U.S. President Donald Trump' s former attorney asserts that Trump knew in advance about a 2016 meeting between his campaign staff and Russians who claimed to have compromising information on Hillary Clinton, according to NBC News.
Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, says that he and others were present when Trump was notified of the meeting and its intent by Donald Trump Jr. Donald Trump used a blocked number, other witnesses have told Congress. Trump Jr.
Weisselberg's name came up earlier this week on an audio recording that captured then-nominee Donald Trump talking with his former attorney Michael Cohen about a payment to acquire the rights to the story of a former Playboy model who had claimed she and Trump had an affair, which the Trump campaign later denied.
Trump and his legal team have consistently denied that he had any knowledge of the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.
These claims contradict ongoing statements from the president, his son and their legal teams that Mr Trump knew nothing about the June meeting.
"Cohen is not a, you know, a heroic figure, but he does have credibility", Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "The Situation Room". "A few months ago he wasn't telling all of these lies" a few months ago, I didn't know he was a lawyer who recorded his clients secretly.
"I expected something like this from Cohen", Giuliani told CNN's Chris Cuomo.
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The criticism Giuliani is now leveling at Cohen follows a series of reports that have led the President to lash out at his former lawyer. "Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam".
If Trump knew beforehand and approved the meeting, he was knowingly accepting the assistance of a foreign power in the election - arguably a violation of US campaign finance law, which prohibits all foreign sources of contributions and benefits in-kind - and he or other campaign aides may have gone on afterward to continue to work with that same foreign power.
Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump, and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. There have been earlier suggestions, from elsewhere, that Trump knew about the meeting.
Jay Goldberg, another former Trump lawyer, argued Friday on CNN's "Erin Burnett Out Front" that Giuliani "immeasurably" damaged his case against Cohen with the sudden shift in tone.
Also on Sunday, Giuliani also said he is still in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller about possible testimony from Trump.
At the 2016 meeting, Trump Jr. was joined by his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump's campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort. Those people denied that Trump had contemporaneous knowledge of the meeting on more than 15 occasions, according to CNN's analysis.
The employee said Weisselberg "knows where all the financial bodies are buried within the Trump Organization". They also note that two days before the meeting, Trump mysteriously announced plans to give a "major speech" about Clinton's scandals. We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr Trump Jr and on his behalf'. The notion of collusion or a conspiracy is a "hoax", Trump frequently says, and Mueller's investigation is a "witch hunt".