Michael Cohen, who worked for two decades as Donald Trump's personal lawyer, reached a plea deal today with federal prosecutors.
In doing so, the man who has often been referred to as the President's "fixer" implicated the Commander-in-Chief in two major crimes.
Cohen is now on record as saying "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" he acted to keep information that would have been harmful to the candidate and the campaign from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle.
Cohen has flipped on his long-time client.
The "candidate" referenced above is very obviously Trump (no one is arguing against this) and the coordinated effort about which Cohen is talking has to do with payments made on Trump's behalf to a pair of women:
1. Karen McDougal.
2. Stormy Daniels (pictured below).
Trump allegedly carried on affairs with both of these women and, with Cohen's assistance, arranged for each to be paid off in order to keep them quiet about the sexual intercourse.
Under regular circumstances, this might not be illegal.
A woman is allowed to sign a contract in which she agrees not to disclose details about nearly anything in exchange for a sum of money.
HOWEVER, Cohen says he was instructed by Trump to make these payments specifically so that news of his affairs would not affect the Presidential election.
The deals were made with the explicit cause of influencing the minds of votes and THAT is what makes them potentially against the law.
“I participated in the conduct for the purposes of influencing the election,” Cohen said about his payments to porn star Daniels and ex-Playboy model McDougal.
Yes, he said this in court.
Yes, it's safe to assume he will testify to this same charge if he must do so again.
And, yes, it's possible Cohen has additional tapes of Trump making various admissions and issuing certain directives.
After all, one noteworthy exchange between the attorney and his former client has already been made public.
It depicts Cohen and Trump discussing the payment that will be made to McDougal (pictured above).
You can listen to it here:
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts during his day in court on Tuesday.
The charges against Cohen include:
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 designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate.
Regarding the charge linked to Daniels, Cohen said the money "was later repaid to me by the candidate."
Trump, of course, has denied having knowledge that Cohen paid anyone off on his behalf and has certainly denied ever paying him back.
Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, didn't shy away from directly calling out the president this afternoon.
"If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?” he asked in a statement.
That's a fair question.
Elsewhere this afternoon, Paul Manafort - President Trump’s former campaign chairman, pictured below - was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes by a federal jury in Virginia.
This verdict came about as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
He was found guilty on five tax fraud counts, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.
Manafort (pictured below) faces a maximum of 80 years in jail.
For the record now, Trump's former national security advisor, lawyer and deputy campaign manager have all pleaded guilty to various federal crimes.
His former campaign manager has been convicted of eight felonies.
Can you imagine all that Mueller and his team would uncover if this weren't a Rigged Witch Hunt?!?