The lawyer for Michael Cohen, who for 20 years was President Trump‘s personal lawyer, said that the president knew ahead of time that Cohen was planning to perjure himself while testifying to Congress.
Lanny Davis, an attorney who has represented Cohen in his ongoing legal battles with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, told Bloomberg Radio’s “Sound On” that Trump knew Cohen’s plans in advance. Trump didn’t tell Cohen to lie, but he also did not direct him to tell the truth either.
After telling Trump of his planned false testimony, Cohen said Trump remained silent, which he took as assent and approval for what he planned to do on behalf of his boss. Davis said that the false testimony was shared with the White House before Cohen submitted it to Congress, so Trump was aware at the time that Cohen would make false statements.
“Mr. Trump and the White House knew that Michael Cohen would be testifying falsely to Congress and did not tell him not to,” Davis told Bloomberg News. Then he added:
“There will come a time after Mr. Mueller is done with his work that Michael Cohen will be sitting in front of a microphone before a congressional committee and what he has to say about the truth will be judged by the members of Congress listening and then will be up to people to decide whether he has got the facts or not.”
Davis was referring to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is separately investigating the Trump campaign.
Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison in connection to his payments made to women who threatened during the 2016 campaign to come forward with stories of affairs they allegedly had with then-candidate Donald Trump.
In August, Cohen plead guilty to eight charges including campaign finance violations and a single charge of lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that were never ultimately pursued.
Cohen blasted the president in a statement following his sentencing, according to multiple reports, over Trump‘s insults aimed at him in recent days.
“Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak, and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying,” Cohen said. “It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”