UPDATE: Michael Cohen told the court that he violated campaign finance laws at the behest of a federal candidate
Michael Cohen admitted to the court that he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of a candidate for federal office, Bloomberg tweeted:
BREAKING: Michael Cohen says he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal of… https://t.co/PeXiQ8P6bO— Bloomberg (@Bloomberg) 1534884587.0
According to the outlet, Cohen said that he was "directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate."
Though Cohen did not identify the people involved, the facts match Cohen's payment to Stormy Daniels and Trump's acknowledged repayment, Bloomberg noted.
More from Bloomberg:
The prosecutor told the judge the purpose of the payments was to ensure that the individuals did not disclose "alleged affairs with the candidate." Besides the $130,000 payment, Cohen admitted to making an illegal contribution of $150,000, which was how much McDougal received from the National Enquirer’s publisher to quash her story.
Original report continues below:
Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, pled guilty on Tuesday to charges of tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violation in a New York federal court.
He could face 3 to 5 years in jail as part of his plea deal and a substantial fine as part of his plea deal in the Southern District of New York, Fox News reported.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Cohen's plea deal will not require him to cooperate with prosecutors, which would seem to indicate that Cohen has not struck a deal that would require him to testify against President Trump.
Cohen surrendered to the FBI just hours ahead of his 4 p.m. court proceeding in Manhattan, according to numerous reports.
The investigation into Cohen's activities came as a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
In April, the FBI raided Cohen's home, office, and a hotel room. The raid led to the monthslong investigation into the lawyer's taxi business and financial activities.
The lawyer allegedly made a payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had a sexual encounter with the president more than a decade ago.
The payment was made about a month before the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump as hush money about her tryst with the president. This payment likely forms the crux of the campaign finance violations Cohen was facing.
The self-proclaimed former Trump-fixer's relationship with the president dates back to the mid-2000s.
Cohen once said he would "take a bullet" for the president, but his relationship with the president has taken a notably sour public turn over the last couple months as his legal troubles have intensified.