Aug 22, 2018 - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: Lawyers, politicians react to Michael Cohen's guilty plea

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Michael Cohen entered a plea deal with federal prosecutors on Tuesday after being charged with eight counts related to tax fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, excessive campaign contributions, and unlawful corporate contributions.

One key detail, per the New York Times: "The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign."

What they're saying

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer of Stormy Daniels, said in an appearance on MSNBC that Cohen's plea deal vindicates his client and said he will be using Cohen as a witness against Trump in their case. "The likelihood of me getting a deposition of the president of the United States just went through the roof."

Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen's attorney, said on Twitter that Trump should be implicated for paying off two women with the intent of influencing the election. "If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen then why wouldn't they be a crime for Donald Trump?"

The spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters that the charges Cohen is facing appear to be "serious" and that he would "need more information than is currently available" to give an opinion.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that both Cohen's plea deal and the conviction of Paul Manafort shows "the rampant corruption and criminality" in the Trump administration as well as the campaign he ran.

Senate Intel Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) issued a joint statement saying the committee has "no insight" into Cohen's plea agreement but still hoped for an appearance from Cohen before the committee.

Go deeper: Read the Cohen plea deal

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