On Tuesday, in a stunning verdict, the jury in Paul Manafort’s trial found him guilty on eight of 18 counts – five counts of submitting false tax returns, one count of failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. Cohen shockingly admitted that Trump directed him to commit felony, which now directly implicates the U.S. president in a felony.
Cohen also admitted he was guilty of several crimes including illegally arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal who both say they had affairs with Trump. Prosecutors held a news conference to discuss the verdict.
COHEN: TRUMP DIRECTED ME TO COMMIT FELONY: In a stunning development, Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen says he broke campaign finance laws ‘at the direction of’ Donald Trump, implicating the sitting U.S. president in a felony. In a plea deal announced today, Cohen admitted he was guilty of several crimes, including illegally arranging hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who both allege they had affairs with Trump. Prosecutors are holding a news conference now.
Posted by NowThis Politics on Tuesday, August 21, 2018
The prosecutor announced in a brief statement that Cohen was found guilty and pled guilty to eight felony charges. He was found guilty on five counts of tax evasion for which he had failed to report $4.1 million. One of the most significant things that the prosecutor pointed out was that he also pled guilty to campaign finance charges, which included making excessive corporate and personal contributions for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election.
In addition, the prosecutor explained that Cohen also made payments to two women who he believed had significant information that could bring detriment to the 2016 election, and he also sought reimbursement for those payments from Trump’s organization and indicated that the invoices were for services rendered during the 2017 year when in fact, they were for those contributions made to the individuals in order to influence the election.
The prosecutor summed up his statement by saying:
‘Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, this case is unique in many ways. We witnessed the gathering of all of you here today, and in other ways it’s unique as well. But in really important ways, this case is not unlike many other cases that my office, the United States attorneys’ office brings, that the entire Department of Justice brings, and that the law enforcement agencies do as well, as do the FBI and the IRS. These cases have more common with all those cases because they all share the same message and that message is that the rule of law applies.’
He went on to say:
‘And that for law enforcement all of whom are gathered here. It is our commitment that we will pursue…those who choose to break the law…vindicate the majority of people who lead law abiding lives.
‘The message is that we are here, prosecutors are here, the Department of Justice is here, law enforcement agency is here. We are a nation of laws and in essence, this case is about justice and that is equal a playing field for all persons in the eyes of the law, and that is a lesson that Mr. Cohen learned today in a very harsh way.’
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says he feels "very badly for Paul Manafort."
"It doesn't involve me…This has nothing to do with Russian collusion. This started as Russian collusion. This has absolutely nothing to do—this is a witch hunt and it's a disgrace." https://t.co/bFdeLFLvgU pic.twitter.com/5q0KDBRNzM
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 21, 2018
Featured image is a screenshot from Facebook