In a statement to Congress this morning, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen released many relatively shocking accusations about a sitting President of the United States. The bit that’s most important to our part in this story is the tech angle – that of the hacking of emails before the election of our President. The part we’re talking about today includes Cohen admitting that Trump was “a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.”
Back when the Wikileaks DNC emails leak was fresh and new, it was unclear who, other than WikiLeaks itself, was responsible for the whole situation. On July 13, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian agents from a group called Fancy Bear. Fancy Bear was allegedly behind the DNC hack, operating under pseudonym Guccifer 2.0. You can see the indictments in a document hosted by The Internet Archive right this minute.
“A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes,” said Cohen.
“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” said Cohen. “Mr. Trump responded by stating, to the effect of, ‘wouldn’t that be great.'”
Also, speaking on negotiations Trump had with Russia on the potential for a new Trump Tower in Moscow, Cohen had the following to say. “Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen said.
“He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project,” said Cohen. “And so I lied about it, too — because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me – that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country – that he wanted me to lie.”
If you’d like to take a look at Michael Cohen’s opening statement in text form, head over to another Internet Archive archival page for said document. Above you’ll be able to watch the Michael Cohen testimony live, as it happens. It began earlier – at 10:00 AM Eastern Time.