Michael Cohen’s testimony will directly contradict claims President Donald Trump made to special counsel Robert Mueller.
The former Trump Organization lawyer says in a prepared statement that Trump knew his longtime associate Roger Stone “was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.”
Cohen will tell the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that he witnessed a July 2016 phone conversation Trump had with Stone, who was indicted last month on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.
“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,” Cohen says in a prepared statement.
Cohen will tell lawmakers that Trump responded: “Wouldn’t that be great.”
That testimony contradicts written claims the president made to the special counsel when he submitted his response to Mueller’s questions.
Trump told the special counsel in writing that Stone had not told him about his contacts with WikiLeaks, and the president also told Mueller that he was not told about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son, son-in-law and campaign chairman with a Russian lawyer promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Cohen’s prepared statement also contradicts those claims Trump made to Mueller.
The former attorney and “fixer” will tell lawmakers that he was with Trump in his office in early June 2016 when Donald Trump Jr. “came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk,” which Cohen says was “unusual.”
“I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice,” Cohen says in his prepared statement, “which I could clearly hear, and saying: ‘The meeting is all set.’ I remember Mr. Trump saying, ‘Ok good … let me know.'”
Cohen’s statement lines up with comments made by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who told author Michael Wolff that Trump Jr. never would have set up that meeting without his father’s knowledge.
“Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world,” Cohen will tell lawmakers. “And also that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.”