Trump's Ex-Lawyer Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress

Aaron Brown
November 30, 2018

The court appearance is ongoing.

He later said he was cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

What else is going on with the Mueller inquiry?

It's no coincidence that in 2018, major media outlets like MSNBC and CNN have made a point of inviting Jill Wine-Banks, John Dean, Dan Rather and Carl Bernstein to appear as guests and comment on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia-related investigation. "A long time ago he did me a favor".

Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, downplayed the news, claiming Cohen is lying about the Moscow project in order to reduce his prison sentence. Harlow asked, noting that Cohen faced up to 5 years in federal prison.

Cohen's guilty plea makes clear that prosecutors believe that Trump, who insisted repeatedly throughout the campaign that he had no business dealings in Russian Federation, was continuing to pursue the project weeks after he had clinched the Republican nomination for president and well after he and his associates have publicly acknowledged.

President Donald Trump says his former lawyer Michael Cohen is a "weak person" who is "lying" to get a reduced sentence. Cohen said that in fact these efforts continued until June 2016.

But the Mueller team notes in court filings another person who was not interview by Congress would have known about the Moscow plans - the president himself, who is identified in the court papers as Individual 1. The Wall Street Journal reported that the President was specifically asked "about his communications with Cohen about the Moscow project during the campaign".

Cohen had also disclosed that Trump was personally aware of the deal, signing a letter of intent and discussing it with Cohen on two other occasions.

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Cohen said publicly in September 2017, in advance of his questioning before the Senate Intelligence Committee, that the Moscow project was terminated "before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary".

He told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the efforts to secure a deal for Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January of 2016, but he actually discussed the project after that time frame, well into the presidential race. "So, he's lying about a project that everybody knew about", Trump said from the South Lawn of the White House.

Cohen said in the hearing that he submitted a false written statement about a Trump Organization real estate project in Moscow.

In August, Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to violating finance laws during the 2016 presidential election by handling hush money for Mr Trump's alleged lovers.

During and after the presidential campaign, Trump insisted that he did not have business dealings in Russian Federation.

"There would be nothing wrong if I did do it", he said.

Cohen worked on the deal with Felix Sater, a Russian-born developer and U.S. citizen, who served as a deal broker on the project. He had a discussion about the project at a later date. "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russian Federation", he tweeted on July 26, 2016.

It's unclear if Donald Trump Jr., who worked at the family company at the time and now manages day-to-day operations with his brother Eric, is one of the family members mentioned in the information. The negotiations never led to a finalized deal.

Cohen pleaded guilty earlier this year in Manhattan to campaign finance and tax violations, the result of an investigation into Cohen's business dealings that was referred by Mueller's team to federal prosecutors in NY. Already, according to ABC News, he has provided more than 70 hours of testimony to Mueller's team.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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