Thursday, 28 February 2019 01:38 WIB | GLOBAL |Global
In what promises to be a riveting and historic televised hearing, Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former longtime personal lawyer, is set to appear before a House oversight panel Wednesday to provide an intimate and potentially damaging look at Trump's business empire, as well as his conduct during and after the 2016 presidential election campaign.
In prepared testimony obtained by news organizations ahead of the hearing, Cohen says of Trump: "He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat."
Cohen says Trump had knowledge of, directed, and lied about negotiations his company had during the 2016 presidential campaign to build a skyscraper in Moscow.
And Cohen says Trump knew that his campaign adviser Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks head Julian Assange about the release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails before WikiLeaks released them to the public.
Cohen goes on to say Trump never expected to win the U.S. presidential election, instead viewing his candidacy as "a marketing opportunity."
The prepared remarks detail reimbursements by Trump for hush money payments Cohen made to keep quiet two women who claimed they had sexual relations with the billionaire real estate businessman. Cohen says Trump personally signed 11 checks from his personal bank account while he was president, and that he is providing the committee a copy of one of those checks.
And while Cohen says he does not have direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, he says "I have my suspicions."
He cites as potential evidence a conversation he witnessed between Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr. Cohen says he believes the topic was a meeting that would take place at Trump tower involving Donald Trump Jr., the president's son-in-law and now senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, his campaign manager Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Russian government.
Hours before Wednesday's testimony was due to begin, Trump wrote on Twitter seemingly trying to distance himself from Cohen.
"Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately)," the president wrote. "He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time."
Source : VOA