Rachel Maddow reported tonight about the additional evidence Michael Cohen provided to the House Intelligence Committee. The most detailed known evidence Cohen offered was evidence of the edits he made to his congressional testimony based on advice he received from Donald Trump’s lawyers.
Let’s just say the physical evidence, along with Michael Cohen’s testimony, sounds like a slam dunk. It sounds like someone is going to jail, and that someone will be Trump’s lawyers, or Trump himself, or both. First, lets talk about the physical evidence. Cohen apparently has a copy of the original testimony he prepared that he provided to Trump’s lawyers. He also has copies of communications he had with the lawyers after they received a copy of his testimony. The communications include the lawyers’ recommended edits that would help Cohen stay on message with Trump. Finally, Cohen has his final testimony that he changed in order to comply with the advice of Trump’s lawyers.
This could be enough to prove the lawyers were acting in concert with Trump to commit a crime, in which case attorney-client privilege would be out the window. In order to avoid jail time the lawyers would have to say that Trump lied to them, and that they believed the edits they were suggesting were true, and that they were directed by Trump to make the edits. This would most likely result in an obstruction of justice charge being directed at Trump instead of his lawyers.
Either way it’s very bad news for the Donald Trump criminal defense team, and potentially good news for Michael Cohen. All the documentation he is prone to keeping is paying off for him, and this is just one small piece of what was contained in the brief cases full of information he turned over today.
Cheryl Kelley lives in the DC area with her husband and young son. She is active in government and politics.