tv Michael Cohen Opening Statement CSPAN March 3, 2019 11:09am-1:57pm EST
decision in october to notify congress about the case because of the females on the weiner laptop. think wepect i probably got that wrong. >> watch book tv this weekend on c-span 2. cohen,ednesday, michael president trump's former lawyer, testified about investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign and the president's financial disclosures. here is mr. cohen's opening statements followed by highlights from the hearing. : thank you for inviting me here today. ensure this committee to
that my family be protected from presidential threats and that the committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investigations. thank you for your help and your understanding. i am here under oath to correct the record. to answer the committee's questions truthfully and offer the american people what i know about president trump. i recognize that some of you may doubt and attack my credibility. it is for this reason that i have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful. never in a million years did i imagine when i accepted a job in 2007 to work for donald trump that he would one day run for
the presidency. to launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance and actively when -- actively win. i regret all the help and support i gave him along the way. i am ashamed of my own failings and publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the southern district of new york. i'm ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty of the things i did for mr. trump in an effort to protect and promote him. i'm ashamed that i chose to take part in concealing mr. trump's elicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. i am ashamed as i know what mr. racist, he iss a a con man, and he is a
cheat. he was a presidential candidate who knew that roger stone was talking with julian assange about a wikileaks drop on democratic national committee emails. i will explain each in a few moments. i'm providing the committee with several documents and these include a copy of a check mr. trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse me for the hush money payments i made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and to prevent damage to his campaign. copies of financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013 that he gave to such institutions as deutsche bank. a copy of an article with mr.
trump's handwriting that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself. that he arranged for the bitter at a time -- and reimbursed the dder with the picture now hanging from one of his country clubs and copies of letters i wrote an mr. trump's direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the college board not to release his grades or sat scores. i hope my appearance here today, my guilty plea, and work with law enforcement agencies are steps along a path of redemption that will restore faith in me and help this country understand our president better. before going further i want to apologize to each member to
congress as a whole. the last time i p are for congress i came to protect mr. trump. today i am here to tell the truth about mr. trump. i lied to congress when mr. trump -- that mr. trump stopped negotiating the moscow tower. our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign . mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that is not how he operates. in conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him he would look me in the eye and tell me there is no russian business and go on to lie to the american people by saying the same thing.
in his way, he was telling me to lie. half a dozenast times between the iowa caucus and january 2016 and the end of june when he would ask me how's it going in russia, referring to the moscow tower project. mr. trump's personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to congress about the timing of the moscow tower negotiations before i gave it. directed new of and the truck moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. he lied about it because he never expected to win. he also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the moscow real estate project.
too becauseout it mr. trump had made it clear to me through his personal statements to me that we both knew to be false and through his lies to the country that he wanted me to lie and he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before i gave it to congress. over the past two years i have been smeared as a rat by the president of the united states. the truth is different. let me take a moment to introduce myself, my name is michael dean cohen and i am a blessed husband of 24 years and a father to an incredible daughter and son. when i married my wife i promised her that i would love her, cherish her and protect her.
as my father said countless times throughout my childhood, , my my wife, and you children are the air i breathe so to laura, sammy, jake, there's nothing i would not do to protect you. i have always tried to live a life of loyalty, friendship and compassion. qualities my parents ingrained in my siblings in me since childhood. my father survived the holocaust. to the compassion and selfless acts of others he was helped by many who put themselves in harms way to do what they knew was right. that is why my first instinct has always been to help those in need. mom and dad i'm sorry i let you down. people that know me best would say, i am the person
they call at 3:00 a.m. if they needed help and i proudly remember being emergency contact for many of my children's friends when they were going -- when they were growing up. drop parents knew i would everything and care for them as if they were my own. last fall i played guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of and in coordination with individual number one. and for the record, individual number one, is president donald j trump. admit that i to was motivated by ambition at times. even more painful to admit that many times i nor my conscience and acted loyal to a man when i
should not have. sitting here today it seems unbelievable that i was so mesmerized by donald trump. that i was willing to do things for him that i knew were absolutely wrong. for that reason, i've come here to apologize to my family, to my government, and to the american people. accordingly, let me tell you about mr. trump. i got to know him very well working very closely with him for more than 10 years as his executive vice president and special counsel and then as personal attorney when he became president. when i first met mr. trump he was a successful entrepreneur a real estate giant. an icon. being around mr. trump was intoxicating when you are in his presence. you felt like you were involved in something greater than
yourself, that you are somehow changing the world. i round up -- i want up touting the trump narrative for over a decade. that was my job, always stay on message, always defense. it monopolized my life. at first i worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. shortly thereafter mr. trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings over time i saw his true character revealed. mr. trump is an enigma. he's complicated, as am i. both good and bad, as do we all but the bad far outweighs the good. and since taking office he has become the worst version of himself. he is capable of behaving kindly but he's not kind.
he's capable of committing acts of generosity but he's not generous. capable of being loyal that he is fundamentally disloyal. don trump is a man who ran for .ffice to make his brand grade not to make our country great. he had no intention or desire to lead his nation. only to market himself and build his wealth and power. mr. trump would often say this campaign was going to be the greatest infomercial and political history. he never expected to win the primaries. never expected to win the general election. the campaign, for him, was always a marketing opportunity. i knew early on in my work for mr. trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests. i'm ashamed to say that when it
was for a real estate mobile in the private sector i considered it trivial. as the president, i consider it significant and dangerous. but in the mix line for mr. trump was normalized and no one around him questioned it. in fairness, no one around him today questions it either. a lot of people have asked me president trump knew about the release of hacked documents democratic national committee emails ahead of time. the answer is yes. as i earlier stated, mr. trump new, from roger stone, in advance, about the wikileaks dropped of emails. in july 2016, days before the democratic convention. i was mr. trump's office when his secretary announced roger stone was on the phone. mr. trump could mr. stone on the
speakerphone. mr. stone told mr. trump he 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 emails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. mr. trump responded by stating to the effect wouldn't that be great. mr. trump is a racist. the country has seen mr. trump corp. white supremacists and bigots. you have heard him call poorer les.tries shitho in private, he is even worse. he once asked if i can name a country run by a black person that was not a shithole. this is when barack obama was president of the united states.
he commented that only black aople could live that way in struggling neighborhood in chicago. he comey black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid and yet i continue to work for him. mr. trump is a cheat. as previously stated i'm giving to the committee three years of mr. trump's personal financial andements from 2011, 2012, 2013 which he gave to deutsche bank to inquire about alone to by the buffalo bills and forbes it was my experience that mr. trump inflated his total assets when it served as purposes such
as trying to be listed amongst ae wealthy as people enforce deflated asset to reduce real estate taxes. newspaper articles that are examples of mr. trump inflating saideflating assets as i to suit his financial interest. these are exhibit 2 to my testimony. as i noted i'm giving the committee and article he wrote and sent me -- that he wrote on and sent to me that reported on the auction of a portrait of mr. trump. mr. trump directed me to find a strong bitter to just a portrait of him that was being auctioned off and art hamptons event. the objective was to ensure that the portrait, which was going to be auctioned last would go for the highest price of any
portrait that afternoon. the portrait was purchased at a fake bidder for $60,000. mr. trump directed the trump foundation which is supposed to be a charitable organization to repay the fake bidder despite keeping the art for himself. testimony.ee b to my and it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that mr. trump directed me to call business owners many of whom are small businesses that were old money for their services and told them that no payments or a reduced payment would be coming. when i asked mr. trump -- when i told mr. trump of my success, he reveled in it. and yet i continued to work for him. mr. trump is a con man.
he asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair and to lie about it to his wife, which i did. and 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. i'm giving the committee a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from me to ms. clifford's attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by ms. clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with mr. trump and this is exhibit four to my testimony. 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 and i did that without bothering to consider whether that was improper much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family, or the public and i'm going to jail in part because of my decision to help mr. trump high that payment from the american people before they voted a few days later. as exhibit five a to my astimony shows i'm providing copy of the $35,000 check that president trump personally signed from his personal bank account on august 1 2017. when he was president of the united states. pursuant to the cover up which was the basis of my guilty plea for the illegal
.ush money i paid on his behalf one of 11 check installments paid throughout the year while .e was president other checks to reimburse me for the payments were signed by donald trump jr. and alan wisselberg. the president of the united states wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign-finance laws and you can find the details of that scheme directed by mr. trump in the pleadings of the u.s. district court for the southern district of new york. picture this scene in february of 2018, one month into his
presidency i'm visiting president trump in the oval office for the first time and it is truly awe-inspiring. showing me all around and pointing to different paintings. he says something to the effect michael, youry january and february reimbursement checks are coming. they were fedex from new york and it takes a while for that to get through the white house promised i promised i read's
threatening the schools with grades or mr. trump's sat scores or disclose without his permission. these are under exhibit 6. the irony was not lost on me at the time that mr. trump in 2011 had strongly criticized president obama for not releasing his grades. as you can see in exhibit seven mr. trump declared let him show his records after calling president obama a terrible student. the sad fact is that i never heard mr. trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better. in fact he did the opposite.
2009telling me in 2008 or that he was cutting employee salaries and half including mine. he claimed wasat a $10 million irs tax refund and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving someone like him that much money back. during the campaign mr. trump said he did not consider vietnam veterans and prisoners of war -- in prisoner of war senator john mccain to be a hero because he likes people who were not captured. at the same time mr. trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferments from the vietnam draft mr. trump claimed it was because of a owns for the when i asked for medical records he gave me none and said there was no surgery.
told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offered simply the fact that he received a medical deferment. he finished the conversation with the following comment, i'm not going to vietnam, you think i'm stupid? i find it ironic that you are in vietnam right now and yet i continued to work for him. questions raised of whether i knew of direct evidence that mr. trump or his campaign colluded with russia. i do not and i want to be clear but i have my suspicions. sometime in the summer of 2017 i read all over the media that there had been a meeting in trump tower in june of 2016 involving don jr. and others from the campaign with russians
including a representative of the russian government and it emailed setting up the meeting with the subject line after on hillary clinton. in mymething clicked mind. i remembered it being in a room mr. trump probably in early june of 2016 when something peculiar happened. don trump jr. came into the room and walked behind his father's desk which in and of itself was unusual. people do not walk behind us trump's desk to talk to him. and i recall 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 and i remember mr. trump saying ok good let me know. what struck me as i look back and thought about the exchange between don jr. and his father hadfirst that mr. trump
frequently told me and others that his son don jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the don jr. would never set up any meeting of significance alone and certainly not without checking with his father. onlso knew that nothing went in trump world especially the campaign without mr. trump knowledge and approval so i concluded that don jr. was trump tower that meeting about dirt on hillary with the russian representatives when he walked behind his death desk that day and that mr. trump new that was the meeting don jr. was talking about when he said that's good, let me know. so i haveast year or done some real soul-searching
and i see now that my ambition and the intoxication of trump tower had much to do with the bad decisions in part that i made. anti-e.u., chairman cummings, ranking member jordan, and other liesrs, i'm sorry for my and for lying to congress. into our nation, i am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about mr. trump when you needed it most. for those who question my motives for being here today i understand. liar. lied but i am not a i have done bad things but i am not a bad man. but i am no things longer your fixer, mr. trump. and i'm going to prison and have shattered the safety and
security i tried so hard to provide for my family. my testimony does not diminish the pain i have caused my family and friends. nothing can do that and i have never asked for nor would i accept a pardon from president trump. and by coming today i have caused my family to be the target of personal scurrilous attacks by the president and his lawyer trying to intimidate me from appearing before this panel. mr. trump called me a rat for choosing to tell the truth much like a monster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government. i havebit h shows provided the committee with copies of tweets mr. trump posted attacking me and my family.
only someone burying his head in the sand would not recognize them for what they are, encourage for someone to do harm to me and my family. i never imagined he would engage in vicious false attacks on my family and on ration his tv lawyer to do the same and i hope this committee and all members clear that make it as a nation we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before congress and attacks on families are out of bounds and not acceptable. i wish to thank speaker pelosi nineer statements, exhibit , to protect this institution and me and the chairman of the house permanent select committee on intelligence, adam schiff, and you, chairman cummings, for
otherwise defending the institution and my family from .ttacks against president trump and the many republicans who have admonished the president as well. i am not a perfect man. i have done things i'm not proud of and i will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life. but today i get to decide the example that i set for my toldren and how i attempt change how history will remember me. i may not be able to change the past but i can do right by the american people here today and i thank you for your attention and i'm happy to answer the committee's questions. mr. cummings: before i start i want to make sure you really understand something. you have admitted to lying to congress.
to this very body and now you're going to prison for the. do you mr. cohen recognize the graduate -- the gravity of your offenses. as of yesterday i'm no longer a lawyer i lost my la la land -- i -- i lost my law license. mr. cummings: i want you to really hear this. we will not tolerate lying to .his congress by anybody we are in search of the truth. do you understand that? president has also made numerous myths that turned out to be inaccurate. aboutd he knew nothing the hush money payments to ms. clifford and his 2017 financial disclosure form said he never owed money to reimburse you for
those payments yet in your testimony you said that you met with the president in the oval office in february 2017 and discussed plans to reimburse you for money you paid. you say he told you "don't worry michael, your january and february reimbursement checks are coming." is that accurate? was that in the oval office? mr. cohen: the statement is accurate, but the discussions regarding the reimbursement occurred long before he became president. mr. cummings: would you explain that ? mr. cohen: back in 2017 -- in i16, prior to the election
keith davidson, who was the attorney for miss several, and after rounds of conversations with him about purchasing her life's didts for $130,000 what i it and every time is go straight into mr. trump's office and discuss the issue with him. when it was ultimately determined and this was day before -- days before the election, that mr. trump was going to pay the $130,000, and the office with me was the chief financial officer of the trump organization, allen weisselberg. he knology to alan that he was going to pay the $130,000 and that alan and i should go back to his office and figure out how to do it.
so yes, i stand by the statement that i gave. there was a history to it mr. cummings: you said you bought sex?let me ask you about -- this from the trump trust that holds the president's businesses, can you tell me who signs the ? i believe the top signature mr. cohen: is don -- is donald trump, jr.. mr. cummings: and can you tell me the date of that check? mr. cohen: march 17 of 2017. mr. cummings: hold up, the date on the check is after president trump held his big press conference claiming he gave up control of his businesses.
how could the president have arranged for you to get this check if he was supposedly playing no role in the business? mr. cohen: because the payments were designed to be paid over the course of 12 months and it a retainerd to be for services that would be provided for the year of 2017. mr. cummings: was there a retainer agreement? jr. oren: would donald mr. allen weisselberg have more discussions about that -- more information about that? mr. cohen: don jr. would have cursory information. mr. cohen:mr. cummings: this is by donaldrs to be trump, himself, is that his
signature? mr. cohen: that is donald trump signature. mr. cummings: donald trump wrote you a check out of his personal account while he was serving as resident of the united states of america to reimburse you for hush money payments to miss clifford? is that what you are telling the american people today? mr. cohen: yes, mr. chairman. mr. cummings: the president claimed he knew nothing about these payments. his ethics filing says he owed nothing to you. based on your conversations with him, is there any doubt in your mind that president trump knew exactly what he was paying for? mr. cohen: there is no doubt
statement in december in front , myhe judge you said weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to donald trump, a blind loyalty that led me to choose a path of darkness. is that accurate? you wrote that and said that in front of the judge. mr. cohen: that is correct. mr. jordan: let me ask you why you did some of these things. when you filed a false tax 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was all of that out of blind loyalty to the president? mr. cohen: it was not. mr. cummings: when you fail to report $4 million in income to the internal revenue service, did you do that to protect donald trump? mr. cohen: i did not. mr. cummings: and when you fail to pay what mr. jordan: -- and when you hel fail to pay $1.4 million in tax to the u.s. treasury was that out of blind
loyalty? mr. cohen: it was not the number was 1.38 and change and i have pay that money back to the irs. mr. jordan: i think the american people appreciate that. mr. cohen: it was over course of five years, approximately $260,000 a year. mr. jordan: that's what i said. .ot it you made false statements. the financial institutions concerning a home equity line of credit. in 2013 2014 two thousand 15 and you pled guilty to making those false statements to those banks. was that all done to protect the president? mr. cohen: it was not. mr. jordan: how about this one? when you created a fake twitter whount, women for cohen paid a firm to post tweets like this one, in a world of lies
deception and fraud we appreciate this honest guy at #handsome, #sexy. was that done to protect the president? mr. cohen: i did not actually set that up. that was by a young lady who worked for red finch. fun.re having that is what it was, sir. mr. jordan: was it done to protect the president? did you pay a firm to create this russian mark mr. cohen: i did not pay the firm. it was done by a young lady who works for the firm. again, we were having fun during a stressful time. mr. jordan: did you lie to protect the president or help yourself? mr. cohen: i'm not sure how that helped me. mr. jordan: i'm not sure how it did either. mr. cohen: more than half the people on that site are men.
mr. jordan: the chairman gave you a 30 minute opening statement and you have a history over.ng over and , withhat the court says the southern district of new did crimes that were marked by a pattern of deception and permeated his professional life. these crimes were distinct in their arms but there are a common set of circumstances. they involve deception and were each motivated by personal greed and ambition. a pattern of deception for personal greed and ambition and you just got 30 minutes of opening statement were you trashed the president of the united states of america. how long did you work for donald trump? mr. cohen: approximately a decade. mr. jordan: and you said all these bad things in the last 30
minutes and yet you work for him for 10 years? all those bad things. if it's that bad i could see you working for him for 10 days. maybe 10 weeks. maybe even 10 months. but 10 years. how long did you work in the white house? mr. cohen: i never worked in the white house. mr. jordan: that's the point isn't it? mr. cohen: no it is not. mr. jordan: you did not get brought to the dance. proudhen: i was extremely to be personal attorney to the president of the united dates of america. i did not want to go to the white house. i was offered jobs. i could tell you a story of mr. priebusaming out reince because i have not taken a job or mr. trump wanted me to which is working with don mcgann at the white house general counsel. what i said at the time and i brought a lawyer in who produced a memo as to why i should not go
in because there would be no attorney-client privilege and in order to handle some of the matters that i talked about in my opening that it would be best suited for me not to go in and that every president -- mr. jordan: here's what i see. a guy who worked for 10 years trashing guy he worked for for 10 years did not get a job in the white house and now you're behaving just like everyone else who's got fired or did not get the job they wanted. mccabe, sameandrew kind of selfish motivation after you don't get what you want. mr. cohen: mr. jordan, all i wanted was what i got, to be personal attorney to the enjoy the to senior year of my son in high school and waiting for my daughter to come back to new york. i got exactly what i want. mr. jordan: exactly what you want?
mr. cummings: gentleman's time is expired. : thank youan schultz for being here today mr. cohen. as chair of the democratic national committee at the time of the hacks. when russia weaponize the emails had stolen. the possible and likely harm to the united states of america and our democracy. i have a series of questions i hope will connect more of these dots. is it your testimony that mr. trump had advanced knowledge of the russia wikileaks release of the d and density and seaside males? dnc emails?
he had advanced notice that there was going to be a mr. cohen: dump mr. cohen: of emails but at no time did i hear the specificity of what those emails were going to be. ms. wasserman schultz: you do testified today that he had advanced knowledge of their eminent release? mr. cohen: that is what i stated in my testimony. ms. wasserman schultz: and that he cheered the outcome? mr. cohen: yes. ms. wasserman schultz: did mr. trump likely share this --ormation with his daughter was ivanka, don jr. or jared kushner involved with the russian tower deal at that time? mr. cohen: the company was involved in the deal which meant the family was involved with the deal. if mr. trump and his daughter ivanka & are involved is it possible to whole family is conflicted or compromised with a foreign adversary in months before the election? mr. cohen: yes. ms. wasserman schultz: based on your experience with the president and knowledge of his
relationship with mr. stone do you have reason to believe the president extensively or implicitly authorize mr. stone to make contact with wikileaks and indicate the campaign's interest in the strategic release of these illegally hacked materials? mr. cohen: i'm not aware of that. ms. wasserman schultz: was mr. stone a free agent reporting what he had done or was he an agent of the campaign acting on behalf of the president and with his apparent authority? agenthen: he was a free ms. wasserman schultz:. that was reporting back to the president what he had done? mr. cohen: he frequently reached out to mr. trump and mr. trump was very happy to take his calls. it was free service. ms. wasserman schultz: roger stone and says he never spoke with mr. trump about wikileaks. how can we corroborate what you're saying? mr. cohen: i suspect the special counsel's office and other government agencies have the information you are seeking.
ms. wasserman schultz: moving onto a little bit later in 2017. a major wikileaks dump happened after the access hollywood tape is released. are you aware of mr. trump coordinating or signaling for this emailed dump? mr. cohen: i'm unaware of that. i was not even in the country of the time of the billy bush tape. i was in london visiting my daughter. ms. wasserman schultz: knowing how mr. trump operates with his winning at all cost mentality do he wasieve that cooperate or collude with a foreign power to win the presidency? is he capable of that? ms. wasserman schultz: it would be unfair for me mr. cohen: -- it would be unfair -- ms. wasserman schultz: i understand. mr. cohen: mr. trump is all about winning. he will do what is necessary. ms. wasserman schultz: and in your opinion and experience would he have the potential to collude with a foreign power to win the presidency at all cost?
mr. cohen: yes. ms. wasserman schultz: based on what you know what mr. trump, or did he lie about colluding and coordinating with the russians at any point during the campaign? mr. cohen: as i stated in my testimony i would not use the word colluding. was there something odd about the back and forth praise with president putin? but i'm not really sure i can answer that question in terms of collusion. i was not part of the campaign. i don't know the other conversations mr. trump had with other individuals. there's just so many dots that all seem to lead to the same -- ms. wasserman schultz: before my time expires, the campaign and the trump organization appeared
to be filthy with russian contact. there are russian business campaign russian contacts. there are lies about all of those contacts and then we have roger stone informing the president just before the national convention that wikileaks was going to drop documents in the public arena that we knew it that point where hacked and stolen by russia from the democratic national committee. mr. cummings: the gentlelady's time has expired. you may answer her inquiry. ms. wasserman schultz: given all those connections is it likely that donald trump was fully aware and had every intent of working with russia to help make sure that he could win the presidency at all cost? mr. cohen: let me say this is a matter that is currently being handled by the house and senate
select committee's swag rather not answer that specific question other than to tell you wouldump's desire to win have him work with anyone. one of the things i had said in my statement, when it came to ,he trump tower moscow project worth hundreds of millions of dollars. we never expected to win the election. this was just business as usual. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you mr. chairman. >> ranking member jordan chairman in this committee, members of the -- the democratsd the scope of this he meant -- the hearing. my colleagues on the other side
of the eye out lame they want the truth that they want transparency and fair oversight yet the democrats witness to testify is none other than a score and man who's going to prison for lying to is going tog to congress. he is going to prison for lying to congress and he is the star witness to congress. if you read the sentencing report on mr. cohen, words like deceptive and greedy are scattered throughout that report. it paints the picture of a narcissist, a bully who cannot tell the truth whether it is about the president or his own personal life. today he is the majority party's star witness. if the democrats were after the truth, they would have an honest person here testifying. if they were really after the truth, they would not restrict the questioning to just the topics, but let's take a look at those restricted topics. the first topic in your limited scope that i can ask mr. cohen
is about the president's debt. didn't mr. cohen plead guilty to lying to banks about his personal finances? so we are asking a guy going to tol for lying about his debt comment about the president's debt. he is the expert. your next couple of topics say i can ask mr. cohen about the president's compliance with financial disclosures and campaign finance laws but didn't mr. cohen on two occasions rake campaign-finance law with his own donations? the star witness on the president's desk president is a guy who broke compliance laws himself. you graciously allow us to ask questions to mr. cohen on the president's dealings with the irs. your star witness here broke the law with regards to the irs at least five times. he pled guilty to cheating on his taxes, lying to the irs, he
is the best witness you've got? next up, i get to ask mr. cohen about his perspective on the president's business dealing. lied to multiple financial institutions to get loans to pay off other loans just to keep himself afloat and he is going to be the expert on business practices? obviously mr. chairman the witness may produce documents he suggests incriminate the banks,nt, yet he lies to all of those lies were done on fraudulent documents. documents that he forged. nothing he says or produces has any credibility, apparently he even lied about delivering his own child which his wife had to correct for the record. ladies and gentlemen, how on earth is this witness credible? with all the lies and deception, the self-serving fraud it begs the question, what is the majority party doing here?
no one can see this guy is credible, he will say whatever he wants to accomplish his own personal goals. he is a fake witness and his presence here is a travesty. i hope the american people see through this, i know that people back in tennessee well. with that statement i have a few questions for the witness. with euro loss of your law license -- with your loss of your law license, what is your source of income in the future? mr. cohen: i don't expect i will have a source of income when i'm in the federal penitentiary. >> is there a book deal coming or anything like that? mr. cohen: i have no book deal right now. i've been contacted by many, including television, movies, if you want to tell me who you would like to play you, i will write that down. statement --ur
>> i only have a limited amount time. who paid your expenses to be here today? mr. cohen: who has paid my expenses? i paid my expenses. >> mr. chairman i would like to yield my remaining time to the ranking member. >> how many times did you call -- talk with the special counsel's office? >> seven. >> did they talk to you at all in preparation of today's hearing? have you had any -- any conversation with the special counsel's office during sensing -- sentencing and today. what i'm asking is how many times you talk to the special counsel's office since then up to today hearing congress? >> you may answer the question. mr. cohen: i don't have the answer to that.
mr. cohen, in your two years of work -- in your 10 years of working with donald trump, did he control everything that went on the trump organization? did you have to get his permission in advance and report back after every meeting of any importance? >> yes. nothing that happened at the trump organization, whether it was a response as the daily beast story you referred to ranking member, that did not go through mr. trump with his approval. as in the case of the payments. >> how many times did the you tont ask you direct try to reach settlements with
women in 2015 and 2016? mr. cohen: i don't have the answer to that. i would have to go back and try to recollect, it is certainly the two we know about. why do you think the president did not provide the accurate information in his 2017 financial disclosure form? he corrected other forms but did not correct this one. mr. cohen: the payments on the reimbursement of the funds i expended on his behalf. >> can you elaborate more? mr. cohen: going back into the story as i stated when alan weisel berg and i left the office, we went to his office to make the determination on how the money was going to be wired to the lawyers account for keith davidson in california. i had asked alan to use his
money and he said he could not. we then decided how else we would do it. wants tor not anybody have a party at his clubs that could pay me instead or someone who may have wanted to become a member of one of the golf clubs and i also don't have anybody who is interested in that. it got to the point where would -- where it was down to the wire. it was either somebody wired the funds or purchase to the story from miss clifford or it was going to end up being sold to television and that would have embarrassed the president and interfered with the election. >> but the president has never amended his 2017 form to this day and while you are facing the consequences of going to jail, he is not. mr. cohen: i believe they
amended a financial disclosure form in the footnotes somewhere buried, i do not recall specifically what it says, but there is a footnote buried somewhere. >> can you describe to the american people catch and kill? mr. cohen: catch and kill is a method that exists when you are working with a news outlet in this specific case, it was ami, david packer, dylan howard and others, they would contact me or trump, or someone, state there was a story percolating out there that you may be interested in and then what you do is you contact that individual and you purchase the rights to that story from them. and you practiced this for the president? mr. cohen: i was involved in several of these catch and kill episodes.
existed between david packer and mr. trump long before i started working for him in 2007. tomichael, can you suggest else this committee should talk to for additional information on this or anything else? mr. cohen: i believe david packer, dylan howard, barry levine of ami as well. garden.sel berg, alan >> thank you very much for your testimony. mr. chairman, this is a story of redemption. mr. cohen: thank you, ma'am. >> mr. komar. >> in your testimony you said you began work for the trump organization is a lawyer dealing with real estate transactions. >> that is correct. >> i served as a director of two different banks processing hundreds of loan applications, i
just wanted to ask you a couple of real estate transaction questions to see how you operate. according to the southern district of new york prosecutors, you lied to banks to secure loans by falsely stating the amount you are carrying. my question, was it donald trump's fault that you knowingly committed a crime, a deception to defraud a bank? mr. cohen: no it is not. loan forat fraudulent the trump organization or for you personally? mr. cohen: it would be for me though i am not familiar with which loan you are referring to. i would like to say one thing. i would like to respond. when we are talking about the home equity line of credit which is what i believe you are referring to -- >> i'm also requiring to your summer home. >> i never purchased a summer home. no individual or no in the 22 years i had loans had ever lost
a dollar with me. i own no money to any bank. >> the bank usually finds out if they are trying to deceive them. mr. cohen, did your so-called blind loyalty to the president cause you to defraud the bank for your own personal gain? mr. cohen: i take exception to that because there has never been a fraud, i never defrauded any bank. >> let's dig deeper on the bank fraud. according to the sub and gestured to the york you failed to disclose more than $20 million in liability as well as tens of thousands of dollars of monthly expenses, that's according to the southern district of new york. mr. cohen, you being a lawyer, shirley you knew you are breaking the law. why would you have done that? mr. cohen: i am not a cpa and i pled guilty, i'm going to prison. >> because --
mr. cohen: because i pled guilty and i am going to be doing the time, i have caused tremendous pain to my family and i take -- >> in that question about the bank. when the bank found out about the liability you failed to disclose, you lied again to the bank and said it had been expunged when in fact you had shifted the debt to another bank. so apparently according to the ,nformation that we received you're intent to defraud the bank with the desire to purchase the summer home. mr. cohen: no sir. that would have been often equity line considering i had less than a 50% loan to value on the assets and there was a pre-existing line of credit that existed years before that -- the date you are referring to. this is all surrounding new york
city -- >> you understand that when you failed to disclose the liability , especially $20 million, that is in fact fraud. mr. cohen: even with a $20 million in liability -- the medallions at that time were worth $45 million. >> mr. cohen, you call donald trump a cheat in your opening testimony. what would you call yourself? mr. cohen: a fool. ok, well, no comment on that. mr. chairman we said we were in search for the truth. i don't believe michael cohen is capable of telling the truth and i would hope that if this committee moves forward, that when we have the opportunity to subpoena witnesses, we subpoena witnesses that are not recently disbarred, are not convicted felons and witnesses that haven't committed bank fraud in
tax fraud. that is how we are going to determine the truth. esther chairman i yield the balance of my time to the ranking member. point, we make one just had a five minute debate where mr. cohen disputes with the sub desert of new york found that he was guilty of committing bank fraud. if this factor doesn't say at all. his consciousness of wrongdoing, his remorse is minimal. his instinct is to blame others. nonexistent, he just debated a member of congress saying i really didn't do anything wrong with the false bank statements. mr. cohen: that is not what i said and you know that's not what i said. i pled guilty. i take responsibility for my actions. shame on you mr. jordan. that's not what i said. that's not what i said.
is i tookd responsibility and i take responsibility. what i was doing was explaining to the gentleman that his facts are inaccurate. i take responsibility for my mistakes. i am remorseful and i am going to prison, i will be away for my wife and family for years. so before you turn around and cast more dispersions, please understand there are people watching you this day that know me a whole lot better. i made mistakes, i own them and i didn't fight with the southern district of new york. i didn't put the system through an entire scenario. what i did do is i pled guilty and i am going to prison. mr. cohen, at the center of the reasons you're going to foron is conviction
campaign finance violations and they center around some salacious revelation. reported oron post videoand access hollywood that set a record for the number itpeople who watched, crashed the newspaper server, this happened in early october. on the cusp of the election. reaction to trump's the video becoming public acts -- at that time? it wasn't -- was their concern about the impact of that video on the election. mr. cohen: the answer is yes. as i stated before, i was in london at the time visiting my
daughter. call during phone the dinner from hope hicks stating that she had just spoken to mr. trump and we need you to start making phone calls to the various different news outlets you have relationships with and we need to spin this. we want to claim this was men locker room talk. >> was there concern about the election in particular? mr. cohen: the answer is yes. couple that with karen mcdougall, which then came out around the same time and then on top of that, the stormy daniels matter. >> these things happen in the month before the election and almost one after the other. revelationdaniels ,here prosecutors and officials
of thators learned statedand prosecutors the officials of the magazine storyted you about the and the magazines the national enquirer. is that correct? mr. cohen: yes ma'am. were you concerned about this news story? after theublic right access hollywood story in terms of impact on the election? mr. cohen: i was concerned about it, but more importantly, mr. trump was concerned about it. >> what was the president's concern about these matters becoming public?
in october as we were about to go into an election? mr. cohen: i don't think anybody would dispute this belief that after the wild fire that encompassed the billy bush tape that a second follow-up to it would have been pleasant and he was concerned with the effect it had had on the campaign, on how women were seeing him and ultimately whether or not he would have a shot in the general election. >> you negotiate the $130,000 payment -- mr. cohen: the $130,000 number was not a number that was negotiated. it was told to me by keith davidson that this was the number that ms. clifford wanted. >> when you finally completed that deal, on october -- mr. cohen: the 28th.
>> what happened in the interim? mr. cohen: contemplated whether or not to do it, was not sure if she was really going to go public, there was again some communications back and forth between myself, keith davidson. ultimately it came to either do it or do not, at which time i had gone into mr. trump's office as i did after each and every conversation and he had told me he had spoken to a couple of wasnds and that $130,000 not that much money and we should do it. i was at the time with alan when he directed us to go back to mr. weisel berg's office and figure this all out. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> miss meadows. -- mr. meadows. >> do you know lynn patton? mr. cohen: yes i do. lynn to come today
interpersonal capacity to actually shed some light. how long have you known ms. patton? mr. cohen: i'm responsible for her joining the trump organization and the job she currently holds. >> i'm glad you acknowledge that because you made some very demeaning comments about the president that ms. patton doesn't agree with. it has to do with your claim of racism. she says that as a daughter of a man born in birmingham, alabama that there is no way she would work for an individual who was racist. how do you reconcile the two of those? mr. cohen: as neither should i is the son of a holocaust survivor. guess whatcohen, i i'm saying is i've talked to the president over 300 times, i've not heard one time a racist
comment out of his mouth in private, so how do you reconcile that? do you have proof of those conversations? do you have tape recordings of those conversations? mr. cohen: no sir. >> you've take everybody else. mr. cohen: that is not true. i have taped. >> how many times have you taped individuals? mr. cohen: maybe 100 times over 10 years. >> i've heard it's over 200 times. mr. cohen: i think it's approximately bout 100 from what i recall. >> do you have proof yes or no? mr. cohen: yeah i do. blackny people who are are executives in the trump organization? the answer is zero. >> we can go through this. i would ask unanimous consent that the entire statement be put in the record. >> without objection. >> let me go on a bit further. did you collect $1.2 million or
so from novartis? mr. cohen: i did. >> for access to the trump administration? mr. cohen: no sir. >> why did you collect? mr. cohen: because they came to be based upon my knowledge of the enigma donald trump, what he thinks. please let me finish. >> did they pay you $1.2 million to give them advice? mr. cohen: yes they did. a multibillion dollar conglomerate came to me looking for information, not something that is unusual here in d.c. looking for information and they believe i had a value. and that was the insight i was capable of offering them. and they were willing to pay. >> how many times do meet with them? for $1.2 million how many times did you meet with them? mr. cohen: i provided them with both in person as well as telephone access whenever they needed. i don't recall sir. >> did you ever talk to them? mr. cohen: on several occasions
yes. >> how many? mr. cohen: six times. >> six times, wow. $200,000 a call. mr. cohen: i also would like to bring to your -- >> did you get money from the bank --? mr. cohen: it's not the bank of causes to on, it's bta. >> did you get money from them? mr. cohen: i did. >> for what purpose? mr. cohen: the purpose was the former ceo of that bank had absconded with over between force -- $4 billion to $6 billion and some was in the united states and they sought my assistance in terms of finding, locating that money and hoping to read collect. mr. cohen: are you saying -- >> are you saying all the reports that you are paid in some estimates over $4 million to have access and understanding of the trump administration, you are saying all of that was paid to you because you are a nice guy? mr. cohen: well i am a nice guy.
>> the record reflects you are not a nice guy. mr. cohen: each and every contract contains the clause in my contract that says i will not lobby and i do not do government relations work. aircon, novartis sent me -- there contract which stated me -- stated specifically that he wanted me to lobby and provide access to government. that information, that paragraph was crossed out by me, initialed and written in my own handwriting i will not lobby for government relations work. >> so novartis representatives say it was like they were hiring a non-registered lobbyist so you disagree with that? mr. cohen: i don't know what they said sir but the contract -- >> did you have contact with anybody in the ministration? mr. cohen: yes. >> to advocate on behalf of any
aspect on any of your contracts? i ask unanimous consent mr. chairman. >> the gentleman's time has expired. you may answer the question. mr. cohen: i don't know what you are referring to sir. >> mr. clay. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. cohen, i'm pleased you agreed to testify today voluntarily. in my view we are all here with just one reason and that is the american people are tired of being lied to. they have been lied to by president trump, they have been lied to by the president's children, they have been lied to by the president's legal representatives. it pains me to say that they have been even lied to by his congressional enablers. to are still devoted perpetuating and protecting this
giant con game on the american people. mr. cohen, i would like to talk to you about the president's assets. since by law these must be reported on his federal financial disclosures and when he submits them for a bank loan. mr. cohen, you served for nearly a decade as then businessman trump's personal attorney and so-called fixer. have analso understanding of the president's assets and how he valued those items? mr. cohen: yes. cranenovember of 2017, plus new york business report the trump organization provided flagrantly untrue revenue figures going back to at least 2010 to influence claims
rankings of the largest private companies in new york. according to the report, donald trump organization reported nearly 9.5 billion in revenues in 2016, public filings suggest revenues were actually less than 1/10 of that. to your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues? mr. cohen: yes. >> was that done with the president posner knowledge or direction? mr. cohen: everything was done with the knowledge and direction of mr. trump. >> tell us why he would do that and what purpose did it serve? mr. cohen: it's depends upon the situation. there were times i was asked cfo to go back and speak with an individual from forbes because mr. trump his netach year to have
forbesise on the wealthiest individuals list. and so, what you do is you look at the assets and you try to has say fort that example, 40 wall st which is about 1.2 million square feet, find one that is comparable, find the highest price per square foot that is achieved in the area and apply it to that building. or if you are going off of your rent roll, go by the gross rent roll, highest multiple and you make up the multiple which is something he had talked about. based upon what he wanted the upon what he wanted to value the asset at. >> you know you have provided this committee with copies of the president's financial statements or parts of them from 2013.2012, and
i would like to submit those for the record, mr. chairman. i would like to submit statements for the record. >> so ordered. hadan you explain why you these financial statements and what you use them for? -- these the>> financial statements were used by me, discussing with media whether it was forms or other magazines to demonstrate mr. trump's significant net worth. that was one function. another was when we were dealing later on with insurance companies we would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium which is based sometimes upon the individual's capabilities to pay would be reduced. : all of this was done
with the president's knowledge? mr. cohen: whatever the numbers would come back to be we would immediately reported back. mr. clay: and this is -- inflate the president's assets? : i believe these are inflated. mr. clay: to your knowledge to the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan? mr. cummings: you may answer that question. mr. cohen: these documents and others were provided deutsche bank. in one occasion where i was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we could put a bid on the buffalo bills. mr. clay: thank you.
mr. meadows: i would like to ask unanimous consent to put into the record and -- an article that promised access the circle around him is a list we were hiring and lobbyist. i ask unanimous consent. .r. cummings: without objection that we put into >> the record numbersc of the statute six 11. ask unanimous consent that my letter referring mr. cohen for violating for illegal lobbying activity be entered into the record. i ask unanimous consent that the first order of business for this committee is for us to look at a bipartisan way and criminal referrals at the next business meet -- mr. cummings: these are not documents their objections.
so >> we objecting to unanimous consent request? i will yield back. , i'm going tolear give you your whole five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. chairman --ws, the the ranking member mainly aware that i was giving a little more time to ms. wasserman schultz. i was going to let you do that anyway but i just want the committee to know that because there are so many members going to be strict on this five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. cohen you claimed you lied but you're not a liar. by definition if you live you are a liar. you said the facts are inaccurate. if they are facts they are
accurate and that would make you inaccurate. i would like to take a moment -- i like to know who you consulted with to prepare for today's hearing. i mr. cohen: consulted with my counsel lanny davis as well as michael monaco. >> did you or anyone else cooperate with the democrat majority to prepare for this hearing? did you or anyone else on your team cooperate with the democratic party? mr. cohen: we have spoken to the party. >> did you prepare with chairman cummings? mr. cohen: are prepared with my counsel. we spoke with chairman cummings and the party. n shift/: chairma
an othe individuals acting as a liaison for the majority party? mr. cohen: what are you saying? mr. hice: did you have a liaison other than those you mentioned who were working with the majority to prepare for this hearing? mr. cohen: we spoke with various individuals you just raised. stier, regarding him or any of his representatives, anyone associated with him. are any of them paying lanny davis to represent you? mr. cohen: not that i'm aware of. mr. hice: at the present moment, no one. nothing?g this for how did lenny davis come to represent you?
mr. cohen: i reached out to lanny davis at the recommendation of my former mcdermott will and emery, who knew mr. davis and -- so you reached out to mr. davis mr. hice: -- mr. hice: so you reached out to mr. davis? and you want to testify before congress or did he urge you to testify? mr. cohen: i was asked to come here and i am here voluntarily because it is -- mr. hice: did he ask you to come here? mr. cohen: no certain. mr. hice: he says that he did ask you and he convinced you and also that he did the same with chairman cummings as well so your testimony here is that you approached lanny davis to represent you and to come here.
he did not persuade you. mr. cohen: he did not. chairman cummings, part of the conversations that we engaged in with his people as well as chairman shift and others, we spoke in order to ask me to come here voluntarily mr. hice: i find the connecting of the dots and with mr. davis and you frankly the chairman and perhaps others to be stunning that there -- i believe frankly this is to impugn the president. you made an oath last time you were here and that oath meant nothing to you. we had an oath in this room "bet a month ago and it was clear that i will seek the truth so help me god." that sounds like an oath to me.
the chairman made that statement in this very room last month. here we are today. -- asrst big hearing with we all know a convicted liar lying to congress. witness ishis incompatible with the goal of having to seek the truth in this hearing. the first time in the history of congress we have someone testifying here who has been convicted of lying to congress. congratulations for being the first in congress. we have we have brought this committee to its knees in terms of losing credibility.
low point. how about mr. papadopoulos pled manafortr. played guilty to other charges, mr. gates, mr. flynn, mr. van der zwaan and for two years you want to talk about an agenda, my friends on the other side of the aisle refused to bring any of these people up for the committee. today, for the first day we have one witness who voluntarily is coming forward to testify. your side ran away from the truth and we are trying to bring it to the american people. , thank you for coming before the committee to testify. i want to ask you about your statements regarding trump tower in moscow and drill down the facts and details. ways.oes back a back in 1987, mr. trump wrote he
had on going discussions with soviet officials to build a large luxury hotel across the kremlin in partnership with the soviet union. at that time it was the soviet union. i want ask you in your filing with the special counsel mueller's office the prosecutors discussed thehen status and progress of the moscow project with individual one on more than the three occasions mr. cohen claimed the committee and brief family members of individual one with the company about the project." i know this is redundant. who are we referring to when we refer to individual one? mr. cohen: donald j. trump. >> and the company?
>> the trump organization through a subsidiary. >> who were the family members who briefed on the project? >> donald trump, jr. andy ivanka tru -- and if ivanka trump . >> do you recall the question on the number of briefings. you recall how many there might have been? how many of these briefings there might have been. >> approximately 10 in total. mr. trump would ask the house going in russia referring to the moscow tower project. how did the president communicate those questions to you? verbally or over the phone? >> verbally most of the time, virtually all of the time. he would say, walk with me, he
was heading to a rally and as i would walk into the elevator he regardingme questions -- >> where there be doubt about what he was referring to in terms of the project in russia? >> this would be it otherwise it would be no reason to ask it of me. clear,also wrote "to be mr. trump of and directed the moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it." how did the president direct negotiations? what details did he direct? >> after each communication i would report back to him and our goal was to get this project. we were interested in building what would have been the largest building in all of europe. in regard to the general and toldments, the lies that i
to congress, in fairness, benefited mr. trump. it was in furtherance of my protection mr. trump which i stated in my testimony and i'm not protecting mr. trump anymore. while i truly appreciate taking , to of your time onto it attack me every single time about taxes, i have no credibility, it's for that reason that i spent the last week searching boxes to find the information that i did so that you don't have to take my word for it. i want you to look at the documents and make your own decision. say i don't think my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are afraid you're going to lie, i think you are
-- i think they are afraid you're going to tell the truth. >> i appreciate the gentleman for yielding. i want you to think about this, when have you ever seen a federal agency where this has happened? james comey, fired. any mccabe, fired, lie three times under oath under investigation as we speak, jim baker fbi counsel demoted then left. currently under investigation by the u.s. attorney's office in connecticut. strok demoteder and fired. that's what we are concerned about. we asked for rod rosenstein -- we asked for rod rosenstein. contemplating using the 25th amendment to remove the guy from presidency who the american people put their and we asked for him to be a witness and the chairman said no and instead we get 30 minutes from a guy who's going to prison, going to prison in two months for lying to congress.
you said you spoke to mr. schiff , you caught in front of both committees. have you spoken to chairman nadler or have any of your attorney spoken to chairman nadler? you don't know if your attorneys -- >> i have not spoken to congressman nadler. i'm not aware of my attorneys -- i can ask them. >> you can turn around and ask him. >> the answer is no. >> you said mr. davis is not getting paid. are you anticipating him receiving compensation in the future? >> when i start to earn a living. >> he's going to wait three years? >> the answer is yes. >> i've never known a lawyer to wait three years to get paid. >> i guess he thinks it's important. >> i yield to the dominant from arizona. -- the gentleman from arizona.
>> you've been disbarred so i'm sure you remember, maybe you don't remember duty of loyalty, duty of confidentiality, attorney-client privilege. i think the gentleman to your right side understands that very well and would not do what you are doing today. let's go back, you want us to make sure we think of you as a real philanthropic icon that you are about justice. that you are the person summary would call at 3:00 in the morning. no they would not. -- in front of this committee you conflicted your testimony. truth fromnow falsehood. >> are you referring to me or the president? >> this is my time. i will ask for question -- i will ask a question and get an
answer. the committee understands you been in contact with the southern district of new york. >> i'm in constant contact ongoing investigations. part of that application is to reduce sentencing time. >> there is a possibility -- >> the answer is yes. testimony could help you out in getting your sentence lessened. >> i'm not sure how my appearance here today is providing substantial information that the southern district can use for the creation of the case. if there is something this group can do for me i would gladly welcome it. america is tell you watching you. i've been getting text saying how can anybody listen to this pathological person.
he does not know fact from fiction. he did not do this for donald trump you did it for you. this is all about you. this twitter feed. women who love and support michael cohen, strong, no-nonsense, business oriented party to make a difference against the law. that is pretty sad. over and over again we want to have trust built on the premise we are truthful. there is no truth with you. that is why that is important to you to look up here and look at the old adage. liar liar pants on fire. no one should listen to you or give you credibility. it is sad we have come -- i want .o quote the chairman --s is a real
>> the gentleman's time has expired. >> sad state. , several times in your testimony you state the bad things you've done for mr. trump. at some point you apparently changed your course of action. a recurring refrain in your testimony that says and yet i continued to work for him. at some point, you changed. what was the breaking point at which you decided to start telling the truth? >> there are several factors. charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another. putting up silly things like
this, really unbecoming of congress. that that sort of behavior i'm responsible for. i'm responsible for your silliness because i did the same thing you are doing now for 10 years. i protected mr. trump for 10 years. the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and use that as the premise for discrediting me that i'm not the person people called at 3:00 in the morning would make you inaccurate. it would make you a liar which puts you into the same position i'm in and i can only warn people the more people that follow mr. trump as i did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that i'm suffering. >> what warning would you give young people who are tempted, as you were?
would you encourage them not to wait 10 years to see the light? what advice would you give young lawyers so they do not abuse their bar license as you did? >> look at what has happened to me. i had a wonderful life. a beautiful wife, amazing children. i achieved financial success. i did not go to work for mr. trump because i had to. i work for him because i wanted to and i've lost it all so if i'm not -- that is the picture that should be up there. if i am not a picture-perfect example of what not to do that is the example am trying to set for my children. you make mistakes in life and i'm taking responsibility for them. and ating a huge price that in of itself is not enough to dissuade somebody from acting i'mhe callous manner i did,
has any that person chance like i have now. >> a recurring theme is concerned for your family's safety. what are you concerned about? >> the president has over 60 million people and when mr. trump turned around early in the campaign and said i can shoot somebody on fifth avenue and get away with it, i want to be clear, he's not joking. he's telling you the truth. you don't know him, i do. i've sat next to this man for 10 years and i watched his back. i'm the one who started the campaign. i'm the one who continued in 2015 to promote him. he is doing things that are great the instruction of our .ivility is out of control
he starts bringing in my in-laws and parents and wife what does he think is going to happen. he sending out the same message that he can do whatever he wants . something will happen to me so that i will not be here and testify. that is what his hope was, to intimidate me. i thanked everybody who said this is just not right. >> have you seen mr. trump personally threaten someone with physical harm? >> no, he would use others. >> he would hire other people? >> they were already working there. everybody's job at the trump organization is to protect mr. every day most of us knew we were coming in to lie for him
>> ladies and gentlemen, we will come to order. , i want to finalize this issue relating to your .ruth in testimony form the form requires you to list your contracts or payments originating from a foreign government, not from all foreign entities. we said we would give you a chance to consult with your attorney's -- with your attorneys. do you have any additional information? >> my quattro attorneys continue to believe as they did before -- my
disclosure of any contract or payments from foreign governments in the last two years did not apply to my work for bta bank which is entitiesadvised intended for disclosure that word would have been in the disclosure definition. if the committee's counsel has a different view that i should disclose my contract with bta bank, we would be willing to do that. ?> mr. chairman >> let me finish. clearly, understand you sought the advice of your counsel? >> that's correct. >> your counsel advised you to say what you just said? and you know that to be the truth? >> yes sir. >> i will yield to the
gentleman. for hisnk the gentleman courtesy. instead of making points of order and going back and forth perhaps a way to solve this is for the chairman to request mr. cohen give to this committee all the foreign payments he has received over the last two years whether they are an entity or a government as we have strong over $900,000 that came from a government of cost extent posixcosan -- the rules look at foreign payments that come from or with foreign governments. the bank he's talking about is owned 81% by the cost -- >> let me be clear, i said to mr. cohen that if he came in
here and lied i would nail into the cross. did i tell you that question -- i'm no problem to .nsure that is straightened out we can clear that up. we have member waiting period i don't think we >> i think we should look at korea space industries and any other clients that may have connections to that respective government. time, we willmy take that under advisement. i'm a man of my word. we will work with you and see what we can do to come up with
hello? >> yes. mr. cohen, i want to focus my questions on the smoking gun document you have provided this committee. this document is compelling evidence of federal and state crimes, including financial fraud. you have provided this committee with a check from donald j. trump's fund, that is marked as exhibit 5b. it is a check for $35,000 and is dated march 17, 2017 after the president took office. right now, it is on the screen. do you see it? mr. cohen: yes, sir. >> it is the trust the president to set up for after he became president. is that true? mr. cohen: i think so. >> you know why you are paid
from the trust instead of his personal account? mr. cohen: i don't know the answer to that. >> did you find that all? mr. cohen: i was just happy to get the check. >> today you testified the check was signed by donald trump, jr. and the trump organization alan weisel burke. is that correct? mr. cohen: that is correct. invoicesnt monthly containing false information to an individual identified as executive 1. criminal charge against you states that executive 1 forwarded your invoice to someone refer to as executive 2, presumably donald trump, jr. is executive 2, correct? mr. cohen: i believe so. >> payments like this check resulted in numerous false statements in the books and records of the trump organization and support for the
american people to understand. this is financial fraud, garden-variety financial fraud. it was disguised as a payment for legal services to you. this was not a payment for local -- legal services, was it? mr. cohen: no, sir. >> it could give rise to criminal liability if a corporation is cooking its books. based on your testimony today, donald trump, jr. and allen west berg directed this payment to you and approve this payment, is that right? initially mr. trump acknowledged the obligation, the officee went back to the and i was instructed by alan at the time that we were going to do this over 12 installments. then wasecide to do have me send an invoice so they
could have a check cut. the answer would be yes to your follow-up. >> donald trump, jr. signed off on this. mr. cohen: it would be at donald trump, jr. and allen weisselberg , but always allen weisselberg on the check. payment was this false and illegal, correct? mr. cohen: i can't make that conclusion. >> you told representative kelly that the president was aware of this scheme, is that correct? mr. cohen: that is correct. >> i want the american people to understand the explosive nature of your testimony. are you telling us that the president directed transactions and conspiracy with allen weisselberg and his son, donald trump, jr., as part of a civil, criminal -- as part of a criminal conspiracy of financial fraud. is that your testimony? mr. cohen: yes.
>> do you know if this criminal financial scheme that the president, allen weisselberg and donald trump, jr. are involved in is being investigated by the district of new york? mr. cohen: i would rather not discuss that question because it could be part of an investigation that is currently ongoing. >> i just want the american public to understand that -- there is garden-variety financial fraud and your allegation of and the smoking gun document suggests the president, his son and the cfo could be involved in a criminal -- criminal conspiracy and isn't it true, that this conspiracy that involves four people, there is only one person so far suffered the repercussions and that is why you are in jail? mr. cohen: i will be going to jail, yes. >> the three other people equally involved in this conspiracy. et cetera? mr. cohen: it is true. >> thank you, mr. khan.
thank you you, mr. chair. mr. cohen, i am going to tackle the president's tax returns. you said you personally would not allow him to release those returns until the audits were over. preventsecord, nothing individuals from sharing their own tax returns, even while under audit by the irs. do you know whether president trump's tax returns were really under audit in 2016? mr. cohen: i don't know the answer. auditd for a copy of the so that i could use it in terms of my statements to the press. i was never able to obtain one. >> do you have any inside knowledge about what was in the tax returns that he refused to release? mr. cohen: i do not.
>> can you give us any insight into what the wheel -- real reason why the president did not want to release his tax returns? mr. cohen: what he told me was what he did not want was to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces and then he will end up in an audit and he will ultimately have taxable consequences and penalties part >> that is an interesting point. he did not want to release his tax returns because he might end up in an audit. can you presume from that statement that he was not under audit. mr. cohen: i presume he is not under audit. >> i am the only democrat on that committee that serves on the committee of ways and means. it is the chief tax-writing committee. it is the only committee in the house of representatives that has jurisdiction to request an
american's tax return, and that includes the president of united states. i constituents want to know if the president has financial ties that has him protecting his own bottom line rather than the best interest of this country. can he be blackmailed because of his business ventures, including by foreign government? i know the opposition is the first thing they will ask or say is that he released his financial disclosure forms. i believe there are other things we can learn from his taxes. do you have any idea what we can learn and his tax returns if we got our hands on them? mr. cohen: i have seen them, i have never gone through them. they are quite long. >> quite long. one thing i find ironic is the way they are attacking you as to undermine your credibility. one way is to say you committed bank fraud fraud and tax evasion. the reason why it is a big deal is it goes down to a person's character and it taxes.
the republican minority has never asked to see his taxes. that for 40 years, democrats and republicans alike have released their tax returns to prove to the american people that they did not have financial interests that would be leverage a ball by a foreign government. this minority refuses to ask for his tax returns. pattern.cing a and those insident his inner circle. special counsel robert mueller's team has indicted or received guilty pleas from 34 people at three companies that we know of, the latest being roger stone. that group includes six former trump advisors. it appears the president has a fondness for entrusting those who will lie for him, break the law for him, cheat the system for him.
essentially, he wants to surround himself with people who are just like him. would you agree with that? mr. cohen: from the facts and circumstances, it appears so. >> mr. cohen, the american people have a lot of questions when it comes to this president. when he went to helsinki and he bowed before vladimir putin. nobody can really understand why he acts the way he acts. we believe the way we get those answers is looking at everybody who surrounds them, who he has been associated with and his tax returns because that is the only way we can get down to the bottom line. thank you and i yield back. i have aairman, unanimous consent request. >> go ahead. >> i asked unanimous consent that for the record we read a tweet from dr. darrell scott,
repeatedly: backbeat -- he is still lying under oath. i have one more. getting sick watching these hearings, i know mr. cohen for many years and he told me several times that he was angry and upset that he did not get a post in the white house and that he would do what he has to do now to protect his family. mr. chairman, two quick was. i will do the other ones at the end. >> i asked consent that an article in salon magazine written by former house counsel to tip o'neill.
i asked unanimous consent that a letter that mr. meadows and i sent to you requesting that you testify rosenstein to at this hearing be part of the record. mr. cohen: can i respond? >> just one second. i just want to deal with this right away. article, wethat knew it was inaccurate. on basics. brand -- that disturb mr. brand are distinguishable from what is going on here. it is said in short a committee has ample jurisdiction and responsibility to consider the
responsibility of mr. cohen, that is dated february of 2019. i want to enter that into record without objection. where are we? thank you, mr. chair. mr. cohen, i would like to pick up on some previous lines of question before getting into my own. colleague had asked you several questions about ami, the parent company of the national enquirer. and that, you mentioned a treasure trove of documents in the office relating to information assembled from all these catch and kill operations print people who potentially had damaging information on the president. you mentioned the president was concerned about the whereabouts of these documents and to possess them. is that treasure trove of documents still exist? mr. cohen: i don't know.
i have asked for them. >> the person who knows the whereabouts of these documents would be barry packer? about yoursk you conversation with my colleague from missouri about inflation. did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company? mr. cohen: yes. >> who else knows if the president did this? mr. cohen: allen weisselberg rod lieberman and matthew calamari. >> where would the committee find more information about this? it athen: you would find the trump more. >> thank you very much. lasting. the trump organization has a golf course in my home bro of the bronx. i drive past it every day between bronx and queens.
the washington post reported on the bronx course in an article -- taxpayersayers built this course and trump gets at the rewards. many people in the country learned taxpayers spent $127 million to build the golf course and a generous deal allowing president trump to keep almost every dollar that flows in on a golf course built with public funds. time -- itthe only will not be the only time the president has benefited because of the public. i want to ask you that the president might have improperly devalued his assets to avoid paying taxes. according to a report by the washington post, while the president claimed in disclosure forms that trump national golf club in jupiter, florida was worth more than $50 million, he had reported otherwise to local
tax authorities that the course was worth no more than $5 million. mr. cohen, do you know whether this specific report is accurate? mr. cohen: it is identical to what he did at trump national golf club at briarcliff manor. >> to your knowledge, was he introduced -- interested in reducing his tax bills? mr. cohen: yes. >> how did he do that? mr. cohen: you deflate the value of asset and put in a request to the tax department for a deduction. >> thank you. in october of 2018, the new york times said president trump participated in dubious tax schemes, including instances of outright fraud that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents. he also helpeded formulate a strategy to realrvalue his parents'
estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply producing his tax bills on the properties were transferred to him and his siblings. do you know whether that is accurate? mr. cohen: i don't. i was not there in the 1990's. >> who would know the answer to those questions? mr. cohen: allen weisselberg. >> would it help to obtain tax returns from mr. trump to address that? mr. cohen: i believe so. >> thank you, i yield the rest of my time. thank you, mr. chairman. one more time, i want to thank and ir your leadership know there are some that would have you believe the more you say something march road is, the fact is this committee has been doing the work of the american people. the issue of making
election day a federal holiday, reducing drug pricing and pursue subpoenas to reunite families and just recently, before we return here, try to pass a diverse background check gun bill. we are doing the business of the american people, including today. it has been said that the best sunlight -- sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. electric light is the most efficient policeman. let there be light. the point of oversight is for us to pursue the trust, to pursue the truth and justice for the american people. to understand if lies, deceit and corruption are threatening american democracy and indeed our safety. mr. chairman, charities should not be abused as personal piggy banks. it is against the law and unfair to charities who play by the rules. a line of questioning we have not yet addressed and has been
absent in tackling and that of the abuse of the trump foundation. the charitable foundation agree to resolve in response to an ongoing investigation and lawsuit by the new york attorney general. the new york attorney general found what it called clear and repeated violations of state and federal law, including repeated self dealing by the trump administration. -- apologies, by the foundation. correctly, --d painted by the artist at a charity auction, is that correct? mr. cohen: that is correct. >> why would a president want to bid up something he was paying for? mr. cohen: it is about ego. >> how was it paid for? mr. cohen: a check from the trust. >> this is not a partisan pursuit. i think ultimately it is patriotism.
this is about what is right and just for the american people. -- the purchaser purchase can you explain the mechanics of that payment? mr. cohen: i am not involve the foundation. >> did the president know what was happening? mr. cohen: yes. he tasked me to find a straw bitter to ensure his painting, which was going last in the auction, go for the highest amount of any of the paintings that had been put on the auction block for the day. >> what happened to the painting? mr. cohen: i believe it is in one of the clubs. >> according to the new york attorney general, mr. trump used the foundation to pay $10,000 for the winning bid of another portrait of president trump that ended up at one of his clubs in miami? are you feeling with that? mr. cohen: yes. >> are you aware of any other like it? mr. cohen: yes.
there was a contract that i ended up creating on mr. trump's a ukrainian oligarch. it was that mr. trump was asked to come into participate in what was the ukrainian american economic forum. unfortunately, he was not able to go. i was able to negotiate 15 minutes by skype or they would have a camera like a television camera, very much like that one. they would translate mr. trump to the questionnaire and he would respond back. of $150,000 a fee for 50 minutes. i was directed by mr. trump to have the contract done in the name of the donald j. trump foundation. donald j. trump for services rendered. >> thank you.
any other abuses of the foundation you would like to share? it is against the law and unfair to charities playing by the rules. mr. cohen: not at this time. if i think of one. ,> for the balance of my time would you agree that someone could deny a rental units to african-american, read the birth refer to shithole countries and have a black friend and still be racist? mr. cohen: yes. >> answer the question. mr. cohen: hi jay, yes. yes.did, they have been waiting all day. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
you foru, all of centering this committee on our soul purpose of exposing the truth. some of my colleagues can't handle the truth. it is the center of what is protecting our country right now. the people at home are frustrated and they want criminal schemes to stop, especially those in the oval office. mr. cohen, i am upset and my residents know the same way. man you worked for 10 years is using the most powerful position in the world to hurt our country for personal gain. we are upset that some of our colleagues here are so disconnected about what it means to have this president of the united states sending checks to cover bribes -- not hush payments, bright payments you made on his behalf. 2017 and another in august of 2017 after he was sworn in as president. -- they areet
disconnected with the fact that you were the personal lawyer for this president of the united states, that this president chose you as his legal counsel. mr.tance has been the same, chairman, based on the facts not on future reports we are all waiting on. my residents.com don't need a collision caused the foreign government to know this president has disregarded a lot of the land, the united states constitution and that he has misused his pardon powers. filed byntencing memo federal prosecutors in new york, they stated in particular, and as mr. cohen has now admitted, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual 1. trump'snow, donald j.
brand comes first, not the american people. based on what you know, is that individual 1 used his money to enrich himself, his brand and directed you to commit multiple felonies and you covered it up, correct? mr. cohen: that is correct. >> >> you called it protecting his brand, correct? mr. cohen: and him, as well. you think thedo president of the united states is making decisions in the best interest of the american people? mr. cohen: no, i don't. >> especially those he used horrible words about. mr. cohen: yes. >> to make a note, just because someone has a personal -- person of color working for them, that does not mean they are not racist. it is insensitive -- the fact that someone would use a prop, a
black woman in this chamber, in this committee -- is alone racist in itself. donald trump -- >> mr. chairman, i ask -- chairman,irman, mr. the roads are clear. >> cover up and hold onto business assets to break laws and constitutional clauses. what we have here, mr. chairman is criminal conduct and the pursuit of the highest public office by mr. cohen and individual 1. i hope the gravity of this situation hits everybody in this body and across this country. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i asked that her words, when she is referring to a member of this a body be taken down and stricken from the record. i am sure she did not intend to
do this, but if anyone knows might record as it relates, it should be you, mr. chairman. >> hold on. >> no. >> excuse me. would you like to rephrase that statement? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i can read it from here. note, mr.ke a chairman, that just because someone has a person of color, a black person, does not mean they are not racist. a is insensitive -- to use black woman as a prop to prove otherwise. i can submit this for the record. if a colleague -- i am just saying that is what i believed to have happen. as a person of color in this committee, that is how i felt at this moment. i am not calling the gentleman,
mr. matos, a racist for doing so. i am saying that in itself, it is a racist act. >> i need to be clear, mr. chairman. >> wait a minute. >> i have defended you -- >> i am the chair. thank you, i will clear this up. i want to make sure i understand. you were not intending to call mr. meadows a racist, is that right? >> i did not call him a racist. i am trying as a person of color to express myself and how i felt at that moment. for the record, that was my intention. mr. chairman, there is nothing more personal to me than my relationship -- my nieces and nephews are people of color.
you know that, mr. chairman. to indicate that i asked someone who is a personal friend of the trump family, who has worked for him andindividual, that she is coming into ba prop. it is racist to suggest i asked her to come in for that reason. person, shet's own is a family member, she loves this family, she came in because she felt like the president of the united states was being falsely accused. mr. chairman, you and i have a personal relationship that is not based on color. to even go down this direction is wrong. >> first of all, i want to thank the gentleman for what you have stated. anyone who is sensitive with regard to race,
it is me. son of sharecroppers who were basically slaves. i get it. herstened very carefully to and i think, i am not going to put words in her mouth, but i think she said that she was not calling you a racist. i thought that we could clarify that. meadows you know, and of all the people on this committee, i have said it and got in trouble for, that you are one of my best friends. i know that shocks a lot of people. >> and likewise. >> you are. i could see and feel your pain. i feel it. attended tok she cause you that. that kind of pain and i kind of
frustration. did you have a statement? straighten this out. >> to my colleagues, that was not my intention and i do apologize if that is what it sounded like. i said someone, in general. as everybody knows in this chamber, i am direct. if i wanted to say that, i would have but that is not what i said. iq, mr. chairman for allowing me to clarify i said someone. that was not referring to you as a racist. for her comments and i think that chairman for working to clarify this. gentleman, iq. allowing us tor resolve that. >> i will withdraw my request.
i think i need to officially withdraw my request. i did. >> sounds good. i will recognize you for unanimous consent. i think you want to put in records and documents. >> i asked unanimous consent that we put forth in the record the vanity fair article that indicates that michael cohen must be the most if that consultant in america, outlining his insights into policy and real estate. suggesting it is not a real company, just like he is not a lawyer. i asked unanimous consent that the l.a. times article actually be put in the record, which outlines the 13 2 million-dollar payment and their misgivings thereafter -- the 1.2 million-dollar payment and their
misgivings thereafter. >> i asked unanimous consent to make february 9, 2019 washington post profile of michael ch -- cohen part of the record. it shows him to be a selfish manipulator to be all about himself. he wants claimed to deliver his own baby. thank you, mr. chairman. i asked unanimous consent to make this washington post article south korean firm paid $150,000 as it's not contract as part of the record. reported a shell company run by cohen was paid. i asked unanimous consent to make cohen's sentencing statement to the southern district of new york part of the record. it establishes that: continues to falsely blame his crimes on
blind loyalty to the president but only cohen is bland. article, feds loansnizing cohen's bank part of the record. prosecutors said cohen attentive to blame his accountant. i asked unanimous consent to orderebruary 26, 2019 filed by the appellate division of new york part of the record. this order which proactively applies starting february 28 establishes cohen committed a serious crime when he was convicted of lying to congress. finally, i asked unanimous consent to make this july 20 6,
2018 washington post article, cohen secondly courted trump, does that make him a bad lawyer? part of the record. cohen recording his client, trump, without his knowledge. thank you. >> i asked unanimous consent to make this huffington post fakele 11 tweets from a paidccount michael cohen as part of the record. >> i would ask unanimous consent this article in mother said titled michael cohen he has never been to prague, he told me a different story as
part of the record. >> very well. cohen, i have some concluding remarks. that, do you have anything else you would to say? mr. cohen: yes, mr. chairman, i would. i have some closing remarks. is this an appropriate time? >> you can do it now. mr. cohen: first, i want to thank you chairman because i appreciate the opportunity to share some final thoughts. i have acknowledged i have made my own mistakes and i have owned up to them, publicly and under oath. silence and complicity in the face of a daily destruction of our basic norms and civility to one another will not be one of them. i did things and i acted improperly. -- i blindly followed
his demands. my loyalty to mr. trump has cost me everything. my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and as soon i freedom. i will not sit back, say nothing and allow him to do the same to the country. indeed, given my experience working for mr. trump, i fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power. this is why i agreed to appear before you today. in closing, i would like to say directly to the president, we honor our veterans, even in the rain. you tell the truth, even when it does not benefit you. respect the law and our incredible law-enforcement agents, you don't villain eyes them.
you don't disparage generals, gold star families, prisoners of war and other heroes, who had the courage to fight for this country. you do not attack the media and those who question what you don't like or what you don't want them to say. you take responsibility for your own dirty deeds. you don't use your power, or your bully pulpit to destroy the credibility of those who speak out against you. you don't separate families from one another or demonize those looking to america for a better life. you don't vilify people based on the god they pray to and you don't cuddle up to our adversaries at the expense of our allies. finally, you shut down the government before christmas and new year's just to simply appease your base. this behavior is churlish, it denigrates the office of the president and it is simply un-american. it is not you. to those who support the
president and his rhetoric, as i once did, i pray the country does not make the same mistakes that i have made or pay a heavy price that my family and i are paying. i think you very much for this additional time. >> thank you very much. the ranking member has a closing statement. cohen has pfister been does -- we know mr. cohen has been dishonest in the past, that is why he is going to prison. there were things he said today during several hours of question that don't add up, either. he said he never defrauded any bank. --was having a conversation that is not true because he is going to prison for that very offense print he said today he was a good lawyer who understood the need to represent his client with legal advice. in his written testimony, he said he never bothered to
consider whether payments to women for improper -- whether -- whether payments to women were improper, much less of the right thing to do. anyaid he did not have contracts with foreign government entities. having, he admitted to agreements with at least two foreign entities owned by foreign governments. he said to chairman cummings the donald trump directed him and allen weisselberg to go back to his office and figure out how to make a $130,000 payment. in his testimony, he said mr. trump directed me to use my own personal funds and a line of credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could impact the campaign. in response to a question about him paying to set up a fake twitter account, he did not
direct the commission of that twitter account. he said i did not set that up and it was done by a young lady that works for the firm, when in fact he did ask the i.t. firm to set it up, according to the owner of red fitch. finally, he said he did not want and -- what a job with the administration, even though it was stated this was a fact when asked about this, they said i would not call them liars but that statement is not accurate. mr. chairman, think more importantly is what we should have been doing today. meadows and i sent you a letter asking mr. rosenstein to be here. when you announced mr. cohen was going to be here, it was the same week we learned that deputy attorney general of the united states was thinking about wearing a wire to record the commander-in-chief. he was actually contemplating
talking to cap the members and invoking the 25th amendment. that is what we should be focused on, not this display we had to go through the last several hours. it is not my words, you could take the words of the former general counselor under tip o'neill. i hope we have learned something sir today. mr. chairman, as i said earlier, is afirst big hearing -- gentleman who is going to prison in two months for lying to congress print i don't think that is what we should be focused on. >> thank you very much. this, listened to all of and it is very painful. it is very painful. you made a lot of mistakes, mr.
cohen. you have admitted that. one of the saddest parts of this whole thing, is that some very innocent people are hurting, too. you acknowledge that. that is your family. today -- deep in law,art -- when i practice i represented a lot of lawyers that got in trouble. and you come, saying i made totakes, but now i want change my life. know, if we as a nation did
opportunityple an after they made mistakes to a lot ofeir lives, people would not do very well. i don't know what go from here. as i sat here and i listened to i just felt as if -- people are using my words that they took from me and didn't give me any credit, we are better than this. [laughter] we really are. as a country, we are so much better than this. you -- for some reason,
-- cohen, i tell my children i say, when bad things happen to you, do not ask a question. why did it happen to me? ask the question, why did it happen for me? i don't know why this is happening for you. hope that a small part of it is for our country to be better. if i heard you correctly, it sounds like you are crying out for a new normal, about getting back to normal. it sounds to me like you want to make sure that our democracy stays intact. had witheeting i president trump, i said to him the greatest gift that you and i, mr. president, can give to
our children is making sure that we give them a democracy that is intact. a democracy better than the one we came upon. i am hoping that the things you said today will help us to get back there. i mean, come on now. according to the washington post, our president has made at least 8718 false or misleading statements. that is stunning. that is not what we teach our children. i don't teach mind that. for whatever reason, it sounds like you got caught up in it. you got caught up in it. you got caught up in it. in some kind of way, i hope that
-- i know it is painful going to prison. i know it has got to be painful being called a rat. let me explain. a lot of people don't know the significance of that. i live in the inner city of baltimore, all right? ,hen you call somebody a rat that is one of the worst things you can call them. when they go to prison, that means a snitch. i am just saying. the president called you a rat. we are better than that. we really are. i am hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want and we should be passing on to our children so they can do better than what we did. so you wonder whether people believe you. i don't know. i don't know whether they believe you. , you come, you
have your head down -- this has got to be one of the hardest things you can do. let me tell you the picture that really pained me, you were and, i the courthouse guess it was her daughter, had braces on. that thing hurt me. daughters, it two hurt me. how it must feel for you. -- first saying to you of all, i want to thank you. i know this has been hard. i know you have faced a lot. i know that you are worried about your family. a part of your destiny. hopefully, this portion of your
better --ll lead to a a better -- a better michael , aen, a better donald trump better united states of america and a better world. i mean that from the depths of my heart. we are dancing with angels. the question will be asked -- and 2019, what did we do? to make sure we kept our democracy intact? did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing? statements,f these people coming in here and sang this is the first hearing. this is not the first hearing. the first hearing with regard -- remember, a lady sat there, her