President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer maintains that the then-presidential candidate knew in advance of a meeting with Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, which took place in June 2016 in the Trump Tower.
According to sources, the lawyer, Michael Cohen, is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, in a clear contradiction to denials made by President Trump, his son Trump Jr. and administration officials regarding the President’s knowledge of the meeting.
Cohen maintains Trump Jr. informed his father of the offer made by the Russians and that he was present when that happened. Sources say Trump gave the permission for the meeting to happen. However, they added Cohen doesn’t possess any evidence to support his claims, CNN writes.
Last year, Cohen testified to two Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election but didn’t testify that Trump had advance knowledge of the meeting.
President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, attacked Cohen for his unfounded claims, saying that he has been “lying all week, he’s been lying for years,” adding that Cohen has no credibility.
“Michael Cohen can’t be believed unless it’s corroborated five times. I talked to the President about this at length before as well as other witnesses and it’s not true,” Giuliani also said. “Why would you expect it would be true from someone like Cohen? A lawyer who would tape their own client is a lawyer without any character.”
Last week, it was disclosed that Cohen had secretly recorded Trump when they were discussing a hush-money payment for Playboy model Karen McDougal two years ago.
Giuliani also maintained that the reason Cohen was offering such an assertion at this point in the investigation was that he had nothing else to give. “I don’t think anybody believes that,” he added. He further noted that he has spoken with the other people who were present during the meeting that Cohen was referring to, saying they can corroborate that Trump Jr. did not talk about the meeting with his father.