Trump former aide Manafort found guilty on eight charges

Michael Cohen is the closest member of President Trump’s inner circle to come under criminal investigation

Michael Cohen is the closest member of President Trump’s inner circle to come under criminal investigationHECTOR RETAMAL AFP Getty Images

The investigation into Cohen is separate from Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates, but Mueller did refer potential evidence to the US attorney's office in Manhattan.

Manafort was convicted of five counts of filing false income tax returns, one count of failing to file a report of a foreign bank account in 2012 and two counts of bank fraud.

The FBI raided Cohen's office in April, seeking bank records, communications with Trump's campaign and information on payments to Daniels and McDougal.

That ignited speculation that federal prosecutors were scrutinizing payments that Cohen set up in the amount of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels on behalf of Trump in October, 2016.

Manafort was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, two counts of bank fraud and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts.

News first reported that Cohen was discussing a plea deal on August 21 in relation to tax fraud and banking matters. If Trump authorized the payment, but it wasn't disclosed, that could be charged as a federal crime.

The verdict came as the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, separately pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges, saying he made payments to influence the 2016 election at the direction of a candidate for federal office.

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Cohen, as CBS News has previously reported, has been under intense pressure to cooperate with federal investigators.

Mr Giuliani lashed out at Mr Cohen on Tuesday, calling him a "devious little rat" and saying he had a history of lying.

Dershowitz, who's been a critic of the Mueller investigation, said the Cohen case is the one that's potentially more damaging to the president.

The investigation into Cohen has pulled back the curtain on Cohen's role as the president's loyal "fixer".

A spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Cohen is pressing for three years but prosecutors are seeking 50 months. USA intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow interfered. A spokesman for the United States attorney's office declined to comment.

The judge had appointed a special master to review 4 million items.

She says Cohen, Trump or the Trump Organization wanted another 57 items designated privileged but agreed not to contest the special master's findings.

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