Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress

Donald Trump Jr. talked with Senate investigators about his family's real estate dealings in September of 2017. The Judiciary Committee released his testimony earlier this year

There is no clear link in the court filings between Cohen's lies and Mueller's central question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Cohen, unlike most defendants, did not enter into a traditional cooperation agreement so his sentencing would not be delayed, though he nonetheless met - and expected he would continue to meet - with law enforcement agencies that wanted to talk to him, his lawyers wrote.

"This personal decision does not signal any intention on Michael's part to withhold information or his availability to respond to additional inquiry". "He expects to cooperate further". "But, following the execution of search warrants in this case, almost every professional and commercial relationship that he enjoyed, and a number of long-standing friendships, have vanished".

A former prosecutor who previously worked with Robert Mueller at the US attorney's office in Washington, D.C. suggested that Michael Cohen could possibly have tapes linking Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.to alleged collusion with Russian Federation.

"In the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States, Michael, formerly a confidante and adviser to Mr. Trump, resolved to cooperate", his attorneys wrote. As he departed for Buenos Aires, Trump acknowledged his business dealings with Russian Federation, telling reporters on Thursday: "It doesn't matter because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign".

They added that he "could have fought the government and continued to hold to the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon". They said he cooperated for "himself, his family and his country". He has two children, ages 23 and 19.

Cohen said in court on Thursday that he submitted a written statement to Congress in 2017 saying that all efforts relating to the real estate project in Moscow had ceased by January 2016.

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Prosecutors said in a court document that Cohen had misled Congress to give a false impression that the Moscow project had ended before the Iowa caucus and first Republican presidential primary in 2016. And they said Cohen lied about efforts to finalize a Trump business project in Moscow during the heart of the campaign because he knew it was Trump's "strongly voiced mantra" to minimize the investigation into connections between his campaign and the Kremlin.

Cohen past year acknowledged to Congress that he sent the emails to Peskov in January 2016. He later had a 20-minute phone call with one of Peskov's assistants and asked for help "in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction", prosecutors say. He's a weak person and not a very smart person.' Trump told reporters that Cohen is 'making up a story.' The president said as he left for the G20 summit in Argentina that he would have resumed work on the Moscow project if he had lost the election to Hillary Clinton.

Manafort was convicted by a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., this summer and pleaded guilty to separate charges arising in a second federal case in Washington, D.C.; he has a conference on Friday at which a judge could set the date for his sentencing, although Manafort will not be there.

In their request, the lawyers included dozens of letters of support from Cohen's friends and family, while noting the unwanted media attention foisted upon them.

In one, former New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford said he thought so highly of Cohen that he gave him the special teams game ball after the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI over the New England Patriots in 2012. Trump is referred to as "Client-1" throughout the filing.

But they wrote that Cohen did so because he knew Trump wanted to "dismiss and minimize the merit" of the special counsel's inquiry, and that he and his aides "were seeking to portray contact with Russian representatives in any form by Client-1, the campaign or the Trump Organization as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, 2016".

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