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Cohen’s lawyer on guilty plea: If Cohen committed a crime, didn’t Trump too?


Michael Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, argued Tuesday that his client’s guilty plea and subsequent testimony that he violated campaign finance laws “at the direction of a candidate for federal office” showed President Trump committed a crime.

“Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter. This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump,” Davis said in a statement.

“Today he 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,” he continued. “If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?”


Cohen pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court on Tuesday afternoon to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations.

He testified that he violated campaign finance laws “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” an indirect reference to Trump.

While reviewing the charges, Cohen told the judge that he made a $130,000 payment at the direction of a candidate for federal office to keep someone quiet, and was later repaid by that same candidate.

At no point did Cohen refer to Trump by name, but the account matches Cohen’s payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels in October 2016.

Trump initially denied knowing anything about the payment to Daniels, but later acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for the expense, which he insisted had nothing to do with the campaign.

Daniels is suing Cohen and the president for defamation and to void the nondisclosure agreement about the affair, which allegedly took place in 2006.

Cohen also told the judge he made a contribution of $150,000 at the direction of the candidate, which aligns with his payment to secure the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s account of an alleged affair with Trump.

Cohen, who said in September he would “take a bullet” for the president, was once one of Trump’s closest associates. He spent years working for the Trump Organization, and until recently served as the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

The president was on Air Force One en route to a rally in West Virginia when Cohen pleaded guilty. Upon landing, he did not answer shouted questions about his former personal attorney.

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