President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer , Michael Cohen, struck a deal in court on Tuesday that Mr. Trump had directed him to arrange payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Mr. Cohen had been the president’s longtime fixer, handling some of his most sensitive personal matters over a decade at the Trump Organization. He once said he would take a bullet for Mr. Trump.
Cohen entered guilty pleas to five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution on October 27, 2016 — the day a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels was finalized.
After entering his guilty plea, Cohen was released on a $500,000 bond. He is set to be sentenced December 12.
He told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” implicating the president in a federal crime.
“I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.
The FBI raided Cohen’s home, hotel room, and office in April, seizing more than 4 million documents from Trump’s longtime lawyer.
Shortly after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, Trump, who has always praised Cohen and vouched for him, took to Twitter to sing a different tune.
Trump wrote: “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”
Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said in a statement after Mr. Cohen’s plea, “There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government’s charges against Mr. Cohen.”