CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There hasn't been a darker moment for a president — or for the presidency — since Richard Nixon resigned on the verge of impeachment in 1974.
On Tuesday, Michael Cohen, the president's longtime fixer and former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to felony crimes that included illegally paying women hush money to help Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016. Most important, he said he did so at Trump's direction.
In other words, Trump cheated to win the White House, according to one of his closest former associates.
Cohen's admissions were so damaging for the president, both legally and politically, that his lawyer Rudy Giuliani could point only to the lack of an indictment directly against Trump as the good news. "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen," Giuliani said.
Cohen's plea was just one of several punishing blows delivered Tuesday to Trump's narrative that he and his allies came to Washington to "drain the swamp" of corruption. The others: Paul Manafort, the president's onetime campaign chairman, was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., an early endorser of Trump for president, was indicted on federal charges that he violated campaign finance law.
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