Trump ex-lawyer Cohen pleads guilty - and implicates president

Micheal Cohen is under investigation over bank and tax fraud

Micheal Cohen is under investigation over bank and tax fraud

Cohen has for months been under investigation for bank and tax fraud, as well as possible campaign finance violations. And as CBS News has previously reported, Cohen has indicated he is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Mr. Trump was aware of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting before it took place, although he has shown no evidence to support this claim. Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal objective of influencing an election.

Earlier Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts and although his plea deal does not require him to testify against the president, the deal itself implicates Mr. Trump because it says he had paid off two women to influence the election at Mr. Trump's behest.

FILE - Paul Manafort, right, campaign manager to Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, and his assistant Rick Gates stand on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 17, 2016.

The lawyer for Michael Cohen fired multiple shots across the President Trump's bow Tuesday night, saying his client can help special counsel Robert Mueller.

The jury, after nearly four days of deliberations, found Manafort guilty of two of nine bank fraud charges, all five tax fraud charges he faced and one of four charges of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

The FBI raided Cohen's office and residence in April, uncovering materials related to a payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claims she had an affair with the president.

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The case was uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller, but it was handled by prosecutors in NY.

If you read the New York Times on Tuesday afternoon, in addition to bank fraud charges, Cohen was going to plead guilty "over payments to women".

A NY judge has formally ended the attorney-client privilege review of items seized from President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, leaving prosecutors to decide what's next in their fraud probe. His lawyer later said Cohen was referring to Trump.

Cohen some weeks ago released a tape of his conversation with Trump over that payment.

Manafort reportedly faces up to five years in jail.

Manafort, 69, has been in jail since June after his bail was revoked following new charges of witness tampering against him.

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