Friday, July 27, 2018

Why Trump team leaked story that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting

Yesterday, a bombshell story broke which stated that conservative President Trump knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians and approved it. It was alleged congsigliore Michael Cohen was shopping it to the Bob Mueller. According to Lanny Davis, Cohen's lawyer, the leak for the story did not come from team Cohen. (MSNBC story.)

"I cannot comment. And I have to wonder why the Trump people would put that out. It was not from us."

Trump said he did not know about the meeting.  So who is telling the truth?  Yes, I know you're saying why am I asking since Trump is a pathological liar.  Side with Cohen.  It makes no sense for Cohen to leak it since that would possibly effect the testimony at trial.  If Cohen wants to work with Mueller, he's not going to anger the Feds.  And by the way, Maddows's  theory that leaks are designed to sap Cohen's value, i.e. "take a card out of his deck" is not accurate.    Cohen would still be needed to testify and clarify any evidence.

But the answer may have come from Trump's crazy lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.  He just happened to be available to CNN.  In the interview below, he says there would have to be two to three people to corroborate Cohen's story.  (2:00 minute mark.)  This seems that Giuliani might know that there were other people who may have been present when Trump was informed that the Russians had dirt on Clinton.  Giuliani then says he talked to the corroborating witnesses.  (12:00 minute mark) "I know what they say."   Giuliani then says, "Gosh, almighty.  Why didn't he tape it?   He taped everything else.  He's got a hundred tapes. Why didn't he tape that?  Maybe he did.  Maybe he's got a tape that he  erased." (12:30 minute mark)  Giuliani then goes into the other tape which covered the payoff to silence an affair. 

If Trump knew and approved the meeting with Russians then he's as guilty as his son who set the meeting up.  And it is illegal to receive campaign contributions or attempt to solicit them from foreign sources.

So why did Team Trump leak this story?   It's what we lawyers call a preemptive strike.  There were about million documents and tapes seized from Cohen. Trump is worried.  And if Cohen knows where the bodies are buried and shows the government, Trump is in trouble.  Not just Trump-Russia.  Covering up affairs to influence the election and not reporting  them  is  illegal.  Here's why  I think they leaked.  They want to discredit Cohen by getting ahead of the story and spinning a narrative about his credibility.  They also want to influence the testimony of any corroborating witness.  Now, is any of this good trial strategy or even good politics?  Hell, no.  None of this makes any sense.  Unless Trump can guarantee other witnesses will lie for him, it's a risk.  If there's a tape corroborating Cohen, Giuliani and team Trump look stupid.  And putting out bad information about you is ridiculous.  You can't guarantee that people's negative perceptions will be changed by spin.     

(Giuliani's defense that paying with a check rather cash to silence an affair is idiocy.  The check does not affect a criminal action.  It's still illegal. For example, Jerry Springer paid a prostitute with a check. )

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