President Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, presented a deeply negative picture of the boss he'd once been intensely loyal to in public testimony before the House Oversight Committee yesterday (February 27th), calling Trump a con man, a cheat and a racist. Among his claims, Cohen said that Trump had been told in advance by his longtime friend and confidante Roger Stone that WikiLeaks would be dumping stolen Democratic emails that would be damaging to Clinton. Stone denied that yesterday as did a lawyer for Assange. Cohen also testified that Trump had lied throughout the 2016 campaign about not having business interests in Russia, while all the while he was pursuing a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
He compared Trump to a mob boss who demanded total loyalty and expected those beneath him to lie to protect him. Cohen, who is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe, is facing three years jail time for lying to Congress abut the Moscow Trump Tower deal and committing campaign finance violations by making payments before the election to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Cohen said Trump knew about those payments and reimbursed him for them as president, presenting a check signed by Trump yesterday for lawmakers to see. Cohen said that his loyalty to Trump had cost him everything, and, quote, "I will not sit back say nothing and allow him to do the same to the country.” While Democrats questioned Cohen about his allegations, nearly all Republicans on the committee instead repeatedly blasted Cohen as a convicted liar, with some suggesting his goal was to get a book or movie deal. Also from Cohen's testimony:
He said Trump never directly told him to lie to Congress about the Moscow Trump Tower project, but that he got that message implicitly. He said Trump "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 by saying the same thing," adding that, quote, "in his way, he was telling me to lie."
Cohen said Trump never expected to win and that the presidential campaign for him, quote, "was always a marketing opportunity."
Cohen said Trump made him threatened schools he attended to not release his grades and SAT scores.
Cohen said Trump once told him that although the public reason for his medical deferment from the Vietnam War was bone spurs, he had not intention of going, saying, "You think I'm stupid. I wasn't going to Vietnam."
Cohen said he doesn't have direct evidence that Trump colluded with Russia during the election, but that he has "suspicions" about it.