DONALD Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded GUILTY to paying two women for their silence “at the direction of US president”.
The New York attorney, 51, told a court he arranged payments ahead of the 2016 election to silence porn star Stormy Daniels and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal.
He made the statements on Tuesday after admitting to eight criminal charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
Cohen did not name Trump in court, but his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said afterwards he was referring to the president.
He said: “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.
“If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”
Cohen had previously admitted to arranging £100,000 hush money for Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, after she claimed to have had an affair with Trump.
Responding to Cohen’s guilty plea, Stormy tweeted: “How ya like me now?! #teamstormy”.
The other payment was related to McDougal who claimed she engaged in a 10-month extramarital “romantic relationship” in 2006 and 2007.
Cohen had been under investigation by the FBI for bank and tax fraud and whether he violated campaign finance laws.
In court in New York, Cohen admitted wilfully causing an unlawful corporate campaign contribution and making an excessive campaign contribution.
Cohen, who earlier agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors, also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one count of making false statements to a financial institution.
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Video via Reuters