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If special counsel Robert Mueller has proved anything in his 18-month-long investigation - besides how intensely Russian Federation meddled in a US presidential election - it is that Trump surrounded himself throughout 2016 and early 2017 with people to whom lying seemed to be second nature. He pleaded guilty in September and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors examining suspected Russian meddling in the USA election and possible coordination between Moscow and Trump's team.

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.

Trump said he ultimately decided not to pursue a real estate project in Russian Federation, but it isn't clear precisely how discussions ended over the notional Trump Tower in Moscow.

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.

Cohen also said in his guilty plea that he updated Trump on the proposed deal more frequently than he'd previously acknowledged, briefed certain members of Trump's family whom he didn't identify, and had a 20-minute call with an aide to a Kremlin official.

"A long time ago, he did me a favor", the president said. It's still unclear, though, if a president can be prosecuted. And he has been ramping up his attacks on Mueller's investigation.

Cohen, 52, is scheduled to be sentenced December 12 in the tax-evasion and campaign-finance case.

From the outside looking in, we've assumed that Manafort has been cooperating with Mueller given the plea deal he signed. That could expose Manafort to a lengthier sentence and potentially additional criminal charges. Jurors deadlocked on those Virginia counts and convicted Manafort on eight others. Doing so would probably open up Trump to even more problems, but it may legitimately be Manafort's best play to avoid years in prison.

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.

"I was running my business while I was campaigning", Trump said.

Trump said in an interview with the New York Post earlier this week that a potential pardon for Manafort is "not off the table".

Another person trying to distance himself from WikiLeaks is Roger Stone.

The false statements cut to the heart of Mueller's mission to untangle ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation and to establish whether they colluded to sway the election. Cohen said that in fact these efforts continued until June 2016, after Trump had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Friday called the collusion investigation the "Russian witch hunt hoax", adding: "Unfortunately, it probably does undermine our relationship with Russia".

At his sentencing hearing, Papadopoulos told the judge that he was "deeply embarrassed and ashamed" for lying.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told the judge that prosecutors had not yet decided whether to file new charges against Manafort for the alleged lies, saying, "That determination has not been made yet". 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.

One key line from the memorandum is the following, which indicates that Cohen was in communication with White House staff and legal counsel while he was preparing his false statements to Congress. His plea last December to one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires Flynn to cooperate with prosecutors.

The former Trump lawyer argues his extensive cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller warrants a light sentence.

He was speaking at a national security forum at the University of Texas at Austin. Instead, Flynn awaits sentencing for lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about talking with the Russian ambassador about whether the new administration would lift sanctions against Russia.

The report states "his false statement to Congress - which Cohen pleaded guilty to on Thursday - was based on Trump and his team's efforts to "portray contact with Russian representatives" by Trump, his campaign or his company 'as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, 2016, '" Politico reports.


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