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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  August 21, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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tonight, breaking news. two men very president's longtime personal attorney and fixer michael cohen surrendering to the fbi, pleading guilty to eight felony charges. among them, campaign finance charges. the prosecutor saying they were payments meant to influence the 2016 election, money paid to silence two women who cohen believed would be detrimental to the campaign and to donald trump. also breaking, paul manafort found guilty late today on eight counts against him. the jury could not agree on the other ten counts. the president's former campaign chairman now facing significant time in federal prison. and, moments ago, president trump's first reaction on camera. also developing this tuesday night, authorities before the cameras just a short time ago. the body of the missing college
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student mollie tibbetts has now been found. authorities have just revealed the suspect is an undocumented immigrant. the powerful storm system moving east tonight. severe thunderstorms, dangerous winds. from virginia and d.c. up through the northeast, and the major hurricane we're tracking. the stunning moment in court today involving the father and husband charged with killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, as his slain wife's father breaks down. good evening. it's great to have you with us on a very busy tuesday night. two bombshell headlines involving two men who worked very closely with the president. a guilty plea for one, and a guilty verdict for the other. paul manafort found guilty on eight counts against him. jurors couldn't reach consensus
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on the other ten. and michael cohen, pleading guilty to eight charges, surrendering to the fbi in new york city. the man who once said he would take a bullet for the president. cohen acknowledging he was working for a candidate for federal office. what does this mean for president trump? we begin with the drama involving the fixer at the president's side for years. here's tom llamas, leading us off. >> reporter: he was the president's loyal lieutenant and longtime fixer. the personal lawyer who once said he'd take a bullet for n who aimed to have had wo sexual relationships wpr icelwh's your message to the president? >> reporter: cohen today telling the judge he was working "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for
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federal office." >> mr. cohen pled guilty to two campaign finance charges. one for causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and the second one, for a personal making an excessive personal count contribution, both for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election. >> reporter: just 11 days before the election, cohen paid off porn star stormy daniels, who claimed she had a one night stand with trump. the president initially said he knew nothing about it. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no, no. what else? >> why did michael cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations? >> you have to ask michael cohen. michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> reporter: but months later, a different story from the president's new attorney, rudy giuliani. >> that money was not campaign money. sorry, i'm giving you a fact now that you don't know. it's not campaign money. no campaign finance violation.
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>> so they funneled it through the law firm? >> they funneled through a law firm and the president repaid it. >> oh, i didn't know that he did. >> yup. >> reporter: prosecutors say cohen was reimbursed by the trump organization. >> mr. cohen sought reimbursement for that money by submitting invoices to the candidate's company which were untrue and false. it was simply a means to obtain reimbursement for the unlawful campaign contribution. >> reporter: cohen also involved in the payoff to karen mcdougal, a former "playboy" playmate who claimed she once had a yearlong affair with trump. just before the election, mcdougal sold her story to the publisher of the "national enquirer." they bought it and buried it. a practice known as catch and kill. trump denied knowing about that payment, too, but cohen secretly recorded a 2016 conversation where the two men seemed to discuss buying the rights to mcdougal's story from the "enquirer" publisher.
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>> when it comes time for the financing, which will be -- >> what financing? >> we'll have to pay -- >> cash? >> no, no, no, no, no. i got -- no, no, no. >> check. >> reporter: cohen worked for president trump for more than a decade. >> i will do anything to protect mr. trump. i'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to mr. trump. >> reporter: when his home, office and hotel room were raided by the fbi, the president was outraged. >> it's a disgrace. it's frankly a real disgrace. it's an attack on our country in a true sense. it's an attack on what we all stand for. >> reporter: trump said he was confident cohen would not turn on him. but the pressure on cohen only grew. in june, it was clear he was looking to cut a deal, telling our george stephanopoulos, "my wife, my daughter, and my son have my first loyalty and always will. i put family and country first." and when cohen's team released that secretly recorded conversation with trump, it was war. >> he's been lying for years. there is nobody that knows him who has not warned me if he's
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backed against a wall, he'll lie like crazy because he's lied all his life. >> reporter: tonight, cohen pleading guilty to a total of eight felony charges. in addition to the two campaign finance counts, there's one count of giving a false statement to a bank and five counts of tax evasion. >> tom is live with us tonight from manhattan. one outstanding question that remains, will cohen cooperate with robert mueller? >> reporter: that is a big question. the agreement does not tell them he has to cooperate. because prosecutors could recommend a reduced sentence if he is working with them. >> sentencing scheduled for december. and you said michael cohen acknowledged in court he was working in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for
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federal office. this was significant. >> reporter: if there was any doubt in court, the court documents say that candidate was donald trump. and he said i participated for the principal purpose of influencing his election. david? >> tom, thank you. you heard michael cohen acknowledge he was working for a candidate for federal office. that candidate won, and we're hearing from his lawyer. here's cecilia vega. >> reporter: we're hearing from the president as well. he just landed in west virginia not long ago. his first reaction coming in, saying he feels badly for paul manafort. let's get to the reaction coming in from rudy giuliani. saying there is no allegation of any wrong doing against the president in the government's charges against mr. cohen.
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that's true, they don't name the president. but cohen made it clear, then-candidate trump personally directed him to make the payments. legal experts are telling us that could implicate the president in this in and of itself. >> and as you mentioned, the president reacting for the first time on camera to the verdict for paul manafort. guilty on eight counts. just a short time ago, the president saying this doesn't involve me. but what he went on to say about paul manafort. here's pierre thomas at the courthouse. >> reporter: tonight, paul manafort is a convicted felon, who could spend the rest of his life behind bars. the injury rendering its verdict, guilty on five counts of tax evasion. they were unable to reach a
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verdict on ten other counts. the judge declared a the other counts. >> michael? >> reporter: his attorney later addressing reporters, saying manafort got a fair trial. >> mr. manafort is disappointed of not getting acquittals all the way through or a complete hung jury on all counts. >> reporter: prosecutors accused manafort of hiding millions from the irs, and defrauding banks to lend him millions more. they said he stashed $60 million in 31 offshore accounts. arguing he used the money to bankroll a lavish lifestyle. posh homes, fancy suits, an
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$18,000 python jacket. manafort, just two years ago, he was running the trump campaign, guiding the candidate through the convention. >> they're going to see a leader with a human side, who cares about people. >> paul manafort has done an amazing job. where is paul? paul manafort. >> reporter: but soon, manafort was pushed out. amid a swirl of stories about his work for ukrainian officials with ties to moscow. >> i've always found paul to be a very decent man. it was pretty tough stuff. >> reporter: last week, even as the jury deliberated, president trump still rooting for his former campaign chairman. >> i think it's a very sad day for our country. he worked for me for a very short period of time. butns to be a very good person. and i think it's very sad, what
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they've done to paul manafort. >> reporter: mr. trump refused to rule out a pardon. and today, sounding dismayed about the verdict. >> it's very sad this happened. this started as russian collusion, it has absolutely nothing to do. it's a witch hunt and a disgrace. >> pierre with us here. and manafort faces significant time in federal prison, perhaps the rest of his life. and he faces yet another trial on separate charges from the special counsel in just a few weeks? >> reporter: that's right. he faces another trial in washington, d.c., beginning september 17th. he he's now allegations of witness tampering
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in the upcoming trial. >> pierre, thank you. the president has called it a witch hunt. terry moran has covered the courts for years, and special counsels in the past. terry, you heard the president. it had nothing to do with russian collusion. what does this mean for robert mueller? >> reporter: well, the stakes were so high for robert mueller, and the whole office of the special counsel. they aimed high at the president's former campaign chairman. the first trial to go before a jury, and they got major convictions. putting paul manafort behind bars for a long time. but this was not a ringing endorsement of the prosecution. if anybody is the winner, it's probably the jury itself. in a highly politicized environment, they reached a verdict. it was a victory for them.
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>> terry, pierre, cecilia, tom, thank you. we move on to the other breaking developments involving the case making national headlines with the missing college student in iowa. police revealing they've found her body. authorities with the suspect in custody at this hour. they say he was in the u.s. illegally. alex pr alex perez in iowa tonight. >> reporter: tonight, after a month of searching, an arrest of christian rivera, who investigators say is an undocumented immigrant, for first degree murder. >> she was found in a corn field. >> reporter: the student was last spotted going for a run
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july 18th. rivera allegedly followed and abducted her ten miles away. >> he ran behind her, and chased her down. >> reporter: this video capturing her smiling just days before her disappearance. her family pleading for her return. >> hang in there. and we miss you, pie. come home. >> reporter: investigators had been working around the clock. fbi helping look at her digital footprint. but it was video captured by a neighbor's camera that helped put the suspect away. >> reporter: no word on a motive
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yet? >> that's right. when i asked the lead investigator about a possible motive, he said they can't reveal the details just yet. >> alex, thank you. from one awful case to another, the husband and father of two coming face to face with the family of the wife he allegedly murdered. christopher watts claiming she killed the children, and he killed his wife out of anger because of it. here's clayton sandell. >> reporter: chris watts, shackled and subdued, in court hearing the charges against him for the first time. accused of murdering his pregnant wife shanann, who gushed about him on facebook. >> he was the one for me. and he is amazing. >> reporter: and the daughters
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who adored him. watts coming face to face with shanann's father and brother, comforting each other as a judge read a heartbreaking list of crimes. >> celeste watts. a child who had not yet attained 12 years of age, and the defendant was in a position of trust. >> reporter: police say watts confessed to killing shanann, then made a staggering claim, that he did it in a fit of rage only after he caught his wife in the middle of strangling celeste and bella. that version, prosecutors and friends believe, is a lie. >> i know that shanann would never hurt her girls. never. her girls were her world. >> reporter: police also say chris watts was having an affair. just two months ago, he and his wife were celebrating another child on the way. >> so pink means? >> that's just the test. >> but pink is going to be girls? >> i don't know. >> that's awesome. >> reporter: on the day his family went missing, he allegedly told shannan he wanted weemeparate. rg sabui' but it's -- i just want them
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back. this plea to cameras, police say watts led them to three bodies hidden at this colorado oil ring aicre of suburban bliss. >> keep the prayers coming for our family. >> reporter: watts has not yet entered a plea. david? >> thank you. there's still much more ahead. the powerful storms we're tracking. the mystery gunman opening fire on a high-rise. different apartments hit in new york city. residents inside. and derailment triggering evacuations. leaking gas involved. a lot more news ahead. n be a bi. that's why there's otezla.
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tibbetts. >> this is the ending that nobody wanted but everybody feared. the search for a missing iowa woman who grew up in the east bay. thanks for joining us. >> police in iowa have arrested this man, 24-year-old cristhian rivera, he is an douncumented immigrant who told authorities he killed mollie tibbetts in a moment of panic. we have team coverage, amy hollyfield spoke with reporters of -- >> and a we start with elizabeth hur. >> officials in iowa say they received thousands of tips from the public and they interviewed hundreds of people, but they got their break in the case from a neighbor's surveillance camera. >> reporter: a tragic end to a tireless search for a missing college student in iowa. >> a body was discovered early this morning in a farm field southeast of brooklyn, iowa.
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the identity has not been confirmed, however we believe it to be the body of mollie tibbetts. >> reporter: authorities also announcing in addition to finding the body, a suspect is now under arrest. cristhian rivera, a 24-year-old man who police say was in the u.s. i would legally and living in the same county where mollie tibbetts disappeared. rivera now in jail charged with first-degree murder. officials revealing surveillance video provided detectives with images of a suspicious vehicle. >> we identified the vehicle belonging to mr. rivera and then we located them, interviewed him and he led us to her location. >> reporter: the 20-year-old university of iowa