Turns out that Trump talked a lot more about his Trump Tower Moscow deal than he has ever let on.
Last month, Lanny Davis, the ultimate unreliable narrator and Cohen's lawyer, had said that Trump knew ahead of time Cohen was going to give false testimony to Congress about the planned Trump Tower Moscow and that Trump didn't stop him.
But this is quite a few steps beyond that.
Cohen is going to prison because he lied to both the Senate and the House about this deal. Special counsel Robert Mueller specifically pointed out that Cohen lied about negotiations for the Moscow deal ending in January 2016 to try to minimize links between the project and Individual 1, aka Trump.
According to BuzzFeed, two federal law enforcement officials have confirmed that Cohen told Mueller that Trump "personally instructed him to lie" about the Moscow project and to say that the negotiations ended much earlier than they did. Apparently, the Special Counsel's office already knew all this, but Cohen confirmed it during one of his interviews with the office.
The Trump Tower Moscow story has had a ton of twists and turns. During the campaign, Trump said he had no dealings with Russia, a stance he was still yelling about on Twitter in early 2017. Then we heard Cohen's lie about negotiations ending in early 2016. And then we learned the negotiations maybe stretched into November 2016.
At this point, who knows how late they really went? When you have a campaign team that had over 100 contacts with the Russians, it must be tough to keep track.
Trump can't wriggle out of this by saying he directed Cohen briefly and then Cohen handled everything else. According to BuzzFeed, Trump had at least 10 face-to-face meetings with Cohen about the deal during the campaign.
There's more. Cohen has also provided the Mueller's team with information about conversations about the project with Ivanka and Don Jr., saying that he gave Trump's offspring "very detailed updates." Don Jr., of course, told the Senate back in 2017 that he barely knew about a plan to build a Trump Tower Moscow.
Having this story emerge Thursday goes a long way toward explaining Rudy Giuliani's deeply weird interview with Chris Cuomo Wednesday night, in which he revealed that yes, other people in the campaign colluded with Russia, but not Trump — as if that was some sort of defense.
There's no question that, as former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said on MSNBC, "This is obstruction and collusion." With this new revelation naming Trump and two of his children, Trump has to be getting scared.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.