WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen told a congressional panel Wednesday that he is ashamed of ever having worked for his former boss.
“I am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s elicit 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, and he is a cheat,” Cohen said in his opening statement to the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Cohen said Trump once asked him if he could “name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “sh**hole.” Cohen said Trump once told him that black voters would not support him because they are “too stupid.”
Cohen said that then-candidate Trump was aware that campaign adviser Roger Stone had spoken with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about email drops prior to the organization publishing hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Shortly after Cohen made the claim, WikiLeaks said Assange never spoke with Stone.
STATEMENT on Michael Cohen testimony to Congress: WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has never had a telephone call with Roger Stone. WikiLeaks publicly teased its pending publications on Hillary Clinton and published > 30k of her emails on 16 March 2016. https://t.co/XcH75u3kbu
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 27, 2019
Cohen said that he had not been truthful during his 2017 testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence committees about the date Trump ceased negotiating a planned Trump Tower project in Moscow. Cohen said the statement he initially gave the committees about the project had been “reviewed and edited” by Trump attorneys in advance.
Cohen said he received $130,000 in reimbursement from Trump for having paid adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged extramarital affair. Cohen said he received a $35,000 installment after Trump took office. Cohen submitted a copy of the check into the committee record as part of his testimony.
Soon after the committee gaveled in around 10 a.m., Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) moved to postpone the hearing on the grounds that Cohen did not submit his written testimony to the committee until late Tuesday evening. Committee rules require that written testimony be submitted 24 hours in advance.
Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) seconded the motion.
“CNN had it before we did.”
Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) objected to the motion but allowed the committee to vote. The motion was tabled.
Jordan attacked Cohen’s credibility in his opening statement.
“This might be the first time someone convicted of lying to Congress has appeared again so quickly in front of Congress. Certainly it’s the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness in a hearing. And there’s a reason this is a first, because no other committee would do it. Think about this.”
He added: “So now Clinton loyalist, Clinton operative Lanny Davis (Cohen’s lead attorney) has persuaded the chairman of the oversight committee to give a convicted felon a forum to tell stories and lie about the president of the United States so they can all start their impeachment process. Mr. Chairman, we are better than this. We are better than this.”
Last November, Cohen pleaded guilty to one of count of lying to Congress, acknowledging he misled lawmakers about the planned Moscow apartment project.
Six months earlier, Cohen pleaded guilty to two campaign finance violations for payments he arranged for adult film star Stormy Daniels as well as Playboy model and actress Karen McDougal in exchange for their silence over alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen told prosecutors that he delivered the payments at the behest of the then-candidate.
Trump has routinely dismissed Cohen — who famously said in a 2017 Vanity Fair interview that he “would take a bullet for the president” — as a liar.
On Dec. 12, 2018, a federal judge sentenced Cohen to three years in prison for his crimes and also fined him $2 million. Cohen was scheduled to report to federal prison on March 6 but a judge postponed the sentence to begin in May so that Cohen could would have more time to arrange testimony as well as recover from shoulder surgery.
New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan court disbarred Cohen on Tuesday as a result of his felony convictions.
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News
Bryan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a life-long passion for politics at all levels. He has interned in the Maryland General Assembly and has volunteered for several congressional campaigns. Given this particular background, he has a unique insight into the dynamics of political analysis. When he is not writing, Bryan spends his time reading about history and frequenting Chinese restaurants.