Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
Late Tuesday night, Politico published a copy of Michael Cohen’s prepared testimony for Congress about his former client President Donald Trump.
The testimony provides a devastating portrait of the president, who Cohen calls a “racist,” a “conman,” and a “cheat.” And it also contains several bombshells about the Russia investigation.
First, it says that Trump knew about Roger Stone’s interactions with WikiLeaks. The testimony says that Cohen was in the room in July when Stone called him, on speakerphone, and told him that the hacked emails would soon be released. Trump has publicly denied that he ever talked to Stone about Wikileaks. According to CNN, Trump also told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that he never talked to WikiLeaks in his answers to a long set of questions.
Second, Cohen’s testimony says that he kept Trump regularly updated about his negotiations over Trump Tower Moscow during the campaign. While Trump never told Cohen directly to lie about the deal, the statement says, the president made it clear he expected Cohen to lie about the deal. Cohen’s statement also says that Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed the false testimony Cohen gave to Congress about the deal, for which he has pleaded guilty to federal charges. (Cohen’s reported testimony also decisively refutes BuzzFeed’s report that had claimed the special counsel had evidence that Trump explicitly directed him to lie about the negotiations.)
Third, Cohen said that while he does not know if Trump “colluded” with Russia, an interaction he saw between Donald Trump Jr. and the president, in addition to what he knows about their relationship, makes him believe that the president knew about the famous Trump Tower meeting arranged with a Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton. Based on this, Cohen says he has “suspicions” about whether Trump colluded.
The statement also includes details about Cohen’s hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. It says he is bringing a check, signed by Trump himself, that is evidence Trump reimbursed him for the criminal scheme.
In addition to these details about Trump’s potentially criminal behavior, the statement also includes a deluge of humiliating allegations against the president. Cohen’s testimony says he has evidence that Trump asked him to contact his high school and the College Board to threaten them with legal action if they ever reveal his records as a student or his SAT scores. He accuses the president of being an even more egregious racist in private than he is in public. And he says the president has inflated and deflated his reported wealth, depending on what he was trying to achieve.
Read the full statement here.