Prosecutors preparing charges for ex-Trump lawyer

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Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) Federal prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen and could announce them by the end of the month, according to sources.

The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations related in part to a $130,000 hush money payment made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels’ allegations of an affair with Trump, the sources told CNN on Sunday.

Trump has however, denied the affair.

Investigators are also examining more than $20 million in loans obtained for Cohen and his family’s taxi companies.

The Cohen investigation was referred to the Southern District of New York by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Should Cohen seek to make a deal to avoid indictment, it could require him to cooperate with any investigation prosecutors wish, including the ongoing Russia probe, the sources told CNN.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents raided Cohen’s hotel room, office and home in April.

At the time prosecutors said their investigation had been underway for months.

The search warrant authorising the raid referenced Cohen’s taxi medallion business, the identity of banks that loaned him money and payments made to suppress negative information during the presidential campaign.

–IANS

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