All of Washington is fulminating and overflowing with adverbs to describe Michael Cohen's guilty plea to charges of lying to Congress. But let's keep in mind what Cohen did and did not say.
After 70 hours of grilling by Mueller's prosecutors — holding over his head a potentially lengthy sentence on his unrelated crimes in the taxi business and on his tax returns — what Cohen left out may be more important than what he said.
If Cohen didn't admit to something, under all that pressure, then we can probably take it to the bank that it didn't happen. Mueller's pressure and harassment are — in that respect — a kind of lie detector test.
Here's what Cohen did not say:
While he admitted to lying to Congress concerning the date of his various business transactions in Russia, he did not say that Trump told him to lie. Cohen, an experienced attorney used to protecting Trump's interests, likely realized that admitting he had business dealings on Trump's behalf with the Russians during or immediately before or after the election might lead to other questions, so he lied about it and pre-dated the questions. But he did so on his own. What does that have to do with Trump?