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Trump’s former lawyer pleads guilty to violating finance laws

In another blow for the US president, Paul Manafort, the man who once led Trump’s election campaign in 2016, was found guilty of eight financial crimes.

FILE: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, exits federal court, 21 August 2018 in New York City. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to violating campaign finance laws, admitting the president told him to pay off an adult film star.

Previously, Cohen said he paid off Trump’s mistress Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket. However, he has admitted that was not true and he sought to keep the payments out of the public eye in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office. That candidate was Trump.

“Michael Cohen’s ... guilty plea to felony counts of tax fraud and bank fraud, and campaign finance violations involving the payment of hush money to women alleged to have had affairs with Trump is yet another set of convictions of the president’s inner circle,” Representative Adam Schiff said in a statement.

“The factual basis of the plea, potentially implicating the president in illegal campaign finance violations, adds to the president’s legal jeopardy,” he added.

At the same time, in another blow for the US president, Paul Manafort, the man who once led Trump’s election campaign in 2016, was found guilty of eight financial crimes.

Political analysts expect these developments to have an impact on Trump’s presidency and the Republican party as a whole, all eyes are on the forthcoming special investigation into Russia’s alleged involvement in the presidential elections.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)