Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

The Russia Investigations: Will Michael Cohen Turn State's Evidence?

The Russia Investigations: Will Michael Cohen Turn State's Evidence?

The comments about whether Cohen's release of the tape violated attorney-client privilege comes as sources tell ABC News that Cohen claims Trump knew in advance about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign members and Russians who were expected to provide dirt on rival candidate Hillary Clinton.

CNN, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, said Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign.

"Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations", Trump Jr.'s attorney told the network.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace noted that Giuliani had praised Cohen before leaked tapes showed that the president's former attorney had recorded Trump admitting he knew about a hush payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Cohen's belief was perhaps fueled by his standing as a jack-of-all-trades, a self-described "fixer" for Trump who managed everything from real estate branding deals and hush money payments to assembling a diversity coalition during the 2016 campaign.

CNN first reported that Cohen has said that Trump knew in advance about the meeting and approved it going forward.

Michael Cohen in NY on May 30, 2018. "Why would you expect it would be true from someone like Cohen?"

He also told CNN: "He's been lying all week, he's been lying for years". "Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam", the President tweeted. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the senior Democrat on the panel, said if the reports are accurate, "it would suggest that Donald Trump Jr., may have misled Judiciary Committee staff about the meeting when he was interviewed last fall".

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Cohen has a lot more information to release, and he apparently doesn't care whether it puts Trump in harm's way. Giuliani went as far as to say Cohen was reimbursed up to $470,000 (later revising it down to $420,000).

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Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican , tweeted on Tuesday: "If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers". Juncker said the European Union already imports 35 percent of its natural gas from USA producers, but will work to buy more .

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Earlier this week, Lovato's representative released a statement saying she was "awake and with her family". An ET source says the 25-year-old singer has been telling her family she can get sober on her own.

Giuliani also said that they've hired multiple experts to review and analyze the recordings of conversations between Cohen and Trump.

Thursday night's news broke hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating Cohen for possible crimes.

Moreover, should Cohen choose to cooperate with investigators, including Mueller, it's not clear what information he has that they could not gather for themselves or have not already learned on their own. "We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump, Jr., and on his behalf".

Trump Jr. said he did not remember who he was calling. At the time, the Russian operation to covertly boost Trump's candidacy wasn't publicly known.

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he's not sure collusion with Russian Federation would be considered a crime, marking a sharp advancement of the President's longtime defense that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow. They also note that two days before the meeting, Trump mysteriously announced plans to give a "major speech" about Clinton's scandals. Trump has denied having had an encounter with Daniels.

Axios reported that Bannon does not have first-hand knowledge about whether Trump Jr. told his father, and Bannon later said his "treasonous" remark was directed at Manafort and not Trump Jr.

Trump has repeatedly raged that the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt" and that there was "no collusion" with Russians by his campaign.

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