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

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Court orders temporary shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline in San Francisco in 2017. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A federal judge ordered Monday the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline — a project at the heart of battles over oil-and-gas infrastructure — while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental analysis.

Why it matters: The latest twist in the years-long fight over the pipeline is a defeat for the White House agenda of advancing fossil fuel projects and a win for Native Americans and environmentalists who oppose the project