Biggest Takeaways From Michael Cohen’s Second Hearing

Michael Cohen Testifies Before The Congress
Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images

In a lengthy five-hour court hearing, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer testified before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee to explain his allegations that Trump performed numerous illegal acts and misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign and while in office.

On Wednesday, Michael Cohen accused Trump of being a “racist,” a “liar” and a “cheater,” adding that Trump has not revealed his full relationship with the Russian government in its entirety, specifically regarding plans for a Trump Tower project in Moscow. With that, Cohen frequently acknowledged that he previously lied to Congress, but noted the majority of Trump’s staff has lied on Trump’s behalf in order to cover his illegal and insincere acts. The biggest revelations from Cohen’s testimony were Cohen’s detailed recollections of Trump’s racist behavior, hush money payments made to Trump’s former lovers, Roger Stone, and WikiLeaks, why Trump didn’t fight in the Vietnam War and threats made on Trump’s behalf.

“He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat,” Cohen said on the topic of Trump’s alleged racist views. “He once asked me if I could name a country run by a Black person that wasn’t a ‘sh**hole.’ This was when #BarackObama was president of the United States. While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only Black people could live that way. And, he told me that Black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”

Cohen also revealed new details about the hush money payments Cohen made to several women on Trump’s behalf, using his own money. Cohen claimed Trump reimbursed him directly throughout 2017. Cohen provided a copy of a personal check for $35,000, signed by Trump that he said was one of 11 installments he received as a covert reimbursement of the payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with him over a decade ago.

When it came to the WikiLeaks release of DNC emails that were allegedly expected to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Cohen said that was the work of Australian computer programmer Julian Assange and political consultant Roger Stone. “I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone,” Mr. Cohen said. “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 also claimed Trump “knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it.” “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. And so I lied about it, too — because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie.”

The 72-year-old celebrity also allegedly said he didn’t enlist to fight in the Vietnam War because it was “stupid.” While Trump has repeatedly claimed that bone spurs prevented him from fighting, Cohen says that was a lie. “Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery,” Cohen said. “He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.” According to Cohen, Trump told him, “You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”

Lastly, Rep. Jackie Speier asked Cohen how many times Trump asked him to make threats on his behalf to several individuals including his former schools, threatening the College Board and his high school to never release his SAT or test scores. She asked, “50 times?” She asked. Cohen replied, “More.” “100 times?” she countered. “More,” Cohen said, “200 times?” She then asked “500 times,” Cohen replied, “Probably, over the 10 years.”


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