Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges in a Manhattan court to charges of tax evasion, making false statements to banks, and campaign finance violations. The campaign finance charges are related to a $130,000 payment Cohen made in exchange for the silence of a woman who claims to have had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago. The prosecutors allege that the payment constitutes a campaign contribution and thus violates the law because it exceeds the individual contribution limit and was made using a corporation.
In charging Cohen, the prosecutors cited a broad legal definition of what constitutes a campaign contribution but failed to mention a specific prohibition on the personal use of campaign funds, which disqualifies the payment as a contribution. Cohen did not commit any crimes, he was just hoodwinked into pleading guilty to crimes he did not commit.