Trump Tells Fox News He Knew About Hush Money Payments ‘Later On’

President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen appears in front of members of the media after a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

The counts against Cohen included tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were created to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate.

The Daniels payment was charged as an excessive personal contribution and the National Enquirer money was charged as an unlawful corporate contribution, both "for the principle goal of influencing the election", Cohen said in court.

But Cohen's cooperation with investigators may yet pose an untold threat.

The President has insisted he paid Mr Cohen out of personal funds and that the payments were not meant to benefit his campaign but to resolve a personal matter.

Ross Garber, a lawyer who has represented four Republican governors in impeachment proceedings, said Cohen's statement "dramatically increases the likelihood that, were Democrats to take control of the House in the midterms, they would begin an impeachment investigation".

"It's a witch hunt, it's a disgrace", he added.

Trump has since acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for one of those women's payments, and he's on tape appearing to talk about the other.

Instead of trying to lessen his sentence to cooperate with Mueller on what he knows about the Trump campaign and Russia, Manafort went to trial and now could spend the rest of his life in prison.

One potentially threatening aspect of the suit for Trump and his children is that, should a criminal case develop, any conviction would not be pardonable by the president, who can pardon only federal crimes under the constitution.

Let's break them down - five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

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Trump has denied the affair, but Cohen directed that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, be paid $130,000 just before the November 2016 election to ensure her silence, Cohen acknowledged earlier this year. 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.

Sanders pushed back forcefully against the notion that Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen's plea deal implicated the president in an illegal campaign-finance scheme.

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday morning that his client had agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and share whatever he knows about the campaign's dealings with Russian Federation. He did not bring up either of his former associates.

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

The New York office had been investigating Cohen for months and had previously sought and obtained a warrant to search Cohen's email accounts.

A statement issued later in the day by Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, identified that person as Trump.

On Wednesday, the White House said Mr Trump was "not concerned at all" by Cohen co-operating with FBI investigators.

It's not clear how the plea deal with Cohen might affect other entities that have been under scrutiny by federal prosecutors as part of the Cohen investigation, including AMI or Pecker.

In another tweet, Mr Trump said, "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen".

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