Cohen tells Ocasio-Cortez that Trump inflated assets for insurance purposes

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE inflated and deflated his assets over the years, and provided Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Murkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Warren, Ocasio-Cortez press Mnuchin on role in Sears bankruptcy MORE (D-N.Y.) with a list of Trump associates who could provide additional information.

Asked during his appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee if Trump ever provided inflated assets, Cohen answered that he had. The former longtime Trump lawyer added that lawmakers could find more related information and documentation at the Trump Organization and from executives Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.


Cohen also confirmed to Ocasio-Cortez that Trump was interested in reducing his local tax bills by deflating his assets. The New York congresswoman cited a golf club near her home district as an example.

"You deflate the value of the asset and then you put in a request to the tax department for a deduction," Cohen said, explaining the practice.

Cohen said he did not know whether an October New York Times report that Trump engaged in dubious tax practices to reap millions was true, but said that Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, would.

The exchange came near the end of a lengthy day of testimony that began with Cohen alleging in public testimony that Trump was a "conman" and a "cheat."

The president, who was traveling in Vietnam for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accused Cohen earlier in the day of lying to try to reduce his prison sentence.

Cohen is set to report to prison in May for charges that he pleaded guilty to last year, including financial crimes, violating campaign finance law and lying to Congress.

Trump broke with years of precedent when he refused to release his tax returns when running for president.

Cohen suggested Wednesday that it was unlikely that Trump was under audit, as the president and White House officials had suggested.