Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe

Mueller departs after briefing the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on his investigation of potential

"He directed me to make the payments. I can produce 20 witnesses to tell you what he was concerned about".

Both women have said they had sexual relationships more than a decade ago with Trump, which the president and his representatives have denied.

"Now that [Cohen] saw Donald Trump as president, he underwent a genuine transformation because he feared for his country and his family when Donald Trump was president", the former Cohen attorney said.

The CBS Late Show host roasted Trump, on Monday night for a tweet in which he referred to his former attorney, Michael Cohen, as a "rat".

"Michael Cohen is now taking ownership in his statement to the court of his personal responsibility for his behavior when he worked for Donald Trump", Davis said. "He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law", Trump wrote.

Davis said Cohen "never" asked for a presidential pardon and has gone through a "genuine transformation".

"Here is the truth: The people of the United States of America, the people of the world don't believe what he's saying".

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"This man is lying - is that a surprise to you, that Michael Cohen is lying?" said Giuliani.

"I gave loyalty to someone who truthfully does not deserve loyalty", Cohen added.

Trump has not yet laid out a detailed defense, though he could conceivably argue that the payments were made not for the purposes of advancing his campaign but rather to prevent salacious stories from emerging that would be personally humiliating to him and harm his marriage. The Republican president told Fox News on Thursday Cohen did only "low-level work" for him, mostly in public relations. Cohen, however, recorded a conversation between him and Trump in which they discussed a payment to McDougal.

In a tweet, Comey pointed out that the Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out the raids for Cohen's materials after obtaining a search warrant - a far cry from the break-in Trump asserted had occurred in his own tweet Sunday morning. Giuliani said of the competing stories from Trump and Cohen.

Trump's explanations of the payments have shifted over time. If this warrant was improperly obtained, it could've been a tool to fight prosecution, but Cohen pleaded guilty in August and November to financial crimes and lying to Congress about discussions with the Russian government about a Trump Tower deal in Moscow.

The Cohen criminal cases have intensified the legal pressure on Trump, whose presidency has been clouded by multiple investigations and lawsuits including a USA special counsel probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election and whether the president's team conspired with Moscow to help him win.

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