Trump attorney Jay Sekulow knew Michael Cohen lied in 2017 congressional testimony about the dates of the President’s involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow project, Cohen told lawmakers in March of this year, according to a newly released transcript of his Congressional testimony.
A congressional staffer asked Cohen in March if Sekulow knew that discussions around building the Trump-branded Moscow skyscraper “carried past the Iowa caucus into June of 2016,” per the transcript.
“I believe so, yes,” Cohen said, before telling lawmakers that he recalled discussing the issue with Sekulow.
Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress in charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in November 2018. In his plea, Cohen admitted to lying about when discussions about the project ended — telling Congress that discussions ended in January 2016, when in fact they continued through June 2016.
The released documents come from two days of testimony that Cohen gave to the House Intelligence Committee in March.
The transcript cited Cohen recounting his conversations with Sekulow in advance of statements he made to Congress in 2017.
“We talked about staying on message,” Cohen said. “And the message was always was whether I was — when I was with Mr. Trump or during these conversations, it was always about to stay on message, which is there’s no Russia, there’s no collusion, there’s no business deals.”
Cohen recalled how Sekulow would refer to Trump as “the client,” and would supposedly tell Cohen: “I just left with the client, and he loves you. Don’t worry. He’s sorry about this, or he’s sorry about that, that you have to go through this.”
Towards the end of the testimony, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) asked Cohen to recall an Oval Office meeting he had with Sekulow and Trump regarding his testimony to Congress and, specifically, the timing of discussions around the Trump Tower Moscow.
“And are you telling this committee that you understood him to be telling you indirectly to lie?” Maloney asks.
“Yes,” Cohen replies.
In another portion of the transcript, lawmakers asked Cohen whether Sekulow dangled a potential pardon before him. Cohen suggested that a potential pardon was discussed before the FBI raided his apartment, office, and hotel room in April 2018.
A congressional staffer then asked Cohen if, during the pardon discussions, Sekulow had referenced “that he knew you had made false statements to Congress.”
Cohen replied: “Well, he — I believe that he knew that the January date was inaccurate.”
Tierney Sneed contributed reporting to this article.
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