President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on November 29th, 2018 to lying to Congress about Trump’s real estate project in Russia. Cohen’s plea in Manhattan federal court is part of a new plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Cohen told a judge Thursday that he lied in 2017 to the Senate Intelligence Committee about proposed Trump Tower development in Moscow in order to be consistent with Trump’s political messages, and out of loyalty to the president.
A court document refers to Donald Trump and his organization through the pseudonyms “Individual 1” and the “Company.”
The special counsel said that Michael Cohen “knowingly and deliberately” lied telling the Senate committee that the Moscow proposal “ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others” in the Trump Organization.
Inerestingly, this event occurs just days after President Trump had submitted written responses to questions regarding the Russian Probe with special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
According to vox.com, Cohen began exploring the possibility of building a Trump Tower in Moscow on Trump’s behalf, with the help of a longtime Russian business associate and developer, Felix Sater. In an
email to Sater, Cohen said, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected, Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this.”
Trump’s company signed a letter of intent to build the Moscow tower in late 2015, and in January 2016, before the Iowa caucuses, Cohen asked for help from Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, “I am hereby requesting your assistance…I respectfully request someone, preferably you, contact me so that I might discuss the specifics as well as arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals.”
Although Cohen has previously stated he never received any response from Peskov, and claimed he abandoned the company the project soon after, BuzzFeed.com had documented that Cohen’s efforts to make Trump Tower Moscow happen continued through at least June 2016.