Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to congress
Donald Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, has made a surprise court appearance in New York, and pled guilty to lying to Congress about one of the president's real estate projects in Russia.
The 52-year-old attorney has previously pled guilty to violating election campaign finance laws in August, telling the court that he acted on Trump's orders. He also admitted to making false statements in 2017 to the US Senate Select Committee and told the court that he had paid hush money to two women alleging that they'd had affairs with Trump. It is unknown if he was referencing adult film star Stormy Daniells, who made similar assertions earlier this year.
Mr Cohen's court appearance has come as a shock to most media outlets, but he may have just provided the most important piece of information in the Mueller investigation.
Identifying "Individual One" as his former client Donald Trump, Cohen stated: "I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual one's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual one." Cohen had previously been a staunch supporter of the Republican leader, even vowing to take a bullet for the president. But Cohen has since changed his tune, following an interview behind closed doors by congressional investigators, and a raid on his home and office in April.
Cohen's lawyer told reporters outside the courtroom that: "Mr Cohen has co-operated. Mr Cohen will continue to co-operate." Cohen himself refused to comment and remained silent.
Earlier in the day, President Trump took to Twitter to criticise the findings of the Mueller investigation, stating: "Did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime? At the same time Mueller and the Angry Democrats aren’t even looking at the atrocious, and perhaps subversive, crimes that were committed by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. A total disgrace! [sic]"
He later added: "When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous! [sic]"
This is a developing news story and will be updated as more information is released.