Trump’s Former Personal Lawyer Pleads Guilty To 9 Federal Charges: Tax Evasion, Falsifying Bank Submissions, And Unlawful Campaign Contributions Which Included Payments To Stormy Daniels And Others; Also Pled Guilty To Lying To Congress About Trump Real Estate Deal In Russia
On Tuesday August 21, 2018 Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to “five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.”
Cohen noted in his guilty plea that “he arranged to pay off two women to keep their stories of alleged affairs with Trump from becoming public before Election Day — in coordination with the then-candidate.” This includes the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.
“Cohen mentioned [longtime Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen] Weisselberg on a secret recording the Trump attorney made in September 2016 and which was aired on CNN [in July]. On the recording, Cohen and Trump appeared to discuss reimbursing American Media for the payment to McDougal, who has said she had a yearlong affair with Trump. Cohen is heard saying, ‘I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.’”
Weisselberg was granted immunity in return for providing testimony in the Michael Cohen case.
On Thursday November 29, 2018, Cohen also pled guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Russia. Cohen admitted to lying in an effort to “minimize links between the proposed development and Trump as his presidential bid was gaining steam.”
Cohen also noted that “talks about the effort in Moscow had extended through June 2016, after Trump had become the presumptive Republican nominee for president…that both Trump and his family members had been briefed on the discussions,” and that he had been “pursuing plans to send Trump and himself to Russia in service of the project and discussing the proposed development directly with a representative of the Kremlin.”
“Cohen could have received up to 65 years in prison if convicted of all charges. However, as part of his plea deal, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence between 46 and 63 months. The deal does not involve a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors. Cohen is set to be sentenced Dec. 12.”
Cohen was ultimately sentenced to 3 years in prison on Wednesday December 12, 2018, as well as $1.4 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine, and has been ordered to forfeit $500,000.