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Michael Cohen visits NY courthouse a month after guilty plea

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, leaves federal court after reaching a plea agreement in New York. On Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, via Twitter, Cohen praised himself for providing “critical information” in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid an unannounced visit Friday to the federal courthouse in New York where he pleaded guilty a month ago.

Cohen, 51, left the building about 1:30 p.m. Friday, declining to say why he was there. It wasn’t known what time he’d arrived.

He also shook his head in response to a request to comment on discussions he’s had with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday, Cohen and one of his lawyers confirmed in a tweet that he had met with Mueller and provided “critical information.”

Cohen is awaiting a December sentencing after pleading guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

During his plea, Cohen said Trump directed him to arrange a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a $150,000 payment through a media company to Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to influence the 2016 election.

As part of his plea, Cohen agreed not to challenge any sentence of less than five years and three months in prison. Even without a cooperation agreement, he might still be able to win a measure of leniency at sentencing by cooperating with authorities in New York and Washington.

Cohen was not scheduled for any courtroom appearances Friday, but individuals awaiting sentencing sometimes meet with Probation Department officers who prepare a pre-sentence report that will include a recommendation on what his sentence should be.

Cohen, wearing a suit and tie, was accompanied by one of his lawyers. He traded pleasantries with journalists and warned a photographer to be careful not to injure himself as he snapped pictures with moving traffic nearby.

Cohen said he planned to spend the weekend with his family.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for Manhattan prosecutors, said he could not confirm Cohen’s purpose for a courthouse visit. He said it was possible Cohen was making a regularly scheduled visit with a representative from the probation office.

For more than a decade, Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer and also worked for the Trump Organization.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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