International desk: US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to violating campaign finance laws.
He said he did so at the direction of “the candidate”, for the “principal purpose of influencing [the] election”.
Mr Cohen’s admission was related to hush money paid to Mr Trump’s alleged mistresses.
The 51-year-old admitted eight counts, including tax and bank fraud in a plea deal with prosecutors.
Mr Trump ignored questions about Mr Cohen as he arrived on Tuesday evening for a pre-scheduled rally in West Virginia.
The White House also declined to comment.
The plea came as a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of bank and tax fraud charges.
What happened in court?
Mr Cohen said he had been directed by “a candidate for federal office” – presumed to be Mr Trump himself – to break federal election laws.
The indictment against Mr Cohen carries up to 65 years in prison.
But his plea deal includes a much more lenient custodial sentence of up to five years and three months, said Judge William Pauley.
Mr Cohen has pleaded guilty to:
Five counts of tax evasion
One count of making false statements to a financial institution
One count of wilfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution
One count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign
His sentencing was set for 12 December. He was released after posting a bail of $500,000 (£390,000).
Reporters in court said Mr Cohen’s voice quavered as he answered routine questions from the judge.
He was asked whether he had consumed any alcohol or drugs before making his guilty plea.
Mr Cohen told the judge he had only had a glass of 12-year-old Glenlivet, a single-malt scotch, with dinner the night before.