Former Trump attorney calls president dishonest, conman

Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is expected to call the 45th U.S. president a cheat, conman, and racist in a prepared statement scheduled to be delivered to Congress later today, Feb. 27, 2019.

Photo by Ronald Hawkins

CNN broke the story just after midnight following the news network’s acquisition of an advance copy of his opening statement.

Cohen has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. During a sentencing hearing in federal court in Manhattan,  Cohen claimed he acted out of “blind loyalty” to President Trump. The judge declared he will serve time for a “smorgasbord” of fraudulent crimes.

In the statement tentatively expected to be delivered to Congress today, Cohen states that Trump was aware of longtime adviser Roger Stone’s efforts to reach out to WikiLeaks in advance of its release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to a copy of his public testimony submitted to Congress.

In the 20-page statement provided Tuesday night to lawmakers, Cohen states that Trump made racist statements about African-Americans, that Trump participated during his presidency in an illegal hush-money scheme to keep an alleged extramarital affairs quiet, Trump faked a medical condition to get out of serving in the Vietnam War and that Trump was involved in an aggressive pursuit of a major project in Russia in 2016.

Cohen is expected to provide new details, according to CNN, saying Trump was engaged in an aggressive pursuit of a major project in Russia in 2016, alleging the President’s attorneys edited Cohen’s 2017 testimony when he lied to Congress, downplaying the efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen states although Trump never directly ordered him to lie to Congress he believed he was carrying out an order given his interactions with Trump, who was making public statements about not having any business dealings with Russia.

Cohen will allege that, in 2016, he witnessed Trump taking a phone call from Stone, who was on speakerphone.

“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 will say, according to his prepared testimony.

Trump responded, according to Cohen: “Wouldn’t that be great.”

Cohen also said the President’s personal lawyers “reviewed and edited” his 2017 statements when Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Organization’s pursuit of a massive project in Moscow.

Stone — who has been indicted on charges of making false statements, witness tampering and obstructing justice — has denied discussing the matter with Trump or having any such interactions with WikiLeaks.

Cohen’s opening statement also suggests that Trump may have been aware in advance of a 2016 meeting set up by Donald Trump Jr. and Russians at Trump Tower — something that Trump and his eldest son have long denied.

Cohen reportedly will tell Congress that he witnessed Trump Jr., in June 2016, tell his father: “The meeting is all set.”

Cohen states not knowing for sure that Trump’s son’s comments were in reference to the meeting with Russians.

“I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” according to the statement issued in advance.

“So I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary.”

According to a copy of the opening statement he prepared to deliver to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, Cohen says Trump lied repeatedly about a number of matters — and made a host of racist statements.

“To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Tower negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Cohen is expected to tell the committee. “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.”

For the complete advance copy of Cohen’s statement, go to https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/27/politics/cohen-testimony-read/index.html</a></div>

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And the Oscar winners are:

Best Picture: Green Book

A scene from “Green Book,” the 2018 Best Picture winner. Actor Mershala Ali, right, won the Oscar for Best Supporting actor.

Outstanding Achievement in Directing: Alfonso Curon, “Roma”

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite.”

Oscar winner Olivia Colman in “The Favourite.”

Best Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Best Supporting Actor: Mersela Ali, Green Book.

Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma.”

Best Original Screenplay: “Green Book.”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Blackkksman,” Spike Lee, et al.

Spike Lee.

Best Original Score: “Black Panther.”

“Black Panther” won the Oscar for Best Original Score

Best Original Song: by Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born.”

Best Animated Feature: “Spider-man, Into the Spider Verse.”

Best Documentary: “Free Solo.

This is a partial list of the awards announced at the Feb. 24, 2019, Academy Awards ceremonies.

‘Roma’ wins BAFTA best picture honor

It is less than a week before the U.S. Academy Award winners are announced, but the British EE British Academy Film Awards were issued last month. Frequently, these honors are a clue as to which films might win the Oscars, which will be handed out Feb. 24.

Some of the winners of the British awards:

BEST FILM

Roma was the winner of the BAFTA 2018 best picture winner
  • BLACKkKLANSMAN Jason Blum, Spike Lee, Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele
  • THE FAVOURITE Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday
  • GREEN BOOK Jim Burke, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Charles B. Wessler
  • Winner – ROMA Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez
  • A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper, Bill Gerber, Lynette Howell Taylor


OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Olivia Colman in ‘The Favourite.’
  • BEAST Michael Pearce, Kristian Brodie, LaureBEAST Michael Pearce, Kristian Brodie, Lauren Dark, Ivana MacKinnon
  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Graham King, Anthony McCarten
  • Winner – THE FAVOURITE Yorgos Lanthimos, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
  • McQUEEN Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig
  • STAN & OLLIE Jon S. Baird, Faye Ward, Jeff Pope
  • YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Lynne Ramsay, Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, James Wilson

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

  • APOSTASY Daniel Kokotajlo (Writer/Director)
  • Winner – BEAST Michael Pearce (Writer/Director), Lauren Dark (Producer)
  • A CAMBODIAN SPRING Chris Kelly (Writer/Director/Producer)
  • PILI Leanne Welham (Writer/Director), Sophie Harman (Producer)
  • RAY & LIZ Richard Billingham (Writer/Director), Jacqui Davies (Producer)

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • CAPERNAUM Nadine Labaki, Khaled Mouzanar
  • COLD WAR Paweł Pawlikowski, Tanya Seghatchian, Ewa Puszczyńska
  • DOGMAN Matteo Garrone
  • Winner – ROMA Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez
  • SHOPLIFTERS Hirokazu Kore-eda, Kaoru Matsuzaki

DOCUMENTARY

  • Winner – FREE SOLO Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Shannon Dill, Evan Hayes
  • McQUEEN Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui
  • RBG Julie Cohen, Betsy West
  • THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD Peter Jackson, Clare Olssen
  • THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS Tim Wardle, Grace Hughes-Hallett, Becky Read

ANIMATED FILM

  • INCREDIBLES 2 Brad Bird, John Walker
  • ISLE OF DOGS Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson
  • Winner – SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord

DIRECTOR

  • BLACKkKLANSMAN Spike Lee
  • COLD WAR Paweł Pawlikowski
  • THE FAVOURITE Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Winner – ROMA Alfonso Cuarón
  • A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • COLD WAR Janusz Głowacki, Paweł Pawlikowski
  • Winner – THE FAVOURITE Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
  • GREEN BOOK Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga
  • ROMA Alfonso Cuarón
  • VICE Adam McKay

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Winner – BLACKkKLANSMAN Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott
  • CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
  • FIRST MAN Josh Singer
  • IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Barry Jenkins
  • A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, Eric Roth

LEADING ACTRESS

  • GLENN CLOSE The Wife
  • LADY GAGA A Star Is Born
  • MELISSA McCARTHY Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Winner – OLIVIA COLMAN The Favourite
  • VIOLA DAVIS Widows

LEADING ACTOR

  • BRADLEY COOPER A Star Is Born
  • CHRISTIAN BALE Vice
  • Winner – RAMI MALEK Bohemian Rhapsody
  • STEVE COOGAN Stan & Ollie
  • VIGGO MORTENSEN Green Book

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • AMY ADAMS Vice
  • CLAIRE FOY First Man
  • EMMA STONE The Favourite
  • MARGOT ROBBIE Mary Queen of Scots
  • Winner – RACHEL WEISZ The Favourite

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • ADAM DRIVER BlacKkKlansman
  • Winner – MAHERSHALA ALI Green Book
  • RICHARD E. GRANT Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • SAM ROCKWELL Vice
  • TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET Beautiful Boy

ORIGINAL MUSIC

  • BLACKkKLANSMAN Terence Blanchard
  • IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Nicholas Britell
  • ISLE OF DOGS Alexandre Desplat
  • MARY POPPINS RETURNS Marc Shaiman
  • Winner – A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Lukas Nelson

CINEMATOGRAPHY


  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Newton Thomas Sigel
  • COLD WAR Łukasz Żal
  • THE FAVOURITE Robbie Ryan
  • FIRST MAN Linus Sandgren
  • Winner – ROMA Alfonso Cuarón