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"The fact that a prosecutor in NY says this was a crime, and, under pressure, Michael Cohen agrees to that, doesn't make it so".

At almost the same moment, a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort on eight of the 18 tax and bank fraud charges against him and said it was deadlocked on the other 10.

Within minutes, roughly 200 miles south at a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, Manafort was found guilty on eight charges of tax evasion and bank fraud after a three-week jury trial.

Cohen is scheduled for sentencing on December 12 and his bail was set at $500,000.

His voice cracked as he answered questions from Judge William Pauley III.

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for US President Donald Trump, leaves federal court on August 21, 2018, in NY.

Legal experts disagree over whether Trump could be impeached based on the allegation that he directed Cohen to make an unlawful campaign contribution. He ignored shouted questions to reporters about both former aides, retreating to his private stateroom on the airliner.

Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Cohen, declined to comment. A couple of people outside chanted, "Lock him up!" as they recorded the scene with their phones.

"The foundation is little more than an empty shell that functions with no oversight from its board of directors", the lawsuit alleged.

Andrew Wright, a former associate counsel to former President Barack Obama, said the Cohen guilty plea was sufficient grounds to begin an impeachment investigation.

"As the president has said, we've stated many times, he did nothing wrong".

It's not clear how the plea deal with Cohen might affect other entities that have been under scrutiny by federal prosecutors as part of the Cohen investigation, including AMI or Pecker.

Cohen once said he would "take a bullet" for Trump, but their relationship has deteriorated since the April FBI raid on Cohen's office, hotel room and home. "And we'll see what Mr. Mueller comes up with, but I do believe that Michael Cohen will tell the truth to Rudy Giuliani and will tell the truth about Donald Trump".

In August 2016, McDougal was paid $150,000 by AMI, the parent company of National Enquirer, for the rights to her story, which the company then shelved.

Trump attacked Cohen, tweeting, "If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!".

Court papers also detailed extensive behind-the-scenes efforts by a person matching the description of AMI Chairman David Pecker to try to stop negative stories about Trump from surfacing.

"If this was a personal matter, why wasn't she paid off after the affair or in the intervening decade?" said Paul S Ryan, the head of litigation at Common Cause.

Can the president be charged with a crime while in office?

Lying is contagious, and it appears the White House is suffering an outbreak. "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family", the president said.

Trump disparaged the special counsel's investigation upon landing in Charleston, West Virginia, telling reporters the probe is a "a witch hunt and a disgrace". Definitely what your representative says when you're innocent.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a statement: "The factual basis of the plea, potentially implicating the president in illegal campaign finance violations, adds to the president's legal jeopardy".

The probe is being led by the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan.

"It's not even a campaign violation", Trump said.

"Those involves were a sham", Khuzami said.

He raised millions for Trump's campaign and, after being interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee a year ago, told Vanity Fair that Trump had no part in the suspected Russian conspiracy to tamper with the election. Though Trump himself isn't named, the court filing refers to an Individual-1, who by January 2017 had become president of the United States.

Cohen, as CBS News has previously reported, has been under intense pressure to cooperate with federal investigators.