Michael Cohen Admits Trump Tower-Moscow Talks Continued Well Into 2016 Campaign

Attorney Michael Cohen leaves Federal court in New York

Attorney Michael Cohen leaves Federal court in New York

Cohen's lawyers argued both the campaign finance violations and the lies to Congress were a product of his "fierce loyalty" to Trump, whom they at times referred to as "Client-1", adding that, "In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives". The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And he did so mindful of "regular public reports referring to the President's consideration of pardons" and as Trump launched a "raw, full-bore attack" on the investigations which Cohen was aiding, they wrote.

Trump said his pledge not to conclude new deals only applied after he had been elected and inaugurated. He said he'd been focused on running for president in 2016 but that no rule prevented him from continuing to do business.

Cohen, his lawyers say, committed the campaign finance violations and lied to Congress out of his loyalty to Trump and to stay on message even while he was preparing for his 2017 testimony to Congress.

In a statement provided to NPR Thursday afternoon, the president's lawyer didn't pull any punches when it came to Cohen. There was talk about Trump traveling to Moscow for it. Cohen was trying to figure out whether he, as in Cohen, should travel before or after the Republican Convention. "It's no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress". The filing also included letters written by Cohen's family, friends, and associates, including his father who is a Holocaust survivor, speaking to Cohen's character, in the hopes that he would receive a lesser sentence.

Prosecutors on Friday also left open the possibility that new charges could be filed against Manafort for lying. Cohen's attorneys also argue for a sentence of "time served" which is incredibly light considering the seriousness of the crimes he has pled guilty to.

The same is true of whether they'll pursue the 10 felony counts they dismissed in Virginia or others they planned to drop in Washington as part of the plea deal, Weissmann said.

The GOP adopted a platform at that convention that softened the party's official view on support for Ukraine, which Russian Federation had invaded in 2014.

"But that was a project that we didn't do", Trump told reporters.

Manafort joined Trump's presidential campaign in March 2016 and became chairman but resigned five months later.

Cohen has previously said he would "take a bullet" for the president.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump expressed sympathy for Mr Manafort, Mr Corsi and his longtime confidant Roger Stone, telling the New York Post that they are "very brave" for resisting the Mueller investigation.

Trump has spent recent weeks casting Mueller's team as hell-bent on destroying the lives of those in the president's orbit. He told The Associated Press that while in contact with Mueller's team, he directed his lawyer to informally share information with Trump's attorneys, including Jay Sekulow. Trump this week accused Cohen of lying to spare himself time in prison - an allegation that is sure to be fueled by Cohen's request for a punishment that includes no time behind bars.

"This is yet another example of the President's closest allies lying about their contacts with Russian Federation". Burr said the committee has conducted more than 200 interviews while investigating Russian election interference.

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the USA senate intelligence committee, said any pardon of Mr Manafort would be a "complete abuse of power" and could prompt congressional action against the president.

Warner's committee was one of the two to which Cohen gave statements that his guilty plea now admits were lies.

INSKEEP: What is President Trump saying about all this?

The court filing provides insight into the extent of Cohen's cooperation with the special counsel and other investigators.

Earlier in the morning, Cohen made a surprise appearance in the District Court for the Southern District of NY to acknowledge that he made false statements on the project to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

"COHEN made the false statements to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before 'the Iowa caucus and ... the very first primary, ' in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russian Federation investigations", the plea agreement says.

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