President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE's former personal attorney Michael Cohen on Thursday pleaded guilty for misstatements he made to Congress while testifying about his contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen appeared in a federal court in Manhattan after reaching a deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE.
He pleaded guilty to making a false statement about the effort to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign while testifying before Congress, according to court documents, and made false statements about the timing of the project.
Cohen made the misstatements while testifying before two congressional intelligence committees in 2017.
He also agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigation, according to a plea deal released by the special counsel.
The plea from Cohen marks the first time he has been charged by Mueller as part of the special counsel's investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.
President Trump blasted Cohen as a “weak person” following the reports of his pleading guilty.
The president accused Cohen of “lying” in order to receive a reduced sentence.
“He’s trying to get a much lesser sentence by making up the story,” Trump said, adding “everybody knows about this deal.”
The move from Cohen to plead guilty comes two weeks before he is expected to be sentenced for guilty pleas he made earlier this year in a case in the Southern District of New York.
Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes in August, including violating campaign finance law. Cohen suggested that he violated the law at Trump’s direction.
The charges stemmed from a $130,000 nondisclosure payment he gave to Stormy Daniels to silence the adult-film star, who claims to have had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
Cohen has reportedly spent more than 70 hours in interviews with Mueller’s office since then. Sources familiar with the discussion told ABC News that the interviews have focused on the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians and Trump’s business ties to the country.
The news about Cohen comes as Trump continues to lash out at Mueller over the investigation. Trump has repeatedly called the probe a "witch hunt" and a "disgrace."
"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?" he tweeted early Thursday. "After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!"
Mueller's team in a court filing on Monday asserted that former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Yellen should utilize the resources available before pushing new regulations Huawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying MORE violated his plea agreement. The office alleges that he “committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement.”
The allegation comes after Manafort agreed to cooperate in exchange for a plea deal that would help him avoid a second trial. Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud earlier this year.
Updated at 10:52 a.m.