Cohen says Trump knew about Trump Tower meeting with Russians

Charlene Craig
July 31, 2018

In short, if Cohen is determined to be telling the truth and Trump had been briefed about the Russians' offer of help before Trump Jr. convened the June 2016 meeting, it could mean Trump knew then that Russia was listening and that he expected it to act as it did.

"Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations", said Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Donald Trump Jr.

Rudy Giuliani called Michael Cohen a "pathological liar" in a heated respond to reports that Cohen had claimed that Donald Trump personally approved a meeting between his campaign staff and representatives of Russian Federation.

As for Cohen's claims about the Donald Trump Jr., meeting, the president stressed that Cohen's lawyer is Lanny Davis, who previously worked for President Bill Clinton as well as Hillary Clinton. "Why would you expect it would be true from someone like Cohen?"

Giuliani added in his Thursday interview that he didn't "see how he [Cohen] has any credibility", referring to Cohen's lawyer's releasing a tape earlier this week of what appeared to be a secretly recorded conversation between Cohen and Trump. So even if Cohen were to make a deal with the feds in exchange for leniency involving his other woes in NY, what might be the practical outcome?

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On Friday, Trump lashed out at Cohen without naming him, saying on Twitter: "Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?)".

Giuliani also confirmed that Trump and Cohen have formally severed legal ties.

Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr.at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. The emails, which were later released, show that Trump Jr. was offered documents and information that "would incriminate" Clinton and that the offer was "part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump".

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump, and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

But the Justice Department does not believe it can indict a sitting president, as Mueller has reportedly restated to Giuliani and Trump's other lawyers.

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The Thursday report of Cohen's claims is further proof that Cohen could flip on Trump in the Mueller investigation - which would be a nightmare for Trump's legal team. The sources said Cohen does not have any evidence, including tapes, to back up his claims.

On Sunday, Giuliani told CBS that talks since have been interrupted by other issues, including the Cohen matter and Mueller's prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

She has denied acting on behalf of Russian leadership during the meeting at Trump Tower, saying she operates "independently of any governmental bodies". Those people denied that Trump had contemporaneous knowledge of the meeting on more than 15 occasions, according to CNN's analysis. But he also left open the possibility that Trump might have known but later forgot about it.

The person described Weisselberg as overseeing every dollar that went in and out of the Trump Organization - and as the individual who personally gave Trump updates on these matters.

Echoing his previous complaints, the President called Robert Mueller's investigation a "rigged witch hunt" under the control of "13 angry Democrats".

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