Trump's ex-lawyer 'in talks to strike plea deal in fraud case'


Let's break them down - five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

President Donald Trump denied using campaign funds to pay hush money to women who alleged they had past affairs with him, saying in an interview with Fox News that he only learned of the payments "later on".

Perspective on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's plea deal and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's conviction from an worldwide and criminal law specialist.

Trump has repeatedly played down Russian interference, and denounces Mueller's investigation as a politically motivated "witch hunt".

President Donald Trump called Manafort a "good man" while speaking with reporters after he arrived in Charleston, W.Va. for a rally.

The details he described matched payments made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels. "It's just that Mr. Trump won't testify under oath and admit the truth that he is just as much guilty of violating campaign finance laws".

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Cohen worked for Trump for more than a decade, starting in 2007. But a plea agreement by Cohen - long the self-professed "fixer" for Trump - could ratchet up the legal pressure on the president. A spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

After making the hush money payments, Cohen submitted phony invoices to Trump's company, ostensibly for services rendered in 2017, the prosecutor said.

In the end, only a tiny fraction of the seized material was found to be covered by the privilege, according to court filings. Cohen then agreed to make the payment and finalize the deal. In that recording, he and Trump appear to discuss how to execute the payment to McDougal.

"Any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manafort or interfere in the investigation into his campaign would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress", Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner said in a statement Tuesday.

The outcome, though not the across-the-board guilty verdicts the prosecutors sought, nearly certainly guarantees years of prison for Manafort.

His voice cracked as he answered questions from Judge William Pauley III. Cohen was released on $500,000 bond and is due to be sentenced December 12. The Post reports that Mueller has determined Cohen isn't necessary to the special counsel's work. And he pleaded guilty today to eight counts. He had omitted a $14 million line of credit on applications so that he could purchase properties, including a Park Avenue condominium and a summer home.

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And perhaps most importantly, the government read from Manafort's own emails as they laid out their case, including messages where he personally directed withdrawals from the offshore accounts he never reported on his tax returns.

By pleading guilty, both Cohen and prosecutors avoid the spectacle and uncertainty of a trial.

Michael Cohen turned against Donald Trump after the President backed Vladimir Putin ahead of United States intelligence services. He was seen going into his lawyers' offices early on Tuesday.

When The New York Times reported Cohen could cooperate with federal officials, Trump took to Twitter and defended his longtime (and, by then, former) personal attorney, while taking shots at the media outlet. Cecilia Vega of ABC News asked.

The Cohen investigation was referred to the Southern District of NY by special counsel Robert Mueller.

This has been expected to be a straight plea deal to resolve the case against him.

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The investigation has examined loans related to Cohen's taxi medallion business, and whether any laws were broken as part of an effort to stifle negative stories about Trump when he was running for president, according to people familiar with the matter.