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Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen admits campaign violation

August 21, 2018 5:12 pm

US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to violating campaign finance laws.

He said he did so at the direction of “the candidate”, acting for the “purpose of influencing the election”.

Mr Cohen’s admission was related to hush money paid to Mr Trump’s alleged mistresses.

The 51-year-old admitted eight counts, including tax and bank fraud in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Mr Trump ignored questions about Mr Cohen as he arrived on Tuesday evening for a pre-scheduled rally in West Virginia.

In court earlier, Mr Cohen said he had been directed by “a candidate for federal office” – presumed to be Mr Trump himself – to break federal election laws.

The charges against Mr Cohen carry up to 65 years in prison, but he is likely to receive far less under a deal with prosecutors.

He has pleaded guilty to:

Five counts of tax evasion
One count of making false statements to a financial institution
One count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution
One count of making an excessive campaign contribution at request of a candidate or campaign
His sentencing is set for 12 December.