The Latest: Senate chairman says Cohen plea sends message
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the special counsel’s Russia investigation (all times local):
The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee says the guilty plea from President Donald Trump’s former lawyer sends a message that “if you lie to us, we’re going to go after you.”
Michael Cohen confessed that he lied to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal he pursued on Trump’s behalf during the heat of the 2016 Republican campaign.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr wouldn’t say Friday how many referrals his intelligence panel has made to special counsel Robert Mueller. But Burr says they’re not afraid to refer anything they believe is criminal and says lying to Congress is “right at the top of it.”
Burr was speaking at a national security forum at the University of Texas at Austin. He was joined by Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who are also on the Senate intelligence panel.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is considering new charges for Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman after his plea deal fell apart over allegations of lying to investigators.
That’s what prosecutors told a federal judge Friday in the case of Paul Manafort. The judge ordered the government to disclose more details about the false-statements allegations against Manafort by next Friday and set a tentative sentencing date for early March.
Manafort is accused of repeatedly lying to investigators even after he agreed to cooperate with the investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates.
Manafort faces up to five years in prison on each charge in his plea agreement. He also is set to be sentenced on eight felony counts in a separate case in Virginia in February.
He has denied the lying allegations.
Paul Manafort’s attorneys are heading to court Friday at a time of frenetic activity in the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Prosecutors this week obtained a guilty plea from President Donald Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen and appear to be lining up charges against another Trump supporter.
Manafort’s plea deal fell apart after prosecutors say the former Trump campaign chairman lied to investigators. They are expected to provide some detail about those false statements Friday.
The hearing in federal court in Washington comes as Trump is facing questions about whether he will pardon Manafort and as he is attempting to downplay the guilty plea of Cohen for lying to Congress.