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Thread: Cohen just dropped the collusion bombshell in the Russia investigation

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Cohen just dropped the collusion bombshell in the Russia investigation

    Michael Cohen just dropped a collusion bombshell in the Russia investigation

    Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
    Updated 11:13 PM ET, Thu July 26, 2018

    (CNN)This may be the most important paragraph of Donald Trump's presidency:

    "Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said."
    Holy crap.

    Let's take a quick step back for some context. The June 2016 meeting between a group of Russians and the top brass of the Trump campaign, including the candidate's eldest son and son-in-law, has long been at the center of questions -- from special counsel Robert Mueller and others -- about whether there was any sort of collusion between a foreign country and the Trump campaign in 2016. When news of the meeting first broke, Donald Trump Jr. insisted it was a brief and unimportant gathering focused on an obscure adoption law that the Russians wanted changed.


    But as the story came into closer focus, it became clear that the genesis of the meeting was a promise on behalf of the Russians, by a go-between named Rob Goldstone, that they had dirt on Hillary Clinton that they wanted to pass along to the Trump brain trust. "Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer," Trump Jr. wrote in an email to Goldstone about the promised dirt.


    We also later learned that Trump himself had been involved in the crafting of his son's initial statement to the media about the meeting, a revelation that contradicted past claims that he was uninvolved. In June, The New York Times revealed that not only had the President known about the statement, but that he had dictated himself.


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    Which brings us to this allegation regarding when Trump knew -- and if he knew -- about the Trump Tower meeting before it happened.

    Trump himself has been absolutely conclusive that he did not have any foreknowledge of the meeting. "No, I didn't know anything about the meeting," he told The New York Times during an interview in July 2017. "It must have been a very important -- must have been a very unimportant meeting. ... No, nobody told me. I didn't know noth-- It's a very unimportant -- sounded like a very unimportant meeting.

    Because I never even heard about it."


    Trump Jr. said much the same during a behind-closed-doors meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "No, I wouldn't have wasted his time with it," Trump Jr. said when asked whether his father knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting in advance. (The testimony was released publicly.)


    So. Someone is not telling the truth here. If Cohen can make good on his allegation that Trump knew about the meeting prior to it happening -- and perhaps provide corroborating witnesses to that effect -- it would not only prove the denials by the President and his son wrong, but it would be the biggest step to date in proving (or at least suggesting) real collusion between the Trump team and the Russians.

    If Cohen is bluffing or can't deliver what he claims, then this is the political equivalent of Al Capone's vault -- much ado about nothing.


    The problem here is that neither Trump nor Cohen have a stellar record when it comes to facts. Trump said more than 3,000 untrue or misleading things in just his first 466 days in office, according to The Washington Post's Fact-Checker blog. And Cohen endeared himself to Trump over the years by a demonstrated willingness to say and do whatever it took to solve problems for his boss. (Remember that Cohen insisted Trump knew nothing of the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels just 11 days before the 2016 election, even though it later came out that Trump had reimbursed him for that payment.)


    In the immediate aftermath of the Cohen bombshell -- or, better put, the potential Cohen bombshell -- Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani sat down with CNN's Chris Cuomo to offer a rebuttal. And it consisted entirely of questioning Cohen's credibility.

    "I expected something like this from Cohen," Giuliani said. "He's been lying all week. He's been lying for years."


    Later, Giuliani added: "I don't see how he has any credibility."


    The potential problem with that argument is that for those "years" that Giuliani is referring to, Cohen was one of Trump's closest advisers. In fact, up until Cohen made clear in an interview earlier this month with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that his loyalty to Trump was fading, the President was defending Cohen on Twitter and insisting that he would never "flip." It's only in the last few days -- first with the release of an audio tape of Trump and Cohen chatting about former Playboy model Karen McDougal and now this allegation -- that the Trump team has turned on Cohen so aggressively.


    Knowing that Cohen's credibility is everything at this point, his legal team -- led by Lanny Davis -- has been on a bit of a public relations push of late, arguing that Trump's former fixer is a changed man. "This man has turned a corner in his life, has hit a reset button, and he's now dedicated to telling the truth," Davis told Cuomo earlier this week.


    There are now two major questions that matter going forward on this story:


    1. Will Cohen actually tell Mueller what he knows about the alleged foreknowledge Trump had of the June 2016 meeting?
    2. If he does, will the case Cohen can make be enough to convince Mueller? Or does Mueller find the Trump denials more credible?


    In short: Where have you gone, Robert Mueller? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/26/polit...ing/index.html

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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    There was absolutely nothing wrong with talking to these people. there was nothing wrong with meeting with these people, there was nothing wrong listening to any dirt they had on Hillary if they had it, there was no dirt as it turned out, and even if there was, there would have been nothing wrong with using it in the campaign. There is nothing wrong with Trump knowing about if he knew about it, there is nothing wrong with anyone telling him about it if someone did.
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    Giuliani: Cohen’s Trump Jr. Story ‘Didn’t Happen’ – He’s ‘Been Lying for Years’

    23







    26 Jul 20181,953On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” Trump legal team member Rudy Giuliani reacted to reports that Michael Cohen is willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump knew about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians prior to the meeting and approved of the meeting by saying that Cohen has no credibility and has “been lying for years.”


    Giuliani said, “I expected something like this from Cohen. He’s been lying all week…he’s been lying for years. I mean, the tapes that we have demonstrate any number of very serious lies by him back a year and a half ago, including his fooling people, hiding tape recordings, telling them they weren’t recorded, lying to their face, breaking faith with them, taping his client, which is a disbarrable offense. I don’t see how he has any credibility. This is basically if you had a trial, and there won’t be a trial here, but if you had a trial, you would say, well, which lie do you want to pick? You want to pick the first lie, the second lie, or maybe some new lie? There’s nobody that I know that knows him that hasn’t warned me that if he’s — his back is up against the wall, he’ll lie like crazy, because he’s lied all his life.”

    https://www.breitbart.com/video/2018/07/26/giuliani-cohens-trump-jr-story-didnt-happen-hes-been-lying-for-years/

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I sort of understand why Guiliani thinks he's got to go after Cohen, but personally, I don't think Cohen is a bad guy, I think he's a guy who has had his life ruined by Robert Mueller and the US Department of Justice because he's a friend and associate of Donald Trump, who has a DemoQuack scoundrel lawyer using him and his situation for political purposes to hurt the President.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Lying to a federal agent is a serious federal crime. - Shouse Law Group
    https://www.shouselaw.com/lying-to-a-federal-agent-during-an-investigation-is-a-seri...
    Feb 5, 2016 - Lying to a Federal Agent During an Investigation is a Serious Crime ... any other federal agency while they are
    conducting a criminal investigation, ... but almost any interaction with an agent of the federal government.
    ---------------------------------

    Lying to a Federal Agent During an Investigation is a Serious Crime

    Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 05, 2016 | 0 Comments



    If you lie to an agent from the FBI, DEA, or any other federal agency while they are conducting a criminal investigation, you are a committing a serious federal crime.

    You definitely have a right to remain silent or consult with an attorney when speaking with federal agents or investigators. However, you do not have a right to lie to them.

    18 U.S. Code § 1001 makes it is a federal offense to:

    • knowingly and willfully;
    • make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; or
    • make or use any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement;
    • in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States.


    That broad language of that last clause means that the statute applies not only to federal investigations but almost any interaction with an agent of the federal government.

    The false statement must be "material" in order to be considered a violation of the law. A statement is “material” if it has the "natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing, the decision of the decision-making body to which it is addressed." United States v. Gaudin, 515 U.S. 506, 510 (1995).

    Lying about what you had for lunch would likely not count as “material.” Lying about the last time you spoke with the individual under investigation likely would.
    [/COLOR]

    For a long time, it was argued that there was an exception to criminal liability under 18 U.S.C. §1001 for a false statement that consisted of the mere denial of wrongdoing, the so-called "exculpatory no.''


    However, the United States Supreme Court rejected that argument in 1998, citing the broad language of the statute.

    Penalties

    If you lie to a federal agent and are convicted for a violation of 18 U.S. C. § 1001, you can be fined and sentenced to federal prison for up to five years. If, however, your lie involved international or domestic terrorism, you could be sentenced to up to 8 years in federal prison.

    https://www.shouselaw.com/lying-to-a...-serious-crime
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I don't think any federal agents have interviewed Michael Cohen.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    CNN is reporting that MSNBC is reporting as well as twitter posts by Lannie Davis, that Lannie Davis did NOT provide this information to the press. Lannie is the DemoQuack operative who Cohen has hired to represent him. So it's entirely possible that this is just more "fake news" and Cohen didn't say this to anyone. Slow down Rudy, don't attack Cohen on uncorroborated hearsay.

    Cohen testified months ago under oath with the House Intelligence Committee and later met with Senate staffers to prepare for a Senate Committee hearing and was asked specifically about his knowledge of the Trump Tower Meeting by the Senate staffers. So it doesn't make any sense that Cohen would say something like this now that conflicts with those testimonies and interviews to anonymous sources to leak it to the press.
    Last edited by Judy; 07-27-2018 at 05:21 AM.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Okay, the tape that was leaked to the press had been altered, cut, modified, according to Rudy and the forensic person CNN interviewed. Now, who has the tapes? The FBI has the tapes. Who knows how to alter, cut and modify "tapes" taken off recording devices? The FBI. Who is out to get this President more than anyone? These snakes in the FBI. Who wants to hurt Trump to hurt Republicans in the mid-terms to get a Democrat majority in the House to impeach Trump? DemoQuacks and the FBI (and a few Never-Trumpers).

    It's pretty clear to me that the same outfit that hacked the DNC server is the same outfit that leaked the dossier is the same outfit that wants an insurance policy if Trump wins, is the same outfit that wants to impeach Trump, is the same outfit that leaked the altered, modified Cohen tape.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump says he 'did NOT' know of meeting between son, Russian lawyer

    A knowledgeable source told NBC News on Thursday night that Cohen is willing to inform Robert Mueller that Trump Jr. told his father about the meeting.

    by Adam Edelman / Jul.27.2018 / 8:36 AM ET / Updated 9:02 AM ET

    President Donald Trump on Friday denied that he knew in advance about a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer and slammed his former personal attorney’s claims to the contrary.

    Trump, in a three-part Twitter message, said he “NOT know of the meeting” with Trump, Jr., adding that it “sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?).”

    “He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!” Trump added.

    The posts refers to news reports that Michael Cohen had asserted that Trump knew in advance about that meeting, which contradicts Trump Jr.'s congressional testimony in May 2017. Trump Jr. has said he took the meeting because he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    A knowledgeable source told NBC News on Thursday night that Cohen is willing to inform Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, that Trump Jr. told his father about the meeting.

    Trump Jr.'s attorney, Alan Futerfas, indicated that the report was false, while the president's attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also dismissed the report, saying, "Michael Cohen is not credible."

    Trump’s mention about “taxi cabs” refers to Cohen’s beleaguered dealings in the taxi industry. Trump’s comment about Cohen’s lawyer refers to Lanny Davis, who Cohen hired earlier this month as his attorney. Davis had earlier worked as a spokesman and as special counsel to Bill Clinton.

    Davis declined comment Friday morning in response to the president's tweets.

    Meanwhile, Trump, in his tweets Friday morning, also referenced a New York Times report alleging that Mueller was looking at the president’s tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former FBI Director James Comey as part of a broad obstruction of justice probe.

    “Now they are looking at my Tweets (along with 53 million other people) - the rigged Witch Hunt continues!” Trump wrote. “How stupid and unfair to our Country.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/don...ussian-n895186
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