Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has hashed out a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, issuing a guilty plea for lying to Congress about Trump’s business interests in Russia.
Earlier this week, a plea deal that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort worked out with Mueller fell apart. The Mueller team says that Manafort lied to federal investigators about his own business dealings that involve Ukrainian associates, according to Vox.
Multiple legal experts have weighed in on the recent developments in the investigation. Joshua Dressler, a law professor at The Ohio State University, says that Trump’s options “grow more limited — and more extreme as well.”
“If Trump is rational, therefore, he will do nothing. He will rely on his supporters to continue sticking by him, and he will hope for the continued cowardice of the Republicans in the Senate to protect him if an impeachment someday occurs. But if Trump is not rational (and when has he been in regard to this investigation?), then all bets are off,” he wrote.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says that he believes the investigation will reveal that Trump did obstruct justice, and that Mueller will “present his findings in a manner that would enable Congress to act.”
“Impeachment would not result in Trump’s removal from office unless 20 Republican senators voted to convict him,” he said.
President Trump recently submitted his own answers as part of the Mueller-led investigation. The questions and answers were passed between the two parties in written form.
During his guilty plea, Cohen admitted that Donald Trump knew more about the Trump Tower project in Moscow than what Cohen had previously told Congress, according to CNN.
Previously, Cohen said that talks about the project ended in January 2016, just before the Iowa caucuses.
“I made these statements to be consistent with Individual-1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual-1,” Cohen said Thursday. Court filings show that Individual-1 is Donald Trump.
Cohen has already talked to Mueller’s office for more than 70 hours on many topics, according to reports. In a separate case, Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 criminal counts in a Manhattan US attorney’s office.
Trump has already lashed out at Cohen, calling him “a weak person.”
“He was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence with things unrelated to the Trump Organization…What he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence,” Trump said.
Cohen was Trump’s personal attorney for 12 years.