The plot thickens. It looks like Michael Cohen and his Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis got busted telling a whopper.
The story has yet to truly unfold but one thing that should terrify Mueller and the rest on the left trying to take down Trump is what happened during the Manafort trial.
The Manafort jury basically didn’t believe anything Rick Gates, another flipper, said. From Axios:
Michael Cohen told lawmakers last year, in sworn testimony, that he didn’t know whether then-candidate Donald Trump had foreknowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, three sources with knowledge of Cohen’s testimony tell Axios.
The big picture: And Cohen still doesn’t know whether Trump knew about the infamous meeting, according to Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis. “Nothing has changed,” he told Axios. News reports last month said Cohen was willing to assert to special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump did know about the meeting in advance.
Why it matters: Questions about Cohen’s testimony about the meeting may earn him a return trip to Capitol Hill.
What’s new: This information about what Cohen told Congress about Trump — reported here for the first time — colors in the gaps of a joint statement Tuesday by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chair Sen. Mark Warner that got buried under the Cohen-Manafort news avalanche.
“[W]e recently re-engaged with Mr. Cohen and his team following press reports that suggested he had advance knowledge of the June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and Russian lawyers at Trump Tower,” the statement says.
“Mr. Cohen had testified before the Committee that he was not aware of the meeting prior to its disclosure in the press last summer.”
“[T]he Committee inquired of Mr. Cohen’s legal team as to whether Mr. Cohen stood by his testimony. They responded that he did stand by his testimony.”
“We hope … Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement will not preclude his appearance before our Committee as needed for our ongoing investigation.”
The backstory: Last year, when questioned under oath by lawmakers on the House intelligence committee, Cohen not only said that he himself had no foreknowledge of the meeting but that he had no idea whether Trump did either, according to three sources with knowledge of his testimony.
Much like former White House aide Omarosa, Michael Cohen’s damning story about President Trump seems to be unraveling.
As you well know, Cohen struck a plea deal this week that, while reducing likely legal punishment for breaking federal law, also implicated Trump in the crime of not disclosing a campaign contribution, which was in the form of hush money paid to a mistress. And while Cohen was once a loyal soldier of Trump, he’s now turned on his former boss in the most ignominious manner, citing his father’s experience in the Holocaust to justify his treachery.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Cohen’s credibility is about to take another tumble. Last month, Cohen told media outlets he was willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew about the controversial Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that some speculate is a sign of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Yet, Cohen testified before Congress that he has no idea if Trump knew of the meeting beforehand.
So let’s get this straight: Cohen reportedly told media outlets that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting beforehand, a clear implication of possible Russian collusion. Yet now his lawyer is denying the claim after it came out that he testified under oath contradicting that claim.
So either he lied under oath, or lied now.