Trump's former attorney reaches plea deal: Sources

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen reaches a plea deal on charges including bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violations.
8:48 | 08/21/18

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Transcript for Trump's former attorney reaches plea deal: Sources
Gonna continue this breaking news coverage again news that. President trumps former personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Is getting ready to strike a plea deal in a case against him for campaign finance violations. Bank fraud. As well as tax invasion we have our political director Rick Klein standing by. In DC for us and Rick I know one of the big things that people associate with Michael Cullen is as payment to stormy Daniels over her alleged affair. With the president his negotiations over Karen mcdougals alleged affair with the president we're hearing this deal. Could include jail time for him. But that I think of the big question a lot of people have is how this whole thing can tie back to the president. This brings all of the prosecution's. All of the legal scrutiny directly to the president's doorstep and awaited even the matter for trial doesn't keep in mind that the the trial now under way the jury continuing to deliberate for Paul that up for president trumps former campaign chairman. A metaphor it was saw the head of the campaign for relatively short period of time I and he's facing charges for things he did years before he was associated with Donald Trump in the campaign. Michael Cohen that was alleged to have been involved in things now directly up until Election Day he's one of the president's closest aides and advisors this brings it closer than ever present itself. All right Rick I want to bring into city they get to who's at the White House following the president and Cecilia in this was someone with whom the president had a very close relationship you know that they. He called a news fixer his attorney and Michael calling himself once that he would take a bullet. For trump so what does this mean now. Well he was all of those things Diana a lawyer a fixture a really. Perhaps need person on the inside of the president's inner most circle this was. Someone who as many critics say did his bidding for him and many people say knows we're if the bodies are buried so to speak. We've not yet heard reaction from this White House particularly from this president I wouldn't be surprised if that comes soon you'll remember it wasn't too long ago that the president was saying. That this is a person who would never flat we don't know that that's the case whether Michael Cohen has cut this deal with prosecutors if in fact he will be cooperating. But nonetheless this is a huge blow to this administration this is something that people here that sources here have long feared an investigation into Michael Cohen himself. Was too close to the west wing was too close to president trump. We don't still know exactly what that deal is that we do know people here have been very nervous about the staff and Cecelia what the town there now that they've known that notes found in a plea deal is coming. On the day that we may also be expecting him. Verdict in the Paul man were Kay's trumps former campaign chair. Well as you can imagine I think nerves are is a general way to sum it up I'm certainly people are trying to serve distanced themselves they long have tried to. Extend distance between even Michael Cohen in recent weeks but certainly with Paul man afford. The ammo here has been to try to paint him as someone who was a small bit player. On the campaign when in fact he was there for five solid months he worked his way up to the top role in the campaign is campaign manager. And really was there during a key time the campaign when he ran the Republican National Convention the president has had to walk a fine line. On on the palm and a four trial he it's certainly has caught his attention he's been tweeting. Heavily in recent weeks and days about the Russian investigation perhaps more so. Than any other period in in recent history but you know he's tried to distance himself on one hand but as we know this was a person who was a major role player and. The charm campaign leading up to the election. Blalock going on there's the city of big of their from the White House Cecilia thank you. Again that waiting a verdict in the parliament for trial but right now we're hearing that there could be a plea deal. In the Michael Cohen case that was the president's former personal attorney. And fixer we want to go to our Justice Department Pierre Thomas was getting some more information about this you'll hear it sounds like so far we're hearing this could include jail time. Four Cohen what else do we know about this deal. Again what we're hearing is that. Cohen has agreed in principle to the field obviously it's not final until it's entered into court so we're waiting to see the paperwork on this. Again it involves. Bank fraud activities and also the issue of campaign finance we think in connection with the so called. Hush money involving the former Playboy model and also the porn star stormy Daniels. So again. Tikrit critical information is we need to see that this is actually filed today and also get word from Poland and also the federal prosecutors. Again the case was handled out of the southern district. North which is in Manhattan. That's where we're waiting to see. The case will be. And yet no one of the big questions are they want to know is if this dealing with cooperation. With the prosecution I do think it's important to explain that in this case the prosecution had not special counsel Robert Mueller this is with the southern district of New York. Well why is that question still so important. Life important because typically if definitive if you could guilty plea. Often found level of cooperation. And the reason why did this week seeking to lessen their jail time if possible. And the government wants to get something out of it if that he had the face of you know that Michael pointed signal. Very fortunate that you willing to cooperate with federal authorities. Definitely have to face but again we don't know the details this. Insisting that he was signaling he was willing to cooperate this from some on the White House says. Never would care Thomas they're here thank you so much a for keeping up on this board could be for standing out in the rain for us as well we appreciate it. Now we want to go back over to our political director Rick Klein just sort of button this up for us Rick. One of the big questions that we just talking with peers whether or not this deal include Collins cooperation. With the prosecution. Sort of explain why that is so important and the other big thing is that campaign finance violations it sounds like that as part of its deal. How does this link back to the president or does it. Let me take a second piece first campaign finance violations we would we would presume those two involves the payments to stormy Daniels and possibly others as part of this. That raises the issue is under campaign finance law because you have to report all contributions. Two or on behalf of other candidate and if this was done in the context. All the political campaign and that wasn't reported on and in calling this led prosecutors misled FBI investigators on the purpose for that. That that's a big deal under federal law so that's that piece of it on the piece of of how this impacts that it relates back to the president directly with with regard to possible cooperation. Michael Cohen has been very honest about as he is said it publicly told our colleague George Stephanopoulos a few weeks back. That he's willing to it to talk about the story that yes the tell that he's willing to talk to prosecutors in cooperate with them and tell them what he knows and that includes. The now disproven statement by the president that he didn't know about the payment to stormy Daniels. It also conclude all manner of other issues Florida later the president trounced business dealings going back literally decades. I'm not just his political career so be it becomes a critical question very quickly. Has he agreed to cooperate with what prosecutors would he cooperated for what reasons we cooperate. Clearly president trump in the White House are worried about the extent of that cooperation. A the president has not turned on him publicly and and his aides have turned on him in and try to minimize his import but he was a key member of the innermost circle president Trout. For decades and the things that he knows that things that he could talk about if he's going to talk to prosecutors at any level. Our are almost a noble right now and could reach back to the things that that we haven't even begun to discuss. And we had to say a thing he knows where the bodies are buried in for a long time we heard the president talk about how close they wore how this is his fixer you know his right hand man that kind of thing. So it sounds like not only prosecutors will want to hear Michael Collins story if he's willing to tell it but Sobel the American public in general. The arrival of Michael Cohen if he if he does begin to tell that story a plea agreement in understanding what kind of potential punishment. He would face would be to be getting it out whether or not he decides. Whether cooperation with part of this and Chris Christie made an important point you can't presume. Anything based on this but he also made a point to bad and the White House and the implications of this are are really limit. Us aren't our political director there Rick Klein Rick we appreciate it. As always again is reporting on this breaking news at the president's former personal attorney. And so called fixer Michael Cohen has agreed at least in principle right now to a plea deal in his case involving campaign finance violations. Bank fraud. And tax invasion it is of course still possible that deal could fall apart right now we're hearing in principle he has agreed to that deal. It could be a significant event for not only Michael Cohen but also. For president Tran. And that does it for us here right now it ABC news live I'm Diana say no thanks for watching.

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

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