US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty on Thursday to making false representations to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s court filing, Cohen made several false statements in a letter to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Both committees opened investigations into Russian election interference in January 2017.
Cohen’s false statements related to “The Moscow Project, ” an attempt by the Trump Organization to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Mueller’s charges identified the following false statements from Cohen’s letter:
- The Moscow Project ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others in the Company. […]
- [Cohen] never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project and “never considered” asking [Trump] to travel for the project. […]
- [Cohen] did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the Moscow Project.
Cohen pleaded guilty to lying in each of these statements and signed a plea agreement put together by the Special Counsel’s team. Cohen’s guilty plea indicates that Trump’s involvement in the Moscow Project extended into June 2016, rather than ending in January 2016. Cohen stated that he misrepresented this timeline in an effort to not contradict Trump.
Earlier this year, Cohen also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.