At the court hearing, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. "You're going to see Michael Cohen be a real linchpin here".
Cohen is set to be sentenced for lying to Congress on December 12.
Although these court documents used pseudonyms like "individual 1" and "the Company", the fact that Cohen was listed as "special counsel" to Individual 1 who owned the Company, the plea deal clearly referred to President Trump and the Trump Organization. "This was a project that we didn't do, I didn't do".
"If I did do it, there would have been nothing wrong".
During his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017, Donald Trump Jr. was asked about the project, and his answer appears to contradict Cohen's latest assertions.
During the campaign, Cohen acted as Trump's point person in an attempt to build the Trump development in Moscow. He was perfectly within his rights to continue to run his businesses even as he pursued the presidency, he said. "It is hardly coincidental that the special counsel once again files a charge just as the president is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the G20 summit in Argentina", Rudy Giuliani said in a statement.
Cohen at one point discussed traveling himself to Russian Federation as they sought government approval for the project.
On Thursday, Cohen confessed that he lied to Congress about a real estate project in Russian Federation he had been involved with on behalf of Trump.
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Prosecutors also said that Cohen continued to have contact into the summer of 2016 with Felix Sater, the Russian-born developer who was assisting on the project. Among the people Cohen briefed on the status of the project was Trump himself, on more than three occasions, according to the document, "The Washington Post recaps".
The new timeline established by Cohen's plea means that the talks with Russians and the Russian government were ongoing when Trump became the GOP front-runner and not long before he formally became the party's nominee.
Cohen said in his plea that he also spoke by phone with an assistant to Peskov - identified in the plea as "Russian Official 1" - in January 2016 and outlined the project and "requested assistance in moving the project forward".
Manafort faces up to five years in prison on the two charges in his plea agreement - conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Trump's plans for a Trump Tower in Moscow went back as far as 1996 when the future president paid a visit to the Russian capital to check out building sites on land being developed by a US company. "Sentencing is set for December 12", said Guy Petrillo, another of Cohen's lawyers.
Cohen said nothing as a gaggle of reporters shouted questions at him.
That Mueller used Cohen's false congressional testimony to charge him in federal court serves as a warning to those who have already testified on the Russian Federation probe as well as those who will do so under Democratic control.
As much as Trump may want it to disappear, the Mueller probe looks certain to cause him plenty more agitation as he enters the third year of his presidency.
He had also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion, as well as bank fraud, related to his personal finances and management of taxi medallions. Given he was Trump's right-hand man for so many years, he is likely to have useful information on many topics of interest to Mueller.