Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, has pleaded guilty to charges including campaign finance fraud stemming from hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The 51-year-old Cohen entered the plea in federal court in New York on Tuesday. The other charges 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.

Cohen’s plea follows months of scrutiny from federal investigations and a falling out with the president, whom he previously said he’d “take a bullet” for.

FBI raids in April sought bank records, communications with Trump’s campaign and information on payments to Daniels and McDougal.

Both women claimed Trump had affairs with them, which he denies.

The deal comes after reports that federal investigators were looking into whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud worth more than $20 million, according to a media report. The New York Times, citing anonymous sources, said authorities were focusing on loans obtained for taxi businesses owned by Cohen and his family. 

Investigators were also considering whether Cohen had violated campaign finance and other laws when he made financial arrangements to pay women to stay silent about alleged affairs with then-candidate Trump back in 2016.

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Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to PresidentRobin Bell, left, and Sorane Yamahira look at theirRobin Bell, left, and Sorane Yamahira look at their work projected on the Trump International Hotel, July 23, 2018, in Washington. In a city with a long tradition of leftist street activism, Bell has become something of a local celebrity. Every few weeks, Bell puts messages of protest on the side of the Trump International Hotel. He’s called President Donald Trump a pig and a racist, used smiling poop emojis, and taunted the president with images of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Alex Brandon, APMichael Cohen leaves the U.S. Courthouse in New YorkMichael Cohen, former personal attorney for PresidentMichael Cohen, longtime personal lawyer and confidanteAdult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known asAdult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks outside U.S. Federal Court with her lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) in Lower Manhattan, New York on April 16, 2018.
Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have had a consensual sexual encounter with Donald Trump a decade ago, said April 17, 2018 that she is pursuing legal action against the president because she is “done being bullied.””I’m tired of being threatened, intimidating me, and trying to say that you’ll ruin my life and take all my money and my house,” Daniels said on ABC’s “The View.””I’m done being bullied,” Daniels said of legal threats from Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, who is now embroiled in his own legal troubles.”I’m done,” Daniels said.
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ, AFP/GETTY IMAGESIn this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, oneIn this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, speaks as the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, left, sits next to one of his own attorneys Todd Harrison, center, with porn star Stormy Daniels visible in the audience between Cohen and Harrison, during a federal court hearing in New York, April 16, 2018. Attorneys for Cohen and Trump tried to persuade U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege. ELIZABETH WILLIAMS VIA APAttorney Michael Cohen, US President Donald J. Trump's(L to R) Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans, attorneysMichael Cohen takes a phone call  as he sits outsideCBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, left, StormyCBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, left, Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, CNN news anchor Don Lemon and FOX News talk show host Sean Hannity pose for a selfie at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual 35 Most Powerful People in Media event at The Pool on Thursday, April 12, 2018, in New York.
In court hearings on April 16, 2018, it was revealed that the client list of presidential lawyer Michael Cohen also includes Sean Hannity, one of the president’s biggest supporters.
EVAN AGOSTINI, INVISION/APIn this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, President Trump'sThe actress Stephanie Clifford, who uses the stageMichael Cohen's lawyer David Schwartz appeared on MegynMichael Cohen, right, President Donald Trump's personalMichael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney,(L to R) Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect

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  • Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as6 of 17
  • In this courtroom sketch, Joanna Hendon, right, one7 of 17
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  • (L to R) Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans, attorneys9 of 17
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  • (L to R) Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect17 of 17

Report: Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen investigated for bank and tax fraud of more than $20 million

More: Feds win access to records seized from ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

More: Michael Cohen tapes: Here’s what we know about the secret recordings

Contributing: Associated Press

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