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Cohen Guilty Pleas Involve Payoffs to Two Women

Charges against the president's former attorney include campaign finance violations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 21, 2018 4:13 PM CDT
Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – Ex-Trump attorney Cohen has entered guilty pleas to charges that include campaign finance violations involving payoffs to two women, per the AP. The hush money payments were part of a coordinated effort to influence the 2016 presidential election, the president's former "fixer" said in a federal court in New York on Tuesday. In a deal reached with federal prosecutors, Cohen, 51, pleaded guilty to eight counts in all, including tax evasion and making a false statement to a financial institution. As part of his plea agreement, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence ranging from 46 to 63 months; he will be sentenced Dec. 12. Cohen's plea follows months of scrutiny from federal investigations and a falling out with the president, whom he previously said he'd "take a bullet" for.

In entering the plea, Cohen did not specifically name the two women or even Trump, recounting instead that he worked with an "unnamed candidate." But the amounts and the dates all lined up with the payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. FBI raids in April sought bank records, communications with Trump's campaign, and information on payments to Daniels and McDougal. Both women claimed Trump had affairs with them, which he denies. However, Cohen told the judge Tuesday that the payoffs were In "coordination with, and at the direction of" the candidate. Trump ignored questions about Cohen as he boarded Air Force One for a campaign visit to West Virginia.
(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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