Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Cohen's case reportedly grew out of Mueller's efforts, but was transferred to the USA attorney's office in Manhattan, one of the most influential US attorneys' offices in the country.

Manafort was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.

Court documents revealed that Cohen directed hush money to go to a woman, with the express goal of influencing the outcome of the election.

Said Davis: "Mr. Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest to the special counsel, and is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows".

"If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!" That's the big thing. "This has nothing to do what they started out, looking for Russians involved in our campaign".

Mueller is investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and whether there was any cooperation or links with the Trump campaign. "And I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort".

"First question, when I heard about it was, 'Did they come out of the campaign?' because that could be a little dicey".

"It's not even a campaign violation", Trump said.

The investigation of Cohen included a raid in April by FBI agents, who seized documents and files from his office, home, and hotel room.

On the same day, Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen plead guilty to eight criminal counts that included tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump. Cohen also admitted to arranging a $150,000 payment through American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer, which purchased yet did not publish former Playboy model Karen McDougal's story before the election.

Michael Cohen, long-time lawyer and self-declared "fixer" for Mr. Trump, pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud and violation of campaign finance rules, allegedly at the behest of the President.

Under a plea bargain reached with federal prosecutors, Cohen (51) could get about four to five years in prison at his sentencing on December 12. If the payment did constitute a contribution, then the candidate would be obliged to make it from campaign funds in accordance with election laws.

Obama's 2008 campaign did, in fact, pay $375,000 to the Federal Election Commission as a result of campaign reporting errors; others, including Republican nominee Bob Dole's 1988 campaign, also paid fines for similar reasons. No charges were brought against him immediately, but authorities indicated that the investigation was focused on possible violations of US election law.

There has been speculation that Manafort, who has maintained his innocence, may be hoping for a presidential pardon as a reward for his loyalty.

The White House said Mr. Trump's outside legal team would respond to Mr. Cohen's guilty plea.

  • Jacqueline Ellis