Michael Cohen Showed Court Checks He Reportedly Got from Trump for Bribing Stormy Daniels
President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had a congressional hearing on Wednesday where he dished out some shocking revelations. The hearing came before Cohen was set to begin a three-year prison term.
During his testimony, the former lawyer provided the checks that he claimed he got from Trump to bribe an adult film star that the president allegedly slept with.
Michael Cohen called President Donald Trump a racist and testified that he had been aware of an adviser's talks with WikiLeaks about stolen Democratic emails during the 2016 campaign. Cohen also claimed that Trump had overseen a number of illicit schemes during the 10 years that they'd worked together.
President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress on Wednesday that he was reimbursed by the president for payments he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. https://t.co/v9t2nxCKL0— HuffPost (@HuffPost) February 28, 2019
The attorney, who once claimed he would take a bullet for his former boss, held nothing back for his testimony. He came prepared with a number of exhibits.
These included checks that he claimed were proof that Trump had organized hush-money payments to two women. One of the women was an adult film star, Stormy Daniels.
It’s been alleged that Trump had these affairs during the campaign. Cohen claimed his ex-boss had of being involved in a “criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws.”
Here are the checks Michael Cohen says he obtained from President Trump reimbursing him for the illegal hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels. One is drawn on Trump's personal account, the other on his revocable trust (which owns Trump's private businesses). pic.twitter.com/8eLDVtLUNi— Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 27, 2019
In his opening statement Cohen confessed:
“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. Lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets, because she is a kind, good person and I respect her greatly and she did not deserve that.”
Trump’s former attorney then presented submitted copies of two checks that were part of the $130,000 he received as his reimbursement for the Daniels payment. Trump and the White House had previously denied the president ever had an affair with Daniels.
The adult film star’s real name is Stephanie Clifford. A check for $35,000 showed that it was signed by Trump himself on August 1, 2017, while he was already in office.
The checks are consistent with how federal prosecutors in New York described the way Cohen was reimbursed by The Trump Organization for the hush-money payment. It was to be in installments of $35,000 per month, which the company disguised as payments for legal services. pic.twitter.com/BrOvDnuc0R— Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 28, 2019
The other one was for $35,000 and it was signed by Trump’s son, Don Jr., and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg on March 17, 2017. In 2018, Weisselberg was given immunity for his grand jury testimony about Cohen.
The CFO had admitted that Trump had told him to commit campaign finance crimes. Speaking at the hearing, Cohen stated:
"I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.”
The president has incessantly denied knowing about the payments. However, his former lawyer’s testimony said the opposite and Cohen claimed Trump was kept informed about negotiations with Daniels’ attorneys at the time.
The former attorney added:
“Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a home equity line of credit in order to avoid that it could be traced back to him.”
Likewise, this will likely be criminal fraud by the Trump Organization bc they put together checks saying they were for "legal services" when they were hush money checks under false pretenses. Corruption at its worst!— edward brewington (@edbrewington3) February 28, 2019
Speaking about his future, Cohen said he might make some money by releasing a book, signing a movie deal, or as a paid television commentator. He said he it was possible that he would run for office in New York one day.
The hearing this week is one of three congressional hearings where Cohen is expected to testify against his former boss. On Tuesday, he’d testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and on Thursday, he will appear before the House Intelligence Committee.
I guarantee Trump wrote off the "legal fees" on his taxes knowing it was really reimbursement for hush money to his mistresses.— KD (@Fly_Sistah) February 28, 2019
Trump’s former attorney was originally set to go to prison on March 6 to begin serving his three-year sentence. Last year he’d pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion, and lying to Congress.
His prison entry date has now been scheduled to May 6. Cohen agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of a deal.
My statement regarding testifying publicly before Congress: pic.twitter.com/apNhAdfVds— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 10, 2019
He was charged due to two separate investigations, one by federal prosecutors in New York, and the other one by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Early on Wednesday, the president tweeted that his former lawyer was "lying in order to reduce his prison time.”
Legal experts took to Twitter to reveal that the signature on the $35,000 check could implicate Trump’s son in a “criminal conspiracy.” Now, not only the president is facing possible charges, but his son too.