Michael Cohen, a former personal attorney to US President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty in NY to lying to Congress about a Moscow real estate project that Trump and his company pursued during the months he was running for president.
US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen leaves the US Courthouse in NY on April 26, 2018.
Cohen is set to be sentenced for lying to Congress on December 12. Cohen and prosecutors referred to Trump as "individual one" throughout Thursday's proceedings and said he lied "to be loyal to Individual One".
Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that Cohen is lying. "He's got himself a big prison sentence, and he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story".
"This was a deal that didn't happen", Trump said of the purported real estate project.
He added: "He's lying about a project that everybody knew about".
"We had looked at it earlier than that, but it sort of faded away I believe at the end of '14", he replied.
I assume we will discuss the rejected proposal to build a Trump property in Moscow that was terminated in January of 2016; which occurred before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary.
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"I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1", Cohen said in court.
That's right: Individual 1 LIED.
Cohen told congressional investigators previous year that he had sent an email in January 2016 to Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman. In fact, the negotiations continue until June 2016, Cohen acknowledged. 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. "It is hardly coincidental that the special counsel once again files a charge just as the president is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the G20 summit in Argentina", Rudy Giuliani said in a statement.
And what else has Cohen agreed to talk about?
Congress isn't done with Michael Cohen.
Thursday's charges were handled by Mueller, not the federal prosecutors in NY who handled Cohen's previous guilty plea in August to other federal charges involving his taxi businesses, bank fraud and his campaign work for Trump. He previously pleaded guilty to arranging illegal payments in the closing days of the 2016 campaign to a porn actress and a Playboy model to keep them from discussing the affairs they said they had with Trump.
Undisclosed payments to bury embarrassing stories about a political candidate can be treated as a violation of United States campaign finance laws. Cohen has also been under criminal investigation as part of a grand jury probe into his personal business dealings.
What else is going on with the Mueller inquiry?"Michael Cohen is a liar", said Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Trump Jr. also said that he did not believe the potential for future business in Russian Federation had affected policy decisions made by his father since. "Downing's discussions with the president's team violated no laws, they helped contribute to a deteriorating relationship between lawyers for Mr. Manafort and Mr. Mueller's prosecutors, who accused Mr. Manafort of holding out on them despite his pledge to assist them in any matter they deemed relevant".