Michael Cohen, one of Donald Trump's closest advisers for more than a decade, pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump tower in Russian Federation.
The lawyer participated in a closed-door testimony before Congress a year ago where he reportedly made false statements about a Trump Tower project in Moscow that was undertaken in 2015 and 2016, CNBC reports.
"I made these misstatements to be consistent with individual 1's political messaging and out of loyalty to individual 1", Cohen said in court.
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He derided Cohen for co-operating with prosecutors and turning state's evidence, which is a staple of the criminal justice system. These charges were not brought against Cohen by the Mueller probe.
Cohen's lawyer told the judge the plea deal involved co-operation with Mr Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the United States election.
But after pleading guilty, he said his conscience required him to tell the truth about Trump.
"This was exclusively a real estate deal and nothing more".
Cohen had also disclosed that Trump was personally aware of the deal, signing a letter of intent and discussing it with Cohen on two other occasions.
He had also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion, as well as bank fraud, related to his personal finances and management of taxi medallions and faces sentencing later this month.