Trump 'impressed' Cohen told Congress there was 'no collusion'
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 01, 2019,
Mar 01, 2019, 0:23
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee spent the bulk of their floor time Wednesday attempting to impugn the credibility of former Trump lawyer Michael D. Cohen, who reports to federal prison in May for multiple felonies, including lying to Congress.
So media coverage has been completely consumed by the smorgasbord of Trump scandals rather than Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un.
Cohen said Trump knew ahead of time - via the political consultant Roger Stone - that WikiLeaks would publish damaging information obtained from Russian hackers on his Democratic opponent Clinton.
According to Fox News, the letter says that Cohen's testimony "was a spectacular and brazen attempt to knowing and willfully testify falsely and fictitiously to numerous material facts", that were "designed to make himself look better on a national stage".
Cohen said he had no evidence that Mr Trump colluded with an alleged Russian plot to influence the 2016 election, though he had his suspicions. I am giving the Committee today a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from me to Ms. Clifford's [aka Stormy Daniels'] attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by Ms. Clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with Mr. Trump.
"The President of the United States thus wrote a check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws", Cohen testified. Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress.
Committee chairman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, said his panel would further investigate issues raised by Cohen's testimony and may try to get the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., and his former accountant, Allen Weisselberg, to testify.
The White House and Republicans sought to undermine Cohen's credibility, insisting his history of lying to Congress - to which he pleaded guilty a year ago - made his testimony unreliable.
Sceptical and, at times, hostile Republicans noted repeatedly that Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.
Cohen worked for Trump for 10 years.
"T$3 here is no amount of money in the world that would make me work for a man who I thought-or even suspected-harbored bigoted ideologies", she said in her post, praising Trump for raising "five of the most unbiased and open-minded children I've ever known".
Cohen also suggested federal prosecutors in NY are investigating some unspecified crime involving Trump.
Cohen said Trump did not directly tell him to lie, but "he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russian Federation and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing".
"It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes", Cohen said. If Cohen lied during his earlier testimony, it's reasonable to believe that he told the truth today in saying that he is no longer protecting Trump. He said Cohen was "incorrect" and that he "lied a lot".
It's hard to say whether this puts Trump in any personal legal jeopardy. While Barack Obama was still president, Trump asked Cohen if he could name a country run by a Black person that wasn't a "shithole", a term Trump has used in the past. In two months, Cohen will begin serving a three-year prison sentence.
Trump signed at least one of the reimbursement checks. "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore".
Cohen also said some things in Trump's favor.
Cohen said nothing happened within the Trump Organization without Trump knowing about it.
Patton, who serves as an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, did not speak at the hearing but had a statement entered on record.