Former Trump Attorney Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress About Russia Project

By: Kayla Pasacreta

Former Trump attorney and close confidant Michael Cohen pleaded guilty today to lying to Congress about a Trump project in Russia.

Cohen today, photo via  NBC News

Cohen today, photo via NBC News

Cohen originally told authorities that talks over a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended in January 2016, just before Iowa caucuses. However, the talks actually extended about five months past what Cohen told Congress. Additionally, Cohen had planned a May trip to continue talks about the tower. Special counsel Mueller's office says this was an intentional attempt to divert questioning from the Russia Investigation, "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," Mueller's office said in a statement.

In his court appearance today, Cohen explained, “I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1.” "Individual 1" is Donald J. Trump.

This is Cohen's first charge from Mueller's team. By pleading guilty and cooperating with Mueller's team, he hopes to get a lighter sentence.

Trump called Cohen a 'weak' person after pleading guilty, “He was convicted of various things unrelated to us...he's a weak person and what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence.”

Kayla PasacretaComment