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Michael Cohen Decides To Take Plea Deal With DOJ

Reporting by Paula Reid

Former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen has decided to take a plea deal with the Justice Department to resolve his criminal investigation, and this was expected to be a straight plea deal to resolve the case against him, CBS News' Paula Reid has confirmed. His plea, she told CBSN, is expected to be related to campaign finance violations. Any cooperation from Cohen could help him during sentencing. Cohen went back and forth all morning over whether to take the deal, Reid reported.

Cohen is expected to appear in a Manhattan court at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the charges are expected to be revealed at that time.

Investigators have been probing whether Cohen committed bank or tax fraud in connection with his financial and business dealings including loan activities. Investigators are also interested in whether Cohen violated any campaign finance-related laws by helping arrange payment deals to secure the silence of women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

NBC News first reported Tuesday that Cohen was engaged in negotiations over a possible plea deal. If Cohen secures a plea deal, it could be a development that concerns President Trump's legal team. Cohen has had a front-row seat to Mr. Trump's business dealings for years. And as CBS News has previously reported, Cohen has indicated he is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Mr. Trump was aware of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting before it took place, although he has shown no evidence to support this claim.

The president has lashed out against Cohen without naming him on Twitter, after news broke that Cohen had secretly recorded conversations with him.

Cohen, as CBS News has previously reported, has been under intense pressure to cooperate with federal investigators. 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 U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

No charges have been filed yet as a result of the investigation into Cohen.

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