COHEN IMPLICATES TRUMP IN CRIMINAL ACTIONS, PROVIDES CHECK SIGNED BY PRESIDENT FOR “HUSH MONEY”

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By Miriam Raftery

View video of Cohen’s complete testimony:   https://www.c-span.org/video/?458125-1/michael-cohen-president-trump-he-racist-con-man-cheat

View highlights:  https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4782554/trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-apologizes-lying

February 28, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump’s long-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, called his former boss a “liar”, a” conman” and a “racist” during several hours of testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee this week.  Cohen testified that Trump knew in advance that Wikileaks planned to release stolen Democratic Committee emails.  He also told committee members that Trump directed him to violate the law—and Cohen provided a check signed by Trump after he became president for “hush money” paid to cover up an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Republicans grilling Cohen sought to discredit him, since he previously lied to Congress and since his cooperation with federal prosecutors could result in a reduction of his three-year prison sentence. However Cohen also handed over documents to the committee, including extensive financial records that Cohen suggested implicate Trump and Trump’s family members in financial crimes.

Democrats on the committee probed Cohen’s knowledge of other potential witnesses to the alleged criminal activities, also laying the groundwork to subpoena the President’s tax records.  Cohen has apologized and voiced remorse for lying and covering up illegal activities on behalf of Trump.

Cohen had tried to postpone his testimony, claiming he had been threatened by Trump and Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said that threatening a witness's family is "textbook mob tactics".

Trump has dismissed Cohen’s testimony as “fake news” from a “convicted liar.”  Cohen pled guilty to lying about Trump campaign finance violations, tax and bank fraud involving Trump, and lying to Congress about Trump’s efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 election.  Known as Trump’s long-time “fixer,” Cohen worked for the Trump campaign as well as serving as Trump’s personal attorney.

Cohen is reportedly slated to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session on February 12.

Evidence provided by Cohen, if confirmed to be true, could be grounds for impeachment, much as former White House Counsel John Dean’s testimony provided instrumental in bringing about the resignation of President Richard Nixon under threat of impeachment.  But it is unclear whether Congress has the political willpower to  impeach let alone convict the President, given that Republicans control the Senate and thus far have shown little or no interest in investigating whether the President committed crimes, focusing instead on protecting Trump by trying to cast doubt on any who have testified about alleged illegal actions. That’s a contrast from the Nixon era, when members of his own Republican party called on him to resign or face impeachment for covering up his knowledge of the Watergate break-in at Democratic headquarters and obstructing justice.

Testimony of Cohen and others could also potentially lead to federal and/or state charges in New York against Trump and members of his family including Donald Trump Jr., whom Cohen has said arranged the infamous meeting with Russian operatives at Trump Tower at which illegally-obtained emails were discussed as a means of discrediting Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton.

Cohen has also served as finance director of the Republican National Committee.  Millions of dollars in money from Russian oligarchs flowed into the campaign coffers of some influential members of Congress including Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who received $2.5 million from a single Russian oligarch and his companies. Those financial dealings raise questions over the impartiality of key Congressional members who have opposed efforts to investigate Trump'ss ties to Russia and whether Russian interference influenced the outcome of the presidential election.

Find more unfiltered coverage of Cohen's testimony, including questioning by committee members in both parties, at www.c-span.org.

Comments

Guilty until proven innocent

Cohen is a convicted lying felon and President Trump is innocent until proven guilty. “liar”, a” conman” and a “racist” is not evidence, nor is that check. It tells nothing. I believe in supporting our Constitution, flag, country, language, culture, history etc. and I also support out leader who is not behind closed doors and remains visible and in front of issues. God bless America & President Trump!

It is illegal per campaign finance laws-remember John Edwards?

He got in trouble for paying off his mistress, too, to keep his love child from becoming public knowledge during his presidential campaign.

While it may be legal for an ordinary business executive to pay to keep embarassing info from being public, it's not legal for a political candidate or the president of the United States. 

Trump's actions are worse, as his campaign actually solicited funds for the purpose of silencing Daniels and Trump himself signed the hush money checks, after lyiing and saying he knew nothing about them.

 

You are wrong, check your facts.

It is absolutely legal for a politician to pay to keep embarrassing info from being public in order to get elected, or reelected. Sad, but true and it happens all the time. The difference between Trump and Edwards is that Edwards used campaign money for the payoff which is illegal, whereas Trump claims he paid personally, which is not illegal. You have your facts backwards regarding the two, details here. Donald Trump & John Edwards: Campaign Finance Comparison And here...Did President Trump violate campaign finance laws?

Politifact backs up that this is likely a crime:

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/may/03/130000-stor...  If you use personal or corporate funds for a pyaoff for purposes of influencing a campaign, and if the candidate knew about it, that is a crime. Trump clearly knew as he signed the check and there is ample evidence that it was done specifically to silence Stormy Daniels to help Trump winthe presidency.  If there were no campaign, and Trump as a CEO made such a payoff, that would not be a crime.

Did you read it?

I'm guessing not, since there's ample speculation in your own reference that these payments were outside of election timeframes and more targeted at his marriage. "Daniels herself has said that years before Trump declared for president, she was threatened about not disclosing any affair, suggesting, if she's telling the truth, that her silence was desired long before Trump became a candidate," Smith said." and another "The FEC does not ask, ‘Would it help a candidate to buy the silence of an old girlfriend?’ " Hoersting said. "Rather it asks, ‘Would there be any other reason, other than the campaign, for this person to buy the silence an old girlfriend?’ The answer here is yes, there are many reasons a man like Trump would want to buy the silence of old girlfriend."

Not expecting anything significant to happen

Trump has too many loyal followers who continue to believe his lies. He's a skilled manipulator, and has been at it for many years. Cohen gets caught in a couple untruths attempting to protect Trump and himself, then he's being branded as lying about everything. The water has been muddied sufficiently and the truth is hard to see, thanks to the many Trump loyalists. I predict he will serve another term, and continue to enrich the wealthy even more, while taking away much needed assistance for the retired, poor and disabled people just as he's been doing from the beginning. Campaign lies (except for the border wall - his attempt at a sort of legacy) have been mostly twisted around so much, they mean little to me. Jail time? I'd be very surprised.