Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress

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

Cohen said in the hearing that he submitted a false written statement about a Trump Organization real estate project in Moscow.

Cohen also said that in the statement to Congress, he claimed to have had limited contact with Trump concerning the project, when in fact it had been "more extensive". However, within Cohen's plea agreement, the criminal information document repeatedly mentions "Individual 1", who-by using very basic context clues-is nearly assuredly now-President Trump. Cohen is trying to reduce his prison sentence "by making up a story", the president continued.

The document goes on to say Cohen made those statements attempting to hide or minimise a number of facts, including that the project "was discussed multiple times within the company and did not end in January 2016", but rather Cohen and "Individual 2" discussed the efforts as late as June 2016.

The Washington Post reported previous year Mr Cohen had emailed Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman, seeking his help in advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow at the same time Mr Trump was running for president.

"This was a deal that didn't happen", Trump said of the purported real estate project.

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Cohen said in 2017 that he discussed the deal with Trump three times during the campaign, though the project was abandoned in January 2016.

Napolitano said that Mueller's investigation could continue "well into 2019". By August, Cohen's celebrity lawyer Lanny Davis was teasing Cohen's alleged "knowledge" about "certain subjects that should be of interest to the special counsel", and stating that his clieng "is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows" if Mueller gives him a good deal.

Until now, Cohen had been operating without a formal cooperation deal.

But in August, he pleaded guilty to eight felony counts, including two campaign finance violations related to his efforts during the 2016 campaign to silence women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. Cohen previously said he never received a response and the project was halted that month. "No one is above the law, not even the president, and our job will be to check his impulse to abuse his office to protect himself". According to court documents, Cohen worked with Russian-born former American mobster Felix Sater about securing a meeting with Putin that ultimately never materialized.

Cohen lied about his dealings because Trump wanted to hide an improper conflict. Corsi's associate Roger Stone and Donald Trump Jr. may also be on the hook for things they've said in the past on separate matters.

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These new charges come with a maximum possible sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Quigley, a member of the panel told the Sun-Times in a statement, "Cohen's plea highlights what we've known on the House Intelligence Committee for quite some time: several of our witnesses were untruthful in their testimonies".

It's unclear if Trump provided answers on that specific topic.

It's a blow to Trump, who has escalated his attacks on the probe he calls a "witch hunt". Sentencing has been set for December 12.

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