Donald Trump's 'fixer' pleads guilty to lying to Congress

Does Manafort have any credibility left? | LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

"The president said there was a proposal, it was discussed with Cohen, there was a nonbinding letter of intent and it didn't go beyond that", Giuliani said. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team determined that, in fact, discussions of the deal extended well beyond that - as late as June 2016, the filing says.

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

"If I did do it, there would have been nothing wrong".

Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that Cohen is lying.

"I'm the guy who stops the leaks", Cohen said in an interview previous year with Vanity Fair.

But his lawyer said: "Mr Cohen has co-operated".

Cohen at one point discussed traveling himself to Russian Federation as they sought government approval for the project.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced next month in a separate case where he pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws to help Trump win the presidency by suppressing stories about Trump's alleged affairs.

Prosecutors also said that Cohen continued to have contact into the summer of 2016 with Felix Sater, the Russian-born developer who was assisting on the project. It nearly became reality in October 2015 when an obscure Russian real estate developer signed a letter of intent sent by Cohen for a 15-floor hotel, condominium and retail complex in Moscow. The unnamed Individual 2 wrote to Cohen on May 4, 2016, "I had a chat with Moscow".

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Senior Democrats on the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees believe Donald Trump junior may have given false evidence when testifying about a now famous Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June 2016.

In court, Cohen said, "I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1". He also admitted that he lied on his taxes, and for those crimes he likely faces three to five years in prison, according to his earlier plea agreement. Both sides agreed they would not ask for a sentence outside of those range, provided Cohen continues to cooperate.

On Tuesday, November 27-only one day after news broke that Manafort's plea deal with Mueller had ended-the New York Times reported that Manafort had been using his attorney, Kevin Downing, to funnel information on Mueller's probe to Trump's lawyers.

Outside the courthouse on Thursday (Friday NZT), Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Cohen said, "Mr Cohen has cooperated".

The questions turned to the report that Cohen had reached out, via a publicly available email account, to a spokesman for the Kremlin.

Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. have admitted that campaign leaders went into the meeting expecting material that would be useful against the Democratic presidential nominee but said that this is common practice in politics and that nothing came from it.

The President, who last week submitted written answers to questions posed in the Mueller investigation, called the project a "deal that didn't happen", mostly because he was busy running for president, but defended its propriety. In Cohen's now-discredited testimony, he told lawmakers that he made the decision to terminate the deal on his own without consulting with Trump or any members of the Trump family.

Once one of Trump's most loyal aides, he has taken a swift and thorough turn against the president in recent months. Cohen has also been under criminal investigation as part of a grand jury probe into his personal business dealings.

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