The Robert Mueller probe in the Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential campaign has been accentuating this week, with something new coming up each day. In the latest episode, Michael Cohen, former personal attorney of President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty for false statements he made to Congress.
On Thursday morning, Cohen appeared before the US District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. in a federal court in New York, after reaching a deal with Mueller. He pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate and House intelligence committees in 2017.
The prosecutors laid out a nine-page filing stating the misstatements made by Cohen about a Moscow real estate project — Trump Tower — that the US President and his company ventured, while securing the GOP nomination in 2016.
As Judge Carter asked Cohen to enter his plea, he replied, “Guilty, your honor.” He also agreed to cooperate with the investigators, according to a plea deal released by the special counsel.
Besides, Michael Cohen also admitted that he had misstated about the person listed as “Individual 1” in the court documents, and identified him as Donald Trump in the court.
He told the judge, “I was aware of Individual 1’s repeated disavowals of commercial and political ties between himself and Russia, his repeated statements that investigations of such ties were politically motivated and without evidence, and that any contact with Russian nationals by Individual 1’s campaign or the Trump Organization had all terminated before the Iowa Caucus, which was on February 1 of 2016.”
In the packed courtroom, Cohen admitted, “I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1.”
The statements given by Cohen on Thursday left Trump and his team agitated over the matter.
Trump’s reaction on Michael Cohen’s allegations
Cohen’s guilty plea — his second in four months — has come as a game changer in Robert Mueller’s probing. His declaration against Donald Trump has left the President furious.
Following the reports of Cohen’s pleading guilty, Trump called Cohen a “weak person” in front of the reporters at the White House, and insisted that he himself had done nothing wrong.
“Michael Cohen is lying and he’s trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me,” accused the President, adding that “everybody knows about this deal.”
Trump also said, “This was a project that we didn’t do, I didn’t do. . . . There would be nothing wrong if I did do it.”
Talking about 2016, Trump added: “There was a good chance that I wouldn’t have won, in which case I would have gone back into the business, and why should I lose lots of opportunities?”
Representative Adam B Schiff (D-CA) stated that the guilty plea shows Trump was not honest about his business interests in Russia during the campaign.
The perplexed statements by the president obliquely suggest that Michael Cohen’s guilty plea has left him pestered. While Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s probe “ridiculous” and a “disgrace,” it seems like his obscured offences are close to become known.