Michael Cohen Tells Court Trump Directed Him to Break Law

 August 22, 2018

Cohen Trump

US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted he violated campaign laws at the direction of “the candidate” and his former campaign manager was convicted of bank and tax fraud.

Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating campaign laws at a Manhattan court and said he was acting for the “purpose of influencing the (presidential) election”.

Cohen did not name the candidate, but was working for Trump at the time.

He told the judge that he was aware of what he was doing before pleading guilty to the charges, admitting that he worked “at the direction of candidate” when he attempted to buy the silence  of Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who has claimed she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2016.

Cohen also admitted that he worked “with and at the direction of the same candidate” to deliver a $130,000 (£100,000) payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to silence her claims about an affair.

Although did not mention Trump’s name, he was employed by the billionaire businessman, then a presidential candidate, at the time the payments were made.

Cohen’s admission came minutes after the jury in the trial of Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, returned a guilty verdict in eight counts of bank and tax fraud.

The jury took four days to find Manafort guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud.

Cohen is known for his previously close relationship with Trump, and has repeatedly been described as his “fixer” for difficult matters. That proximity means Cohen could potentially create substantial legal headaches for Trump, whose 2016 presidential campaign is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for collusion with Russia.

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