Michael Cohen is still just getting started with his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee. Cohen has condemned himself while condemning Donald Trump, and he’s produced documents to corroborate much of what he’s saying. There was one moment that may get overlooked by the media and the public, but will end up proving key for prosectors – and it’s the worst news possible for Donald Trump Jr.
Michael Cohen actually dropped two bombs on Donald Trump Jr this morning, and no, I’m not talking about the fact that Cohen insulted Junior’s judgment and intelligence. What truly stood out is that Cohen implicated Junior in two specific crimes. We’ll see what comes of Cohen’s claim that the witnesses Junior discussing with his father the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. Cohen doesn’t have proof of this, and we don’t yet know if other witnesses in the room are also cooperating. But it’s the other Trump Jr revelation that may be the most immediately problematic for Junior.
Cohen produced a “reimbursement” check today that was signed by Donald Trump Jr and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. Oops. This was a financial reward for a crime that Cohen committed, and anyone signing this check would have known it. Weisselberg reportedly has an immunity deal with federal prosecutors. Does Donald Trump Jr have an immunity deal? We think not.
Michael Cohen just opened the door for the House Oversight Committee to subpoena Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr to publicly testify about this payoff and signed check. Weisselberg will cooperate, and he’ll probably end up incriminating Junior on live national television. That’s before Junior gets hauled in and has to answer the question himself under penalty of perjury.
In any case, keep in mind that Robert Mueller and SDNY already have copies of all the evidence that Michael Cohen is presenting today, and surely a whole lot more evidence we haven’t seen yet. Whether Donald Trump Jr ends up being convicted for criminally conspiring with Russia or not, he’ll definitely be convicted for his financial crimes. It looks like Cohen has already sent Junior to prison; it’s just a matter of time before it all plays out.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report