The problem now, it seems, is that such a deal was not all that it was reported to be. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted as much in a Manhattan court when he talked about having lied to Congress, an actual crime.
The details as of this writing are very confusing as what exactly Michael Cohen lied about have not been published, but the mainstream media is crowing that one of President Trump’s associates has finally been charged with something, anything, having to do with Russia in the 2016 presidential election time frame.
At the court hearing, Mr. Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress about his efforts to build a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign. That real estate deal has been a focus of the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives.
In written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Cohen played down the extent of his contact with the Kremlin about the potential project and made other false statements about the negotiations, which never led to a final deal.
Mr. Cohen’s new guilty plea comes at a particularly perilous time for Mr. Trump, whose presidency has been threatened by Mr. Cohen’s statements to investigators. In recent days, the president and his lawyers have increased their attacks on the Justice Department and the special counsel’s office.
The expected new guilty plea in Federal District Court marks the first time the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has charged Mr. Cohen. In exchange for pleading guilty and continuing to cooperate with Mr. Mueller, he may hope to receive a lighter sentence than he otherwise would.
There is something very strange about all of this, as there has been absolutely no proof offered that the Trump campaign had any inappropriate contact with Russian officials. Now the lawyer admits to lying to Congress in a written statement about a business deal that has not been proven either.
Witch hunt indeed. The whole story is getting stranger by the moment.