Court documents the special counsel’s office released on Thursday show that President Trump’s former “fixer,” Michael Cohen, admitted to lying to Congress.

The lie involved Trump’s knowledge of Cohen negotiating a “Trump Tower Moscow” in Russia and briefing Trump and his family on the project as recently as June of 2016, roughly a month after he won the decisive Indiana primary, which was seen as the contest that clinched his victory in the 2016 Republican presidential primary contest. Cohen’s Thursday plea was for lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the real estate project, falsely telling senators under oath that the deal fell through in January.

The Trump Tower Moscow project was, according to a May 2018 investigation by BuzzFeed News, dependent on a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cohen and Felix Sater — who negotiated real estate deals around the world for the Trump Organization — was working behind the scenes to set up a meeting between his boss and the Russian leader in order to finalize the project. According to BuzzFeed News’ description of the project, Trump Tower Moscow would have been the tallest building in the city.

The tower — a sheer, glass-encased obelisk situated on a river — would have soared above every other building in Moscow, the architectural drawings show. And the sharply angled skyscraper would have climaxed in a diamond-shaped pinnacle emblazoned with the word “Trump,” putting his name atop the continent’s tallest structure.

This isn’t Cohen’s first guilty plea, either — in August, he pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of tax evasion, campaign finance fraud, and bank fraud, with two of those counts coming from the “hush money” payments he made to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels). Cohen admitted in that plea agreement that Trump personally authorized those payments, which would implicate him in a felony for campaign finance violations.

In a tweet just hours before Cohen’s plea was announced, Trump called the Mueller probe — which has yielded multiple criminal convictions and dozens of indictments — a “Joseph McCarthy Style Witch Hunt.”


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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