WATCH & COMMENT LIVE: Ex-Trump Attorney Michael Cohen Testifies Before Congress
Do you support an oversight hearing with Cohen?
by Countable | 2.26.19
Highlights of the hearing
- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), head of the committee, says he hopes the testimony made by Cohen today can help the country get back to where it once was.
- In his closing remarks, Cohen said that he fears if Trump loses the next election, "they'll never be a peaceful transition of power." He then told Trump you "don't disparage military members, don't attack the media and don't separate families and demonize people who are looking for a better life."
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-IL) questioned Cohen about "the abuses of the Trump Foundation." She asked Cohen if he's aware of any instances where money from the foundation was used to benefit the Trump family. Cohen: "Yes."
- Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, apologized for the tweets made by "other members of this body of Congress." She specifically mentioned Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and called for him to be referred to the House Ethics Committee for a tweet he made last night about Cohen, which some have argued amounted to witness tampering:
- Gaetz has since apologized for the tweet and taken it down.
- Cohen says he's seen Trump's tax returns but has never gone through them.
- Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asked Cohen if knew of specific lawyers that "reviewed and edited their statements regarding Trump-Moscow Tower?" Cohen said "there were several changes made including when the statements were made."
- Cohen testified earlier that "Trump’s desire to win would have him work with anyone." Asked whether Trump would have "the potential to cooperate or collude with a foreign power to win the presidency," Cohen answered: "Yes."
- However, Cohen added "I wouldn't use the word 'colluding.'"
- Cohen: "The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering."
- "It's a witchhunt," Cohen claimed Trump said of the Russia investigation. "He's been saying that to me for many, many months."
- Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) hammered the point that Cohen is headed to prison for lying to Congress and can't be trusted: "Ladies and gentleman, how on Earth is this witness credible?" Green asked. He later added: "He's a fake witness and his presence here is a travesty," Green said of Cohen.
- Cohen said Trump "asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did."
- "[Trump] once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a 's---hole.' This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States," Cohen claimed.
- Cohen said Trump knew of the release of the DNC emails "ahead of time." "As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails."
- "Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power," Cohen said.
- Cohen said Trump knew of the negotiations about Trump Moscow "throughout the campaign and lied about it."
- Cohen said Trump did "not directly tell me to lie to Congress."
"In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie."
- Cohen admits he "lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign," he said.
- President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is set to testify in public before Congress on Wednesday at 10a.m.
- Cohen, who’s also been called Trump’s “fixer,” is headed to prison in May after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations, including paying hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with the president. Cohen also plead guilty to lying to Congress and tax fraud.
- Republicans on the panel have called Cohen “an admitted serial liar” and are accusing Democrats of putting on a political show.
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