President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, struck a deal on Tuesday with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight federal crimes.
He entered guilty pleas to five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution on October 27, 2016 — the day a $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels was finalized.
During his plea entry, Cohen said he had made the illegal campaign and corporate contributions “at the direction of the candidate” and with the “purpose of influencing the election.”
The charges against Cohen, an attorney for Trump until earlier this year and a member of his inner circle throughout his presidential campaign, bring an end to a months-long investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
He did not identify said candidate by name, but the criminal complaint, which refers to said candidate as “individual 1,” said that person became President of the United States in January 2017–meaning it can be only be President Donald Trump
After entering his guilty plea, Cohen was released on a $500,000 bond. He is set to be sentenced December 12.
The charges against Cohen also covered a range of his activity outside of his work for Trump. In the tax evasion scheme linked to his taxi medallion business, Cohen failed to report more than $4 million in income, according to the criminal information filed against him, resulting in his avoidance of more than $1.4 million in taxes he would have had to owe the Internal Revenue Service.
“These are very serious charges that reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty,” said Deputy US Attorney Robert Khuzami in a press conference after Cohen’s hearing. “They are significant in their own right. They are particularly significant when done by a lawyer.”
Cohen faces up to 65 years in prison.
Judge William H. Pauley set a sentencing date for Cohen for December 12. The judge set a $500,000 bond, which must be co-signed by Cohen’s wife and another party.
When checking if he was of sound mind, Pauley asked Cohen whether he had consumed alcohol. Cohen replied that he had some alcohol with dinner the previous evening — a glass of Glenlivet 12, on the rocks.