Here’s a look at the most damning claims Michael Cohen is making against Donald Trump
Michael Cohen has made a number of serious allegations against President Trump in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Cohen’s opening statement alone ran 20 pages long and is full of claims relating to the Trump campaign and even the presidency.
One allegation Cohen is not making? Collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Cohen says he has no evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia but that he has his “suspicions.”
In response to Cohen’s claims, President Trump and his allies have dismissed the former fixer as a convicted liar who is trying to win a reduced prison sentence.
Here is a rundown of what exactly Michael Cohen is alleging in his testimony on Wednesday:
Cohen alleges that Trump knew about the ongoing negotiations for a major development project in Moscow in 2016 and lied about it
“Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project,” Cohen said in his prepared testimony.
Cohen was convicted of lying to Congress about the timing of the ill-fated Moscow real estate deal. He told Congress that the negotiations ended in 2016, but in reality they went on at least into the summer. Trump won the GOP presidential nomination in July 2016. Trump has accused Cohen of lying and said he “lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia.”
Trump later said that even if he had pursued it, “there would be nothing wrong” with such a deal.
Cohen alleges that Trump knew in advance of the WikiLeaks e-mail dump
“[Roger] Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of e-mails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great.’ ”
Trump has denied prior knowledge of the e-mail dump, and on Wednesday Stone called Cohen’s testimony “not true.”
Cohen alleges that Trump had made racist remarks in private
“While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid,” Cohen testified Wednesday.
Cohen also testified that Trump used the infamous “shithole” slur on another occasion.
“He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States,” Cohen testified.
After reports early last year that Trump used the crass term to describe some African countries during a White House meeting, Trump denied using that specific term but said he used “tough” language.
Cohen alleges that Trump knew about Cohen’s payments to Stormy Daniels to buy her silence over their alleged affair, and that Trump reimbursed him
Cohen displayed a check dated August 1, 2017, in the amount of $35,000 and signed by Trump. Cohen claims this check was reimbursement for payments Cohen made to Stormy Daniels to ensure her silence about their alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election.
“Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign,” Cohen testified.
Trump denied in April of last year that he knew in advance of the payments to Stormy Daniels, and when asked where Cohen got the money for the payments, Trump said he didn’t know.
Cohen alleges that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting in which the campaign was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton by a Russian operative
“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,’ ” he testified. “I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval. So, I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary with the Russian representative when he walked behind his dad’s desk that day — and that Mr. Trump knew that was the meeting Don Jr. was talking about when he said, ‘That’s good . . . let me know.’ ”
Trump has said that he had no knowledge of the meeting between his son and the Russian operative.