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Trump Responds to New Cohen Plea Deal: 'He's Lying...'

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President Donald Trump called his former personal attorney Michael Cohen a “weak person” and a liar after Cohen accepted a new plea deal from special counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday regarding statements he made to Congress in 2017.

Trump added that, even if what Cohen pleaded guilty to is true, it does not implicate Trump in wrongdoing.

Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in New York City to lying to congressional committees about ongoing discussions he had concerning a potential real estate deal in Russia in 2016, known as the Moscow Project, the Washington Examiner reported.

In a court filing, Mueller charged that Cohen made false statements via a 2-page letter to Congress in August 2017 to downplay the deal and that negotiations had continued into the 2016 presidential primary election season.

Trump responded to the plea agreement prior to leaving the White House for the G20 economic summit in Argentina, saying Cohen is changing his story in order to secure a lesser sentence for crimes unrelated to the campaign he pleaded guilty to in August.

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“What he’s trying to do, because he’s a weak person and not a very smart person, what he’s trying to do is end — and it’s very simple. He’s got himself a big prison sentence and he’s trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story,” Trump said.

“He is lying about a project that everybody knew about,” Trump said, according to The Daily Caller, while contrasting Cohen’s “weak” conduct with others, including, presumably, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and author and political commentator Jerome Corsi, who have not provided Mueller what he wanted.

Do you think Cohen's new plea has any relation to possible Russia collusion by the Trump campaign?

“Here is the thing, even if he was right, it doesn’t matter, because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign,” he explained. “I was running my business a lot of different things during the campaign.”

Trump described the deal as “very public,” and the primary reason he decided not to go forward with the project is because he wanted to focus on his presidential run.

“Everybody knew about it. It was written about in newspapers. It was a well-known project,” he said, according to Fox News. “If I did do it, there would have been nothing wrong.”

Fox News reported that Cohen pleaded guilty to criminal charges in August, including five counts of tax evasion stemming from 2012 to 2016, one count of making a false statement to a financial institution in a loan application, and one count of making an excessive corporate campaign contribution in relation to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Cohen, 52, could have received up to 65 years in prison if convicted. However as part of the plea deal, the attorney agreed not to challenge any sentence between 46 and 63 months, according to Fox.

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Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in New York on Dec. 12.

Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz noted on Fox News on Thursday that  it is hard to use Cohen as a witness against Trump because of Cohen’s history of “questionable conduct,” so Mueller’s team is likely looking to him to provide information that could be corroborated independently.

Dershowitz added that Mueller appears to be focusing on Cohen because Manafort is no longer cooperating, and the story line regarding the Trump campaign working with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is “falling apart.”

Dershowitz further pointed out all the crimes the Mueller has gained guilty pleas for in relation to Trump’s campaign have come in the form of false statements made to investigators as a result of the probe, not because of any campaign-related crimes committed prior to it.

“The very fact that he’s conducting an investigation has created these crimes. These are not crimes that had been committed prior to his appointment,” he said. “They are crimes that are committed as a result of his appointment. That raises some questions about the role of special prosecutors in creating crimes and creating opportunities for crimes to be committed.

“In the end, I don’t think Mueller’s going to come up with very much in terms of criminal conduct that existed before he was appointed, and that’s quite shocking.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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