And still, there’s no evidence of collusion.
President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen will give his first public testimony on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, during which he is expected to make so remarkable accusations, to include that the president engaged in criminal activity while in office.
Cohen will go before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., a fierce Trump critic, and claim the president knew Roger Stone was communicating with WikiLeaks about the publication of stolen DNC emails, according to Fox News.
He will also call Trump a “con man” and “a cheat,” and claim he lied about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow and indirectly urged Cohen to lie about it, according to a draft of Cohen’s prepared remarks before the committee.
But Cohen, who is known as Trump’s “fixer,” will not offer any evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia.
“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen will testify, according to Fox News. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”
Cohen will also not claim Trump directed Stone to communicate with Wikileaks.
According to the lawyer, there was an “unusual” episode in Trump Tower sometime around June 2016, when the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., whispered in Trump’s ear about a “meeting.”
“Ok, good. Let me know,” Trump allegedly replied, Cohen will say.
Noting that “nothing “nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” Cohen will add: “So, I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on 18 Hillary with the Russian representative when he walked behind his dad’s desk that day.”
The president has insisted he did not know about the meeting with a Russian lawyer and Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee the same thing.
President Trump, in Vietnam for his summit with Kim Jong Un, responded in the wee hours Wednesday to say Cohen was just disbarred and is lying to reduce prison time — Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of tax fraud, lying to prosecutors and campaign finance violations.
Trump also pointed out that Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, is linked to Hillary Clinton — Davis represented former President Bill Clinton.
“Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!” he tweeted.
Among the other accusations Cohen will make, he’s expected to give the committee several years of Trump financial statements and say that Trump lied about his total assets to avoid taxes.
“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes,” he will testify.
Hush-money payments to two women who said they had affairs with Trump will also be addressed, with Cohen reportedly providing what he considers proof of the transactions, according to Fox News.
“He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did,” he will testify. “Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani strongly denied Cohen’s claims in a statement to the Washington Post, questioning his credibility after the lawyer bugged his own client.
“It’s pathetic,” Giuliani said. “This is a lawyer who tapped his own client when he claimed he was being loyal. If you believe him you are a fool. He bragged he was connected to Russian organized crime and he may be. His father in law who gave him millions to [invest] was convicted of tax fraud in a money laundering operation. Let’s see if these Democrats want to ask him about his many crimes having nothing to do with anyone but his coterie of business associates with questionable connections.”
Just in: Rudy Giuliani calls Cohen testimony “pathetic” in text message to Washington Post and says, “If you believe him you are a fool.” pic.twitter.com/a0ukJO5Nv5
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) February 27, 2019
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