WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, will make extraordinary claims about a man whom he calls a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat,” according a copy of Cohen’s statement.
The statement also indicates that Cohen plans to bring documents to his hearing before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that he will claim provide “irrefutable” proof that his testimony is “accurate and truthful.”
Those documents include a copy of a check that Cohen will tell the committee Trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse Cohen for the hush money payments he made to pornographic film actress Stephanie Clifford, known by her stage name of Stormy Daniels, to help his 2016 election chances.
If the payment to Clifford was intended to keep her quiet about her affair with Trump in order to help his chances in the 2016 election, and he did not report it as a campaign expense on his disclosure forms — which Cohen and government prosecutors allege is the case — that could be a felony.
The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has said Trump reimbursed Cohen for the payment through a retainer fee of $35,000 per month out of his personal family account. If Cohen can in fact provide lawmakers with a copy of the check, that could refute Giuliani’s assertion.
His statement also indicates he will provide financial statements from 2011 through 2013 that Cohen will say Trump gave to Deutsche Bank and other institutions, as well as copies of letters Cohen will say he wrote at Trump’s direction that threatened the president’s high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or standardized test scores.
The former Trump “fixer” will testify that Trump was “a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.
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“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is,” Cohen said in his statement.
Cohen will also claim in his testimony that Trump, as a presidential candidate, knew that his recently indicted campaign adviser, Roger Stone, was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee emails — and that Trump knew of and directed the negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow throughout the 2016 campaign and lied about it because he “never expected to win the election.”
Cohen says in his statement that Trump never intended to win even the Republican primary — much less the general election — and that he viewed his entry into the 2016 GOP field as a marketing opportunity to build his brand.
Trump would often tell Cohen and others that his 2016 campaign would be the “greatest infomercial in political history,” according to Cohen’s statement.