Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress

President Donald Trump's former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to lying to Congress about his business talks with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The documents also show that Cohen discussed the project with President Trump more than he revealed to Congress in the fall of 2017.

Cohen falsely told Congress that plans for a Moscow tower ended in January 2016, before "the very first primary" of the election cycle. "You're going to see Michael Cohen be a real linchpin here".

Trump told reporters outside the White House he had decided not to build the building in Moscow, although he did not specify when he decided against pursuing the project. He later said he was cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Trump on Thursday called Cohen a "weak person" who was lying to get a lighter sentence and repeatedly stressed that the real estate deal at issue was never a secret and never executed. "I have no deals that could happen in Russian Federation, because we've stayed away".

However, Trump maintained that "there would've been nothing wrong if I did do it".

More so than a traditional lawyer, Cohen operated for over a decade as Trump's fixer. "I was doing my job", Cohen said then.

But his lawyer said: "Mr Cohen has co-operated".

He said he also lied about his contacts with Russian officials and lied when he said he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the project and never discussed with Trump plans to travel to Moscow to support the project.

In June 2016, Sater invited Cohen to attend an economic conference in St Petersburg, assuring Cohen he could be introduced to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, top financial leaders and perhaps Putin, The Post reported. Cohen said he kept Trump, named as "Individual 1" in the plea, updated about the deal's progress, and also "briefed family members of Individual 1 within the company about the project".

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said in a tweet that the president's pardon power is not a "personal tool" that Trump can use to protect "himself and his friends".

The document goes on to say Cohen made those statements attempting to hide or minimise a number of facts, including that the project "was discussed multiple times within the company and did not end in January 2016", but rather Cohen and "Individual 2" discussed the efforts as late as June 2016.

Whitaker was advised of the plea ahead of time, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

"I made these mis-statements to be consistent with individual 1's [Trump's] political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1", Mr Cohen said in court.

Cohen's violation carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release, according to his plea agreement. But both Mueller's and Manafort's legal teams requested in their Monday court filing that a judge move forward without delay in scheduling a sentencing hearing, making it unclear whether the February sentencing date could be moved up. "This, in turn, would call into question any of Harding's past reporting and could be raised any time someone mentions his reporting as evidence of wrongdoing". The president has denied having affairs with the women. Given he was Trump's right-hand man for so many years, he is likely to have useful information on many topics of interest to Mueller.

Cohen admitted misleading lawmakers on talks during the presidential race about a Trump property deal in Moscow.

Nothing said in court, or in associated court filings, addressed whether Trump or his aides had directed Cohen to mislead Congress.

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