- Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney, said it was possible that Trump spoke to Michael Cohen, his former attorney, ahead of Cohen’s congressional testimony.
- Giuliani said he had “no knowledge” the two spoke, but if they did, it “would be perfectly normal.”
- The comments came after an explosive BuzzFeed report claimed Trump directed Cohen to lie about the timeline of a Russian business deal – a report special counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputed.
President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani acknowledged on Sunday that Trump may have spoken to Michael Cohen ahead of his upcoming congressional testimony.
But Giuliani argued that such a conversation between Trump and Cohen, his former lawyer, “would be perfectly normal.”
“I don’t know if it happened or didn’t happen. It may be attorney-client privilege if it happened, where I can’t acknowledge it. But I have no knowledge that he spoke to him, but I’m telling you I wasn’t there then,” Giuliani told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“So what if he talked to him about it?” Giuliani added.
The comments came days after an explosive Buzzfeed report claimed that Trump directed Cohen to lie in his testimony next month about the timeline of a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Buzzfeed cited two anonymous law-enforcement officials for the story, which prompted calls for impeachment proceedings for Trump among some Democrats.
However, a day after the story was published, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputed the Buzzfeed report, saying in a rare public statement that “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” Buzzfeed’s editor in chief said he stood by the outlet’s reporting.
Giuliani did deny that, even if Trump did speak to Cohen, the president did not direct Cohen to lie in his testimony.
“As far as I know, President Trump did not have discussions with him,” Giuliani said. “Certainly, no discussions with him in which he told him or counseled him to lie.”
But even if Trump didn’t direct Cohen to lie, merely speaking with Cohen about the testimony could be enough to land him in legal trouble.
“If you and another person are under criminal investigation and you discuss his testimony with him, you should expect prosecutors to investigate that conversation to determine if you obstructed justice,” a former federal prosecutor, tweeted on Sunday.
Watch video of Giuliani’s comments below:
“I don’t know if it happened or if it didn’t happen. … I have no knowledge if he spoke to him,” Giuliani says on whether President Trump and Michael Cohen discussed Cohen’s congressional testimony, before adding, “So what if he talked to him about it?" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/HVDhQe4StF
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 20, 2019
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