By William K. Rashbaum, Maggie Haberman and Ben Protess
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, on Tuesday reached a plea agreement with prosecutors investigating payments he made to women on behalf of Trump, a deal that does not include cooperation with federal authorities, two people familiar with the matter said.
Cohen is expected to plead guilty to multiple counts of bank and tax fraud charges and campaign finance violations. For months, prosecutors in New York have been scrutinizing him for those crimes and focusing on his role in helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Trump.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that there would be a “proceeding of interest” in a case against a defendant identified only as John Doe, language that almost always indicates a guilty plea. One person with knowledge of the matter said the proceeding would be the guilty plea by Cohen.
Lawyers for Cohen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Even though Cohen is not cooperating with prosecutors, his decision to plead guilty is a political blow to Trump. Cohen had been the president’s longtime fixer, handling his most sensitive business and personal matters. He once said he would take a bullet for Trump.
The investigation of Cohen has focused in part on his role helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Trump, including Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress better known as Stormy Daniels.
The charges against Cohen were not a surprise, but he had signaled recently he might be willing to cooperate with investigators who for months have been conducting an extensive investigation of his business dealings. But any bid to negotiate a plea deal under which he would provide information to federal prosecutors in Manhattan in the hopes of a lesser sentence appears to have broken down.