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence from 46 to 63 months.

Cohen’s plea follows months of scrutiny from federal investigations and a falling out with the president, whom he previously said he’d “take a bullet” for.

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