Cohen Explains How Trump Got Him to Lie to Congress

Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Donald Trump’s business dealings in Russia — and he will tell lawmakers how the president directed him to break the law.

The former Trump Organization attorney will testify Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, and Cohen said in a prepared statement that the president told him to to lie during previous testimony before congressional investigators, but he did it in an indirect way, knowing it was a criminal act.

“I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia,” Cohen says in his prepared statement. “I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign.”

Cohen admits that Trump did not explicitly ask him to lie, but he says the president made clear he expected his then-lawyer to do so.

“Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates,” Cohen said, adding:

“In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing.”

“In his own way, he was telling me to lie.”

Cohen will testify today that Trump asked him at least a half-dozen times between January 2016 and June 2016 “how’s it going in Russia?” — which the former attorney says referred to negotiations for Trump Tower Moscow.

Trump Continually Lied About the Trump Tower Moscow Project

“Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen says in his statement. Then he added:

“He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”

Trump’s Attorneys Reviewed Cohen’s False Testimony to Congress In Advance

The president’s personal attorneys reviewed Cohen’s false statements to Congress before he made them, and he said they signed off on them.

“And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie,” Cohen says. “And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.”

If Michael Cohen can back up his verbal testimony with supporting evidence then these new revelations will significantly add to Donald Trump’s legal woes, and make it even more likely that he will not finish his term in office.