WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen is prepared to testify that Trump was aware of long-time adviser Roger Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks in advance of its release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, according to a copy of his public testimony submitted to Congress and obtained by CNN.
In the testimony, Cohen will allege that, in 2016, he witnessed Trump taking a phone call from Stone, who was on speakerphone.
“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 will say, according to his prepared testimony.
Trump responded, according to Cohen: “Wouldn’t that be great.”
Cohen’s allegations, if true, would amount to the first time anyone with direct knowledge has said that the President had advance knowledge of the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton emails. Cohen also said the President’s personal lawyers “reviewed and edited” his 2017 statements when Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization’s pursuit of a massive project in Moscow.
READ: Michael Cohen’s opening statement to Congress
The White House has attacked Cohen’s credibility, calling him someone who cannot be trusted given he has already pleaded guilty to lying.
When asked for comment on Cohen’s prepared testimony, the White House referred to press secretary Sarah Sanders’ Tuesday statement on Cohen’s testimony.
“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements,” Sanders said in that statement. “Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”
According to a copy of the opening statement he prepares to deliver to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, Cohen says Trump lied repeatedly about a number of matters — and made a host of racist statements.
He also provides new details suggesting Trump was heavily involved in the pursuit of the Trump Tower Moscow project in 2016.
“To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Tower negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen will tell the committee. “He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”
Cohen says that Trump did not “directly” tell him to lie to Congress. “That’s not how he operates,” Cohen says.
But he says that Trump would tell him and the public he has “no business” with Russia, even as he was negotiating the Moscow project.
“In his way, he was telling me to lie,” Cohen says.
Cohen also says he’s providing the panel with several documents to back up his allegations, including a check Trump wrote from his bank account to reimburse him for hush money payments to silence Stormy Daniels’ story in 2016 about her alleged affair with Trump. Trump denies having an affair with Daniels.
Cohen also says he’s providing the committee with copies of letters he wrote threatening Trump’s high school, college and the College Board not to release his grades or test scores.
Moreover, Cohen says he has documentation showing Trump arranging a bidder at an auction to purchase a portrait of himself, which he later reimbursed the bidder for from his charitable organization.