Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying about a Russia Trump Tower deal

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Sater said he spoke only to Cohen about the project.

Cohen also said he falsely told Congress he never took any steps towards travelling to Russian Federation, when in fact he had discussed travelling there, although he never did.

Cohen made a surprise appearance Thursday in a NY courtroom at around 9 a.m. ET and began entering the plea. Some of those contacts were first reported by The Washington Post.

The plea deal states that "as Cohen well knew, Cohen's representations about the Moscow Project he made to (the Senate and House Intelligence Committees) were false and misleading". Cohen had told a Senate committee that a Trump Organization development in Moscow had "ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others" inside the organization.

It also references "Individual 1" in the context of winning the nomination ahead of the 2016 election.

Mueller charged Cohen with purposely lying about the date the project ended in order to "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". But the plea agreement estimates a likely sentence of zero to six months and a fine of up to $9,500, assuming that Cohen is cooperative and there aren't any more surprise bombshells or crimes he's concealing.

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But the decision of a close confidant - who knows where all the secrets are - to co-operate with Mr Mueller's investigation is a huge blow to an administration that just can not seem to escape the shadow of Russian Federation, nor explain away Mr Trump's apparent cosiness with Vladimir Putin. "Mr Cohen will continue to cooperate". But both Mueller's and Manafort's legal teams requested in their Monday court filing that a judge move forward without delay in scheduling a sentencing hearing, making it unclear whether the February sentencing date could be moved up.

That retaliation could include releasing "devastating" documents about how the Justice Department operated, he said.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and other charges.

He implicated the president in his campaign finance violations, telling a NY judge that he committed his crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of a federal candidate for office", a clear reference to Trump. It is not known, however, whether Mueller will seek to follow up with more questions for Trump, now almost halfway through his term in the White House.

Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to President Donald Trump, exits federal court, November 29, 2018 in New York.

During and after the presidential campaign, Trump insisted that he did not have business dealings in Russian Federation. Cohen used to describe himself as Trump's pit bull and delighted in jousting with the celebrity businessman's enemies, once asserting that he would "take a bullet" for his longtime boss.

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