“The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump.” Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen took to the House Oversight and Reform Committee a twenty page testimony of claims and accusations against the president’s racist speech, misuse of campaign finances, role in Russian relations, use of bribery in internal political affairs and so much more. Below is the evidence that Cohen brought to the table as directly quoted from his testimony:
- “A copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account – after he became president – to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign;
- Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank;
- A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs; and
- Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.”
In 2018, Cohen stood (or rather, sat) before Congress and denied the existence of ongoing negotiations with Russia regarding the Moscow Tower project- as of last week, this statement was withdrew.
Cohen came forward about lying to the American public regarding the Administration’s involvement with Russia but did not openly state that President Trump forced him to lie on his behalf. Instead, Cohen claims that while he was actively negotiating with the foreign country, Trump would “ look me [Cohen] 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.”
This statement sounded arguably reminiscent to the Comey testimonies of 2018 in which the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation explained how the president used words like “I hope” in order to let Comey know what he was expected to do. Cohen also claimed that Trump inflated his assets to get on top along with the best of the best Forbes and counterwise deflated his assets to minimize real estate taxes and even used money from the Trump Foundation, a supposed charity, to repay a bidder that was hired to purchase an auctioned portrait of the president, at the highest bid of the night- in this case, sixty thousand dollars.
Taking endless swings at Trump’s personal integrity, or lack of thereof. Cohen explains:
“He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.”
In regards to racism, the following statements were listed and noted:
“While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.”
“In private, he is even worse. He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.” This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.”
Though the information provided by the former attorney is monumental, Congress questions the credibility of a man that continuously lied before the court not too long ago. With that said, Cohen consistently reiterated his faults throughout his time working alongside President Trump: “I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know
what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat.” Cohen is set to begin his three month prison sentence this may as a result of financial mishandlings and lying before Congress.