National Security

Cohen testimony: Trump a ‘conman,’ ‘racist’ who knew Stone talked with WikiLeaks

Michael Cohen is expected to deliver scathing and explosive testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, calling President Trump a “conman,” a “racist” and a “cheat,” according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by The Hill.

Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, also directly alleges that the president knew ahead of time that Roger Stone, the Republican operative who worked as an informal adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, coordinated with WikiLeaks to dump a tranche of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails during the 2016 presidential race.  

{mosads}”I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of DNC emails,” Cohen says in the prepared remarks.

“A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes,” he continues.
Cohen claims that Trump spoke to Stone on speakerphone, and he overheard Stone saying that Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was planning to dump emails in a couple days that “would damage [Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
“Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great,'” Cohen’s prepared remarks say.
The White House and Stone did not immediately return requests for comment by The Hill. 
Cohen also confronted Republican criticism about his credibility head on, stating that he plans to offer documentation to back up his claims about the president. 
“I recognize that some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility. It is for this reason I have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful,” he says.
This is in large part because Cohen, who became entangled in two separate prosecutions by the Southern District of New York and the special counsel’s investigation, pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress as well as violating campaign finance laws and financial crimes.
“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,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement released Tuesday.
Sanders, when asked for comment on Cohen’s prepared remarks, referred The Hill to her previous statement. Stone did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cohen’s testimony makes a series of allegations against the president, including that he said black people “would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”
He also suggested that Trump expected him to lie about his business negotiations to set up a Trump Tower in Moscow.
“Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates. … At the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he 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,” Cohen’s prepared remarks say.
“Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign … 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.”
Cohen claims Trump repeatedly asked him about the status of the deal and “made it clear” he wanted him to lie to Congress about the negotiations because “his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.”
The bombshell remarks set up what is likely to be an explosive hearing on Wednesday as lawmakers seek to peel back the layers of what Cohen knows about the president and any alleged dirty laundry he may have knowledge about. Cohen, however, will not be discussing anything related to Russia — that is a topic he will testify about behind closed doors on Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee and which he testified about before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
Cohen’s public testimony will take place while his former boss is in Vietnam, where he is meeting again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump in a tweet ahead of the summit with Kim repeated his claim that Cohen is lying to get a lighter prison sentence.
Prior to the release of Cohen’s prepared testimony, the White House had also sought to downplay Cohen’s congressional appearance.
“I don’t think the president has any concerns whatsoever about Michael Cohen,” Sanders said Friday on Fox News. “I think Michael Cohen may need to be concerned for himself, but that’s certainly something that’s not influencing or bothering us in this building.”
Updated at 7:11 a.m. 

Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, by M Mali on Scribd

Tags Cohen testimony Donald Trump Hearing Hillary Clinton Roger Stone

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