U.S. Jury Finds Manafort Guilty Of Financial Fraud; Cohen Pleads Guilty
Aug 23 2018
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.
In Wednesday's interviews, Cohen's lawyer, Davis, also said his client would not accept a presidential pardon from Trump.
Cohen on Tuesday pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to eight criminal charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
Embattled Trump was also recorded by Cohen about two months before the vote where they discussed buying the rights to a story by ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have had an affair with 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 goal of influencing an election", Davis said in a statement.
It remains unclear if the former Trump lawyer has committed to cooperate with the ongoing Special Counsel Robert Mueller probe over the alleged Russian Federation meddling into the 2016 USA general elections.
The Daniels payment was charged as an excessive personal contribution and the National Enquirer money was charged as an unlawful corporate contribution, both "for the principle goal of influencing the election", Cohen said in court. The former chairman of the Federal Election Commission has said that such a paymentdoes not constitute a campaign finance violation.
Cohen's then-lawyer called the use of search warrants "completely inappropriate".
Trump was more complimentary of Cohen before his long-time attorney began talking to prosecutors.
Many observers noted that while Cohen's claims seem to involve Trump is directly involved in a crime, the Justice Department policy dictates that a sitting president can not be indicted.
Trump has admitted reimbursing Cohen for one of the payments, after earlier denying knowledge.
Manafort was found guilty of eight our of 18 charges of tax and bank fraud, the first conviction for special counsel Robert Mueller.
"We have definitive evidence that Donald Trump committed a crime and a crime involving the corruption of American democracy", Davis said of payments made to women who alleged affairs with Trump.
It was a stunning development, one that could put the president in significant political and legal peril.
We're told Cohen will lose his right to practice law as soon as the NY Attorney Grievance Committee files a motion to have him disbarred.it's just waiting on the official paperwork needed to get the ball rolling. He didn't mention Manafort or his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to several crimes Tuesday, during the rally.
Cohen has indicated that he plans to cooperate with the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation, and has suggested he has information about Trump that would be useful to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.