Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in special counsel Bob Mueller’s probe Thursday.
Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress when he claimed that a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow was scrapped prior to the primaries in 2016.
"In truth and in fact, and as Cohen well knew, Cohen's representations about the Moscow Project he made to (House and Senate intelligence committees) were false and misleading," Mueller’s team said in a court filing. "Cohen made the false statements to ... give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before 'the Iowa caucus and....the very first primary,' in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”
Cohen, who has voluntarily agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe after he pleaded guilty to other federal charges in New York, has spoken with Mueller’s team for 70 hours.
Cohen admitted that he discussed the Trump Tower Moscow project with a top aide to Vladimir Putin in the summer of 2016.
Cohen said in his plea that he lied about the deal “out of loyalty to Trump” and “to be consistent with the president’s political messaging.”
Cohen faces up to six months in prison in the deal. He also faces up to 63 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in New York, as well as campaign finance violations in relation to his hush payments to women who alleged they had affairs with Trump.
Trump rages at Cohen:
"He's a weak person," Trump told reporters after the news broke. “He was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence with things unrelated to the Trump Organization. What he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence.”
"Even if he was right, it doesn’t matter because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign,” Trump added. “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?"
Former US Attorney says Trump was just implicated:
“This is perhaps the most significant issue I’ve seen raised so far: does Cohen contradict Trump’s recent written answers to Mueller specifically on the Moscow Trump Tower project. If so and Cohen version is corroborated, Trump is guilty of a false statement,” wrote former US Attorney Preet Bharara.