Michael Cohen, the longtime lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, confessed in federal court to breaking campaign finance laws when he arranged payments to Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to stay quiet in the waning days of the 2016 presidential race about their purported sexual relationships from years earlier with Trump. Daniels, not surprisingly, had a pithy response to the news: “How ya like me now?!” she said on Twitter.
How ya like me now?! # teamstormy
— Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) August 21, 2018
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including tax evasion, and told a federal judge in New York that he had arranged the payments to Daniels and McDougal “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.” That testimony contradicts what Trump has said about the payments in the past when asked by reporters whether he knew they were happening at the time. Trump had also been heard discussing the McDougal payment with Cohen in a recently-released audio recording secretly made by Cohen at the time.
Cohen didn’t name Trump specifically in court, but the admission implicated the president in the commission of a federal crime. “I participated in this conduct, which on my part took place in Manhattan, for the principal purpose of influencing the election,” Cohen added.
Of course Daniels and her ever-present on cable news attorney, Michael Avenatti, have been repeating this claim for months. He also expressed a sense of vindication in a post on Twitter Tuesday and applauded Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, for her courage in coming forward.
We should all take a moment and applaud the tremendous courage and fortitude of @StormyDaniels, who has refused to be silent, who has refused to back down, and who has allowed facts to be presented in the court of public opinion, which some may argue is the most efficient.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 21, 2018
Avenatti also turned up on CNN Tuesday evening to discuss the developments in the case and elaborated on his tweet. He also vowed that he would use Cohen’s guilty plea as leverage to depose Trump in Daniels’ civil case against the president. “I’m going to be able to ask him questions and he’s going to be forced to answer those questions under oath,” Avenatti said.
Watch Avenatti’s full interview on CNN below.
Read the full story at The Cut.