In a day of bombshell revelations, one may well stand above the rest.
After entering a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in New York, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight total counts, including five counts of tax evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, and another count of “willful cause of unlawful corporate contribution” — as well as a count of “excessive campaign contribution.”
Most importantly? Cohen revealed that he had violated campaign finance law at the behest of an “unnamed candidate” — all for the “purpose of influencing [the] election.”
Cohen detailed how he violated federal campaign finance laws by arranging a series of payments to both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in the lead-up to the election. The candidate who, according to Cohen, helped cover the payments is technically unnamed, but it’s clear who it is: Donald Trump.
*COHEN SAYS HE VIOLATED CAMPAIGN LAW AT DIRECTION OF CANDIDATE
*COHEN DOESN'T NAME CANDIDATE WHO DIRECTED CAMPAIGN VIOLATION
hint: it's @realDonaldTrump
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) August 21, 2018
Prosecutor: Michael Cohen submitted fake invoices for non-existent legal services to the Trump Organization for reimbursement of hush money payments
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) August 21, 2018
The admission is the clearest, closest legal threat yet facing the president. As the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman wrote, “Trump’s lawyers… have long believe that Cohen presented a greater threat to Trump than the Mueller probe.” Or as The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin wrote, Trump “appears to be co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor of a federal crime.”
The presiding judge told Cohen, who could be facing upwards of 65 years in prison, that he will likely see something closer to four to six years, according to Bloomberg.
Cohen’s revelations came concurrent to a jury finding former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort guilty on eight separate counts, facing upwards of 80 years in prison. Manafort will go on trial next month on separate charges.