Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer who recently pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other misdeeds, is scheduled to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform today. His prepared remarks have already been made public–and, boy, are they a doozy.
Cohen wrote that he is ashamed of his actions, and described Trump as a “racist,” a “conman,” and a “cheat.” Those aren’t even the juiciest elements of the testimony! Here are a few standout passages:
- Cohen alleged that Trump knew firsthand that Roger Stone was leaking information to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks: “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 that Trump made him send threatening letters to educational institutions so they didn’t release the President’s past test scores: “When I say conman, I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.”
- Cohen also alleged that Trump’s presidential campaign was for his own business pursuits: “Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the ‘greatest infomercial in political history.'”
- He described Trump boasting about cheating the IRS: “When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half–including mine–he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving ‘someone like him’ that much money back.”
- Cohen said that Trump allegedly knew about the Russia meeting: “I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk– which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. 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 not only makes these incriminating allegations, but provides documents too. They include supposedly hush money payments Trump allegedly made to Cohen while he was president, the President’s financial statements to Deutsche Bank between 2011 and 2013, as well as a handwritten note from Trump regarding the auction of a personal portrait (“[Trump] arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs”).
The claims Cohen made are quite serious, and there’s a lot more in his testimony. Today, he will sit before Congress and describe his tenure with the Trump. It’s quite likely that more bombshells will come to light.
You can read the full written testimony here.