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: 471092

Reported Deaths: 9165
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32160471
Hinds30628574
DeSoto29693344
Jackson23098335
Rankin21062357
Lee14515218
Madison13993264
Jones13112218
Forrest12926231
Lauderdale11301294
Lowndes10206171
Lamar10017125
Pearl River8616208
Lafayette8052136
Hancock7172111
Washington6816146
Oktibbeha6799117
Neshoba6377201
Monroe6343158
Warren6310159
Pontotoc607692
Panola6056123
Bolivar5991143
Marshall5948116
Union562385
Pike5450133
Lincoln5217129
Alcorn516288
George456466
Scott450392
Leflore4392140
Prentiss435275
Itawamba433295
Tippah432480
Simpson4251110
Copiah424784
Wayne422363
Tate4202100
Adams4184110
Yazoo412486
Sunflower4077104
Covington406591
Marion4016100
Leake390485
Coahoma387098
Newton361674
Grenada3511100
Stone343757
Tishomingo323788
Attala319685
Jasper309562
Winston299191
Clay286172
Chickasaw280564
Clarke275587
Calhoun258539
Holmes258585
Smith242246
Yalobusha216447
Tallahatchie214949
Walthall204657
Lawrence203231
Greene202645
Perry195753
Webster191642
Amite191451
Noxubee174438
Montgomery169453
Jefferson Davis164341
Carroll159437
Tunica147634
Benton138232
Kemper136939
Claiborne125534
Choctaw124424
Humphreys123037
Franklin114327
Quitman101425
Wilkinson98435
Jefferson86332
Sharkey61720
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 761865

Reported Deaths: 12856
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1087131712
Mobile696141168
Madison47959565
Baldwin35517431
Shelby34948283
Tuscaloosa32719498
Montgomery32358648
Lee21708200
Calhoun19823367
Morgan19140308
Etowah18450414
Marshall17138255
Houston15970340
St. Clair14803270
Limestone13986179
Elmore13893240
Cullman13892229
Lauderdale12986264
Talladega12235203
DeKalb11788220
Walker10110304
Autauga9416120
Blount9329149
Jackson9026132
Coffee8598153
Colbert8257160
Dale8204143
Escambia639399
Tallapoosa6315165
Covington6265153
Chilton6188128
Russell588353
Franklin560093
Chambers5182127
Dallas4595174
Marion4540114
Clarke447871
Pike441488
Geneva419499
Winston402682
Lawrence4018101
Bibb392976
Barbour335567
Marengo318878
Monroe308244
Butler307679
Pickens297366
Henry290752
Randolph290055
Hale284081
Cherokee277249
Fayette269769
Washington242244
Crenshaw229463
Clay220261
Macon212554
Cleburne207346
Lamar185538
Conecuh175237
Lowndes168156
Coosa161531
Wilcox153533
Bullock146242
Perry133132
Sumter122735
Greene118241
Choctaw71925
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