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Michael Cohen’s Lawyer Says Trump Directed Him to ‘Commit a Crime’

  • President’s former lawyer pleads guilty, now faces prison
  • Cohen’s actions reflect ‘pattern of lies,’ Trump lawyer says
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Cohen Plea Is 'Disaster' for Trump, Professor Ohlin Says
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President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer Michael D. Cohen admitted he made illegal campaign contributions at the behest of Trump, Cohen’s lawyer said after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

The admission dealt a blow to Trump, coming just as a jury in Virginia found his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, guilty of tax and bank fraud charges. While Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned at the Cohen hearing, the crimes he admitted to -- in particular that he made a $130,000 payment to someone at the candidate’s direction to silence them -- match the money Cohen paid to porn actress Stephanie Clifford shortly before the 2016 election to keep quiet about an affair she claimed to have had with Trump years earlier. Cohen also admitted that he participated in a scheme to pay $150,000 to a second woman, Karen McDougal, to keep her story out of the press.