“The public should judge for themselves both the evidence released today in conjunction with Cohen’s testimony related to Trump, his troubling relationship with Russia, and the efforts by Trump and those close to him to hide the relationship and potential business deals,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement. “The public also deserves the chance to judge Cohen’s credibility for themselves, including by examining some of the evidence he provided.”
The vote to make the transcripts public had a 12-7 margin.
The ranking member, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., reportedly walked out of the meeting and said to reporters: “You guys are sad, sad, sad.”
Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, told the committee that Trump attorney Jay Sekulow instructed him to lie to lawmakers in 2017 about when negotiations to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow had ended. Cohen said Sekulow ordered him to tell lawmakers in 2017 that discussions about the project ended by Jan. 31, 2016, ahead of the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses. Cohen later admitted negotiations lasted until June 2016.
Sekulow’s legal team attacked Cohen’s credibility, arguing he has a long history of deception. “That this or any Committee would rely on the word of Michael Cohen for any purpose — much less to try and pierce the attorney-client privilege and discover confidential communications of four respected lawyers — defies logic, well-established law, and common sense,” they said.
Cohen pleaded guilty in November to “knowingly and willfully” making “a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and representation” to the House and Senate Intelligence panels about a Trump Tower in Moscow. He is serving is serving three years in prison for lying to Congress, campaign finance violations, and tax and bank fraud.