President Donald Trump has defended the hush money payments made by his former lawyer to two women during his 2016 campaign as “a simple private transaction”.
He tweeted on Monday that, if there was wrongdoing, it was lawyer Michael Cohen’s “liability” and not his.
US federal prosecutors said in a court filing on Friday that Mr Cohen “acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election” and at the direction of Mr Trump when he brokered deals to stop women from going public about their alleged affairs with Trump.
Mr Trump has argued that the payments, which he first denied knowledge of, were not campaign contributions because his own money and not campaign funds were used for the payments.
But US federal law requires disclosure of payments made “for the purposes of influencing” an election.