Michael Cohen, the president's former longtime attorney and fixer, is claiming that Donald Trump knew and approved of a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer - and he is willing to tell investigators about what he knows, according to multiple reports.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Thursday: "As far as Michael Cohen's credibility, Rudy Giuliani described him as a proven liar, but all of his lies in the past were on behalf of Donald Trump".
If Trump knew beforehand and approved the meeting, he was knowingly accepting the assistance of a foreign power in the election - arguably a violation of US campaign finance law, which prohibits all foreign sources of contributions and benefits in-kind - and he or other campaign aides may have gone on afterward to continue to work with that same foreign power. Mr Cohen does not have a recording of the incident, according to CNN, but is prepared to given evidence on the matter to Robert Mueller, the independent "special counsel" leading the Russian election meddling investigation.
"He's been lying all week".
President Trump's current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told NBC that "Michael Cohen is not credible".
United States president Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said that Trump knew in advance about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower at which Russians offered to provide damaging information about his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, CNN reported on Thursday. His attorney Lanny Davis declined to comment.
"Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations", said Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Donald Trump Jr. Trump said during a morning tweet storm.
The US president's campaign had been told the Russian lawyer had dirt on Mrs Clinton to share.
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These claims contradict ongoing statements from the president, his son and their legal teams that Mr Trump knew nothing about the June meeting. The Russian government said through intermediaries to Trump Jr. that it was supporting Trump and wanted to help the campaign.
Cohen did not specifically refer to the alleged exchange between Trump and his eldest son during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee past year, according to people familiar with his appearance. There have been earlier suggestions, from elsewhere, that Trump knew about the meeting.
Trump's knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting was first reported Thursday by CNN. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?).
The two sides have been negotiating all year, even after Trump changed legal teams and Mueller pursued indictments of Russian officials accused to seeking to interfere in the 2016 elections. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort were also present at the meeting. Trump has denied having an affair with Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model.
Audio of that tape includes Cohen mentioning to Trump that he and Trump Organization CFO Weisselberg had discussed setting up a company to make that payment.
Mueller, who has led the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling, is also looking into any links between the Russians and the Trump presidential campaign.The probe is also scrutinizing whether Trump sought to obstruct justice by firing Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in 2017 and otherwise undermining other Justice Department officials.
He characterized Trump hiring and trusting Cohen as a "mistake", adding "anyone can Brutus Ceaser".