- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2018

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen emphatically stated a year ago that he saw no evidence that the president colluded with Russia during the campaign.

His words to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Sept. 19, 2017, have important meaning today.

His attorney, Lanny Davis, a longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton operative, floated the idea last week that Mr. Cohen would testify that Mr. Trump was aware of ongoing Russian operations in 2016 to target Hillary Clinton. His charge suggested Trump-Moscow collusion. Mr. Davis later retracted his allegation.

Mr. Cohen told the Senate committee, “Given my own proximity to the President of the United States as a candidate, let me also say that I never saw anything —not a hint of anything — that demonstrated his involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion. I emphatically state that I had nothing to do with any Russian involvement in our electoral process.”

Mr. Cohen said he never traveled to Prague to execute a computer hacking cover-up, as alleged in the Democratic Party-financed Christopher Steele dossier.

Mr. Davis, who once expressed confidence in the discredited dossier, said last week that the Prague denial stands — Mr. Cohen never went there.

Mr. Cohen also told the Senate committee:

“Let me be totally clear that I am innocent of the allegations raised against me in the public square, which are based upon misinformation and unnamed or unverifiable sources.

“I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization. I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack or interfere with the election.

“I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack Democratic Party computers; and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to create fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Clinton campaign.”

Mr. Cohen has pleaded guilty to fraud related to his private businesses, and to campaign finance charges related to hush payments to women who say they had affairs with Mr. Trump. He said he made the payments at the direction of Mr. Trump.


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