Michael Cohen To Plead Guilty To Lying About Trump Russian Real-Estate Deal

Zero Hedge

Four months after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to cop to new  charges of lying to congressional committees investigating Trump-Russia collusion, according to ABC. The plea is part of a new deal reached with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation was said to be winding down. Though that no longer appears to be the case.

Apparently as part of his new deal, Cohen sat for 70 hours of testimony with the Mueller probe. The former Trump personal attorney is reportedly already at the Manhattan federal courthouse, and journalists have just been alerted to a hearing in the case “USA vs. John Doe” – which suggests that his guilty plea could be entered as soon as this morning.

According to the Hill, Cohen’s alleged lies stem from testimony he gave in 2017, when he told the House Intelligence Committee that a planned real-estate deal to build the Trump Moscow Hotel had been abandoned in January 2016 after the Trump Organization decided that “the proposal was not feasible.” While Cohen’s previous plea was an agreement with federal prosecutors in New York, this marks the first time Cohen has been charged by Mueller. The former Trump ally pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement. Cohen said he lied in a written statement to Congress about the infamous Trump Moscow talks – the aborted project to build a Trump-branded hotel in Moscow. During the talks, Cohen famously contacted a press secretary for President Putin to see if Putin could help clear some red tape to help start development. According to his guilty plea, Cohen had discussed the Trump Moscow project with Trump as recently as August 2017, according to the Guardian.

As a reporter for NBC News pointed out on twitter, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and ranking member Mark Warner foreshadowed today’s plea back in August after Cohen pleaded guilty to the campaign finance violations.

Also notable: The plea comes just as President Trump is leaving for a 10-hour flight to Argentina. In recent days, Trump appeared to step up attacks on the Mueller probe, comparing it to McCarthyism and questioning why the DOJ didn’t pursue charges against the Clintons.

Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 12, as scheduled. By cooperating, Cohen is hoping to avoid prison, according to his lawyer.