Donald Trump's ex-lawyer pleads guilty over lies

  • 30/11/2018

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, has pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with the federal investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US election.

Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday to one count of making false statements to congress in its investigation into whether Mr Trump's campaign worked with Russia to sway the election.

Cohen, who made a surprise appearance, said in the hearing he submitted a false written statement about a Trump Organization real estate project in Moscow.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud in a case brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

A guilty plea may signal Cohen is hoping for a lighter sentence on the charges in exchange for continuing to co-operate with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1," Cohen said in court. He has previously identified individual one as Mr Trump.

Mr Trump took to Twitter to again call the Russia investigation, which has had several indictments and guilty pleas from people involving in his presidential campaign, an "illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt (sic)".

"It has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!" he wrote, without evidence, also accusing rival Hillary Clinton of "atrocious, and perhaps subversive crimes".

Cohen has previously admitted tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, as well as making hush-money payments to cover up Mr Trump's alleged affairs.

Reuters / Newshub.