Quigley calls for Michael Cohen to testify before House Intelligence Comittee

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In July this year I wrote an article about Michael Cohen that began with the words "Hell hath no fury like a personal lawyer scorned".

Following news of Michael Cohen's new plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, his longtime friend Donny Deutsch hinted that while he's in hot water for admittedly lying to Congress, he remains a key Russian Federation probe source from President Donald Trump's inner circle.

Trump later reiterated his disparagement of Cohen: "What he's trying to do - because he's a weak person and not a very smart person".

Trump's opponents faulted what they called the deepening air of criminality around the president's sometime-associates, several of whom have pleaded guilty in the Russian Federation case or associated investigations.

According to the plea agreement from the special counsel's office, in exchange for his guilty plea Cohen will not be prosecuted further for false statements to Robert Mueller's team or Congress, or for "obstructing, aiding or abetting" in such perjury.

"These developments make clear that my colleagues and I must step in and provide accountability", said Nadler (D-NY).

Cohen pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about the project, putting fresh pressure on the president. Cohen had said the talks ended when he determined that the project was not feasible.

Cohen is set to be sentenced for lying to Congress on December 12. He said they were "very brave" for resisting Mueller's investigation.

As he left the White House shortly after the court proceeding concluded, Trump called Cohen "a weak person". Cohen said he kept Trump, named as "Individual 1" in the plea, updated about the deal's progress, and also "briefed family members of Individual 1 within the company about the project".

But during the campaign, Trump was repeatedly dismissive of claims that he had connections to the Kremlin, an issue that flared as especially sensitive in the summer of 2016 after the Democratic National Committee and a cybersecurity company asserted that Moscow was behind a punishing cyberattack on the party's network.

Cohen also told lawmakers he had had limited contact with Mr Trump about the project, when in fact it had been "more extensive".

Michael Cohen President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer admitted Thursday to lying to Congress about contacts he had with Russia during the 2016 election campaign
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's lawyer, expected to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress

On Wednesday, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said that if Trump pardons Manafort, it would be a "blatant and unacceptable abuse of power".

Reacting to the plea, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Cohen "should be prosecuted to the extent of the law".

Trump, who earlier tweeted that the Mueller probe was an "illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt", blasted Cohen as a "weak person" who lied to get a reduced sentence.

The document does not identify Individual 2, but people familiar with the investigation said it is Sater.

Mueller team has asked Trump about the Russian real estate deal, but it was not it was not immediately clear whether it was one of the questions Trump answered last week.

"As Cohen well knew, Cohen's representations about the Moscow Project ... were false and misleading", the court filing says.

In a press scrum outside court moments after the hearing, Cohen said nothing to reporters.

Both Trump and Moscow have denied any wrongdoing.

Michael Cohen walks out of a federal court in NY after pleading guilty to lying to Congress over an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russian Federation.

Trump Jr. was asked, according to a transcript of the remarks released by the committee. He told the court he had arranged those payments, created to keep the women quiet before the presidential vote, at Trump's direction.

Neumeister reported from NY.

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