Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, disputed Wednesday that he edited Michael Cohen’s 2017 congressional testimony regarding efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“Today’s testimony by Michael Cohen that attorneys for the President edited or changed his statement to Congress to alter the duration of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is completely false,” Sekulow said in a statement issued after Cohen’s marathon testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Cohen testified that Sekulow made changes to testimony he provided the House and Senate Intelligence Committees regarding efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to lying to the congressional panels when he claimed he ended negotiations to build a Trump skyscraper in Russia in January 2016. He admitted he continued negotiating a potential deal through June 2016.
BuzzFeed News reported Jan. 17 that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the real estate deal and that electronic records would corroborate his claims.
But Cohen’s testimony undercut that report. He said Trump did not directly ask him to lie to Congress, but that he implicitly suggested “in his own way,” to tailor his testimony to public statements that had already been made about the Trump Tower deal. (RELATED: Mueller’s Office Disputes BuzzFeed Report)
Cohen also claimed Sekulow edited the parts of his testimony regarding how long the negotiations lasted.
“There were changes made, additions — Jay Sekulow, for one,” Cohen testified.
“There were several changes that were made including how we were going to handle that message, which was — the message of course being — the length of time that the Trump Tower Moscow project stayed and remained alive.”
Cohen’s testimony undercut several Democrat-backed theories that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign. He denied visiting Prague during the campaign, as is alleged in the infamous Steele dossier. He also said he saw no evidence of collusion while working for Trump.
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