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Monday, December 09, 2019

Rep. Cummings: New Evidence Shows Trump Lawyers Lied About Hush Money

Congress has received new evidence that several of Trump’s lawyers — and not just Michael Cohen— may have lied to federal officials, possibly at Trump’s direction.

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) released the information in a letter sent to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, referencing new documents that the Oversight Committee received from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

The documents, Cummings wrote, indicate that Trump lawyers — both at the White House and in private practice — made repeated “false claims” to OGE officials about Trump’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and other women Trump had had extramarital affairs with.

Cummings references false statements made by Sheri Dillon, Trump’s personal attorney, and Stefan Passantino, the former Deputy White House Counsel for Compliance and Ethics.

The lies, or “Evolving Stories” as the OGE documents put it, concern the Trump lawyers’ changing, deceptive explanations for the payments Trump made through his then-attorney and personal fixer, Michael Cohen, to Daniels and other women to make them keep quiet about their affairs with Trump before the 2016 election. Trump repeatedly lied about the affair and the payoffs.

“It now appears that President Trump’s other attorneys — at the White House and in private practice — may have provided false information about these payments to federal officials,” Cummings wrote.

Cohen has already been sentenced to three years in prison for these actions. Cummings noted that Cohen admitted in his guilty plea that he was directed by Trump to make the payments to influence the outcome of the election.

Trump’s other lawyers may have done the same, Cummings noted. “This raises significant questions about why some of the President’s closest advisers made these false claims and the extent to which they too were acting at the direction of, or in coordination with, the President,” he wrote.

Cummings is demanding that the Trump administration provide documents related to the hush money payouts. So far, they have not released the information despite the criminal and ethical implications.

Trump has already been implicated in violating federal campaign finance law, and the subsequent cover-up of that violation — including lying to federal officials — has already led to convictions and guilty pleas of members of Trump’s inner circle.

The new information further implicates Trump as being at the center of a network of criminality that has cast a growing shadow over his unpopular presidency.

Under Republicans, these violations of the public trust and American law were given a complete pass. Under Cummings’ leadership, the truth is coming to light.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

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