The May 18, 2017 Meeting with Trump, Jay Sekulow, and Michael Cohen
One of the things that happened in yesterday’s Michael Cohen testimony is that Gerald Connolly seems to have dated a meeting between the President, Cohen, and Jay Sekulow: May 18, 2017. That’s based off a May 16 email that refers to a Thursday meeting.
Gerry Connolly: There was an email from a special assistant to the President to a Deputy White House Counsel, and the email is dated May 16, 2017 and it says, and I quote, POTUS, meaning the President, requested a meeting on Thursday with Michael Cohen and Jay Sekulow. Any idea what this might be about, end-quote? Do you recall being asked to come to the White House on or around that time, with Mr. Sekulow, May of 2017?
Michael Cohen: Off the top of my head sir, I don’t. I recall being in the White House with Jay Sekulow and it was in regard to the document production as well as my appearance before the House Select Intel.
Thursday that week would have been May 18.
As Cohen lays out in the rest of the clip, at the meeting Trump told him to cooperate but then repeated the lines (Cohen says he knew) Trump wanted him to use: There is no Russia, there is no collusion, there is no deal. This stuff has to end.
If that is, indeed, when Cohen and Sekulow started working on Cohen’s perjurious testimony, it is remarkable timing. This post has a timeline of Cohen’s evolving lies. Of note, the timing in May looks like this:
May 9: Trump fires Jim Comey
May 16: Trump asks for a meeting with Sekulow and Cohen
May 17: Rod Rosenstein appoints Mueller
May 18: Cohen, Sekulow, and Trump meet during which Trump lays out the party line
May 30: Cohen says he won’t cooperate with HPSCI
Among other things, this means that Trump was laying out a party line even before Mueller got appointed. It also means that They recognized the risk of this testimony before the HPSCI request moved to a subpoena.
Remember, according to his testimony yesterday, Cohen claimed Sekulow edited his testimony, including by foreshortening the time during which the Trump Tower deal remained active during the election (though Sekulow denies it).
As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.