Aug 21, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: All the president’s guilty men

L: Michael Cohen. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images. R: Paul Manafort. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's longtime personal lawyer and his 2016 campaign chairman each became felons during the 4pm hour this afternoon.

In New York, Michael Cohen accepted a plea deal to charges that include campaign finance violations, tax and bank fraud. His sentencing hearing will be on December 12.

  • "The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III," the N.Y. Times reports.
  • Reuters: "Cohen says at direction of 'candidate for federal office' he arranged to make payments 'for principal purpose of influencing election.'"
  • Go deeper: What Michael Cohen knows (Axios)

In Virginia, a jury found Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts of fraud.

  • WashPost: "Manafort was convicted on five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of not filing a required IRS form, and two bank fraud counts."
  • Why it matters: "Manafort’s guilty verdict may strengthen Mueller’s hand as he continues to investigate possible conspiracy and seeks an interview with the president; an acquittal could have led to a broader effort by conservatives to shut down the special counsel’s office."
  • Senate Intel Committee ranking Democrat Mark Warner in a statement: “Any attempt by the President to pardon Mr. Manafort or interfere in the investigation into his campaign would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress.”

The bottom line: Former Trump allies are going to jail, with no end in sight for the Mueller probe.

Go deeper... Mueller’s map: What 35 indictments and pleas tell us

Bonus: Pic du jour

Hurricane Lane pictured by a NOAA satellite on Aug. 21, 2018.

Hurricane Lane, an intense Category 4 storm, is poised to move perilously close to the Hawaiian islands later this week, according to updated forecasts on Tuesday.

  • The forecast track keeps all of the islands on the storm's most dangerous right-hand quadrant, where the strongest winds and heaviest rains will be.
  • Only two hurricanes have made landfall in Hawaii since statehood, most recently in 1992.
  • Go deeper.
2. What you missed
  1. Uber has hired veteran Wall Street executive Nelson Chai as CFO, a position that has been empty since 2015. This matters because companies need CFOs to go public. Go deeper.
  2. Summer 2018 has been noteworthy for all-time heat records smashed around the world, from California to Sweden and Japan. Go deeper.
  3. The EPA officially proposed a rule today setting limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, which replaces a far more aggressive plan issued by former President Barack Obama. Go deeper.
  4. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has just a 27% favorable rating among U.S. Republicans — on par with Vladimir Putin. Go deeper.
  5. Slack has raised $427 million in new Series H funding at a valuation north of $7.1 billion. By the numbers.
3. 1 fun thing: Animals sans bars

Photos: Charlie Neibergall, Kiichiro Sato/AP

"Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers in response to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals," the A.P.'s Dee-Ann Durbin reports.

Mike Allen