CNN’s bombshell scoop Thursday night shined a bright light yet again on the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan and raised the specter that President Trump and his surrogates may have been lying about one of the most significant Russia-related episodes of the 2016 election.
According to CNN, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is willing to testify that Trump approved the meeting between his son, son-in-law, campaign chairman, and a Russian lawyer—despite Trump and Don Trump Jr.’s denials that the president knew about the meeting in advance. As my colleague Adam Serwer pointed out, it’s not clear whether Cohen’s word would stand up in court without corroboration. But legal experts say it could certainly influence prosecutors’ perceptions of Trump—and whether he intended to conspire with Russia and then cover it up.
“There are definite legal consequences to Cohen’s statement,” said Jens David Ohlin, a law professor and vice dean at Cornell Law School. “This reeks of a criminal conspiracy. It doesn’t even matter if nothing came of the meeting [although that’s far from clear]. If Trump knew about the meeting and was OK with it, Trump and those around him could be guilty of an inchoate conspiracy.” [Continue reading…]