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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calls on a questioner during a news conference at Trump Tower, in New York, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015

    Michael Cohen's Lawyer: Trump Directed Cohen to Commit a Crime

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    Michael Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said his client pleaded guilty to several counts on Thursday in order to "tell the truth about Donald Trump." Cohen said in court that "candidate for federal office" directed him to work illegally to make payments to two women in order to influence the 2016 presidential campaign.

    "Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter," Davis said in a statement. "This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump. Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election."

    The women are believed to be Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels. Daniels was paid $130,000 in hush money and McDougal was sent $150,000 to keep silent about their alleged sexual relationships with then-candidate Trump.

    "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?" Davis questioned.

    Trump's legal team took a different position. "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen," Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in a statement shortly after Cohen's plea. "It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time."

    Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to five counts of tax evasion, one count of a making a false statement to a financial institution, another count of unlawful corporate contributions, and another count of an excessive campaign contribution. The illegal campaign contributions were connected with the hush payments made to Daniels and McDougal. 

    The date for Cohen's sentencing hearing is set for December 12.

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