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Mueller probe: Friday sees new files on Cohen, Manafort; Comey speaks



Friday could prove a huge day for the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, as deadlines arrive for Special Council Robert Mueller to drops more documents on two former Trump allies.

At the same time, former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify in front of Congress in a closed-door interview he has nonetheless secured permission to speak about in public.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to submit several important filings related to the Russia probe to meet a deadline on Friday December 7.

The documents detail the cooperation of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and what his team describes as lies told to them by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, which led to the collapse of his plea deal.

Mueller is expected to submit his sentencing recommendation for Cohen, who pleaded guilty in November to financial crimes and lying to Congress about a Russian real estate project Trump pursued during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump maintains that Cohen is lying.

Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to Donald Trump, leaves federal court in November 2018 after pleading guilty to making false statements to Congress.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Read More: Trump fires off late-night tweetstorm on the eve of a landmark moment in the Russia investigation

The team will also disclose what they say are the “crimes and lies” of Manafort. They claim he lied to the FBI and Mueller’s office, which led to the cancellation of his plea deal.

Mueller has not yet disclosed what Manafort allegedly lied about, but said in November that he lied “on a variety of subject matters” and would provide further information in a later filing.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Mueller believes Manafort lied about his lobbying income and meeting with a Russian-Ukrainian political operative

It is possible, however, that Mueller’s filings will be heavily redacted, as was the case with Mueller’s sentencing memo for former national security adviser Michael Flynn released on Tuesday.

Read More: Mueller filing reveals Michael Flynn interviewed with investigators 19 times, recommends no jail time

As well as the Mueller filing, more information may come out against Trump on Friday as Comey testifies to the House Judiciary Committee. The testimony will take place in private, but, under a deal struck with the committee, Comey will be free to speak about the questioning after the interview. A transcript will also be released.

Comey is discussing the FBI’s handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as the FBI’s investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, is at the center of investigations into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the special counsel investigation.

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