A Glimpse at Trump Behavior Cited in Impeachment Talks

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, told federal investigators that another lawyer representing Trump dismissed his warnings that a letter to Congress describing discussions between Russian officials and representatives of the Trump Organization about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow omitted key details, newly released memos show. Cohen’s letter to Congress was sent in 2017. He later pleaded guilty to several charges and is serving a prison sentence. Details of Cohen dealings were included in a batch of memos — documents called “302s” summarizing interviews with witnesses in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, released by the Justice Department in response to a lawsuit by BuzzFeed and CNN, reports the New York Times..

Some of the memos describe a pattern of behavior by the president that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry by House Democrats. In one, former Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski described Trump directing him to deliver a statement to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that he wanted Sessions to release in his own name. Trump wanted Sessions to say that Trump “didn’t do anything wrong” and that the existence of the special prosecutor was “unfair” to Sessions.  Lewandowski never delivered the message to Sessions. Other memos describe how former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo that became the justification for firing the FBI director James Comey in 2017, was conflicted about what he had done. The day before Comey was fired, Rosenstein was called to the White House to meet with the president and others and told to write a memo summarizing his concerns about Comey. “I knew when I left Director Comey would be fired,” Rosenstein is quoted as saying. After it happened, Rosenstein said he felt “angry, ashamed, horrified and embarrassed.”

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