President Trump’s former lawyer and once self-described fixer Michael Cohen will tell the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that then-candidate Trump knew that colleague and adviser Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks about the release of emails pilfered from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by Russian operatives.
Cohen recalled Trump receiving a call from Stone in July 2016 regarding WikiLeaks’ upcoming email release and putting him on speakerphone, according to his prepared remarks.
“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Cohen will tell lawmakers in Wednesday’s public hearing.
To which Trump, according to Cohen, said, “Wouldn’t that be great.”
While Cohen said in his prepared testimony that he had no direct evidence of collusion with the Russians, but contended he was in Trump’s office when Donald Trump, Jr., came in to confirm a meeting, which in retrospect, Cohen believed to be the infamous Trump Tower meeting in which the younger Trump met with a Russian lawyer ostensibly to “get the dirt on [Democratic presidential candidate] Hillary Clinton.
That meeting has drawn the attention of Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Before Cohen’s appearance, members of the committee agreed not to ask him about matters related to ongoing Russia investigations. In support of his testimony that the president was involved in a number of shady dealings, Cohen provided the committee with documents, such as canceled checks showing that Trump reimbursed him for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, financial statements and other correspondence. The recently disbarred lawyer testified Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed door hearing and will go before the House Intelligence Committee Thursday in another hearing behind closed doors.