Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, has agreed to plead guilty to charges stemming from a federal investigation of his business dealings and possible campaign finance violations, US media reported Tuesday.
There was no initial confirmation of the plea deal reported by several media including NBC News and The New York Times, or of the specific charges involved, but Cohen was set to appear in Manhattan criminal court at 4 pm (2000 GMT).
Watch live video from outside the New York federal court:
CNN reported that the deal includes prison time for the president’s long-time fixer, who played a behind-the-scenes role in making hush payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
The development came on the same day as a former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, faced a fourth day of deliberations in his tax evasion and bank fraud trial.
A Cohen guilty plea would avoid a high profile trial, but also could require him to cooperate with investigators probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in its efforts to sway the 2016 US presidential elections.
Neither prosecutors in Manhattan nor Cohen’s attorney would comment on the matter.
Guilty pleas are common in the United States when it appears prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction if the case goes to trial.
The FBI raided Cohen’s home and office on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into whether Trump sought to obstruct the Russia meddling probe.
Cohen — who once declared he was so loyal he would “take a bullet for the president” — was involved in efforts to hush allegations from a former Playboy model about an affair with Trump.
He also paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels to silence her own claims of an alleged one-night stand with Trump in 2006, just before the election.
Talk of a plea deal comes days after The New York Times reported that Cohen is also under investigation for potential tax and bank fraud, possibly exceeding $20 million via loans obtained by the taxi medallion business he owns with his family.
WATCH: Saturday Night Live airs Christmas special — that’s just one giant dig at the Electoral College
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" aired an opening skit that was just one giant attack on the electoral college.
A snowman introduced the segment, saying that we could look in on the holiday table conversation thanks to hacked Nest cams.
The skit featured a house in San Francisco, California, a second in Charleston, South Carolina and a third in Atlanta, Georgia.
Each dinner table debated impeachment, and the differences between President Donald Trump and his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
But then the snowman said that none of their votes matter.
"They'll debate the issues all year long, but then it all comes down to 1,000 people in Wisconsin who won't even think about the election until the morning of," the snowman said. "And that's the magic of the Electoral College."
Georgia mayor being recalled for racism resigns from office: report
Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly resigned in a special city council meeting held on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Saturday.
"The resignation came just days after Councilman Jim Cleveland resigned saying he‘d rather leave office on his own terms than face voters in a recall election next month," the newspaper reported. "Both resignations follow an AJC investigation launched seven months ago into claims that an African American candidate for city administrator was sidetracked by Mayor Theresa Kenerly because of his race."
Nine 2020 Democrats unite to demand DNC Chair Tom Perez scrap debate rules: report
The Democratic National Committee is facing a revolt for the party's 2020 presidential candidates for its restrictive debate rules.
"Nine Democratic presidential candidates, including the party's front-runners, are urging the Democratic National Committee to toss out the current polling and fundraising rules used to determine who appears in televised debates and reopen the exchanges to better reflect the historic diversity of the current field. The candidates say the rules exclude diverse candidates in the field from participating," CBS News reported Saturday evening.