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Robert Mueller may press new charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman

03 December 2018

Cohen told the judge he lied about the timing of the negotiations, his communications with people in the company and in Russian Federation about the deal, and other details to be loyal to Trump and consistent with Trump's "political messaging".

"Michael's decision to cooperate required and requires singular determination and personal conviction", his lawyers said in a court filing late Friday in Manhattan federal court.

Cohen's guilty plea Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY marks the latest twist in Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the president obstructed justice.

Cohen additionally provided the NYAG's office "documents concerning a separate open inquiry", the memo said, without going into more detail.

The new Cohen and Manafort charges came just after Trump returned answers to a long list of questions submitted to him by Mueller that focus on Russian Federation contacts. "He expects to cooperate further". Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced December 12 on the charges from the August plea deal.

Michael Cohen's sentencing memorandum was released this morning.

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He said intimated that the prevailing feeling is that the team wins and loses together and that no-one will be singled out for blame.

Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer", described efforts to pursue Trump's ambitious Moscow real estate project deep into the 2016 USA presidential campaign, later than previously disclosed.

Following the disclosure of Cohen's plea, Trump told reporters that his longtime adviser was lying. But the judge could sharply reduce the sentence because of Cohen's cooperation.

Sater said he and Cohen at one point talked about giving a $50 million penthouse to Putin as a way to justify raising the prices of other units by another $250 million, confirming a discussion first reported by BuzzFeed News. That adds to his previous guilty pleas to eight counts of financial crimes, including an unlawful campaign contribution to Donald Trump in the form of a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

His lawyers note that Cohen's legal problems aren't over and he "will be named in a parallel tax case brought by New York State". And while Flynn was sacked in February 2017, his importance to Trump became evident when ex-FBI Director James Comey said Trump had encouraged him during a private meeting that same month to end an investigation into Flynn. California Congressman Adam Schiff, who is slated to chair the intelligence committee when the new, Democratic-controlled House of Representatives takes office in January, announced that his committee would launch an investigation into Trump's business dealings overseas. Cohen's lawyers asserted, for example, that Cohen paid off women to keep quiet about alleged affairs with the president to stop them from "disseminating narratives that would adversely affect the Campaign and cause personal embarrassment".

"Michael participated in seven voluntary interview meetings with the Special Counsel's Office of the Department of Justice", they also wrote.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is pushing forward in his case against Paul Manafort after their cooperation agreement fell apart earlier this week, and prosecutors didn't rule out a second trial against the onetime Trump campaign chairman.

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Contrary to his original testimony, the project was discussed multiple times within the company - beyond January 2016 - and with efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval being discussed as late as June of that year.

Similarly, Cohen's lawyers wrote that when Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Tower project, he did so essentially because he knew what the president wanted.

Such a move could give Manafort's legal team, and in theory, President Donald Trump's lawyers if they are still in touch, a new window into some of the information Mueller has collected during the investigation. And because Cohen has told prosecutors that he briefed Trump about the Moscow deal, it raises new questions about whether Trump might also have been briefed about the meeting Trump Jr. hosted in New York City at Trump Tower.

"There would be nothing wrong if I did do it", Mr Trump said of pursuing the Moscow project.

"The president as a candidate for the office was vulnerable to Russian interests and, in fact, there is a good reason to believe (that)", Stephens said.

He also branded his former lawyer as a liar and "weak person" who was making up a story to cut his prison sentence.

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Included in the defense submission were over three dozen letters from Cohen's friends and family. Corsi said on Monday that he has rejected a plea agreement with Mueller.

Robert Mueller may press new charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman