Michael Cohen has now officially confirmed that Donald Trump knowingly colluded with Russia and knew in advance that his son, Donald Jr., was to meet with Russian agents to get campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton. CNN broke the bombshell story that spells considerable trouble for president Trump:
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.
Cohen's claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians' offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen's account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.
To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.
It is unfortunate that Cohen does not have physical evidence, but his willingness to make the assertion to Robert Mueller is extremely significant as the Special Counsel works towards its conclusion. The Trump team are busy smearing Cohen to undermine him as a witness, with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, telling CNN that Cohen has "been lying all week, he’s been lying for years.” But as we've already seen, Cohen's account of events behind the scene are supported with audio evidence, whereas Trump's is not.
Trump's credibility on the issue of collusion with Russia is now non-existent. He has lied over and over and over again about every aspect of his and his campaign's involvement, so anything he says about it can be automatically dismissed. It may be impossible to determine his involvement given his pathological inability to tell the truth, but what is abundantly clear is that Trump has tried to obstruct justice. He has left a long trail of incriminating evidence, most notably on his Twitter account.
The New York Times reported yesterday that, "Mueller III, is scrutinizing some of President Trump’s Twitter posts and public statements to determine whether he was trying to obstruct the Russia investigation."
The Times report continued that, "Mr. Trump’s lawyers say he was simply trying to defend himself, but several of the remarks, directed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, came around the time the president was also privately pressuring the men about the inquiry."
Cohen's testimony that Trump knew ahead of time about his sons meeting with the Russians adds to vast body of evidence now available that shows Trump not only colluded with Russia, but has repeatedly attempted to obstruct criminal investigations into his involvement. Even if the meetings were above board (which they weren't), why did Trump lie about not knowing his son was going?
We now have to wait for Mueller's official findings to verify what we already know, but the only thing that matters now is the GOP's willingness to do anything about it.