Trump Told Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress. Is That Bad?
Everybody knows Donald Trump is a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe, and we've always assumed we would eventually find out he tampered with and threatened witnesses in the Russia investigation, because he's a shady dumpsterfuck mobster wannabe. So in that way, last night's breaking news from BuzzFeed isn't surprising at all -- that Trump literally told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project he was pursuing during the 2016 campaign, while lying repeatedly to the public and saying he had no business in Russia, NO RUSSIA, NO RUSSIA, YOU ARE THE RUSSIA.
If you need a recap, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a deal Trump was pursuing to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a deal that in and of itself raises many questions about whether it was part of the quid pro quo for Russia helping Trump steal the White House. Cohen told Congress that negotiations for the project had ended long before the campaign really got going, specifically before the Iowa caucuses; that Trump only ever discussed the deal with him three little tiny times and that he himself had only barely mentioned it to the kids; that he never considered going to Russia to work on the deal during the campaign, and that moreover, Trump had also never considered going to Russia to meet Putin about the deal during the campaign; and that he had only had limited contacts with the Kremlin about the deal after January of 2016.
All of this was lies.
The project was ongoing during the campaign, Trump's family was in on it, there was all kinds of talk of Cohen and Trump going to Moscow, and the Kremlin was heavily involved, specifically Kremlin figure Dmitry Peskov, Putin's right-hand man, all the way up to at least summer of 2016, when things started to fall apart for some reason. (Peskov also shows up in the Steele Dossier as the person who allegedly held the keys to the kingdom when it came to the Kremlin's plan to ratfuck the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton.)
Oh yeah, and remember how the Trumps were going to give Vladimir Putin the $50 million penthouse in the tower,
as a bribe to pay down part of their loan as a very normal gift?
BuzzFeed is reporting that Trump was looped in on this entire process, that he and Cohen met at least TEN TIMES about the project, and that Trump literally directed Cohen to tell those lies to Congress, which is called suborning perjury, which is in any sane world an impeachable offense. Wingnuts on the internet and Rudy Giuliani are already saying, "OH YEAH, U GON BELIEVE A KNOWN LAHR LIKE MICHAEL COHEN?" This is because they are commenting on the article before reading the article, in which BuzzFeed specifically says its sources are "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter" and that they have texts and emails.
Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. "Make it happen," the sources said Trump told Cohen.
Trump knew ALL OF IT, and so did the Trump children, specifically Vanky and Dipshit Junior, whom BuzzFeed's sources say received "very detailed updates" on the project. (Of course they did. It was never plausible that they didn't. ALL TRUMP ORGANIZATION PROJECTS INVOLVE THE SPAWN.) We'd say the kids should start setting aside money for their commissary accounts in prison, but we don't want to unfairly assume the Trump family has enough money in the monthly budget to do that.
Trump knew Cohen was dealing with the Kremlin, Trump was all in to travel to Moscow to meet Putin, he knew EVERYTHING. (If you remember from Cohen's guilty plea, his partner Felix Sater was working to make both the trips happen, for Cohen and for Trump. Cohen was supposed to go during the summer to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, and Trump was hoping to go see Putin after the Republican Convention.)
BuzzFeed's sources say Michael Cohen told Robert Mueller's very good investigators that Trump told him to lie about all this, in order to keep the cover-up going. But the sources also say Mueller found out about this "through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents." In other words, Cohen was just confirming what Mueller already knew, affirming the well-known fact that if Mueller asks you a question, he already knows the answer. (This is the real reason Trump doesn't want to sit down for a real interview with Mueller, because Trump would lie his ass off, and Mueller would PERJURY TRAP him, by being aware Trump was lying.)
Anyway, the point is that Mueller has the fucking receipts on everything. Longtime Trump Organization accountant Allen Weisselberg has been cooperating with the feds for-fucking-ever, and Mueller has Trump and his family dead to rights on this, and probably a thousand other things. And hey, just a guess, but maybe his is just a tiny piece of why Robert Mueller's team was way happier with Michael Cohen than the Southern District of New York was, in the filings they submitted for Cohen's sentencing. It sure sounds like Cohen gave up some goods!
As BuzzFeed notes, this is not the first example we have of Trump obstructing the various investigations into Russian interference with the 2016 election and his campaign's conspiracies to help them interfere. Of COURSE it's not. He obstructs justice on Twitter at least once a week! But it's the first time we have Trump specifically telling witnesses to lie about his connections to Russia, in a verifiable way where we can point and say, "Yes, for sure, that happened." (There's public reporting that suggests we may also know of another instance of this specific behavior, though, regarding how it came to be that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI, lied to members of the Trump transition/administration, and lied to the public about his secret negotiations with the Russian ambassador over lifting sanctions. It all kinda points to Trump directing the lies, from Mar-a-Lago. WHOA IF TRUE.)
How many other times has Trump done this? We don't know, but we are going to guess the answer is ALL OF THEM KATIE, and that there are many more revelations like this to come.
BuzzFeed has more details on the project, specifically about Ivanka's involvement, some of which it had reported previously:
- Vanky was gonna get to do a spa for the Trump Tower in Moscow! She always gets to do the spa! Why doesn't Eric ever get to do the spa? UNFAIR!
- Vanky knew some Russian jock weightlifter named Dmitry Klokov, and told Cohen to talk to him, so they could have "synergy on a government level" for the project. Vanky always knows the Russian jock weightlifters! Why doesn't Eric ever get to know the Russian jock weightlifters? UNFAIR!
As for Junior, BuzzFeed reminds us that he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September of 2017 that he didn't have hardly any idea about this project. Most of what he knew he learned from reading the Fake News! Was Junior telling the same story daddy and Michael Cohen agreed everybody would tell? We don't know, but we're guessing maybe probably! BuzzFeed's sources, for the record, say Junior's testimony to the Senate was full of grade-A bullshit. It's all fun and games until Daddy suborns his own firstborn son's perjury!
Congressional Democrats are PISSED.
Lying to Congress is a crime. It's one that Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to, as we discussed a few paragaphs ago! Michael Cohen has also pleaded guilty to doing porn peener payoffs on behalf of Trump, for the benefit of his campaign, at the direction of Trump! And good God, that weird story from yesterday, where Michael Cohen was handing out bags of $12,000 in cash money in order to rig online polls LOLOLOL Jesus Christ. At the direction of Trump. And yes, that's pissant and stupider than words, but we are sensing a pattern here! So just exactly how many times is Trump going to end up being "Individual-1," AKA an unindicted co-conspirator, before this national nightmare is over? We don't know yet, but we all might want to stock up on BIG ABACUSES, once it's impossible to count them on our fingers and toes.
Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to k… https://t.co/FIBW1iDZam— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy)1547785428.0
The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort… https://t.co/6uej6Vo1rg— Adam Schiff (@Adam Schiff)1547784744.0
We don't know if we'll look back on this report as the day EVERYTHING CHANGED, but we do know we're hearing the "I" word a lot more than we're used to hearing today, at least outside of those Tom Steyer commercials.
By the way, the White House is SHOCKED I TELL YOU SHOCKED that everybody is talking about this dumb article from BuzzFeed, can you even believe that? What we mean to say is that they're not denying it, just like Rudy Giuliani is not denying it:
Bet William Barr is SUPER-excited to be attorney general now!
Just the other day, during confirmation hearings for Trump's attorney general nominee William Barr, senators specifically asked if a president tampering with witnesses and suborning perjury would be obstruction of justice, which is a crime. Below, enjoy questioning from Senator Amy Klobuchar, and also from Donald Trump's totally turnt asset -- when we say "asset," we don't mean "gay" -- Lindsey Graham, both of whom got Barr to agree that yes, that would, in legal terms, be a very big goddamned motherfucking crime!
@kylegriffin1 Another FLASHBACK: @LindseyGrahamSC: "If there was some reason to believe that the president tried t… https://t.co/KWAZzuAczL— Ryan Goodman (@Ryan Goodman)1547787221.0
Have fun being attorney general, William Barr! I AM NOT A CROOK! I AM NOT A CROOK! PUSSY PUSSY PUSSY BIG MAC BIGLY NO COLLUSION YOU ARE THE COLLUSION CROOK!
(That is our hilarious impression of your new boss, Bill!)
Anyway, post over.
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to donate so Wonkette can live forever!