Michael Cohen: Donald Trump continued Russian real estate deal into campaign

Geraldine Edwards
November 30, 2018

In court, Cohen said, "I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1".

In response to Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen pleading guilty to lying to Congress, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said the incident is yet another "example that you can not lie to Congress without consequences".

He added, "I assure you - knowing the way the feds operate - that Michael Cohen has been extensively debriefed before he brought him into a courtroom to say anything, and they've probably already verified everything that he's given them". Mueller is trying to determine whether or not Stone acted as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks at a time when WikiLeaks was publishing or getting ready to publish hacked Democratic e-mails, but Stone has maintained that he never discussed WikiLeaks with Trump in 2016.

Cohen's plea deal states that he is co-operating closely with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian election interference. "This is a weak person and not a very smart person", Trump told reporters Thursday as he departed the White House on his way to the Group of 20 summit of global leaders in Argentina.

Cohen admitted that he spoke to a Kremlin official during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 to try to land Russian government support for a project to construct a Trump building in Moscow.

"That was a project that we didn't do, I didn't do. There would be nothing wrong if I did do it". He said that he did not end up doing the Trump Tower project, but that he was within his rights to conduct business during the presidential campaign. In Cohen's now-discredited testimony, he told lawmakers that he made the decision to terminate the deal on his own without consulting with Trump or any members of the Trump family. "It's no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress".

Napolitano, reacting to the news that President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, said on "America's Newsroom" that this is "the tip of the iceberg". Some of those contacts were first reported by The Washington Post.

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Among other lies, Cohen said he told Congress that all discussions about building a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended by January 2016, when they had actually continued until June of that year.

"Individual 1" is, as the document points out, who Cohen worked for at a Manhattan-based real estate company.

The Mueller investigation has cast a cloud over Trump's presidency.

It also references "Individual 1" in the context of winning the nomination ahead of the 2016 election.

He lied to suggest that the project was shelved in January 2016 - before the first caucus and primary voting began in the presidential election - to downplay links between the deal and unnamed associates and in the hope of limiting the Russian Federation investigation, according to court documents.

"Michael Cohen's indictment and guilty plea is once again an example that you can not lie to Congress without consequences", Burr wrote in a tweet this afternoon.

In a statement, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said Trump was asked about the Moscow development in written questions from the Mueller team.

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President Donald Trump says his former lawyer Michael Cohen is a "weak person" who is "lying" to get a reduced sentence.

Until now, Cohen had been operating without a formal cooperation deal.

Cohen also said he sent an email to the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin concerning the potential deal.

In August, Mr Cohen, who had been Mr Trump's personal lawyer for more than a decade, pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Cohen testified in August that Trump had directed him to commit a crime by arranging payments to silence two women who alleged before the 2016 election that they had affairs with Trump.

"In terms of the much-discussed meeting - it's going to be a dinner meeting between President Trump and President Xi and representatives from both sides".

By that time, Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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