WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen plans to tell the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that Trump is a “racist” and a “conman,” according to a prepared opening statement released to several news organizations late Tuesday.
> On Politico.com: Read the full statement here (WARNING: Includes profanity)
Here are the latest updates:
Update 4:16 a.m. EST Feb. 27: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to slam his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is set to testify before the House Oversight Committee.
"Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also," Trump tweeted. "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!"
The tweet came just hours after several news organizations published Cohen’s prepared opening statement in advance of the hearing.
Original story: President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen plans to tell the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday that Trump is a "racist" and a "conman," according to a prepared opening statement released to several news organizations late Tuesday.
In the 20-page statement, Cohen claims that then-candidate Trump knew that his associate, Roger Stone, "was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails" in July 2016, Politico, The New York Times and The Hill reported.
Cohen also claims in the documents that Trump indirectly instructed him to lie about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
"I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign," Cohen's prepared statement says.
"Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That's not how he operates.
"In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie."
Cohen also says Trump knew that members of his campaign, including his son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.
"I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father's desk – which in itself was unusual," Cohen says in the documents. "People didn't just walk behind Mr. Trump's desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: 'The meeting is all set.' I remember Mr. Trump saying, 'Ok good … let me know.'"
Additionally, Cohen says he will give committee members a copy of a check Trump wrote to reimburse Cohen for hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
"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," Cohen says in the prepared statement. "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."
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