SPECIAL REPORT: Trump's former attorney reaches plea deal including jail time

Michael Cohen reached a deal with prosecutors on charges that include campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion.
9:31 | 08/21/18

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Transcript for SPECIAL REPORT: Trump's former attorney reaches plea deal including jail time
This is an ABC news. George step. Good afternoon coming on the air valid breaking news president trumps former lawyer Michael calling ABC news can report now the president trumps former lawyer Mike Cohen. Has reached a plea deal with prosecutors. On several counts of campaign finance violations bank fraud and tax evasion. Pushed Michael Collins president terms longtime personal attorney and counsel. In 2016. Campaign. He was involved in payments to stormy Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement about a possible affair with president trump also discussions with Karen McDougal. Put all selection affair. With president trump. Now he is agreed we believed to plead guilty to charges of campaign finance violations bank fraud and tax evasion. According to this plea from our sources this would involve a significant. Monetary forfeiture and jailed time. For mr. Cohen want to bring in our senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas for more. On this NPR from what we know about this this could be filed as early as today of course up and up until the moment. It's far it's also possible the one or both parties could back apple we believe an agreement has been reached and this is significant here. It would include jail time. For Michael called it for perhaps most significant there those two campaign finance law violations of course. That involves dealings with president trop. That's right doors again we believe that this deal is imminent of course. Either party could back out in. In the final moment that we believe that this deal was imminent that he agreed in principle. And you're right the campaign finance violations are potentially very interesting because they involved you know what's funny involving. Women. Allegedly had relationship the president of the United States and again the timing was keeping that information out of the press. For the election George that's why he's so we don't know if his cooperation will have to deal with that would. That the. Potentially then the payments he made would be a campaign finance violations. I also want to bring Chris Christie. Former governor Beers shares in former US prosecutor as well US attorney in New Jersey has been a longtime LA also. Of president trump significant move here today Kress. It is significant move Georgian and I think the real question to be answered now is. Does this tween queen cooperation. On Michael Cohen are not. Is this about cooperating we were just looking at him credit for accepting responsibility which would reduce. His potential jail sentence or is he in fact coop. It was that lets you poor you're. That is an important point right there and and I am I and that point even if this is not a cooperating agreement it does not preclude. Cooperating down the road correct. It got recruiter although Stewart you would if you were that the strength of your. You wanna get credit for their cooperation way to apartment now while you were making the deal that would impact from the from the charity differently to. And what level you can potentially be certain that and so are my guess is that if this is a cooperative deal that has already been struck and if it's not. Not something that's good you could see if you don't go on the road talking about a significant as its not a co authoring. Well participate again that makes it a lot more probable of that problematic. Arms were also trumps everything if if Michael Cohen is not gonna cooperate. And provide information to the government. That would put more slash find potential Cypriot climates violations that would make potentially. And the chiefs against anyone else in which helps you have been much more difficult to put sewer and ultimately prove with the cooperation of Michael Coen assuming it was on it. In calavo readable cooperation. That would make it potentially easier. Want to bring to say they are from the White House as well. To show you know the White House has been nervous about this for some time. The eight exactly Georgian like Chris Christie just said we don't know about cooperation but that is one of the things that people here is cite this White House feared the most that Michael Cohen. Cooperating with robbers Muller's team would be a huge blow. To this west wing but just Michael Cohen being at the center this investigation has he as an investigation has made people here. Very nervous this was a president's heart to convey exactly how much in the inner circle Michael Cohen was for president charm for candidates from for then. Businessman Donald Trump he was in the innermost inner circle he was his longtime lawyer he was his longtime fixer he was his right hand me at. He knows about everything and has been a very fractured in damaged relationship of course after that raid on Cohen's home and businesses where they ceased. Thirteen cell phones and millions of finals. Back in April there relationship took a turn south the president had said that Michael Cohen would never flip on hand that they were that close. In their relationship. But as we know Michael Cohen told you George in that interview this summer that in fact his loyalty. Lies with his family and with his country so certainly today there are people nervous here. Waiting to find out what this deal entails and how much if in fact Michael Cohen will be cooperating with Robert Mueller seen. And of course the focus their on this campaign finance violations but heading into the stormy Daniels Michael Koenig admitted making payments a story deals with the 130000. Dollars. In October 2016 before the campaign and you remember well president sharp on Air Force One denying it first. Any knowledge of that payment let's listen. What's this evening at the White House later had to admit prison term and admit that he did know about that payments. He had flatly denied milling about that payment George and then it came out. Just a few months ago that in fact he acknowledged that this money was reimbursed to his lawyer for that 130000. Dollars. It's not just that we're tightening about Karen McDougal former Playboy playmate as well and that money. Paid to AMI you know that tape that came out where we heard the president and his then lawyer Michael Cohen talking about a payment as many Google car hush money. The the campaign had long insisted that president had not had an affair arm I am assuming that is still the case that that is the insistence they sort of stopped talking about. That case but there is a tape out there where we hear the bad and his lawyer talking about. I. In fact sing we had that's it let's play that as well. I'm need to open up company. For the transfer of all that info we'll carted off friend dated. Here so that I couldn't do that right what I've actually come up and ultimately I had spoken to Alan Weiss over about. How to set the whole thing. Would. Funding. Yes. Com and its. All this stuff all this stuff because here you never know what that company everywhere he's been mediation correct so I'm wrong I'm all over that. And I spoke to Alan about it when it comes time for the financing which will be this. Page so thick old woman I got no Shaquille powers. And owner reappear Thomas for more on this as well appear we also know that the offices of American Media. Which did reach an agreement with Karen McDougal have also been rated by the Justice Department. What they want to get as much information from them is possible. And Jordan one of the things again we don't know the specifics yet this deal in terms of whether or how much cooperation there will be another we have had formed. Those sources that we trust that. Cohen has signaled that he wanted to cooperate. That he wanted to show what he needs to prosecutors could possibly help the situation is this let's. A step back here before we go as we get as we gather more information. What we're hearing as of the plead him from the president's former personal attorney on the same day. That his former campaign chairman Paul man a Ford expected to face a verdict. Perhaps as early as this afternoon. From a jury. They did that the president is feeling has has got to be feeling the pressure then we've seen in this week's. Well listen to urgently a couple of things personally and to remember to this court any cooperation at the moment. This with the southern district of new York and not what Bob model remember that Bob Mueller spent this case the district in New York beat you saw it he told beyond. His mandate that you've gotten. Armed Serb deputy attorney general Rosen aren't in after the president doesn't. I think you mean the bottom line this. It's never good ever could. To have people who have been associate with you are more like this cyclical columnist called a position he's been and haven't we killed your cards and especially it appears now. Crimes and associate with your presidential campaign so this is not a good day. And at the White House but let's not also hodac. I'm at this point there's nothing directly implicate. The president or anyone else altered and Michael Cohen. On and so it's something wherever we jump to conclusions found that I've worked as a prosecutor you take the stock one step at a time but today's step. And religion taking one step at a time as well Chris Christie appeared comes to see if they thank you very much again. Michael Cohen is rationing grew we believe the prosecutors in New York. A plea agreement over campaign finance and tax law and bank fraud violations we continue to report this throughout the day we'll be back. Well listen I would David Muir and on the air again. As events warrant I'm George Stephanopoulos in New York. This has been a special were. For me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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