While testifying before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has spent a good amount of time detailing his suspicions that Trump directly colluded with Russia.
Cohen’s claims revolve around the 2017 revelation that in June 2016, a series of email with the subject line “Dirt on Hillary Clinton” were used to set up a meeting in Trump Tower between Don Jr. and representatives of the Russian government.
Cohen recalls making a significant connection during that interaction:
I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk—which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: “The meeting is all set.” I remember Mr. Trump saying, “Ok good…let me know.”
Cohen alleges that this was the moment in which Don Jr. told his father about the meeting with the Russian government, and Trump’s resultant display of his own involvement in the undertaking.
Cohen remembers this one-off occurrence so vividly, because, as he puts it, “Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world.” Therefore, this suspiciously personal interaction—and one that apparently saw Don Jr. leading the setup of a meeting—stood out to Cohen.
Cohen made that connection, then, that Trump must have known about the meeting firsthand. “I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” he told the Committee. “So, I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary … ”
Watch the relevant clip of Cohen’s testimony below, and read more about his opening remarks here.
And to end on an existentially sad note…