Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Says He Told Trump About Kremlin Contact

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Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer,", admitted this week that he made false statements to two congressional panels about the Moscow project in a bid to remain consistent with Trump's messaging about Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced December 12 on the charges from the August plea deal. In that plea, Cohen implicated Trump in hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 campaign to hide affairs they said they had with Trump.

Giuliani also alleged Mueller was trying to force Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, to implicate the president for collusion, which Giuliani said never happened.

The memo refers to "Woman-1", who appears to be Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who was paid by The National Enquirer for her story. In his earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in NY for two campaign finance violations and six counts related to his personal finances, the guidelines call for 46 to 63 months in prison and up to $1 million in fines.

A prosecutor from Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office told a judge on November 30 that prosecutors have not yet decided whether to file new charges against Manafort.

Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed in an interview with NBC News that communication between former Trump fixer Michael Cohen and Russian officials on Trump Tower Moscow did indeed happen, but that after a few attempts at conversation it all came to nothing.

The special counsel's office last week dumped a plea deal Manafort signed with them in September because the longtime political operative "breached" the agreement because he lied to prosecutors "on a variety of subject matters".

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They said prison would be inappropriate given hardships Cohen faces, including loss of his law license, Internal Revenue Service civil penalties and restitution, his likely inclusion as a defendant in a tax case by New York State, the loss of his consulting firm's business and the cancellation of numerous banking credit card and insurance agreements.

A lawyer for Trump and a White House spokesman did not immediately return messages seeking comment early Saturday morning. At the time, Cohen's then attorney had a joint defense agreement with Trump's legal team.

Cohen's false statements to Congress and his assistance to Trump with the hush-money payments arose out of his "fierce loyalty" to Trump, the lawyers wrote. "In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives".

Cohen's sentencing submission also describes how Cohen's life changed following the April FBI raid on his home, office and hotel room. 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".

"Nearly every professional and commercial relationship that he enjoyed, and a number of long standing friendships have vanished", it reads.

Cohen, the lawyers argue, should be commended for his cooperation "in the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States". The government is also expected to file a sentencing memo.

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