Wednesday morning at 10:02 AM, convicted felon and President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen testified publicly in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill. During his explosive testimony, Cohen accused President Trump of at least five crimes: bank fraud, campaign finance violations, conspiracy (based upon Roger Stone and Candidate Trump’s contact with WikiLeaks based on the dump of 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails), false ethics filings, fraud, and making false statements.
“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Cohen said, according to his prepared testimony.
Cohen admitted in his testimony that in February 2017, President Trump made eleven payments of $35,000 each to reimburse him for the payments for the silencing of Stormy Daniels story in 2016 about her alleged affair with then-Candidate Trump.
As Cohen began reading his prepared opening statement, Republicans continued to claim that Cohen had inappropriate conversations with their Democratic counterparts when he was setting up his testimony this week. However, Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has made no secret that he has discussed testimony with Cohen and his representatives. He has said that the committee was working with the special counsel Robert Mueller and Cohen to determine what topics he would be able to discuss with lawmakers, given the ongoing investigation. The special counsel’s investigation was off limits in Wednesday’s public testimony.
In addition, Cohen also admitted to making hush-money payments that were previously undisclosed by Cohen, Trump, and the Trump Organization as they attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election and physically threatening individuals if they did not help then-Candidate Trump. Cohen says more than 500 threats in the form of litigation, articles and negative press were issued to those individuals.
At 10:45 AM, Cohen accused Trump of being a racist. Under oath, Cohen said he heard Trump say that black people “would never vote for him because they were too stupid.” Cohen continued when he and Trump were driving through a “struggling neighborhood” in Chicago, Trump said that “only black people could live that way.”
Trump has denied charges of racism before, and has said, “I’ve never used racist remarks.”
President Trump warned Cohen to inform the public he had “no business” with Russia as he privately negotiated the deal for Trump Tower in Moscow.
“To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Tower negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen said in his prepared remarks. “He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”