Dems want to question Don Jr., Ivanka, after Michael Cohen implicates them

Trump siblings and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg could be next on the hot seat before Congress

By Igor Derysh

Senior News Editor

Published March 2, 2019 5:00AM (EST)

Ivanka Trump; Donald Trump Jr. (Getty/Riccardo Savi/Bob Levey)
Ivanka Trump; Donald Trump Jr. (Getty/Riccardo Savi/Bob Levey)

House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings said his panel will seek interviews with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump after they were repeatedly mentioned in former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony to the committee Wednesday.

“All you have to do is follow the transcript. If there are names that were mentioned or records that were mentioned during the hearing, we want to take a look at all of that,” Cummings told reporters Thursday.

Cohen repeatedly cited Trump’s adult children and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, as well as several other Trump Organization officials, during his six-hour public testimony. Cummings said the committee would like to interview the people Cohen discussed.

“They have a good chance of hearing from us — at least an interview,” he said. “We’ll go through it, we’ll figure out who we want to talk to, and we’ll bring them in.”

Cohen testified that he believes Donald Trump Jr., along with Weisselberg, signed one of the $35,000 checks he submitted to the committee, which Cohen said was part of the reimbursement for the $130,000 hush payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about her alleged sexual liaison with the senior Donald Trump.

Cohen also told the committee that he briefed Trump Jr. and Ivanka about 10 times concerning the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, which he said continued well into the 2016 campaign, something President Trump has denied.

Cummings said that the information learned from Cohen’s testimony may be of use to other committees, such as the House Intelligence Committee.

In fact, the Intelligence Committee is already planning to call Weisselberg in for an interview, according to The Daily Beast. Weisselberg was previously granted immunity from prosecution in the Southern District of New York, which investigated Cohen for fraud before he ultimately pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes.

“Allen is the one guy who knows everything,” a former Trump Organization official told The New Yorker last year.

Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the Intelligence Committee, said the panel will also interview former Trump associate Felix Sater in a public hearing.

Sater, a Russian-born executive who worked at Trump Tower, came up at the Cohen hearing. Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif. -- the House freshman who defeated former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a pro-Russia Republican -- made a point of noting Trump’s relationship to the “convicted Russian mobster.” Sater became an FBI informant in the 1990s after pleading guilty in a case involving a $40 million stock fraud scheme run by the Russian mafia.

“In 2013, Trump testified that he didn't know Felix Sater. But Sater actually had an office in Trump Tower. Did Trump lie under oath?” Rouda asked Cohen during Wednesday's hearing.

“Yes,” Cohen said, adding that Sater’s office had been on “Mr. Trump’s floor.”

Cohen will also be interviewed again by the Intelligence Committee in March after he testified for seven hours in a closed-door hearing Thursday.

Cohen’s testimony alleged that President Trump committed crimes in his business life, as a candidate, and as president. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told the New York Times that Cohen’s testimony shows “we have unambiguous evidence that the president has committed a crime at this point.”

“Do we have unambiguous evidence he has done impeachable offenses?” Nadler added. “We’ve got a ways to go yet.” His committee would be tasked with drafting articles of impeachment if Democrats choose to pursue that goal.

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's senior news editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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