Cohen Claims Trump’s Lawyer Encouraged Misleading Congress About the Trump Tower Moscow

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, told Congress it was Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, who suggested he tell lawmakers that the negotiations for Trump Tower Moscow ended in January 2016, even though they continued for months after that.

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday released two transcripts of closed-door interviews with Cohen from earlier this year, along with some exhibits from the testimony. Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence, pleaded guilty last year and admitted that he misled Congress by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower Moscow project months earlier than he actually did.

During the interviews, legislators repeatedly pressed Cohen for details on his false statement to Congress and tried to nail down whether he was directly told by Trump’s legal team to mislead the committee, but the transcripts provide no slam-dunk evidence.

Cohen offered no direct proof that Sekulow knew the January 2016 date we false, but Cohen claims Sekulow should have known because he had access to relevant emails and other communications as part of an agreement between defense attorneys to share documents.

Attorneys for Sekulow said Cohen’s testimony is not credible.

“Michael Cohen’s alleged statements are more of the same from him and confirm the observations of prosecutors in the Southern District of New York that Cohen’s ‘instinct to blame others is strong,’” Sekulow’s lawyers, Jane Serene Raskin and Patrick Strawbridge, said in a statement. “That this or any Committee would rely on the word of Michael Cohen for any purpose – much less to try and pierce the attorney-client privilege and discover confidential communications of four respected lawyers – defies logic, well-established law and common sense.”

Cohen said Trump also knew the negotiations had continued far beyond January 2016 and that Sekulow had seen his testimony in advance of submission. He also claimed that Sekulow edited the statement and that both Sekulow and Trump approved it. Cohen also provided documents to the intelligence panel that showed the editing process for the statement.

When asked whether Trump had read his “false written testimony,” Cohen replied: “Mr. Sekulow said that he spoke to the client and that, you know, the client likes it and that it’s good.”

In addition to the questioning about his false testimony, much of the discussion during Cohen’s interviews related to pardons and whether Trump or his lawyers were dangling them in front of Cohen as the government began to investigate him.

Cohen told the …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

      

House Panel Releases Transcripts of Michael Cohen’s Closed-Door Interviews

(WASHINGTON) — The House intelligence committee on Monday released two transcripts of closed-door interviews with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, along with some exhibits from the testimony.

The committee’s decision to release the transcripts came two weeks after Cohen reported to federal prison for a three-year sentence. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and other crimes. He is the only person charged with a crime in connection with the hush-money payments made to women who allege they had affairs with Trump.

The transcripts are from interviews the panel conducted with Cohen in February and March. The vote to release them, which was held behind closed doors, was 12-7.

Much of the discussion during Cohen’s interview was related to pardons and whether Trump or his lawyers were dangling them in front of Cohen as the government began to investigate him. The lawmakers were also interested in talking to Cohen about a false statement he delivered to Congress in 2017 about a real estate project in Moscow, questioning who may have edited that statement and whether he was directed to lie. Cohen provided documents to the panel about the editing process leading up to the statement.

In public testimony before a separate House committee in February, Cohen said Trump’s attorneys, including Jay Sekulow, had reviewed and edited the written statement about the Moscow project. Cohen acknowledged in a guilty plea last year that he misled lawmakers by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower Moscow project in January 2016, when in fact he pursued it for months after that as Trump campaigned for the presidency.

Cohen became a key figure in congressional investigations after turning on his former boss and cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Mueller’s final report, released in April, examined conduct related to Cohen as one of several possible instances of obstruction of justice by the president.

Mueller’s team wrote in its report that Cohen told one of Trump’s personal lawyers after an FBI raid on his home that “he had been a loyal lawyer and servant” and “he was in an uncomfortable position and wanted to know what was in it for him.”

The report says that Cohen was told he “should stay on message, that the investigation was a witch hunt, and that everything would be fine.” Cohen understood that to mean he would be “taken care of” if he stayed on message, …read more

Source:: Time – Politics

      

House Panel Releases Transcripts of Michael Cohen’s Closed-Door Interviews

(WASHINGTON) — The House intelligence committee on Monday released two transcripts of closed-door interviews with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, along with some exhibits from the testimony.

The committee’s decision to release the transcripts came two weeks after Cohen reported to federal prison for a three-year sentence. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and other crimes. He is the only person charged with a crime in connection with the hush-money payments made to women who allege they had affairs with Trump.

The transcripts are from interviews the panel conducted with Cohen in February and March. The vote to release them, which was held behind closed doors, was 12-7.

Much of the discussion during Cohen’s interview was related to pardons and whether Trump or his lawyers were dangling them in front of Cohen as the government began to investigate him. The lawmakers were also interested in talking to Cohen about a false statement he delivered to Congress in 2017 about a real estate project in Moscow, questioning who may have edited that statement and whether he was directed to lie. Cohen provided documents to the panel about the editing process leading up to the statement.

In public testimony before a separate House committee in February, Cohen said Trump’s attorneys, including Jay Sekulow, had reviewed and edited the written statement about the Moscow project. Cohen acknowledged in a guilty plea last year that he misled lawmakers by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower Moscow project in January 2016, when in fact he pursued it for months after that as Trump campaigned for the presidency.

Cohen became a key figure in congressional investigations after turning on his former boss and cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Mueller’s final report, released in April, examined conduct related to Cohen as one of several possible instances of obstruction of justice by the president.

Mueller’s team wrote in its report that Cohen told one of Trump’s personal lawyers after an FBI raid on his home that “he had been a loyal lawyer and servant” and “he was in an uncomfortable position and wanted to know what was in it for him.”

The report says that Cohen was told he “should stay on message, that the investigation was a witch hunt, and that everything would be fine.” Cohen understood that to mean he would be “taken care of” if he stayed on message, …read more

Source:: Time – Politics