Trump claims Cohen book would prove ex-aide is a liar

Minnie Murray
March 2, 2019

Donald Trump's former personal lawyer - who was sentenced to three years in prison in December for, among a long list of things, lying to Congress - has filled up the headlines this week with his big testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee in which he declared his former boss a "con man" and "racist" who is guilty of all sorts of "illicit acts".

Cohen was one of Trump's closest advisers before he pleaded guilty to tax crimes, fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations.

Trump said in morning tweets, in which he accused Cohen of committing perjury during a congressional hearing and called on Congress to demand the book manuscript, which Trump claimed was recently finished.

Cohen said he had no direct evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Moscow during the election campaign, but that he had suspicions that something untoward had occurred. Trump even had his attorneys review Cohen's prepared statements before delivering them to Congress.

Trump said, "As far as Cohen is concerned, he's convicted. We were able to drill down in great detail", Schiff told reporters. In Cohen's August 2017 written testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committee, he reportedly told lawmakers Mr. Sater's Moscow-based development company was the go-between for the Trump Tower project. The president described his former attorney and fixer's descriptions of him as "incorrect" and said the "fake hearing" was "shameful".

GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Ohio, and Mark Meadows, North Carolina, authored a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr accusing Cohen of multiple false statements and urging criminal prosecution.

Possible collusion is a key theme of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, which has dogged the president during his first two years in office. Testifying before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen levelled a broad attack against the president's character.

Cohen didn't say there had not been collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. For example, he was present when Roger Stone told him in advance about Hillary Clinton's hacked emails, so he knows Trump lied about that.

Democratic investigators in the Oversight and Intelligence Committees, as well as numerous others, are ever mindful of not overplaying their hand in myriad probes of Trump's business empire and conflicts of interest, the president's 2016 campaign, and his possible ties to foreign countries. Sekulow said the allegations that he "edited or changed" Cohen's testimony to alter the duration of the Moscow negotiations "is completely false".

Mr Cohen said that, in 2013, Mr Trump arranged for a friend named Stewart Rahr to buy a nine foot-tall (2.7-metre) portrait of Trump, for about $US60,000 ($85,000), and then reimbursed him with money from the Trump Foundation.

"You have a history of lying over and over and over again", Representative Jim Jordan of OH, the Oversight panel's top Republican, told Cohen.

Other Democrats said they would try to verify whether Trump manipulated financial statements to reduce taxes and secure bank loans, as Cohen alleged. Trump called it a "simple private transaction", not an illegal campaign contribution. He must have forgotten about his book when he testified.

Though the elder Trump has assiduously denied it, Cohen says he was told to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a 2006 sexual encounter with the future president.

"He said there was no collusion and I was a little impressed by that, frankly, he only went about 95 per cent instead of 100 per cent".

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