On February 27, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee for six hours. In two months, Cohen will begin serving a three-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations involving illegal hush money and falsely testifying to Congress that Trump Tower Moscow negotiations had ended before the campaign.
“The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump,” Cohen testified. “I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore.”
Cohen called Trump “a racist,” “a conman” and “a cheat,” who enlisted others to do his dirty work. “Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.” He “would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people.”
“In his way, he was telling me to lie,” Cohen testified. He added that Trump would say, “Michael, it never happened” or “It’s a lie.” Moreover, he said, “Lying for Mr. Trump was normalized and no one around him questioned it. In fairness, no one questions it now.”
Trump “knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” according to Cohen. “And so, I lied about it, too — because Mr. Trump had made clear to me … that he wanted me to lie.”
Cohen said Trump knew ahead of time that the hacked Democratic National Committee emails would be released. When Cohen was in Trump’s office, Roger Stone called. Trump put him on speakerphone. Stone said Julian Assange had told him that within a couple of days there would be a massive email dump that would hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“Trump is a cheat,” Cohen testified. He described Trump inflating and deflating his assets as it suited his financial interests. Trump would…