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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
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(THREAD) A LIST OF MICHAEL COHEN'S LIES. Now that Cohen's attorney has called Trump a liar on Twitter—and now that Cohen has signaled his willingness to cooperate with Mueller—you need to know the many lies Cohen has told which he'll shortly retract. I hope you'll read and share.
LIE #1: After hiding his clandestine Russian contacts from federal prosecutors for many months, Cohen then said that he was secretly working on a Trump Tower Moscow deal with Russian nationals during the presidential campaign—but he withdrew from the negotiations in January 2016.
THE TRUTH: Cohen wanted January '16 to be the date he ceased negotiating a secret business deal with Russian nationals for Trump, as that's when primary voting started. In fact, we later learned the negotiating extended until at least June '16—and Cohen didn't voluntarily end it.
IMPLICATIONS: Cohen's lie about the duration of Trump Tower Moscow negotiations will, once retracted, confirm that Trump was secretly negotiating a *nine-figure deal* with Russians while he was pushing a pro-Russia policy to voters—from whom he hid, then lied about, his dealings.
LIE #2: Cohen said that, in Fall '15, while the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations—and the presidential campaign—were ongoing, he only mentioned the deal to Trump on 3 occasions (for a total of "4 minutes" of dialogue) and *all* Trump's responses were monosyllabic and noncommittal.
THE TRUTH: Trump has wanted a Trump Tower Moscow for 30 years—literally, since 1987—and he signed a Letter of Intent in Fall '15 to build such a tower. The chances he spoke to Cohen for only "4 minutes" about the 2015 deal, and only monosyllabically and noncommitally, are *zero*.
IMPLICATIONS: Cohen wanted Trump to have been minimally involved in secret Russia negotiations during the campaign—and involved (even minimally) only before primary votes were cast. The truth is that Trump was heavily invested in this deal *and* in lying about the deal to voters.
LIE #3: Cohen says he didn't know who he was meeting with when Sater brought him to Artemenko—the man hawking a "deal" for Trump to sign giving Russia Crimea *and* ending Russia sanctions—and he never saw the deal or passed it on to or discussed it with anyone in the White House.
THE TRUTH: Cohen said he never opened Artemenko's package—yet he knew how many pages were in it and what the pages *didn't* say. So he saw it. He says he hid Putin's proffer from the White House *and* Sater didn't tell him up-front what the meeting was about. These are both lies.
IMPLICATIONS: Cohen and Sater have been friends since childhood and worked hand-in-glove on both Trump Tower Moscow and Artemenko. Cohen wants to make it seem like Sater kept things from him—but he didn't. And as Trump's *lawyer*, he certainly didn't keep a Putin deal from Trump.
IMPLICATIONS (CONT.): This means (a) pals Cohen and Sater had illicit contact with Russians during the campaign and transition that Trump knew about, (b) this course of Trump-directed contact involved two related—*quid pro quo*—issues: Trump Tower Moscow and an end to sanctions.
LIE #4: Cohen claims that he suddenly decided to go on a vacation to Italy—with Hungary, Putin's top EU ally on the sanctions issue—for the 10 days *immediately preceding* the 2016 Republican National Convention. He says the vacation was innocent and had nothing to do with Trump.
THE TRUTH: Cohen's Italy alibi has fallen apart—the man he says he was with says he wasn't with Cohen in the place in Italy Cohen said or anywhere else. Meanwhile a pattern has emerged of Trump sending top aides to Italy in-campaign to work secretly on the Russia sanctions issue.
IMPLICATIONS: Trump's lawyer wouldn't have taken a vacation in the week leading up to his *only client's* biggest moment—an event at which Trump aides secretly discussed sanctions (and then lied about doing so) with Russia's ambassador. So what was Cohen doing for Trump in Italy?
IMPLICATIONS (CONT.): If Trump sent Cohen to Italy—as Papadopoulos was, and as Italy's ambassador was invited to Trump's Mayflower VIP event soon after talking sanctions with Putin—it means Cohen likely worked on Trump Tower Moscow *and* sanctions during *and* after the campaign.
LIE #5: Cohen waved his passport around on HANNITY to "prove" a) he never went to Prague as Steele's dossier claims, b) therefore couldn't have been coordinating the bribes-for-sanctions-policy quid pro quo the dossier discusses and that *all the other evidence we have* confirms.
THE TRUTH: Mueller has evidence Cohen *did* go to Prague. Hannity's a Cohen client and major Trump advisor who didn't disclose either fact. It appears Cohen has—like several top Trump aides—at least two passports (and he wouldn't even have needed a special stamp to go to Prague).
IMPLICATIONS: The "Cohen never went to Prague" canard was the *only*—I repeat *only*—"evidence" Trump's allies had to claim that the *entirety* of the 35-pg. Steele dossier, much of which has been proven correct and prescient, was in fact false. That canard will die a hard death.
LIE #6: Giuliani hilariously said, yesterday, that Cohen *never told his only client* he was locking him into a contract with Stormy Daniels—an act he could be disbarred for—but that Cohen *also* knew "in advance" his outlay of money would be reimbursed. Cohen went with that lie.
TRUTH: Giuliani's back-pedaling yesterday (saying that if anyone says Trump knew of the Daniels deal beforehand, it'll just be a case of people remembering things differently) gives us yet another indication what we all know is true *is* true: Cohen was acting at Trump's behest.
IMPLICATIONS: The Daniels lie(s) confirm Trump is blackmailed easily—an issue at the heart of Steele's dossier—and that he committed election-law crimes to hide an affair with a porn star in the 4 weeks pre-election. They underscore one of *many* ways his election was fraudulent.
CONCLUSION: These are just some of the lies Cohen has told that he'll retract if he cuts a deal with Mueller. Taken in sum, they will confirm an illegal pre-election scheme to end Russia sanctions in exchange for money and to commit crimes to hide pre-election indiscretions. /end
PS: An overlooked fact is that when—not if—Cohen cooperates with Mueller, we'll also learn of all the Witness Tampering Trump engaged in to influence Cohen *and* any Witness Tampering Trump orchestrated, using Cohen as his fixer, to dangle pardons for/urge silence from his aides.
PS2: Never forget, too, that the *very moment* Mueller raided Cohen's office, hotel room, and home is the moment media reports say that Trump decided to go to war with Mueller rather than even pretend he planned to cooperate with him. Why? This thread helps answer that question.
NOTE: The word "we" in my first "PS" refers not to the public—as Cohen will only make his proffer and give his assistance to Mueller, not the media or the public. I meant that "we" Americans who want justice to to run its course here will *benefit* from Cohen's new-found honesty.
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