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A full timeline of Michael Cohen’s hush-money payments for Trump

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Michael
Cohen.

Getty Images; Samantha
Lee/Business Insider


  • President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael
    Cohen pleaded guilty this week.
  • It marked the climax of the Cohen controversy.
  • Here’s the full timeline of events from it.

President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen
pleaded guilty this week to a list of federal crimes as the
controversy surrounding him reached a climax.

On Tuesday, Cohen cut a deal
with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to five counts of tax
evasion, one count of making a false statement to a financial
institution, and two counts related to campaign-finance
violations. Cohen said under oath that Trump directed him to
violate campaign-finance laws just before the 2016 presidential
election in order to boost his candidacy.

The latter two charges were in connection to payments to the
former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the porn actress Stormy
Daniels in order to silence their allegations of affairs with
Trump.

As Cohen explained that he committed the campaign-finance
violations “at the direction of the candidate” and with the
“purpose of influencing the election,” there were audible gasps
in the lower Manhattan courtroom packed with reporters.

The federal prosecutors Cohen
struck a deal with said they had evidence corroborating Cohen’s
admissions, stemming from records obtained from him that included
audio tapes, texts, phone records, emails, witnesses with
knowledge of the transactions, and records from The National
Enquirer.

Later in the week, federal prosecutors probing Cohen granted immunity to Trump
Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, and American Media Inc. CEO
David Pecker, who struck the deal with McDougal, The Wall Street Journal
reported
.

Cohen initially faced the potential of 65 years in prison, but
the deal narrowed that sentence down to a much more palatable
three to five years, though the judge reserves the right to
impose a more severe punishment at a December sentencing.

Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s attorneys, told Business Insider on
Wednesday
that Cohen feels “pain for his family” that he
could go to prison, and relief that the uncertainty is over now
that he has a plea deal. Cohen’s also not done opening up on what
he knows about Trump, Davis said.

“This is the time he knows he’s going to jail, and he feels
liberated that he can finally speak his mind about his concerns
about Donald Trump without a criminal lawyer telling him to ‘be
quiet’ because ‘you’ll upset the prosecutors,'” he said.

Moving forward, all eyes are on what happens next, particularly
for Trump.

“The plea, under oath, establishes that the president was a
co-conspirator in the campaign violations to which Cohen pleaded
guilty,” Philip Allen Lacovara, who served as counsel to the
special prosecutors investigating former President Richard
Nixon’s role in the Watergate scandal, told The New York Times.

Before he resigned from office, a grand jury named Nixon an
“unindicted co-conspirator.” Lacovara said that is now what Trump
“technically” is.

But it appears highly unlikely Trump will be indicted in this
instance — at least while he is still in office.

Here’s the full timeline of events in the Cohen investigation:

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