Michael Cohen is ready to talk.
While he’s tried to put off his testimony to the House Oversight Committee because he’s afraid of the Trump mafia, he seems more than willing to give testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with the proviso that said testimony will be private.
That privacy will give him freer rein to speak candidly about Donald Trump’s shady business dealings and necrotic, bloodless knot of a heart.
“The reason that he agreed to testify privately for the intelligence committees is, first and foremost, because he owes them,” one of the people familiar with Cohen’s plans said. “He pleaded guilty to lying to them and owes them an apology.” Cohen admitted in court late last year that he lied to Congress when he told them that negotiations to build a Trump Tower Moscow ended in January 2016, and that he hadn’t discussed it much with Trump.
Oh, and House and Senate Democrats will get an answer to the big question. Did Trump tell Cohen to lie about Moscow Tower negotiations?
The Senate panel, which subpoenaed Cohen earlier this month, and its House counterpart declined to preview what questions they intend to ask. But the central purpose of the interviews is for Cohen to correct the record on his previous false statements to the committees about the timing of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations—and, crucially, whether Trump or anyone in the White House directed him to lie in the first place. BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that Mueller had evidence that Trump had asked Cohen to lie about the timing of the real-estate deal, prompting the special counsel’s office to release a rare statement contradicting aspects of the story. But House Democrats made it clear that, if it were confirmed that the president had tried to obstruct justice in order to hide his involvement in business negotiations with the Kremlin during the election—while Russia waged a hacking and disinformation campaign to undermine Trump’s opponent—it would be cause for impeachment.
The bad news? We won’t promptly discover just how deep Trump’s personal involvement goes (as if we don’t already know). The really, really, really good news? Adam Schiff and Kamala Harris will.
Let the games begin!
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