Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress
President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to making false statements to Congress about a Moscow-based real estate project.
As part of a plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about when talks regarding the Moscow project had ended and the extent which he discussed the project with Trump.
Cohen previously told the Senate Intelligence Committee consideration of building a Trump property in Moscow terminated in January of 2016, just before the Iowa caucuses.
However, Cohen now admits efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval of the project remained under discussion as late as June of 2016.
Cohen also admitted to discussing the status and progress of the Moscow project with Trump on more than the three occasions he previously claimed.
A court filing from Mueller’s office claimed Cohen made the false statements to minimize links between the Moscow project and Trump in hopes of limiting the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the election.
Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is expected the become Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in the next Congress, argued Cohen’s guilty plea underscores the need to investigate Trump’s business interests in Russia and whether the Russians possess financial leverage over the president.
Meanwhile, Trump accused Cohen of lying in order to get a reduced sentence, repeatedly calling his longtime attorney “weak.”
Trump also defended his ability to continue to pursue business deals even as he was running for the White House, telling reporters, “When I run for president, that doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to do business.”
“There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?” he added.
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