Donald Dossier: How Cohen's Reveal Reduces the Risk of Impeachment

by Garry Watts March 1, 2019, 0:25
Donald Dossier: How Cohen's Reveal Reduces the Risk of Impeachment

Following his aborted summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump told reporters Thursday in Vietnam that Cohen " lied a lot" in his depiction of the president as a racist and con artist and assailed House Democrats for holding the hearing as he was overseas.

Trump criticized the timing of the hearing saying it should not have been happened while he was on an important trip.

The appearance marked the latest step in Cohen's evolution from legal fixer for the president - he once boasted he'd "take a bullet" for Trump - to a foe who has implicated him in federal campaign finance violations.

The chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, was involved with Cohen in paying hush money to an adult film actress in the days before the election - with Trump's blessing, Cohen said.

Cohen told lawmakers Mr Trump had directed him to lie about the payment of hush money to women, and about negotiations for a Moscow property deal during the 2016 White House election campaign. Weisselberg is the CFO of The Trump Organization.

"I do not", he said. Cohen said he could not discuss that conversation, the last contact he said he has had with the president or anyone acting on his behalf, because it remains under investigation.

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, is flanked by his attorneys Lanny Davis (L) and Mike Monico (R) as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 27, 2019.

"I am sad that Michael would turn his back on a man to whom he has repeatedly said he owes everything in the hope of a reduced prison sentence", she added. "Mr Trump would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest infomercial in political history". Stone was indicted in January for obstruction, false statements and witness tampering, and he denies Cohen's allegations. "Quite a few times", on some 500 occasions, Trump ordered Cohen to threaten people.

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".

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He said Mr Trump then told the Trump Foundation - a charitable organisation - to repay the fake bidder the $60,000 that had been spent on the painting, despite keeping the piece of art himself.

Cohen says Weisselberg decided that reimbursements to Cohen should be spread out over 12 months to "hide what the payment was". 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. He testified that Trump "would never" strike his wife Melania, despite rumors to the contrary; that to his knowledge, Trump did not father a "love child", despite AMI's David Pecker "catch and kill" payment of $15,000 to an accuser on Trump's behalf; that he has never been to Prague, undermining one of the most notable stories in the infamous Christopher Steele dossier; and that Trump was mainly interested in building his brand and never expected to win the presidency-a narrative that weakens the perception that Trump and Putin cooked up and executed an epic fraud on the American public in exchange for pro-Russia policies once in office.

Cohen also took aim at a fellow personal lawyer for Trump.

The Republicans on the committee mounted no objections to the substance of Cohen's testimony.

During the hearing, the president's fellow Republicans pilloried committee Democrats for inviting a man convicted of lying to Congress.

Cohen replied, "As neither should I as the son of a Holocaust survivor".

"I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now", Cohen said.

As someone who considered #MichaelCohen one of my very best friends for the past 10+ years - virtually inseparable... "He speaks in a code, and I understand the code because I've been around him for a decade".

Cohen also suggested there could be more revelations to come.

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