Michael Cohen

Updated Jan. 19 at 1:05 p.m. ET

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller made a rare statement on Friday night to dispute the report by BuzzFeed News that President Trump had instructed his former lawyer to lie to Congress.

The Justice Department announcement appeared not quite 24 hours after the explosive story from Thursday night. Although it didn't go into detail, the response suggested the story didn't correctly reflect the special counsel's dealings with Trump's ex-fixer.

President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen acknowledged on Thursday that he schemed to rig online polls that sought to make Trump seem like a more plausible presidential candidate.

The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. In a tweet following the report, Cohen said he sought to help Trump's political aspirations, having been directed by the candidate.

When we set out to try to look back on the year that was in politics, we started with a list that grew ... and grew ... and grew. After a couple of days, the list was just shy of 100 news events. That's about one notable story every three days.

Editor's Note: This story has been edited to make it clear that it is analysis and that the allegations of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians remain unproven.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump's onetime lawyer and fixer, says his former boss knew it was wrong to order hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who say they had affairs with Trump — but he directed Cohen to do it anyway to help his election chances.

Cohen also said in an interview with ABC News that aired Friday that the president's repeated assertions that Cohen is lying about the payments and other aspects of his work for Trump were false.

President Trump insists that he didn't violate campaign finance laws and that any legal liability for hush money paid to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him rests with his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.

"I never directed him to do anything wrong," Trump said Thursday afternoon in an interview with Fox News. "Whatever he did, he did on his own."

Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET

Each new dawn seems to bring a major new headline in the Russia investigation, including a number of important courtroom developments this month.

Here's what you need to know about what has happened so far this week in this often complex and fast-moving saga.

Michael Cohen is going to prison, but he says he isn't finished yet

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

A federal judge sentenced Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen to three years in prison on Wednesday following Cohen's guilty pleas to a number of political and finance crimes.

Those three years would be followed by three years of supervised release, and Cohen also is subject to forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and fines totaling $100,000.

Cohen had asked for leniency. He said in court, however, that he accepts responsibility for his actions.

Last week in the Russia investigations: The special counsel ties up loose ends, but that may not mean the finish line is any closer.

Endings and beginnings

Never mind that it still isn't fully clear what the Russia imbroglio is — what picture all the puzzle pieces are supposed to form when they're put together.

An even more basic question that's just as difficult to answer is: How much longer will it go?

Updated April 12, 2019, at 9:12 p.m. ET

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