As he prepared to depart for the G20 summit in Argentina on Thursday morning, Donald Trump told reporters that his former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen is “a weak person” who is “lying” to get himself a lighter prison sentence, according to the Associated Press. Cohen entered a guilty plea in a New York federal court on Thursday — the second time he has done so in just four months.
This time, Cohen pleaded guilty to telling lies under oath about Trump’s business deals in Moscow leading up to and during the 2016 presidential campaign, as Inquisitr reported earlier on Thursday.
According to a plea document signed by Cohen and posted online by Vox.com, Cohen told congress during closed-door hearings in August of 2017 that the planned Trump Tower Moscow project was dead by January of 2016. In fact, Cohen now admits, discussions on the proposed real estate project continued until June of 2016.
Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly denied that he had any active business dealings in Russia, as Washington Monthly reported at the time. But Cohen’s new guilty plea shows that Trump was not being truthful with those multiple and forceful denials.
Cohen lied about the timing of the Trump Tower Moscow deal in order to “give the false impression that the project had ended before the Iowa caucuses, which took place in February of 2016,” according to NBC News.
In fact, according to a July 2017 interview published in Forbes Magazine, Emin Agalarov — one of the partners in the proposed Trump Tower Moscow deal, and the son of billionaire Russian real estate magnate Amin Agalarov — said that the deal remained on the table until February of 2017, after Trump’s inauguration, which is when he had last spoken to Trump’s son, Eric Trump.
“We had an understanding that things are changing for them, and they’re at a point where they haven’t realized who is handling what, how and when,” Agalarov told Forbes. “There is no point to pursue anything at this stage.”
According to Cohen’s guilty plea on Thursday, he also admitted to lying about discussions he had held with individuals in Russia as well as in the Trump Organization regarding the Trump Tower Moscow project, and about his intention to travel to Russia in order to work on the real estate deal there, MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin posted on Twitter.