President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump’s legal team claimed victory after a federal judge in Manhattan said Wednesday that an investigation into hush-money payments arranged by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen — which Cohen claims Trump directed — had concluded.

Details: U.S. District Judge William Pauley made the remarks in a court order directing the release of documents by 11am Thursday relating to 2 women who said they had sexual encounters with Trump. The president denies their claims and Cohen's. Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement he's "pleased" the probe into "these ridiculous campaign finance allegations" is closed," per Reuters.

We have maintained from the outset that the president never engaged in any campaign finance violation."
— Statement by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow

The big picture: Cohen is serving a 3-year prison sentence after being convicted of charges involving campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress. He entered into a plea deal with prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and also the Mueller investigation in the case.

What they're saying: Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for Cohen, issued a statement after the judge made the order concerning the investigation into payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

"Case closed? Why is Michael Cohen — after all his voluntary cooperation and testimony that Mr. Mueller said was credible and went to 'core issues' and all the information and documents he voluntarily provided to prosecutors and to congress — the only member of the Trump company to be prosecuted and imprisoned? Especially since prosecutors found that virtually all of Michael’s admitted crimes were done at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald Trump? Why?"
— Lanny J. Davis, attorney for Michael Cohen

The big picture: Where the Trump investigations stand

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street fears meltdown over election and Supreme Court

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Trump's vow to name her replacement to the Supreme Court before November's election are amplifying Wall Street's worries about major volatility and market losses ahead of and even after the election.

The big picture: The 2020 election is the most expensive event risk on record, per Bloomberg — with insurance bets on implied volatility six times their normal level, according to JPMorgan analysts. And it could take days or even weeks to count the record number of mail-in ballots and declare a winner.

Election clues county by county

Ipsos and the University of Virginia's Center for Politics are out with an interactive U.S. map that goes down to the county level to track changes in public sentiment that could decide the presidential election.

How it works: The 2020 Political Atlas tracks President Trump's approval ratings, interest around the coronavirus, what's dominating social media and other measures, with polling updated daily — enhancing UVA's "Crystal Ball."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 31,605,656 — Total deaths: 970,934 Total recoveries: 21,747,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,897,432 — Total deaths: 200,814 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

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