It turns out there’s a major reason that Donald Trump wants to undermine the credibility of the man that’s nearly turned out to be Congress’ star witness in the Russia investigation, Michael Cohen. The information that Cohen has, turned up from a deep dive search he did of his own records just before he submitted himself for prison, could be sufficient to make it so that Democrats have no choice but to impeach the President.
On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee released the transcript of Cohen’s closed-door testimony before that panel after the public Oversight testimony that broke daytime television rating records for news programming. Politico reports that a source familiar with that transcript told them that Jay Sekulow, the President’s current attorney, asked him to lie to Congress about when negotiations to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended. Cohen’s sentence was based partially on a conviction for lying to federal investigators about that fact, which he told them ended on January 31, 2016.
We have since learned from public testimony that this was not the case. But today’s release is the first we’ve learned of Cohen being overtly directed to lie, an act that Trump and his lawyers have fastidiously maintained was a decision made by Cohen himself.
And while Republicans in the House and Senate who continue to defend Trump insist that Cohen is, due to his conviction, an unreliable witness, the source that spoke to Politico says that the transcript indicates that Cohen provided actual documentation as proof of his claim about Sekulow. Cohen also provided written proof that Sekulow himself had edited Cohen’s testimony for the 2017 hearing which featured the lies he was convicted for.
There is simply no way for Trump to have been unaware of the edited testimony, and the fact that Sekulow declined to speak to Robert Mueller’s team during the special counsel investigation and give his side of the story breaks down the possibility of “plausible deniability.”
Add to all of this the fact that Donald Trump, Jr. will be testifying once again before Congress specifically about the things he’s known to have lied about in the past — namely, that he was unaware of all of this — and the evidence that Cohen provided to the Oversight Committee that he had, in fact, briefed Junior on a number of occasions, and this could spell obstruction charges all around.
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