Monday, July 29, 2019

the last book I ever read (The Mueller Report, excerpt twenty-nine)

from The Mueller Report:

On February 13, 2018, Cohen released a statement to news organizations that stated, “In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to [the woman]. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with [the woman], and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.” In congressional testimony on Feburary 27, 2019, Cohen testified that he had discussed what to say about the payment with the President and that the President had directed Cohen to say that the President “was not knowledgeable … of [Cohen’s] actions” in making the payment. On February 19, 2018, the day after the New York Times wrote a detailed story attributing the payment to Cohen and describing Cohen as the President’s “fixer,” Cohen received a text message from the President’s personal counsel that stated, “Client says thanks for what you do.”

On April 9, 2018, FBI agents working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed search warrants on Cohen’s home, hotel room, and office. That day, the President spoke to reporters and said that he had “just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys—a good man.” The President called the searches “a real disgrace” and said, “It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for.” Cohen said that after the searches he was concerned that he was “an open book,” that he did not want issues arising from the payments to women to “come out,” and that his false statements to Congress were “a big concern.”

A few days after the searches, the President called Cohen. According to Cohen, the President said he wanted to “check in” and asked if Cohen was okay, and the President encouraged Cohen to “hang in there” and “stay strong.” Cohen also recalled that following the searches he heard from individuals who were in touch with the President and relayed to Cohen the President’s support for him. Cohen recalled that [REDACTED: Personal Privacy], a friend of the President’s, reached out to say that he was with “the Boss” in Mar-a-Lago and the President had said “he loves you” and not to worry. Cohen recalled that [REDACTED: Personal Privacy] for the Trump Organization, told him, “the boss loves you.” And Cohen said that [REDACTED: Personal Privacy], a friend of the President’s, told him, “everyone knows the boss has your back.”

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