Trump Tries to Deny His Crime With Cohen, Confesses by Mistake

The news came at the same time Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was in a NY federal court to plead guilty to multiple counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud.

President Trump said Wednesday he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

Trump also said Cohen pleaded guilty to something that wasn't a crime, and that former President Barack Obama committed a campaign finance infraction.

"Mr. Cohen has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest to the special counsel and is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows", Davis told the network, the New York Post reports.

Despite saying earlier that he "would take a bullet" for the president, Cohen has now pleaded guilty to finance violation charges against him and implicated Trump in the case.

Federal investigators raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room in NY earlier this year and seized various electronic devices and documents which reportedly include information that Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels so as to keep her silent about accusations of an affair with Trump.

Landing in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump said that the charges Manafort was convicted of on Tuesday have "nothing to do with Russian collusion" and criticized Mueller's investigation for arriving at this point.

James Gazzale, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, confirmed to Fox News that Cohen was subpoenaed "for relevant information in light of the public disclosures made yesterday", but declined to comment further on the investigation.

Cohen, who worked as Trump's personal attorney at the Trump Organization, continued to advise the president after the election, but their relationship has frayed in recent months.

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Even though he did not name Trump either, Cohen clearly explained that he was acting at the direction of the president and the objective of the payment was to buy the women's silence so that the accusations would not dampen the election.

Late Sunday night, it was reported that Michael Cohen is being investigated for "well over $20 million" in potential fraud.

Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts in all, including tax evasion and making a false statement to a financial institution.

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".

The president's legal difficulties could also have political implications.

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.

Each of the bank fraud counts carries a significant maximum sentence and the 69-year-old Manafort could theoretically live out the remainder of his years in prison - though a legal expert told Agence France-Presse it would run to under a decade in reality. "So that is the functional equivalent of the word 'cooperate.' I don't know why ... they didn't use the word", Davis said.

Trump said he felt bad for Manafort and his family.

  • Michelle Webb