Trump Ex-Lawyer Pleads Guilty To Misleading Congress In Russia Probe

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Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's lawyer, expected to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress

Trump and Cohen have been estranged since Cohen implicated Trump in court, saying he made the payments "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office".

Trump said he ultimately decided not to pursue a real estate project in Russian Federation, but it isn't clear precisely how discussions ended over the notional Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen's earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY implicated President Trump in campaign finance felonies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said in August 2017 that he had received an email in January 2016 from Cohen about a Moscow real estate project, but said he had neither replied nor discussed it with Putin.

"He's a weak person and by weak unlike other people you watch, he's a weak person and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence".

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Cohen said he lied to "be loyal" to Trump and consistent with Trump's "political messaging".

During the campaign, Cohen acted as Trump's point person in an attempt to build the Trump development in Moscow. Mr Trump said on Twitter, referring to a USA senator who led an anti-communist crusade in the 1950s.

The Mueller investigation has cast a cloud over the current American administration.

Along with his plea, Cohen secured a formal cooperation deal with Mueller's team of investigators. "I said I would confirm and revert". And this has been a highly eventful week for Mueller's probe.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight federal charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Cohen, who told the investigators that the plans had been scrapped in early 2016, admitted Thursday that negotiations had in fact continued through June that year. "A long time ago he did me a favor".

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Cohen worked on the deal with Felix Sater, a Russian-born developer and United States citizen, who served as a deal broker on the project. He previously identified individual 1 as Trump.

But during the campaign, Trump was repeatedly dismissive of claims that he had connections to the Kremlin, an issue that flared as especially sensitive in the summer of 2016 after a cybersecurity company asserted that Moscow was behind a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee.

The new Cohen and Manafort charges came just after Trump returned answers to a long list of questions submitted to him by Mueller that focus on Russian Federation contacts.

Trump has held out the possibility of a pardon to Manafort, who he says was treated "cruelly" by the investigation. What the lies were about remains a mystery, but it could underscore what most observers believe: that Mueller has far more evidence than his targets know.

People described in the court papers, including Cohen, even discussed when to schedule potential trips to Russian Federation as part of their negotiations as they planned for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

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