Michael Cohen privately told lawmakers earlier this year that Jay Sekulow, Trump’s current attorney, asked him to falsely testify to Congress that negotiations to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended on January 31, 2016, according to a person familiar with Cohen’s closed-door interview.
The negotiations actually continued through June 2016, and Cohen briefed Trump and his family repeatedly on the progress, Cohen told the House Intelligence Committee during an open hearing in February.
The House Intelligence Committee Monday released the transcript of Cohen’s closed-door interviews with the panel earlier this year.
President Donald Trump’s former fixer and attorney, who is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for lying to Congress and financial crimes, testified for more than 16 hours over a two-day period earlier this year. Cohen also provided documents showing that that one of Trump’s attorneys, Jay Sekulow, edited Cohen’s false 2017 testimony to the committee about the negotiations for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Sekulow has denied the claim, but Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) recently asked Sekulow and other Trump attorneys to hand over documents as part of the committee’s investigation into Cohen’s allegations surrounding the Trump Tower Moscow project. Cohen admitted that he lied to congressional committees about when the Trump Tower Moscow effort “fizzled.”
Sekulow notably declined to share his side of the story with special counsel Robert Mueller, who revealed his efforts to probe the matter in his extensive report released last month.
Schiff said after Cohen’s final appearance in March that the former Trump attorney and fixer “cooperated fully” and “answered every question we asked of him.” He also said Cohen “provided important testimony and materials relevant to the core of our probe and that will allow us to advance our investigation substantially.”
In his public testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee in February, Cohen said he briefed Trump Jr. several times about the status of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, despite Trump Jr.’s public statements to the contrary.
Cohen also implied to lawmakers that Trump Jr. was keeping his father in the loop about a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer in June 2016. That lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, offered dirt on Hillary Clinton ahead of the meeting.
“Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of significance alone and certainly not without checking with his father,” Cohen told lawmakers.
The Intelligence Committee isn’t the only congressional panel seeking to corroborate allegations made by Cohen.
The Oversight Committee issued a subpoena for Trump’s financial records from an accounting firm, stemming from Cohen’s claim that Trump artificially inflated and deflated the values of his assets to suit his financial benefit. Trump has sued to block that subpoena.
Republicans have argued that Cohen’s admitted lies discredit his testimony about Trump Tower Moscow and other transgressions of which he has accused the president.
Cohen’s deception materialized in the House GOP’s 2018 report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. In that report, which Democrats dismissed as a partisan effort to protect Trump, they cited Cohen extensively for his knowledge of the Trump Tower Moscow Deal.
“It appears the Trump Tower Moscow project failed in January 2016,” according to the report. “The Committee determined that the Trump Tower Moscow project did not progress beyond an early developmental phase, and that this potential licensing dear was not related to the Trump campaign.”
The post Michael Cohen told lawmakers that Trump’s attorney asked him to give false testimony appeared first on Politico.