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Michael Cohen to call Trump a ‘conman’ in congressional testimony

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President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he “looks forward to” a public hearing before lawmakers on capitol hill tomorrow. (Feb. 26)
AP

Michael Cohen will label President Donald Trump as a “conman” and a “cheat” before Congress on Wednesday and present multiple documents to illustrate the president’s “illicit” financial activities, according to his opening statement, first reported late Tuesday by Politico.

Set to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump’s former attorney and fixer plans to say that Trump knew a longtime associate was discussing a WikiLeaks drop and implicitly instructed him to lie about a Moscow Trump Tower project negotiated during the 2016 campaign. 

The documents will include a copy of a personal check Trump wrote to him after becoming president to reimburse Cohen for hush money payments made for Trump’s alleged affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. The statement also says Cohen will provide proof that Trump deflated his assets to lower his taxes through three years of financial statements.

Cohen, who plans to say that he is ashamed for “concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts,” will also apologize to first lady Melania Trump for covering up  Trump’s affair with Daniels, according to the statement.

“Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets,” Cohen plans to say. “She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”

Cohen says Trump lied about the Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars and didn’t expect to win.  

“And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie,” his remarks say. “And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.” 

More: Republican congressman Matt Gaetz sends apparent threat to Michael Cohen, alleging affair

More: Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, disbarred because of his felony convictions

Days before the 2016 Democratic Convention, Cohen says he heard a conversation between Roger Stone and Trump on speaker phone. Stone, who has been charged with obstruction and lying to Congress, told Trump that he had just spoken with Julian Assange. When Stone shared that Assange said “a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign” would be released soon, Trump effectively responded, “Wouldn’t that be great,” Cohen alleges.

He will also recount an interaction between Trump and Donald Trump Jr. suggesting Trump knew about a June 2016 meeting between a Russian lawyer and campaign officials at a Trump Tower. 

“I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: ‘The meeting is all set.’ I remember Mr. Trump saying, ‘OK, good … let me know,’” Cohen plans to testify.  

Also, Cohen will say he has letters that Trump told him to write threatening Trump’s high school, colleges and the College Board not to release his grades or test scores.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/26/michael-cohen-call-trump-conman-congressional-testimony/3001132002/


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