Michael Cohen, the former attorney for President Donald Trump, has reportedly given Congress new evidence showing he was directed to lie about his negotiations on a real estate deal in Moscow.
Cohen’s attorneys submitted a 12-page memo to lawmakers showing Trump “encouraged” his longtime personal lawyer to lie and “say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2016, using ‘code’ language,” reported Buzzfeed News.
The president told Cohen, according to the documents, during multiple conversations that “there was ‘no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia’ after the start of the campaign.’”
The memo cites a January report by BuzzFeed News, which a spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office made the highly unusual point of pushing back against, saying the website’s reporting about the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations was not accurate, although the disputed claims were never specified.
“Note, this is not far off the words used by the Buzzfeed reporters,” the memo says in a footnote, “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.'”
Many Democratic lawmakers called for Trump’s impeachment after BuzzFeed News reported that Trump instructed Cohen to lie about negotiations continuing well into his presidential campaign, which the former Trump Organization lawyer now claims he has evidence to prove.
Cohen also told the House Oversight Committee during public testimony in February that Trump had directed him to lie using coded language.
“Cohen explained that he was, in effect, instructed to lie about the January 31, 2016 date through the use of Trump code words that could only be interpreted as an instruction or ‘directive,’” the memo says, “to cover-up the fact that Cohen had been in contact with Russians during most of the presidential campaign, from the day of the Iowa caucuses, February 1, through all the primaries and caucuses and until June 2016, after Trump had become the putative Republican nominee by assembling a majority of delegates.”
The memo also claims that Cohen received a call from Trump’s attorney after he lied to Congress — which he later pleaded guilty to — thanking him for his false testimony.
“Trump’s attorney … congratulated him on the testimony — and said his ‘client’ was happy with Cohen’s testimony,” the memo says.