Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen exploring possible plea deal; agreement could be reached today
- President Donald Trump's former longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is in the process of discussing a potential guilty plea with prosecutors in New York, NBC News reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
- The sources told NBC News that no deal had yet been reached. Cohen is reportedly under investigation for a number of charges related to tax fraud and other banking-related crimes.
- Any deal could have dramatic implications for the president, who has worked closely with Cohen for more than a decade.
President Donald Trump's former longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is in the process of discussing a potential guilty plea with prosecutors in New York, multiple outlets reported on Tuesday.
No deal had been reached Tuesday afternoon, according to NBC News, which first reported on the negotiations.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for a number of charges related to tax fraud and other banking-related crimes. Investigators are probing more than $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses owned by Cohen and his family, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
Investigators are also reportedly looking into payments Cohen arranged with women who have said they had sexual encounters with the president. Prosecutors are examining whether those payments could amount to campaign finance violations.
Any deal could have dramatic implications for the president, who has worked closely with Cohen for more than a decade. Trump has gone on the offensive against Cohen in recent weeks as Cohen began to signal that he could cooperate with investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller.
A spokeswoman for Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Calls to Cohen were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
Long known as one of Trump's most loyal confidantes, Cohen once said he would take a bullet for the president. That tone appeared to shift this summer, with Cohen telling ABC News that "family and country" came before the president in an interview broadcast in July.
Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has led the push to discredit Cohen. In a July interview on CNN, Giuliani called Cohen "a person who is found to be an incredible liar, who's got a tremendous motive to lie now."
The investigation into Cohen's financial dealings is being led by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In April, federal investigators raided Cohen's New York hotel and office after receiving a referral from Mueller. A cooperation agreement would likely apply to both investigations, according to NBC News.
The review of the thousands of documents seized during the raid came to an end on Monday, according to court documents filed in New York federal court.
The president and his attorneys have denied that Cohen's cooperation could incriminate the president.
"[Cohen] is not cooperating, nor do we care because the president did nothing wrong," Giuliani said on Fox News in June.
Cohen's business partner Evgeny A. Freidman agreed to cooperate with state and federal investigators in May, a move which was seen as raising the likelihood that Cohen himself would ultimately take a plea deal. Freidman has been accused of failing to pay millions of dollars in taxes.
CNBC's Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.