Michael Cohen tells Congress Donald Trump directed lies

Michael Cohen tells Congress Donald Trump directed lies

Michael Cohen tells Congress Donald Trump directed lies

President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday to speak behind closed doors with a congressional panel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 US election, capping a week of testimony in which he leveled new allegations of wrongdoing at his former boss.

At Wednesday's hearing Cohen said Trump never explicitly told him to lie to Congress about the Moscow skyscraper negotiations.

After slashing his own employees' salaries "in half - including mine" in 2008, Cohen said that Trump boasted about the US$10 million ($16.6m) tax refund he received from the Internal Revenue Service "and said that he could not believe how stupid the Government was for giving someone like him that much money back".

Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison over the hush payments and his lies to Congress - both of which he said were to protect Trump - as well as for tax evasion.

As for Trump's view of his chances as the 2016 presidential campaign unfolded, Cohen said, "He never expected to win the primary".

Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump directed him past year to lie about hush payments made to a porn actress to silence her claims of an affair with Trump.

Cohen said Trump continued efforts to build a skyscaper in Moscow during the height of the election campaign, saying he had previously lied in saying the project had been halted beforehand.

He also said Trump quizzed him on a proposed Trump Moscow tower project worth hundreds of millions of dollars, even as Trump denied any business in Russian Federation.

"At the same time I was actively negotiating in Russian Federation for him", Cohen testified, "he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russian Federation and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing".

"I think there are still a number of other shoes to drop", Cummings told reporters after the hearing.

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Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, presides over the last hour of testimony by Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 27, 2019.

The White House and Republicans sought to undermine Cohen's credibility, insisting his history of lying to Congress - to which he pleaded guilty past year - made his testimony unreliable.

"He is lying in order to reduce his prison time", Trump tweeted. "It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

He suggested prosecutors in NY are investigating conversations that Trump or his advisers had with Cohen after Cohen's hotel-room office was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a awful thing".

Cohen also alleged that Trump intentionally inflated his financial assets when it suited his needs. The hearing proceeded along parallel tracks, with Democrats focusing on allegations against Trump while Republicans sought to undermine Cohen's credibility and the proceeding itself.

"He lied a lot" Trump said. He did bad things unrelated to Trump.

"The goal was to stay on message, which is limit the relationship, whatsoever, with Russia", Cohen testified. Cohen showed the committee a copy of a check dated August 2017 from Trump's personal bank account and signed by the President.

More than seven hours later, his eyes exhausted and face drawn, Cohen issued a last warning "to those who support the President and his rhetoric as I once did".

Cohen detailed reimbursements from Trump for hush money Cohen paid weeks before the election to keep adult-film star Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair she alleges she had with Trump more than a decade ago. "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore". "They saw the swamp in action.I think they're frustrated watching the Democratic Party pull up a witness like Michael Cohen who is untrustworthy by definition". He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a "shithole". He said the check was one of 11 installment checks.

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