p. 139 – 149

“In early May 2017, Cohen received requests from Congress to provide testimony and documents in connection with congressional investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election….Cohen eventually entered into a joint defense agreement (JOA) with the President and other individuals who were part of the Russia investigation. Cohen recalled that the President’s personal counsel told him the JOA was working well together and assured him that there was nothing there and if they stayed on message the investigations would come to an end soon.”

“In August 2017, Cohen began drafting a statement about Trump Tower Moscow to submit to Congress along with his document production. The final version of the statement contained several false statements about the project,’ such as when the proposal was abandoned...‘”

Cohen said that his ‘agenda’ in submitting the statement to Congress with false representations about the Trump Tower Moscow project was to minimize links between the project and the President, give the false impression that the project had ended before the first presidential primaries, and shut down further inquiry into Trump Tower Moscow, with the aim of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.

“On February 13, 2018, Cohen released a statement to news organizations that stated, ‘In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to [the woman]. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with [the woman], and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.’ In congressional testimony on February 27, 2019, Cohen testified that he had discussed what to say about the payment with the President and that the President had directed Cohen to say that the President ‘was not knowledgeable .. . of [Cohen’s] actions’ in making the payment. On February 19, 2018, the day after the New York Times wrote a detailed story attributing the payment to Cohen and describing Cohen as the President’s ‘fixer,’ Cohen received a text message from the President’s personal counsel that stated, ‘Client says thanks for what you do.'”

“On April 9, 2018, FBI agents working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed search warrants on Cohen’s home, hotel room, and office. That day, the President spoke to reporters and said that he had ‘just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys-a good man.’ The President called the searches ‘a real disgrace’ and said, ‘It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.’ Cohen said that after the searches he was concerned that he was ‘an open book,’ that he did not want issues arising from the payments to women to ‘come out,’ and that his false statements to Congress were ‘a big concern.'”

Cohen also testified before Congress, but later the FBI executed search warrants on his home. Cohen still stuck to the “party lines” but started talking about possible pardons in light of the searches that happened in his home.

On August 21, 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to eight felony charges, including two counts of campaign-finance violations based on the payments he had made during the final weeks of the campaign to women who said they had affairs with the resident. During the plea hearing, Cohen stated that he had worked ‘at the direction of’ the candidate in making those payments. The next day, the President contrasted Cohen’s cooperation with Manafort’s refusal to cooperate, tweeting, ‘I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen , he refused to “break”-make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!'”

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