Cohen to testify Trump used racist language, lied about wealth: NYT

President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen will reportedly testify on Wednesday that the president has a history of making racist comments and altering his net worth for business purposes.

The New York Times reported that Cohen will use his public testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee to describe the "lies, racism and cheating” Trump engaged in, as well as allegations that he was involved in criminal conduct while in office.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen is expected to recount examples of Trump's racist comments, including times when he allegedly questioned the intelligence of African-Americans.


Cohen previously alleged in a November interview with Vanity Fair that Trump made racist statements during the 2016 campaign and during the early seasons of "The Apprentice."

Trump's critics and some Democrats have labeled the president racist, pointing to his vocal role in pushing the "birther" conspiracy theory that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. and his comments that "both sides" were to blame for violence at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

A person familiar with Cohen's planned remarks told each news outlet that Cohen will also allege Trump inflated or deflated his net worth to benefit personally or in business, including to avoid taxes. 

Cohen has a financial statement of Trump's to support his claim, the Times reported, but it cannot be independently verified without the president's tax returns. Trump broke with precedent during the 2016 campaign in refusing to release his returns and has refused to do so since taking office.

The Times previously published an extensive report that said the president and his family used "dubious" tax practices in the 1990s that allowed them to reap millions of dollars.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed Cohen after reports of his planned testimony were published.

“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements," Sanders said in a statement. "Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies.”

Cohen, who worked for years as Trump's personal attorney and fixer, was sentenced late last year to serve three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations, bank fraud, tax fraud and lying to Congress about the timing of negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow.

The president has decried his longtime employee as a "rat" and a "weak person," accusing Cohen of lying to secure a softer prison sentence.

He has denied that he directed Cohen to break the law and insisted that hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign to women that alleged they had affairs with Trump did not constitute campaign finance law violations.

Cohen will speak privately on Tuesday with the Senate Intelligence Committee ahead of his public testimony on Wednesday. Cohen's public testimony will coincide with the president's first day of meetings in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Democrats have for weeks sought to hear from Cohen, who last month rescheduled his testimony after he accused Trump of witness intimidation.

Republicans on the Oversight and Reform Committee are expected to question Cohen's credibility, noting that he has already admitted to lying to Congress in the past.