Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, made an appearance before a federal judge in New York on Thursday. He confessed to lying about the work he did on an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia to Congress.
Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements in 2017 to the United States Select Committee on Intelligence about the project.
He told the judge the judge he lied about the timing of the negotiations along with other details to be consistent with Trump’s “political message.”
Cohen and prosecutors referred to Trump as “individual one” throughout Thursday’s proceedings and said he lied “to be loyal to Individual One.”
Among other lies, Cohen said he told Congress that all discussions of the Moscow Trump Tower project ended by January 2016, when they had actually continued until June of that year.
One of the prosecutors working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller was present in the courtroom.
Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, said he would give the court a letter outlining how his client has cooperated with Mueller’s investigation.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to other federal charges involving his taxi businesses, bank fraud and his campaign work for Trump.
Reacting to the plea to the new charges, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Cohen “should be prosecuted to the extent of the law. That’s why we put people under oath.”
Cohen gave a statement to congressional committees last year saying the president’s company pursued a project in Moscow during the Republican primary but that the plan was abandoned “for a variety of business reasons.”
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