According to CNN, President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is reportedly negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors that would finally put an end to the lengthy investigation into Cohen’s finances.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations for the past few months. While Cohen is currently in negotiations to reach a plea agreement, talks could still fall through, in which case Cohen would be indicted.
Cohen is not expected to cooperate with the federal government as part of his plea deal; however, doing so and pleading guilty will allow him to avoid enduring both the spectacle and uncertainty of a federal trial.
Prosecutors have made it clear that their investigation is specifically into Cohen’s personal financial dealings, including the $20 million in loans he acquired for his taxi medallion business and the $130,000 hush money payment he made to Stormy Daniels only days before the 2016 presidential election.
According to a New York Times report, “Investigators are trying to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans from two financial institutions that have catered to the taxi industry” and “are also scrutinizing whether he failed to properly report his income from taxi medallions to the Internal Revenue Service.”
CNN also reported that “prosecutors have been scrutinizing a variety of documents submitted by Cohen to various institutions, including those to the Internal Revenue Service and those to Sterling National Bank.”
It remains uncertain, however, how Cohen’s agreement will affect the National Enquirer and its parent company American Media Inc., which gave a $150,000 contract to former Playboy model Karen McDougal in August 2016 to catch and kill the story that McDougal allegedly had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006.
If a definitive deal is reached, President Trump might also be affected by the agreement’s outcome. Aside from being the president’s attorney, Cohen was also known as Trump’s personal fixer.
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In addition to his name constantly appearing throughout the infamous Steele dossier, Cohen also admitted to meeting with a Ukrainian politician about a week after the president’s inauguration, in which “the two men discussed the potential for Cohen to share a Ukraine peace proposal with his contacts at the White House.”
A hearing for Cohen’s case is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday at a courthouse in lower Manhattan. Cohen was first seen entering his lawyer Lanny Davis’ office Tuesday morning, who has since declined a request for comment.