After nearly 70 hours of interviews with Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators, Micahel Cohen — the former Donald Trump lawyer and “fixer” best known for arranging a $130,000 hush money payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, as Inquisitr reported — has struck a plea deal with prosecutors, according to a breaking ABC News report on Thursday morning.
Cohen already pleaded guilty in August to financial crimes including federal campaign finance violations involving the payoff to Daniels. But this time, his guilty plea goes straight to the heart of Mueller’s Russia probe, according to the ABC report, which said that Cohen will plead guilty to lying in closed-door congressional testimony about the 2016 Trump presidential campaign’s contacts with Russians.
Also on Thursday, investigators in Frankfurt, Germany, raided the corporate offices of the multinational financial institution Deutsche Bank, according to a Bloomberg News Twitter post. The raid came in connection with a money laundering probe.
As Inquisitr has reported, Deutsche Bank extended about $1 billion in loans to Trump during the 2000s, at a time when Trump was considered not creditworthy by most banks due to his series of bankruptcies. Whether the Deutsche Bank raids are connected to the Trump loans in any way was unclear as of Thursday morning.
Trump learned the news about Cohen’s reported guilty plea in the Russia collusion investigation just moments before boarding Air Force One for a 10-hour flight to Argentina, according to Bloomberg correspondent Jennifer Jacobs, posting on Twitter. Trump will attend the G20 summit meeting to be held in the South American country.
.@ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Michael Cohen has secured new plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller and is expected to plead guilty for lying to Congress in collusion probe. https://t.co/LZERdhfCsA pic.twitter.com/0LkKNvsOp5— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 29, 2018
Cohen had already been set for sentencing on December 12 in connection with his earlier guilty plea in the Daniels case and others, CNN reported. His agreement to plead guilty at that time was based on his willingness to cooperate with prosecutors, including Mueller’s team.
Cohen admitted on Thursday as part of his guilty plea that he lied to Congress about a real estate development in Moscow in which Trump was involved, according to a Bloomberg News report.
As Inquisitr has chronicled, Trump was involved in an attempt to build a “Trump Tower Moscow” development which continued even as Trump campaigned for president in 2015 and 2016. During the campaign, Trump repeatedly and forcefully denied thay he had any active business interests in Russia — a denial that Cohen’s guilty plea now confirms to be false.
CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins reported on Twitter that, “Cohen made a false statement regarding the Trump Tower deal in Moscow that he was working on in 2015. He had discussions about the project as late as August 2017. Previously said the deal was stopped in January 2016.”