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Paul Ryan says Michael Cohen should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law

Trump calls Michael Cohen a "weak person"

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty this morning to lying to Congress, should "prosecuted to the extent of the law." In a Washington Post interview, Ryan also said he believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job is not in jeopardy.

"I believe he will be left to do his job," Ryan said. "If I were really, really stressed about Bob Mueller, I'd do something. I'm not."

Ryan's interview, one of his last as he prepares to leave Congress after 20 years, came as Cohen made a surprise appearance Thursday in a New York federal courtroom. Cohen admitted to making false statements in 2017 to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Ryan said the the plea showed that Congress was properly conducting oversight by bringing Cohen in to testify under oath under penalty of felony.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to other federal charges involving his taxi businesses, bank fraud and his campaign work for Mr. Trump.

Asked more broadly about whether Mueller's job was under threat from President Trump, Ryan said Mueller "is going to be left alone." He declined to say whether he has spoken to the president about the matter. "I have a successful relationship because I keep a lot of conversations between us," Ryan said.

Mr. Trump had plenty to say about Cohen on the White House South Lawn Thursday en route to Argentina for the G-20.

"He is a weak person and not very smart," Mr. Trump said about his former lawyer and fixer. "He has himself a big prison sentence and he is trying to get a much lesser prison sentence by making up a story."

Democrats in the Senate are pushing for legislation that would help protect the special counsel by providing a 10-day window to seek review if he were fired, and ensure that the person was fired for good cause. The bill was blocked last night in the Senate for the second time.