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Russia

Updated at 9:38 p.m. ET

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has provided "substantial" aid in the Russia investigation and beyond — and that merits a judge's consideration at Flynn's sentencing this month, prosecutors said in court papers late Tuesday.

The government said in a memo to a federal judge that it believes sentencing for Flynn should be lenient and that even a sentence without prison time "is appropriate and warranted."

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.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is blocking a bipartisan effort to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Russia attack on the 2016 presidential election — prompting retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to pledge he will block progress on confirming judicial nominees.

President Trump and his legal team may be close to submitting written answers to questions from Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, the president has confirmed.

Trump told Laura Ingraham of Fox News that he considers it "ridiculous" that he and his lawyers must go along but "we probably will do something, yes, where we'll respond to some questions."

President Trump said the U.S. will withdraw from a decades-old treaty with Russia that eliminated a class of nuclear weapons after he accused Russia of violating the treaty.

"We're the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we've honored the agreement, but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement," Trump told reporters in Nevada, "so we're going to terminate the agreement, we're going to pull out."

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly dropped his insistence that President Trump appear in person to answer questions related to potential coordination his 2016 election campaign and Russia, agreeing instead to accept written responses.

The New York Times first reported on a letter sent Friday to the White House by Mueller making the offer. It comes after months of wrangling over whether Trump would or would not sit for an interview with the special counsel.

Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

A U.S. political lobbyist with links to Paul Manafort pleaded guilty Friday to violating foreign lobbying laws for work he did on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.

W. Samuel Patten appeared in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where he entered a guilty plea to one count of failing to register as a foreign agent. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who can request a reduced sentenced for Patten.

No sentencing date has been set.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

White House counsel Don McGahn is resigning this autumn after a tumultuous stretch as President Trump's in-house lawyer.

Trump announced the departure on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

One likely candidate to replace McGahn is Emmet Flood, who joined the president's legal team in May to focus on the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday morning that Trump likes McGahn and that they have a "good relationship. There's not really a lot to add here."

Updated at 1:59 p.m. ET

Paul Manafort's defense team rested on Tuesday without calling any witnesses to testify in the bank and tax fraud trial, including Manafort himself.

The move means the trial is nearing its end, as closing arguments are expected to begin on Wednesday morning.

Defense attorney Kevin Downing told Judge T.S. Ellis III about his team's decision before the court broke for lunch Tuesday and repeated it again in the afternoon to make it official in front of the jury.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh shares one important view with President Trump: Both are deeply suspicious of any attempt to limit the president's power over executive branch officials.

That view could have important consequences for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes allegations of collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

Updated at 8:03 a.m. ET

It was a tweet that set off a storm. Was President Trump admitting to collusion between his campaign and Russia? Was he stipulating that the now notorious June 2016 Trump Tower meeting arranged by his son Donald Trump Jr. really was all about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer and not adoption issues as President Trump had earlier claimed?

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the United States needs to consider new sanctions on Russia's government in order to change its behavior.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Facebook announced Tuesday afternoon that it has removed 32 Facebook and Instagram accounts or pages involved in a political influence campaign with links to the Russian government.

The company says the campaign included efforts to organize counterprotests on Aug. 10 to 12 for the white nationalist Unite The Right 2 rally planned in Washington that weekend.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump denied a CNN report that he knew in advance that his son Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials planned to meet with a group of Russians in June 2016 who said they had dirt on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump wrote "I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don Jr."

Danny O'Connor / Facebook

In this week's Snollygoster, Ohio's political podcast from WOSU Public Media, Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss whether Democrats can flip Ohio's 12th congressional district - both in the upcoming special election and again in November.

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