CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explains why Michael Cohen may soon face criminal charges — and what it means for Mueller
Michael Cohen (Photo: Screen capture)

CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explained Monday why Donald Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen is staring down criminal charges — and why it matters within the context of the Russia investigation.

The network previously reported that federal prosecutors were preparing to formally charge Cohen by the end of August, according to sources close to the matter.

As Coates noted, the timing of these charges suggests special counsel Robert Mueller "was right to farm out" the charges to the Southern District of New York.

"There [were] actually some charges to be brought and there was a reason [Mueller] didn't want to have the distraction of the bank fraud charges," she said.

News of the impending charges also signal that Cohen's reported desire to cooperate with Mueller were in vain, Coates said.

"The silly truth is that you can only be cooperating if I want to hear from you," the analyst noted, "or if what you have to tell me is worthwhile to my other investigations." 

"This is a financial matter that is strictly about what his New York finances were and nothing to do with perhaps the campaign, which he was not a part of," she concluded.

Watch below, via CNN: