In February of this year, Michael Cohen detailed to lawmakers, the crimes he had committed as Donald Trump’s lawyers. His bombshell testimony helped to connect Trump to senior Kremlin officials in Russia.
Now, Cohen would like to appear before the committee again with additional documents. According to a Buzzfeed report, Cohen is willing to tell lawmakers that Trump, “instructed him to lie,” during his 2017 testimony.
Cohen’s lawyers have sent a 12 page memo to House Democrats. The lawyers say that Trump:
“Encouraged Cohen to lie and say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2016 using ‘code’ language — telling Cohen during various conversations that there was ‘no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia’ after the start of the campaign.”
The memo also attempts to reject William Barr’s Mueller interpretation. The Attorney General had written that the information in the Mueller report did not prove Russian collusion.
There are over 100 pages of documents attached to Cohen’s memos. These documents, “claim to lay bare a ‘conspiracy to collude’ with the Russian government during the campaign, along with an array of other crimes by the president.
According to Cohen, he only recently got access to a hard drive containing over 14 million files pertinent to the investigation. The files were being held by the government during the ex-lawyer’s February testimony.
The Cohen memo also includes somewhat of a reprieve for Buzzfeed. In January, Buzzfeed published a story claiming that Trump has instructed Cohen to lie. This story prompted Mueller’s office to respond, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”
A footnote in Cohen’s memo reads:
“Note, this is not far off the words used by the Buzzfeed reporters — that Trump “directed” Cohen to lie in his congressional testimony vs. Cohen’s false statement to Congress, i.e., there were no Russian contacts after January 31, 2016, the day before the Iowa caucuses. Cohen’s false statement was made “in accordance with … [Trump’s] directives.”
Cohen is set to begin his prison sentence in the next month. His lawyers write that he is willing to continue talking, “We are writing this letter in the hope that you will support Mr. Cohen’s value as a cooperating witness and the need for him to be readily accessible.”
The lawyers also feel that sending Cohen to jail now, could prevent lawmakers from finding out more about Trump. They write, “For him to surrender in 30 days would be a detriment to committees search for truth, as well as a miscarriage of justice.”
The Democratic lawmkers who received the memo have yet to respond.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.