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

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In addition to admitting he lied to Congress, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges brought on by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY in August, including tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations relating to hush-money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump.

The new charges, if any, could stem from what lawyers in Mueller's investigation say were lies told by Manafort, whom they accuse of violating a plea agreement.

Manafort's lawyers deny he lied, and it will be up to a judge to rule on whether he broke his plea deal. 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.

"He and [Trump] also discussed possible travel to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel", they continued, adding, that Cohen states he kept Trump "apprised" of his contacts with Russian Federation during the campaign.

They cited the fact he met with Mueller's team in "seven voluntary interview meetings" that began even before he pleaded guilty on August 21 to campaign finance and bank frauds, among other charges, and continued through late November.

Cohen's lawyers Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester asked for the cases to be consolidated so Cohen could be sentenced for all of his crimes at once.

Attorneys for Cohen highlighted their client's broad cooperation with Mueller and other federal investigators.

Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress
The comment came the same day Cohen pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. Adult-film star Stormy Daniels was given US$130,000 and former Playboy model Karen McDougal was paid US$150,000.

However, the lawyers admit, Cohen remained in contact with Russian Federation months after the campaign claimed it cut off communications, even making moves for Trump to travel to Russian Federation that summer.

Cohen also said he talked with Trump, referred to as "Client-1" in the filing, about traveling to Russian Federation to pursue the project deep into the 2016 presidential campaign. He is also cooperating with federal investigators in the Southern District of NY in another ongoing case.

It revealed that he had also met twice with federal prosecutors in Manhattan - and would continue to do so if needed - responding to their questions concerning "an ongoing investigation", which the memo did not describe. He also claimed he made one unsuccessful effort to reach out to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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". He also acknowledges he spoke to an assistant of Peskov's for 20 minutes by phone about the project. He instead suggests he lied because of his loyalty to Trump and to "advance [Trump's] political messaging". 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".

"In the weeks during which his then-counsel prepared his written response to the Congressional Committees, Michael remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel to Client-1", the filing says.

Friday's filing in no uncertain terms connected Cohen's wrongdoing to Trump.

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