Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer who’s now a cooperating witness, pleaded guilty to charges of lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia
Who’s Michael Cohen?
He’s been Trump’s personal lawyer for more than a decade. He was the one who “fixed” some of Trump’s problems (like paying hush money to pornstars Trump had sex with) – basically if Trump had any dirt on him, Cohen would know it and tried to cover it up.
He also talked a lot of shit – threatening reporters, saying he’d take a bullet for Trump. Things a Mob lawyer would say but we digress. Anyways, all that tough talk went out the window when he got hit with 8 felony charges last August and he agreed to cooperate with Team Mueller for shorter jail time.
What did he admit to lie about?
The Trump Moscow project.
- Cohen testified before senators last year and lied that the project had ended in Jan 2016 when it was still ongoing when Trump was running for president.
- He lied about never having any contacts with Russian govt – but he actually received email and phone call from a Russian official
Why is Trump Moscow Project Problematic?
Conflict of interest. A presidential candidate actively seeking to receive help for a huge for-profit project from hostile foreign govt during campaign is never a good thing. You wouldn’t want the Russian govt to have financial leverage over the would-be president, right? This could be one of the reasons why Trump has been acting so strange about Russia.
Individual 1 is Donald Trump
Cohen publicly identified Trump as the person who he wanted to protect by telling lies to congress. So Cohen basically exposed Donald Trump, who before yesterday was only referred to as “Individual 1”, as the main figure behind all this drama.
Also, Felix Sater
You will be seeing his name a lot from now on. Cohen also identified Felix Sater, a former Trump Org. executive as the person who was acting as the middleman between Trump Org. and Russia. Sater, rumored to be a high-ranking Russian mob (he once stabbed a guy in the neck) is the same guy who wrote the infamous email to Cohen calling Trump as “Our boy” and that he could get some help from Putin to help make Donald Trump the president. Strange a Russian Mobster was working for Trump as an exec, don’t you think?
Okay, but is being guilty of lying to congress that big of a deal?
Lying to congress is not a major crime but still a crime nonetheless and Mueller yesterday made it clear that he will charge people who made false statement to congress. Cohen’s not the only one who spoke before congress – Donald Trump Jr. did, Jared Kushner did, Steve Bannon did, the list goes on. So it means, all of these people, if they lied to congress, could go to jail for that.
How did Trump react to the news?
Oh, he big mad. Trump called him a “weak person”. If that’s the case, why did Trump hire and keep such a weak person as his personal lawyer?
One last thing, the $50 million penthouse for Putin
Buzzfeed reported yesterday that a $50 million penthouse at Trump Moscow was going to be a gift to Putin from the Trump Org. Cohen talked about the idea with Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Who came up with this bright idea? Felix Sater.