Recall all of the outrage over reports earlier this year claiming that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was instructed by his former boss to lie to Congress about the details surrounding negotiations of a Trump Tower project in Russia that never got off the ground.
While Cohen claimed President Donald Trump never directly told him to lie, he nevertheless strongly suggested that such an instruction was implied by coded language used by the president.
Recently released testimony from Cohen, however, reveals that he admitted to Congress that it was at least “plausible” that Trump hadn’t spoken in code at all, but was instead being straightforward in instructing Cohen to “cooperate” with Congress.
Contradictory claims abound
According to the Daily Caller, a transcript was released on Monday of Cohen’s closed-door March 6, 2019 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
Cohen’s response to a question about whether Trump was speaking in code or being transparent when he told Cohen to “cooperate” with Congress in a May 2017 Oval Office meeting seems to significantly undercut the previously adamant claim that Trump directly instructed Cohen to lie to Congress.
That claim was initially put forward by Buzzfeed in a highly disputed January 2019 article, one so questionable that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office felt compelled to issue a rare public statement denouncing its falsity.
Essentially, Cohen was found to have lied to Congress in 2017 about the details of the Trump Tower Moscow project. The claim that surfaced in 2019 suggested that Trump’s White House at the very least knew Cohen was going to lie to Congress and that Trump’s instruction for Cohen to “cooperate” with Congress was interpreted to mean he should indeed follow a deceptive course of action.
But during his March 6 closed-door testimony this year, Cohen was asked if it was “plausible” that he had misinterpreted the president’s instructions to him.
The congressional staffer inquired of Cohen, “And I’m just thinking maybe, perhaps, you had this code, but because he said cooperate, there’s nothing to be afraid of, cooperate, not that he said ‘nothing to be afraid of,’ but you see what l’m saying — cooperate, you know, there is no Russia, go forward, that is certainly a plausible explanation, no?”
Cohen replied, “It’s plausible.”
Michael Cohen is a known liar who has been caught engaging in blatant acts of dishonesty on numerous occasions.
This is but the latest contradiction to come from Cohen, and it should cast further doubt on everything uttered by him and render foolish any who take him at his word on anything without external verification.
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