Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Everyone's Joking About 'Individual 1' After Cohen's Plea Agreement

Behind Cohen plea Trump’s longtime dream of a Moscow tower Does Manafort have any credibility left? | LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers
Gerardo Duncan | 30 November, 2018, 03:39

Democratic leaders said they'd like another shot at President Trump's former lawyer after he pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that Cohen wasn't truthful about the timeline of Trump's consideration of building one of his namesake towers in Moscow, previously claiming talks ended in January 2016.

Trump denied that Cohen is a threat to his presidency when asked by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

In Michael Cohen's explosive testimony in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, he admitted he had been in contact with a Kremlin official in 2016, and had lied to be consistent with Trump's "political messaging" and "to be loyal".

"There would be nothing wrong if I did do it", he said.

Nothing said in court, or in associated court filings, addressed whether Trump or his aides had directed Cohen to mislead Congress.

Mr Cohen provided false statements to both the Senate and House intelligence committees to create the false impression the Moscow real estate project had ended by the time the political primary season began, the charging document said.

Cohen told the judge he lied about the timing of the negotiations, his communications with people in the company and in Russian Federation about the deal, and other details to be loyal to Trump and consistent with Trump's "political messaging".

According to two congressional sources familiar with the questioning of Trump Organization employees, several people tied to the Trump Organization were asked about the same Moscow project.

"What he's trying to do - and it's very simple, he's got himself a big prison sentence and he's trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story", Trump said. "And that was for there to be accountability and transparency with regards to whether or not the Russians interfered with the 2016 election", Zeldin said.

People described in the court papers, including Cohen, even discussed when to schedule potential trips to Russian Federation as part of their negotiations as they planned for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It isn't clear whether there's any link among Russians, American political figures and that change in the platform, although such a connection has always been a subject of speculation.

Michael Cohen, left, walks out of federal court with his attorney Guy Petrillo, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in NY.

But the decision of a close confidant - who knows where all the secrets are - to co-operate with Mr Mueller's investigation is a huge blow to an administration that just can not seem to escape the shadow of Russian Federation, nor explain away Mr Trump's apparent cosiness with Vladimir Putin.

Next up on the list is right-wing author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who backed out of plea negotiations with the special counsel - this one related to a false statements charge.

There is no clear link in the court filings between Cohen's lies and Mueller's central question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

"Moscow is going to be huge", Trump told Playboy magazine in a 1997 interview.

That Mueller used Cohen's false congressional testimony to charge him in federal court serves as a warning to those who have already testified on the Russian Federation probe as well as those who will do so under Democratic control.

But according to Cohen's new statement to prosecutors, the tower deal remained viable as late as June 2016, after Trump had vanquished his Republican presidential rivals and was mounting his general election campaign against Hillary Clinton. "There is no more fun, funny, amusing moment when Donald Trump gets to have Devin Nunes run interference for him, go out and lie to the press for him".

"Congress should pass legislation immediately to make sure that happens". Nonetheless, the investigation continues.

Cohen did agree to travel to Russian Federation in connection with the Trump Tower Moscow project "and took steps in contemplation of [Trump's] possible travel to Russia", according to court papers.

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