Breaking Down The Legal Implications Of Cohen's Plea Deal, Manafort's Conviction

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And he said he worked "in coordination" with the same candidate to make a payment to a second individual. "I said 80%. It's a lot".

Visibly crestfallen, the 51-year-old Cohen detailed how he made pre-election hush payments - "with the goal of influencing the election" - to two women alleging affairs with Trump: the porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Legal filings from the case revealed that executives at the Trump Organisation OK'd $US420,000 in reimbursements to Cohen to pay of these women, then tried to hide the true nature of those payments by describing them as legal fees and retainers.

According to prosecutors, the payment to McDougal was made through the parent company of the National Enquirer. The move was seen as a dramatic turn against Trump by the Cohen camp. On Wednesday, a stone-faced Sanders said a reporter's question was "ridiculous" when she asked if Trump ever lied to the American people. Trump's admission to Fox News that he knew about the payments at some point after they were made would seemingly contradict those past comments.

In another tweet, Mr Trump said, "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen".

"Any effort to pardon Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort in and of itself would be a gross assault on the rule of law, and constitute high crimes and misdemeanors", Wyden said, quoting the prerequisite for impeachment in Section 4, Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said in a statement that Cohen pleaded guilty "so that his family can move on to the next chapter". He said he did so "for the principal goal of influencing the election", as the two women claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

Appearing in court on Tuesday, Cohen said of the charge linked to McDougal that it was done "for the principal objective of influencing the election".

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According to Nicholas Biase, spokesperson for the Southern District of NY.

That contradicted Cohen's previous claim he had paid off one of the women without the president's knowledge.

Talk of a plea deal comes days after The New York Times reported that Cohen is also under investigation for potential tax and bank fraud, possibly exceeding United States dollars 20 million via loans obtained by the taxi medallion business he owns with his family. Pecker then informed Cohen, in part by calling him on an encrypted phone app.

But when Michael Cohen says on the record, under oath, in a context in which a lie would jeopardize the plea agreement, that he made these illegal campaign contributions at the specific direction and behest of the candidate, I think we all know who the candidate is in the scenario. "His day of reckoning serves as a reminder that we are a nation of laws, with one set of rules that applies equally to everyone". All it means is that the government was willing to allow him to plea at this stage.

The New York office had been investigating Cohen for months and had previously sought and obtained a warrant to search Cohen's email accounts.

The investigation against Cohen first burst into public view in April, when FBI agents searched his NY office, home and hotel room.

Investigators have been probing whether Cohen committed bank or tax fraud in connection with his financial and business dealings including loan activities.