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

Michael Cohen walks out of a federal court in New York after pleading guilty to lying to Congress over an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia

The documents also show that Cohen discussed the project with President Trump more than he revealed to Congress in the fall of 2017.

Former prosecutors say Thursday's news provides even more evidence that Cohen provides the thread connecting all of the matters imperiling Trump's presidency: Russian Federation, hush money payoffs, and the Trump Organization's sketchy finances.

"He's a weak person".

"He's a weak person and by weak unlike other people you watch, he's a weak person and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence".

"I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1", Cohen says in court.

Prosecutors said Cohen had misled Congress to give a false impression that the Moscow project had ended before the Iowa presidential caucuses and first Republican presidential primary in 2016.

Warner suggested that Cohen's plea deal did relate to Mr. Trump, saying: "This is one more example of one of the president's closest allies lying about their ties to Russia and Russians".

He admitted making false statements in 2017 to a Senate intelligence committee about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

It's not clear what he divulged to Mueller in the dozens of hours of meetings, but sources told ABC News that his testimony "poses a potentially serious threat to the president" and that his cooperation has been "crucial to the special counsel's case".

At the time, Cohen was reportedly furious at how quickly President Donald Trump abandoned him when he was being investigated for bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

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He lied to suggest that the project was shelved in January 2016 - before the first caucus and primary voting began in the presidential election - to downplay links between the deal and unnamed associates and in the hope of limiting the Russian Federation investigation, according to court documents. I want to just mention what the President told us a short while ago and that is, in his view, there's a good possibility that a deal can be made and that he is open to that.

But the Mueller team notes in court filings another person who was not interview by Congress would have known about the Moscow plans - the president himself, who is identified in the court papers as Individual 1.

Mr Peskov said at the time that Mr Cohen had written about "a certain Russian company and certain people" who wanted to build a skyscraper in Moscow and wanted his help in making the stalled project a reality.

That investigation has since expanded into Trump's business dealings about which Cohen would have critical information.

Cohen said nothing as a gaggle of reporters shouted questions at him.

Mr Trump has not ruled out granting a pardon to Mr Manafort, who has pleaded guilty in Mr Mueller's investigation to a range of federal charges from money laundering to unregistered lobbying.

Cohen admitted he violated 18 USC § 1001 (a)(2), which makes "any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation" a federal crime.

It's unclear if Trump provided answers on that specific topic. "Sentencing is set for December 12", said Guy Petrillo, another of Cohen's lawyers.

Trump has increasingly been lashing out at the Mueller investigation, calling it an "illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt" that has "shattered so many innocent lives".

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