Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY wrote on Friday that Mr Cohen said he was directed to make the payments by Trump.
John Dean, a White House counsel under President Richard Nixon who received jail time for his role in the Watergate scandal, said Friday that allegations against President Donald Trump detailed in new court filings give Congress "little choice" other than to begin impeachment proceedings.
"And so the only conceivable reason why Donald Trump has not been indicted as a co-conspirator in the Cohen case is that he won the presidential election, that he conspired with Michael Cohen to illegally affect", he explained.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight federal crimes, including tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign-finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including hush payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate.
The documents turned up the heat on Trump by confirming prosecutors' belief of his involvement in a campaign finance violation, while adding to a growing list of contacts between campaign aides and Russians in 2015 and 2016, legal experts said.
In August, Cohen had pleaded guilty to violating finance laws during the 2016 elections, including by paying off adult an film star, Stephanie Clifford, to keep quiet about her affair with Trump.
Federal law requires that any payments that are made "for the objective of influencing" an election must be reported in campaign finance disclosures. Trump has denied having an affair.
Can a sitting president be indicted? Two Justice Department reports, one in 1973 and one in 2000, came to the same conclusion.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Michael Cohen, former lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building on New York's Park Avenue on Friday.
Mr Mueller said Cohen had gone to "significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation".
Mr Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has also said that a president can not be indicted.
The payments to Ms Daniels and Ms McDougal were made in 2016, meaning the statute of limitations would run out in 2021 (after the next United States election in 2020).
Mr Trump has already shown he's not afraid to use his pardon power, particularly for those he has viewed as unfair victims of partisanship. He's pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt for disobeying a judge's order, and I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Bush administration official convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in a leak case. Trump himself keeps repeating or retweeting his minions every few days, sometimes every few hours, that there is no Russian Federation collusion and the charges are either a liberal media hoax or a deep state establishment plot to undermine his administration.
Despite Trump's declarations, Mueller hasn't ruled out that the prospect of election season coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign, and only recently received written answers from the president about possible Russian interference.
- O2 to compensate customers after day of disruption and data outage
- FIFA Ranking: Black Queens drop in latest ranking
- Brexit debates: ‘Insulting if London broadcasters exclude the SNP’
- Twitter Reacts To Greg Hardy, Rachael Ostovich On The Same Card
- Messi's free-kick magic keeps Barcelona top of LaLiga
- Mexican volunteer crowned 68th Miss World
- Radio stations ban "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in the Me Too era
- National Weather Service issues Winter Storm Warning for several northern Arkansas counties
- Gerrard frustrated by Rangers’ lack of discipline in Aberdeen defeat
- James Comey: Firing Mueller Won't End Russia Probe