Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to eight criminal charges and surrendered to the FBI in New York.

Cohen — Trump’s longtime “fixer” — was accused of committing several campaign finance violations and was also charged with bank fraud and tax evasion. Cohen confessed in a federal court in Manhattan that Trump ordered him to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money to multiple women with whom the president had extramarital affairs, including porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. 

Cohen admitted the payments were made “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” a statement that directly implicates Trump in a federal crime. The president could potentially be indicted and impeached given Cohen’s latest testimony, based on these allegations. Cohen added that the hush money payments to the women were made “for the principal purpose of influencing the [2016] election.”

Cohen’s plea agreement includes a possible prison sentence of up to five years and three months. He will be sentenced on Dec. 12. Cohen’s guilty plea came on the same day Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of eight counts of bank and tax fraud for work unrelated to his time as a member of the president’s 2016 campaign.

Michael Cohen Plea Agreement by Mark angel on Scribd

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The pair of legal blows for Trump on Tuesday thus marked a turning point, as they provided further evidence that the president has surrounded himself with allies who have significant legal troubles. Trump praised Manafort on Twitter early Wednesday morning, calling him “brave” for not letting his trial “break” him. The president also accused Cohen of “making up stories in order to get a ‘deal,'” and also took aim at his predecessor Barack Obama. 


Trump also called Manafort’s trial a “witch hunt,” a phrase he has repeatedly used to refer to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.

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Cohen pleaded guilty of hiding more than $4 million in income from 2012 to 2016. He also failed to disclose $14 million in loans.

On Tuesday night, Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti spoke to CNN about his reaction to Cohen’s plea deal: