President Donald Trump is in big trouble after his former longtime attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen reached a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday, and he is not happy about it.
It turns out that Cohen lied for Trump during his testimony to Congress in 2017 when he claimed that negotiations for a Trump Tower real estate deal in Moscow ended in January 2016.
The negotiations apparently continued through June 2016, which just happens to be the same month Donald Trump Jr. and other members of Trump’s campaign met with Russian agents in pursuit of “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. It’s also the same month Trump publicly asked Russia to hack the DNC and the Clinton campaign to find emails.
In court, Cohen admitted that he “made these statements to be consistent with Individual 1’s messaging and to be loyal to Individual 1.”
“Individual 1” is Donald Trump and it appears Cohen matched his testimony with Trump’s own claims about the project.
Cohen previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud and campaign finance violations earlier this year and Trump was an unnamed unindicted co-conspirator.
As he prepared to board Marine One, reporters bombarded Trump with questions about the bombshell news and he responded by attacking Cohen.
“Michael Cohen has made many statements to the House and the Senate,” he began. “He put out a statement talking about a project, which was essentially I guess more or less was an option that we were looking at in Moscow.”
“He’s a weak person, and not a very smart person,” he continued. “What he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence so he’s lying about a project that everybody knew about.”
Of course, if everybody knew about it, why lie to Congress?
Trump then acted like doing business with the Russians during a presidential election is no big deal and went on to accuse Cohen of lying to Mueller in exchange for a lighter sentence.
“There would have been nothing wrong if I did do it,” he said. “That was my business…When I run for president that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to do business. 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.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Trump’s dealings with Russia were clearly a conflict of interest that violate the Emoluments Clause, especially since members of his team repeatedly met with and talked to the Russians during the campaign and lied about it on their disclosure forms. Also, Mueller would know if Cohen were lying to him. Just ask Paul Manafort, who lied to Mueller after taking a plea deal and now faces even more prison time, something Cohen is most certainly aware of.
Later in the impromptu presser, Trump was asked if Cohen is such a “bum” — why did he hire him and keep him around for 12 years? Trump pointed to an unnamed “favor” Cohen did for him a “long time ago.” An answer that really doesn’t explain anything.
The walls are closing in on Trump and it’s just a matter of time before Mueller comes knocking on his door.
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