Former Trump lawyer Cohen asks for no prison time

Ajustar Comentario Impresión

President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to making false statements to Congress regarding plans to build a Trump Tower in Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Speaking to MSNBC's Alex Witt on Saturday, Glenn Kirshner warned that Trump's children are now potentially facing criminal liability following the president's ex-lawyer Cohen's guilty plea last week.

Michael Cohen's plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, his admission that he lied about ending negotiations for a Trump Tower Moscow in January 2016, and the revelation that he was negotiating directly with the Kremlin were all big topics on cable news Thursday night.

Cohen said that in his statement to Congress he claimed to have had limited contact with Trump concerning the project, when in fact it had been "more extensive".

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and financial crimes in a case brought by the US attorney in Manhattan. They also asserted Cohen orchestrated illegal campaign contributions in the form of payments to alleged Trump mistresses in order to protect the former real estate mogul.

Cohen's admission during that August court appearance marked the first time that a Trump associate had gone to court and implicated Trump in a crime. There's an ongoing debate, however, about whether a president can be prosecuted for such transgressions while in office.

Mueller is required to create a confidential report "explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" at the end of the investigation, but it remains to be seen whether that report will be made public.

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

The memo details Cohen's role in the agreements made with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, his lies to Congress and the other counts to which he pleaded guilty. Mueller accused Manafort on Monday of lying repeatedly to FBI investigators, effectively blowing up the cooperation agreement the two sides agreed to in September.

But Mueller told the court on Monday that Manafort had since lied to investigators, nullifying their deal and clearing the way for sentencing. Jurors deadlocked on those Virginia counts and convicted Manafort on eight others.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange secretly in 2013, 2015 and 2016 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Trump said Thursday that he had decided not to pursue the Moscow project, but that there would've been nothing wrong if he had.

Manafort is still awaiting sentencing for the conspiracy charges, which carry a potential punishment of five years in prison each. "I was running my business while I was campaigning". That probe was later taken over by Mueller.

American intelligence agencies and Mueller have said Russian Federation was the source of hacked material released by WikiLeaks during the campaign that damaged Hillary Clinton's presidential effort.

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

Papadopoulos started his sentence at a federal prison in Wisconsin earlier this week.

Furthermore, the filing said that misleading Congress was at the behest of Trump and that he was collaborating with the White House and Trump's legal team when he did so. His plea last December to one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation requires Flynn to cooperate with prosecutors.

The special counsel has pushed back the Flynn's sentencing multiple times "due to the status" of the investigation.

Prosecutors on Friday also left open the possibility that new charges could be filed against Manafort for lying.

Cohen pleaded guilty in the special counsel's investigation Thursday to one charge of lying to Congress about the extent of his work to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.