Ivanka & Donald Trump Jr. Might Be Questioned By The House Oversight After Cohen’s Hearing
In light of Michael Cohen's explosive testimony to Congress Wednesday, Politico reports that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. might be questioned next by the House Oversight Committee. Committee chair Elijah Cummings said that there's a "good chance" the committee will reach out to the president's two eldest children for interviews, according to Politico.
“All you have to do is follow the transcript,” Cummings said. “If there were names that were mentioned [by Cohen], or records that were mentioned during the hearing, we want to take a look at all of that... We’ll go through, we’ll figure out who we want to talk to, and we’ll bring them in.” Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment from Ivanka; the Trump Organization for comment from Don Jr.; and the House Oversight Committee. It's worth noting that neither Ivanka nor Don Jr. have been charged publicly with any crimes relating to Cohen's testimony.
Cohen, who was President Trump's personal attorney for years before pleading guilty in 2018 to numerous felonies, testified in front of the committee on Wednesday on various Trump-related matters. In doing so, he made three claims about Don Jr. — one of which also involved Ivanka — that could be of interest to Democrats on the Oversight Committee.
The first centered on the infamous 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between senior Trump campaign officials and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer and self-proclaimed "informant" for the Russian government. Don Jr. has admitted that he helped arrange that meeting in the hopes that Veselnitskaya would provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, though he says no such information was given.
The president has said that he "did NOT know of the meeting" at the time. However, Cohen told the committee that he believes he witnessed Don Jr. telling his father about the meeting shortly before it occurred. Cohen added that Trump would often say that his son had "the worst judgment of anyone in the world," and that Don Jr. would "never set up any meeting of any significance alone, and certainly not without checking with his father."
On Twitter, Don Jr. claimed that Cohen "lied under oath" during his testimony, but hasn't addressed any of the claims Cohen made about him specifically.
Separate from the Trump Tower meeting, Cohen also made a claim during his testimony regarding the $130,000 that Trump, through Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels in the last few weeks of the campaign. Daniels says this was hush money that she received in exchange for her silence about an affair she claims she had with Trump 10 years earlier; Trump denies the affair, but admits that he paid her the money while saying that it had "nothing to do with the campaign."
During his testimony, Cohen said that Trump reimbursed him for the Daniels payment by cutting him checks. He brought several of the checks with him to his testimony — and one of them was co-signed by Don Jr., he claimed.
Cohen acknowledged in 2018 that he broke campaign finance laws when he facilitated the Daniels payment. For that crime and others, he's been sentenced to three years in prison.
Lastly, Cohen spoke during his testimony about Trump's reported attempts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow; this issue has been of interest to investigators, in part, because it's unclear if Trump stopped pursing the project with Russian officials when he was sworn in as president.
In his testimony Wednesday, Cohen said that he briefed Don Jr. and Ivanka 10 times about the project during the 2016 campaign. If true, this would contradict both Don Jr. and Ivanka's claims about the project; Don Jr. said under oath that he was only "peripherally" aware of the project, while Ivanka told The View in February that she knew "literally almost nothing" about the project.
Although Cohen once famously claimed that he would "take a bullet" for Trump, he said during his testimony Wednesday that he's "ashamed that [he] chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts rather than listening to [his] own conscience."