Sources: Feds preparing charges against Cohen

Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen and could announce them by the end of the month, people familiar with the matter tell CNN. CNN's Athena Jones reports.

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 5:26 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 5:40 PM

Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen and could announce them by the end of the month, people familiar with the matter tell CNN.

The US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations related in part to a $130,000 hush money payment made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels' allegations of an affair with Trump. Trump has denied an affair.

Investigators are also examining more than $20 million in loans obtained for Cohen and his family's taxi companies, The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing people familiar with the matter.

Criminal charges against Cohen would be a major setback to President Donald Trump because Cohen has long been in his inner circle. Cohen has prided himself over the years on his reputation as Trump's pit bull and once said he "would take a bullet" for Trump.

But Trump's longtime consigliere has since broken allegiance with his former boss. Cohen has expressed a willingness to cooperate with the investigation, but it isn't clear if prosecutors are interested in a deal or what information he has to offer them. The US Attorney's office operates under the guidelines of the Justice Department, which advises against indicting a sitting president.

The Cohen investigation was referred to the Southern District of New York by special counsel Robert Mueller. Should Cohen seek to make a deal to avoid indictment, it could require him to cooperate with any investigation prosecutors wish, including the Russia probe.

As of last week, Cohen hadn't met with prosecutors in New York, according to people familiar with the matter.

FBI agents raided Cohen's hotel room, office and home in April. At the time prosecutors said their investigation had been underway for months. The search warrant authorizing the raid referenced Cohen's taxi medallion business, the identity of banks that loaned him money and payments made to suppress negative information during the presidential campaign.

Investigators are finalizing the charges, but the timing of their announcement is fluid, the sources say. Prosecutors' plans to make a decision by the end of August was first reported by the New York Times.

The prosecutors who have been investigating Cohen have been mindful of the election cycle when weighing when to charge him, a person familiar with the matter told CNN, and as a result have considered bringing charges either before September or waiting to do so until after the midterm elections.

Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, declined to comment when contacted by CNN. A spokesman for the US attorney's office also declined to comment.

According to the Times, 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. They are also scrutinizing whether he failed to properly report his income from taxi medallions to the Internal Revenue Service, the Times reported.

CNN previously reported that Cohen is under investigation for possible bank and tax fraud, that his taxi medallions are a focus of the investigation, and that one of the banks that made the loans was Sterling National Bank. The Times, citing financial records and people with knowledge of the matter, reported that the other financial institution is the Melrose Credit Union.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
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