Michael Cohen made the stunning allegation that President Donald Trump was told in advance by Roger Stone about the planned Wikileaks dump of hacked emails that was so damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Cohen told the House Oversight Committee in his opening statement: “A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.”
Cohen went on to describe a moment during the 2016 campaign when he witnessed Roger Stone inform Trump about the Wikileaks email dump.
“As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails,” Cohen said. “In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with 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. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great.'”
Cohen is spending three days on Capitol Hill for both private and public Congressional testimony in Washington D.C. before he turns himself in for incarceration as penance for his plea deal for, among other things, lying to federal authorities. So Cohen’s credibility in these claims will certainly be a narrative debated across the spectrum of political media.
There is no denying, however, just how damning this detail can potentially be as Trump’s knowledge of the planned Wikileaks dump, and working in consort with Roger Stone, not only runs counter to previous claims made by both individuals, but also potentially connects Trump to ill-begotten emails by Wikileaks — who are alleged to have been a front for Russian intelligence officials who are under indictment for interfering with the 2016 general election and defrauding the American electorate.
One of the more iconic moments from the 2016 election was Trump’s very public request to Wikileaks to find the “30,000 emails” deleted by former Secretary of State Clinton. That video clip increasingly looks more interesting than the “joke” it was portrayed as when it first occurred.
Watch above via CNN.
This post has been updated with video of Cohen’s remarks.
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