March 4, 2019

FACTS ARE SUBBORN THINGS::

Trump Told Cohen to Lie to Congress About "Collusion" in General--Not just the Moscow Tower deal (Ryan Goodman, March 4, 2019, just Security)

One of the jaw-dropping moments last Wednesday was the revelation of a White House meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2017 between President Trump, Cohen, and another of Trump's personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow. The purpose of the May 2017 meeting, according to apparently independent information in the possession of Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and confirmed by Cohen, included Cohen's upcoming testimony before the House. What did President Trump tell Cohen to do in his testimony? Cohen testified, "He wanted me to cooperate. He also wanted just to ensure, I'm making the statement and I said it in my testimony, there is no Russia, there is no collusion, there is no -- there is no deal" (my emphasis added).

Connolly followed up by asking Cohen if the President coached him in how to testify. Cohen replied that Trump does not make these messages directly but the message was clear. Cohen said, "I know what he means because I've been around him for so long. So, if you're asking me whether or not that's the message, that's staying on point, that's the party line that he created that so many others are now touting, yes, that's the message that he wanted to reinforce." Cohen repeated the line that Trump told Cohen to maintain, "What he does is, again, 'Michael, there's no Russia, there's no collusion, there's no involvement, there's no interference'" (emphasis added).

CONNOLLY: In any way, final question, did the president, in any way from your point of view, coach you, in terms of how to respond to questions or the content of your testimony before a House Committee?

COHEN: Again, it's a difficult answer, because he doesn't tell you what he wants. What he does is, again, 'Michael, there's no Russia, there's no collusion, there's no involvement, there's no interference.'

I know what he means because I've been around him for so long. So, if you're asking me whether or not that's the message, that's staying on point, that's the party line that he created that so many others are now touting, yes, that's the message that he wanted to reinforce.

Cohen elaborated how Trump gives subordinates directions in response to a question by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mi). "He doesn't give you orders. He speaks in a code and I understand the code, because I've been around him for a decade," Cohen said.

AMASH: All right, but you suggested that the president sometimes communicates his wished indirectly. For example you said, quote, "Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress, that's not how he operates." End quote. Can you explain how he does this?

COHEN: Sure. It would be no different if I said, that's the nicest looking tie I've ever seen, isn't it? What are you going do? Are you going fight with him? The answer is no. So, you say, yes, it's the nicest looking tie I've ever seen. That's how he speaks. He doesn't give you questions. He doesn't give you orders. He speaks in a code and I understand the code, because I've been around him for a decade.

Cohen's sentencing memorandum, which he submitted to the federal court, flatly states that Cohen's conduct involving false statements to Congress on the Moscow Tower deal "was intended to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives." The term "directives" also fits Cohen's description of how Trump told Cohen, during the May 2017 meeting, to testify about collusion.

Posted by at March 4, 2019 4:49 PM

  

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