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Timeline: How one Tuesday in August turned into a potentially dangerous day for Trump’s presidency

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 8/22/2018 JM Rieger

In one hour on Tuesday afternoon, two of the most significant events of President Trump’s first 19 months in office converged at once. That one of those events — the guilty plea of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen — was barely mentioned Tuesday morning on cable news made it all the more remarkable.

Cohen’s name was mentioned in just five segments across the three major cable news networks before NBC News broke the story of Cohen’s potential plea deal with prosecutors at 11:51 a.m. Eastern time, according to closed-captioning records.

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What followed was a constant drumbeat of incremental news on Cohen and the trial of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, culminating in one of the most dramatic hours of cable news in recent memory, as you can see in the video above.

Here's a timeline of how it all unfolded:

  • 9:50 a.m.: The jury begins the fourth day of deliberations in the Manafort trial. 
  • 11:45 a.m.: The jury sends a note to Judge T.S. Ellis III that it is struggling to reach a unanimous verdict on at least one count.
  • 11:51 a.m.: NBC News reports that Cohen is discussing a possible plea deal with federal prosecutors.
  • 1:37 p.m.: ABC News reports that Cohen has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
  • 2:08 p.m.: CNBC reports that Cohen walked into the FBI’s New York office at 1:45 p.m.
  • 2:09 p.m.: Multiple reports emerge of a 4 p.m. federal court hearing for Cohen.
  • 2:38 p.m.: CNN reports that Cohen has surrendered to the FBI.
  • 4:25 p.m.: The Associated Press reports that the jury has reached a verdict in the Manafort trial.
  • 4:37 p.m.: CNN reports that Manafort has been found guilty on eight of 18 counts.
  • 4:51 p.m: The Washington Post reports that Cohen pleads guilty to eight counts.
  • 5:39 p.m.: Trump tells reporters that the Cohen and Manafort news “doesn’t involve” him.
  • 7:51 p.m.: At a rally in West Virginia, Trump asks supporters, “Where is the collusion?” 


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