Ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress

JTA

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, exits federal court in New York, Aug. 21, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Michael Cohen, the former lawyer to President Donald Trump who pleaded guilty to criminal charges, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Russia investigation.

Cohen, who worked as Trump’s personal lawyer for a decade beginning in 2006, was in federal court on Thursday morning agreeing to the plea deal.

CNN reported that during the appearance, information was read aloud in court saying that Cohen made a false statement in 2017 to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding a proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that he was working on in 2015 and 2016. He had contacts with potential partners for months, until June 2016, though Cohen told Congress that the deal was stopped in January 2016, according to the information before the court.

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Cohen reportedly lied about saying the deal was ended before the Iowa caucuses and when Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee for president to throw off special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

As part of the plea deal, Cohen will provide “dozens of hours of testimony potentially damaging to” Trump, ABC reported.

In August, the Jewish attorney pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges, including two election law charges leveled by the Justice Department. Cohen testified in federal court that Trump had directed him to pay off two women with whom he allegedly had extramarital affairs. His assertion that Trump ordered the payments is seen as creating legal and political jeopardy for the president. He is due to be sentenced Dec. 12.

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