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Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges, says he paid Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal at Trump's direction

Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges, says he paid Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal at Trump's direction

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight charges, including multiple counts of tax evasion and a campaign finance charge stemming from so-called “hush money” payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. >> Read more trending news Cohen, 51, entered a plea deal Tuesday with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. Update 6:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: 'There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the President in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen,' Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said in a statement after Cohen entered his plea Tuesday. 'It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,' Giuliani said. Cohen said in court Tuesday that he coordinated with Trump to pay hush money to Daniels and McDougal, who both claim they had affairs with Trump years before he was elected. Cohen did not name Daniels, McDougal or Trump in court. Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC that he and his client have been “vindicated” after Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including tax evasion and a campaign-finance violation. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Read the documents from Michael Cohen’s guilty plea 'A lot of this stems from her courage,” Avenatti said. “We're going to get to the bottom now in connection to the civil case as to what the president knew, and what he knew about it, and when he knew and what he did about it.' Daniels claims that she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006, more than a decade before he became president. She is suing Trump and Cohen, seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen said in federal court in New York that he paid Daniels, who was not named, $130,000 in exchange for the nondisclosure agreement to influence the election. The payment was made at the direction of Trump, who also was not named, Cohen said. Update 5:40 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami said after Cohen entered his guilty plea Tuesday that he submitted false invoices to the Trump’s company to obtain reimbursement for unlawful campaign contributions made in the form of payments to Daniels and McDougal. In his plea, Cohen did not name the two women or even Trump, recounting instead that he worked with an 'unnamed candidate.' But the amounts and the dates all lined up with the payments made to Daniels and McDougal. Cohen said in federal court in New York on Tuesday that he made the payments  in coordination with Trump to influence the election. Both women claimed Trump had affairs with them, which he denies. The other charges Cohen pleaded guilty to involve bank fraud and income tax evasion. As part of his plea agreement, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence from 46 to 63 months. Khuzami said Tuesday that Cohen’s “lies and dishonesty” were particularly egregious because of his profession. “(He) decided he was above the law and for that he’s going to pay a very serious price,” Khuzami said. Update 5:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: At a hearing Tuesday afternoon in federal court in New York, Cohen said he made payments to Daniels and McDougal on behalf of Trump, who was not named, “to influence the election,” according to The Associated Press. Daniels said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. She signed a non-disclosure agreement shortly before voters went to the polls for the 2016 presidential election in exchange for $130,000 from Cohen. McDougal claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with the president in 2006 and 2007. The rights to McDougal’s story were bought in August 2016 by American Media Inc., the company that publishes the National Enquirer, The Wall Street Journal reported, but her story was never published.  Update 4:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: Cohen admitted in court Tuesday to working at Trump’s discretion to silence Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate who claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with the president in 2006 and 2007, according to The New York Daily News. He also told the court that he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election “with and at the direction of the same candidate (Trump),” the newspaper reported. The money went to Daniels in exchange for her signing a non-disclosure agreement that barred her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006, a decade before he was elected to office. A judge set Cohen’s bond at $500,000, according to Reuters. He is expected to appear in court for sentencing on Dec. 12. Update 4:40 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: The charges Cohen pleaded guilty to Tuesday include five counts of tax evasion, according to The New York Daily News. Update 3:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: An unidentified source told The Washington Post that Cohen's plea deal came Tuesday after prosecutors 'claimed he risked more than dozen years in prison.' Unidentified sources told Fox News that Cohen’s plea included three to five years of jail time. Update 3:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: It was not immediately clear whether Cohen agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation surrounding Trump as part of the agreement, The Washington Post reported. Cohen surrendered Tuesday afternoon to FBI officials, according to the newspaper. Original report: Two unidentified people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press that Cohen’s attorneys were in negotiations with prosecutors earlier Tuesday. Cohen has been under investigation for possible fraud related to his businesses, the AP reported. Officials with the FBI raided his hotel room, home and office in April, seizing his computer, his phone and hundreds of thousands of records, The Washington Post reported. >> FBI sought records related to Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in Cohen raid: reports Authorities sought details on Cohen’s efforts to stave off negative publicity about Trump, CBS News and The New York Times reported. Among other things, authorities sought information on the release of an infamous tape in which the president could be heard on a hot mic making derogatory comments about women and payments Cohen made to a pair of women who claim they had sexual relationships with Trump, The New York Times reported. Adult film star Stormy Daniels said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Karen McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate, claimed she had a nearly year-long affair with the president in 2006 and 2007. Officials also sought details on the role that the publisher of The National Enquirer played in keeping the women’s stories from going public, according to The Times. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paul Manafort guilty on 8 charges in bank fraud, conspiracy trial; mistrial declared on 10 counts

Paul Manafort guilty on 8 charges in bank fraud, conspiracy trial; mistrial declared on 10 counts

A Virginia jury has found Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, guilty on eight charges, but could not reach a consensus on 10 other counts in Manafort’s bank fraud and conspiracy trial, according to The Associated Press. >> Read more trending news   The judge in the case declared a mistrial on those 10 counts. The jury found Manafort guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two charges of bank fraud and a charge of hiding foreign bank accounts, according to multiple news outlets. Trump, saying he felt bad for Manafort,  weighed in on the verdict calling it a “witch hunt” and a “disgrace.” He also said Manafort’s conviction “has nothing to do with Russian collusion,” the AP reported. There’s no sentencing date, yet, but Manafort is facing 80 years in prison on the 8 guilty counts, CNN reported. Prosecutors have until the end of August to make a decision on the 10 counts that jurors could not reach a decision on which resulted in the mistrial. Manafort was charged with 18 counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, as well as filing false income tax forms and failing to file foreign bank account reports.  Jurors deliberated for five days before returning a partial verdict Tuesday. >> Related: Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation? They heard 11 days of testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including Manafort’s longtime business partner and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, according to Reuters. Earlier Tuesday, jurors has asked how to handle the case if they were unable to come to consensus on one of the 18 charges. Judge T.S. Ellis ordered them to continue deliberating but added that he might accept a partial verdict, if no consensus could be reached. Prosecutors said Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014 by disguising the money he earned advising politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in foreign banks. Then, after his money in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by lying about his income on loan applications and concealing other financial information, such as mortgages. The cash supported Manafort’s extravagant lifestyle, prosecutors said, funding real estate purchases in New York and Virginia and the purchase of luxury items, including a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich skin, Reuters reported. The defense tried to pin the blame for Manafort’s financial mistakes on Gates, who was indicted alongside Manafort in October. Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges of making false statements and conspiring against the United States and agreed to work with prosecutors. Manafort’s attorneys did not call any witnesses to testify in his defense. He did not take the stand. >> Related: Mueller investigation: DOJ OK’d probe into alleged collusion between Manafort, Russians Manafort’s trial was the first prompted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, although the case didn’t touch on allegations of interference. It was during the special counsel’s investigation that Mueller’s legal team said it discovered that Manafort had hidden millions of dollars that he had received in exchange for work he did for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort is expected to face a second trial on additional charges in September.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Suspect in death of Mollie Tibbetts being held on federal immigration detainer

Suspect in death of Mollie Tibbetts being held on federal immigration detainer

Update 5:31 p.m. EDT Aug. 21: Police said that Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who is in the country illegally, has been charged with murder in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts. >> Read more trending news A charge of 1st degree murder has been filed against the 24-year-old. If convicted, the charge carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Investigators said they used surveillance video in tracking down Rivera. Video showed Tibbetts jogging in a rural area near her hometown of Brooklyn as well as Rivera’s car. Police had searched the area but noted her body was found in a field, covered with corn stalks. Original report: Authorities found the body of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who vanished last month after going for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, according to multiple reports. Greg Willey of Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa confirmed to The Associated Press that investigators found a body Tuesday morning believed to be that of Tibbetts, 20. Willey told the AP one of Tibbetts’ close family friends told him about the discovery. Fox News and CBS News also reported Tibbetts' body was found Tuesday, citing unnamed sources. >> Mollie Tibbetts search: New video surfaces, Iowa man says he saw her jogging Aug. 21: In a statement released Tuesday morning, officials with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation confirmed that authorities have found a body in rural Poweshiek County. “Investigators are working to confirm the identity,” the statement said. Authorities are expected to provide additional information at a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. local time Tuesday. “There will be no further information related from law enforcement until the press conference,” according to officials with the Iowa DCI. Tibbetts, 20, was last seen July 18 in Brooklyn, a town with a population of about 1,400 in central Iowa. Investigators said she was last seen on a routine jog through the streets of the city. It’s unclear whether she returned to the home where she was dog-sitting for her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s brother, who have said they were both out of town. The college sophomore was reported missing the next day, after she didn’t show up for her job at a local day care.  A massive search was launched after her disappearance. Authorities received thousands of tips. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For the first time in two years, Jamie Dupree has returned to radio. You can also subscribe to get Washington Insider Jamie Dupree’s take on what’s happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday.
For the first time in two years, Jamie Dupree has returned to radio. You can also subscribe to get Washington Insider Jamie Dupree’s take on what’s happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday.
For the first time in two years, Jamie Dupree has returned to radio. You can also subscribe to get Washington Insider Jamie Dupree’s take on what’s happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday.
For the first time in two years, Jamie Dupree has returned to radio. You can also subscribe to get Washington Insider Jamie Dupree’s take on what’s happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday.
Read the documents from Michael Cohen’s guilty plea

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer plead guilty to eight criminal charges in a federal court on Tuesday, as Michael Cohen told a federal judge that he paid money to two women – to keep them quiet just before the 2016 elections – at the direction of a specific candidate for federal office, and coordinated “with one or more members of the campaign.”

While the name of that candidate was not revealed in open court, or in any documents, it was very obvious that it was President Trump, referred to as “Individual-1.”

“On or about June 16, 2015, Individual-1 began his presidential [More]