How Cohen’s Plea Compares To What Don Jr. Told A Senate Committee

Donald Trump Jr at photo session after visit  Trump Tower, a luxury apartment building, ahead of the visit of Donald Trump Jr on February 21,2018 in Kolkata,India. (Photo by Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

A line in the court documents related to Michael Cohen’s plea Thursday, in which Cohen admitted to lying to Congress, raised new questions about what Donald Trump Jr. testified to various committees.

Cohen’s plea documents focus on what he told Congress about his work on a Trump Tower project in Moscow, and in them, special counsel Robert Mueller revealed that Cohen briefed Trump’s “family members” who work for the Trump Organization about the project.

It just so happens that one of those family members, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. has testified privately in front of a number of congressional committees and one of those committees has since released a transcript of that testimony.

The testimony, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, happened behind closed doors in September 2017. Trump Jr. was also interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intel Committee, but those transcripts have not been made public.

Senate Judiciary staff asked Trump Jr. about the reports of proposal for a Trump Tower Moscow that Cohen was working on and Trump Jr. confirmed the reports.

Trump Jr. also said that he did not believe the potential for future business in Russia had affected policy decisions made by his father since.

Later on, the questioning returned to the 2015 proposal that Cohen and one of his associates, Felix Sater was working on. Trump Jr. testified that he knew “very little” about the deal.

Trump Jr. also confirmed that his father had signed the letter of intent, and told the committee his company could probably provide a copy of it if they wanted it.

The questions turned to the report that Cohen had reached out, via a publicly available email account, to a spokesman for the Kremlin. Cohen admitted in his plea documents Thursday that he lied to Congress by telling lawmakers he received no response; in fact a “personal assistant” from the press office responded in an email a few days later, and they went on to speak for 20 minutes by the phone.

Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary committee he was not aware of Cohen’s outreach to the Kremlin’s press office, and reiterated that he was “peripherally aware” of the deal at the time, but that “most of my knowledge has been gained since.”

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