The one-time lawyer and self pro-claimed “fixer” for President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, made a surprise appearance in the Southern District of New York, where he plead guilty to one count of having lied to Congress about the Moscow Project, a real estate project that then-candidate Trump had pursed during the months he was running for President.
According to Courthouse News, the “one count,” stems from “false statements that Cohen made before the legislative branch on Aug 28th, 2017.”
Cohen plead guilty in August 2018 as the News Blender reported to two campaign finance violations that occurred when Cohen at the behest of then-candidate Donald Trump paid two women to remain silent about affairs both women alleged happened in or about 2006.
According to court documents filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday, Cohen “knowingly and deliberately,” made false statements in a two-page letter that was sent to both the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Cohen, in his letter to the committees, downplayed the Moscow real estate project stating that the “the proposal was under consideration,” from, “September 2015 until the end of January 2016,” when Cohen determined that the deal was not “feasible for a variety of business reasons,” and was abandoned by then-candidate Trump. Cohen went on in his statement at the time saying he had never agreed to travel to Russia in connection to the Moscow Project. He also stated in the letter, that he had contacted the Russian Government, but had not received a reply.
Mueller explains in the above linked court document, these statements were false writing that the project did not end in January 2016, but was still being discussed in June of 2016:
“Instead, as late as approximately June 2016 , COHEN and Individual 2 discussed efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval for the Moscow Project.”
Court Documents pg. 5
As to Cohen’s traveling to Russia Mueller writes that not only did Cohen agree to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project, but also discussed the possibilities of President Trump, then-candidate Trump traveling to Moscow.
Individual 2 writes to Cohen on or about May 4th, 2016, “I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention… Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but the 2 big guys where [sic] the question. I said I would confirm and revert.” Cohen replies, “My trip before Cleveland. Individual 1 [Trump] once he becomes the nominee after the convention.”
For what it’s worth
According to page 8 of the document filed by Mueller, on or about January 20th of 2016 Cohen did speak with someone in Russia called “Assistant 1” in the document. Cohen spoke to the “Assistant” for about twenty-minutes.
The day after, according to the linked document Individual 2 contacted Cohen and wrote, “It’ s about [the President of Russia] they called today. ”
President Trump via Twitter announced his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been canceled. His stated reason is over the conflict between Russian and the Ukraine.