Michael Cohen: Donald Trump indirectly told me to lie to Congress
In his first public comments Wednesday, President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen accused his ex-boss of indirectly ordering him to lie to Congress in 2017 about a Russia hotel project.
“Mr. Trump did not directly to tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates,” Cohen said.
Cohen, once Trump’s loyal attorney and fixer, has turned on his former boss and cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. He begins a three-year prison sentence in May after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Trump.
During an appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he told the committee a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow had been abandoned in January 2016. In reality, the project was alive around the same time as the Republican National Convention later that year.
Cohen said Mr. Trump would look him in the eye and tell him, “There’s no business in Russia.”
Mr. Trump would “go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing,” he continued. “In his way, he was telling me to lie.”
“To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen said. “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.”