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.
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>