Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is expected to plead guilty to making false statements to Congress about his contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign. Cohen made a surprise appearance in federal court in lower Manhattan Thursday morning, where he entered his plea as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in the ongoing federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
He admitted to making false statements in 2017 to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and his communications with the Kremlin.
“I made these statements to be consistent with individual one’s political messaging and to be loyal to individual one,” Cohen said.
In August, Cohen struck a deal with prosecutors from the Southern District of New York and pleaded guilty to eight counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations in relation to payments made to keep a pair of women quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.
The 52-year-old “fixer” admitted in court that the payments were made “at direction of the candidate,” implicating the President in a scheme to keep information that would have been harmful to his campaign from becoming public.
The relationship between the attorney, who up until June served as the Republican Party’s deputy finance chairman, and the President has publicly soured since his initial plea.
Trump has since gone on the offensive against his former fixer, thumbing out angry tweets and accusing him of making up stories “in order to get a ‘deal.’ ”
“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” Trump tweeted in August.