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Manhattan DA may pursue criminal charges against Trump Organization

The Manhattan district attorney’s office may pursue criminal charges against the Trump Organization in regards to Michael Cohen’s payment to an adult film actress. 

On Tuesday Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in a bombshell confession to campaign finance violations linked to paying off porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump.

New York district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr may now go after the Trump Organization and two senior company officials for how that payment was handled, according to the New York Times.  

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is considering criminal charges against the Trump Organization in regards to the $130,000 payment to an adult film actres

The state investigation would look into the $130,000 payment made to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in exchange for her silence on the alleged affair.

However two officials that broke the news say that the charges are in its ‘earliest stages’ and prosecutors have not decided if they will proceed.   

The Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen for paying off Daniels, saying that it was a ‘legal expense’. 

Cohen confessed in a stunning statement that he paid off an adult film actress ‘in order to influence the 2016 presidential election’. 

Federal prosecutors said the reimbursement payments were for sham legal invoices.

Following Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen's confession to campaign finance violations linked to Stormy Daniels on Tuesday, the DA may seek charges against the Trump Organization's handling of that payment

Following Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen’s confession to campaign finance violations linked to Stormy Daniels on Tuesday, the DA may seek charges against the Trump Organization’s handling of that payment

Prosecutors have reviewed court papers regarding payments to Cohen to see if they were falsified by two Trump executives who handled the reimbursement, Cohen pictured leaving federal court Tuesday after making a plea deal 

Prosecutors have reviewed court papers regarding payments to Cohen to see if they were falsified by two Trump executives who handled the reimbursement, Cohen pictured leaving federal court Tuesday after making a plea deal 

Cohen received $420,000 from the Trump Organization, said to reimburse him for the Stormy Daniels payment as well as taxes, a bonus, and other campaign expenses reimbursements. 

Cohen also issued monthly invoices for $35,000 to the Trump Organization as ‘pursuant to retainer agreement’.  

According to the Times, prosecutors have reviewed court papers regarding the campaign finance charges Cohen pleaded guilty to on Tuesday. Those documents provide detail about how two Trump executives handled the reimbursement and recorded them as legal fees.

The focus will be on whether the records were falsified. If they were, it could result in a low-level felony or misdemeanor. 

But it could evolve into a felony if the records are found to have been falsified to conceal another crime. 

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump. Among the charges Cohen will plead guilty to are campaign finance violations in connection to a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump. Among the charges Cohen will plead guilty to are campaign finance violations in connection to a $130,000 payment he made to Daniels

Although Trump has talked about pardoning his aides who face federal charges, he would be helpless and unable to pardon those convicted of state crimes.

‘On its face, it certainly would be problematic,’ one of the officials familiar with the district attorney’s office review said.  

The Trump Organization is yet to comment on the potential charges.

The New York State attorney general’s office is also considering a criminal investigation into Cohen over whether he violated state tax law, violations unrelated to the tax evasion he pleaded guilty to on Tuesday.  

The DA’s move to pursue criminal charges could become complicated as the president is already being investigated for Russian interference in the 2016 election and his charity the Trump Foundation faces a lawsuit by the state attorney general.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk