Michael Cohen

Two of Donald Trump's former top aides are looking at years in federal prison — and Trump and his camp allegedly are connected to many of the crimes in which they've been charged.

Those were among the big takeaways from the release of court documents on Friday evening in a pair of cases that have ensnared Trump's former longtime personal lawyer and the veteran political pro who ran his presidential campaign for a time in 2016.

Updated at 8:51 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors have requested a "substantial term of imprisonment" for Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen but asked that a judge consider his cooperation with the special counsel's Russia probe and other investigations in his sentencing.

Friday is shaping up as a busy day in the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller faces deadlines in two federal courts in cases involving two former Trump insiders, a former FBI director treks up to Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview, and a onetime Trump campaign adviser gets out of prison.

Here's a quick breakdown of what's on tap for the day:

Mueller's office to detail Paul Manafort's alleged lies

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

Editor's note: An earlier version of this report mischaracterized an answer Donald Trump Jr. gave to Senate investigators in 2017 about the prospective projects his family was negotiating with people in Moscow.

There have been so many big developments this week in the Russia story that it's tough to keep them all straight.

Here's what you need to know.

Cohen admits lying to Congress

What happened? Donald Trump's former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen admitted on Thursday that he and others working for Trump negotiated with important Russians over a possible Trump Tower in Moscow well into the presidential campaign in 2016.

Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET

Donald Trump and his aides continued negotiations about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow well into the 2016 presidential campaign, his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen acknowledged in a guilty plea in a New York federal court on Thursday.

President Trump launched a war of name-calling on Tuesday with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and her attorney as he exulted after a judge threw out Daniels' defamation lawsuit against the president.

Trump said on Twitter that he welcomed the opportunity to take the offense against Daniels — whom he called "Horseface" — and lawyer Michael Avenatti in Texas, where Daniels lives.

Three stories made major headlines Tuesday: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of fraud by a jury; Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made a plea deal admitting to campaign finance violations; and an undocumented immigrant was arrested for the murder of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa. How CNN and Fox News covered each story, though, was worlds apart.

Updated at 12:24 p.m. ET

Fox & Friends was the natural venue for President Trump to strike back against Michael Cohen. The former self-described "fixer" for Trump had said under oath, before a federal judge, that he and Trump had violated the campaign finance law together.

The problem was the hush payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels. During the campaign, each had taken a six-figure payment that kept their claimed affairs with Trump out of the public eye.

Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

However, Trump has been heard on a tape with Cohen discussing arranging payment to one of the women.

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