Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, has reached a new plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.
According to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Cohen is expected to plead guilty to lying to congressional committees.
“Michael Cohen, Pres Trump’s former personal attorney, reaches new plea deal with Mueller this morning. Expected to enter guilty plea for false statements to Congress coupled with dozens of hours of testimony potentially damaging to Pres Trump–Special Counsel values testimony.”
Michael Cohen, Pres Trump’s former personal attorney, reaches new plea deal with Mueller this morning. Expected to enter guilty plea for false statements to Congress coupled with dozens of hours of testimony potentially damaging to Pres Trump–Special Counsel values testimony.
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) November 29, 2018
The GOP-led congressional committees have been investigating Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
ABC reported that Cohen is expected to appear in federal court in New York City on Thursday morning.
Cohen, who worked for Trump from 2006 until this year, pleaded guilty in August to eight counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. At the time Cohen told the federal judge that he violated campaign finance laws “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” i.e. Trump, “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” in 2016.
Mueller gave the Cohen case to the Southern District of New York (SDNY) earlier this year, so Cohen was actually charged by the SDNY prosecutors instead of members of the special counsel’s team.
In court on Thursday Cohen is expected to enter a guilty plea for his misstatements to Congress in his testimony last year. The federal prosecutors were able to prove that Cohen lied to Congress, under oath, about his contacts with Russians during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen was once the president’s most loyal defender and said he would “take a bullet” for Trump to show his loyalty. He was not only the president’s personal attorney for over ten years but also was known as his “fixer” who took care of various business and legal problems for his boss. One example of his work as a “fixer” was the role he played in paying off women with whom Trump had affairs, such as Stormy Daniels.
Last summer we reported that there were many good reasons for Donald Trump to be “terrified” of Michael Cohen flipping on him.
Cohen is now saying that he wants to “put family and country first” by cooperating with prosecutors. It is possible that given his close working relationship with Trump, as both an attorney and a fixer, Cohen may be the most important witness in the case Mueller is making against the president.
The potential crimes that Mueller might charge Donald Trump for are many and varied. They would include crimes of conspiracy against the United States for his Russia dealings, and also many possible financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion and fraud.
Robert Mueller has already successfully prosecuted Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for many crimes of a similar nature. Given this track record, and given the valuable testimony that might be provided by Michael Cohen, this latest news is sure to have Donald Trump in a state of panic.