U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has reached a deal with federal prosecutors in NY to plead guilty to campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion, news media outlets reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
The charges against Cohen, an attorney for Trump until earlier this year and a member of his inner circle throughout his presidential campaign, bring a climactic end to a months-long investigation by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY.
The president has repeatedly voiced frustration that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been unwilling to intervene into investigations into Trump and his allies, including the ongoing special counsel probe into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.
Cohen was one of Trump's closest associates for more than a decade.
Davis said Cohen "would be able to provide information useful to the special counsel" but didn't elaborate on what that information may be.
After the raid, Giuliani acknowledged that the president had made a series of payments reimbursing Cohen for a $130,000 settlement with an adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Cohen left the courthouse shortly after the hearing ended, entering a black Buick as a protester across the street screamed, "Lock him up". Cohen said in court today that, at the direction of then-candidate Donald Trump, he paid off two women to keep them quiet.
In May, a NY taxi operator and former Cohen business partner agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a plea deal in a separate NY state criminal tax fraud case.
Reporter: Why not report the payments? That raid was not authorized to recover evidence against Trump or Russian Federation or to examine collision or illegal skullduggery in the 2016 presidential election. Cohen and, by extension, the Trump Organization, would have given the combined $280,000 as part of campaign activity without filing that payment, and corporations can not donate directly to candidates.
Federal agents had seized documents and files from Cohen in April that stemmed from a referral from Mueller's office.
A statement issued later in the day by Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, identified that person as Trump.
Meanwhile, leaked documents showed that Cohen was paid millions past year by companies such as AT&T and Novartis to provide advice about the new administration.
Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to eight criminal counts, including campaign finance violations tied to his work for President Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
Asked by Pauley, the judge, whether he knew what he did was wrong and illegal, Cohen said yes.
Legal experts disagree over whether Trump could be impeached based on the allegation that he directed Cohen to make an unlawful campaign contribution. Trump's admission to Fox News that he knew about the payments at some point after they were made would seemingly contradict those past comments.
"I'm not going to get into the back-and-forth details", Sanders said.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that federal prosecutors were focused on more than $20 million in loans obtained by Cohen from taxi businesses owned by him and his family.
Earlier, she called it a "ridiculous accusation" to say Trump has lied to the American people.
This article was written by Devlin Barrett and Carol Leonnig, reporters for The Washington Post.