On Tuesday, President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, pled guilty to eight counts, including tax evasion and campaign finance violations.
Other counts include making false statements to a financial institution and making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate.
This plea deal with the Department of Justice comes months after his office and home were raided by the FBI.
There is speculation that part of the deal could involve Cohen telling Special Counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Trump was aware of that 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, despite denials from the White House.
“We recently reengaged Mr. Cohen and his team following press reports that suggested he had advance knowledge of a June 16 meeting,” said Senator Richard Burns, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman. “Mr. Cohen had testified before the committee he was not aware of any meeting prior to this disclosure in the press last summer.”
He admitted under oath that Mr. Trump directed him to make hush payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal “for the primary purpose of influencing the election.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill reacted to the plea deal.
“We have to look into this, there’s no question about it,” said Senator Orrin Hatch. “This is a serious set of problems.”
“This is a day where the President of the United States has essentially been named an unindicted co-conspirator,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth.
In a statement, the President’s Attorney, Rudy Giuliani said there is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government’s charges, and went on to say, “Mr. Cohen’s actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time.”
Cohen’s sentencing is scheduled for December 12.