President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal in Russia and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Cohen made a surprise court appearance Thursday — first reported by ABC News — around 9 a.m. in New York.
He admitted to making false statements in 2017 to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
"I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1," Cohen said in court. He previously identified "individual 1" as Trump.
The new charge was brought by investigators on Mueller’s team who are looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians in the 2016 election.
Mueller had previously referred Cohen matter to federal prosecutors in New York, where he pleaded guilty to campaign finance and tax violations earlier this year, and has cooperated with Mueller without a formal cooperation agreement. He’s spend dozens of hours providing testimony, a person familiar with the matter has said.
One of the prosecutors working with Mueller was present in the courtroom.
Cohen's lawyer told the judge the plea deal involved cooperation with Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election.
Material from Reuters, Bloomberg News, and The Asssociated Press was used in compiling this report.
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