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tv   CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar  CNN  February 27, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PST

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investigations. i am currently working with them right now on several other issues of investigation that concerns them that they're looking at. if those investigations become fruitful then there is a possibility for a rule 35 motion, and i don't know what the benefit in terms of time would be, but this congressional hearing today is not going to be the basis of a rule 35 motion. i wish it was, but it's not. >> i'd like to yield some time to congressman jordan. i yield to the gentleman. >> mr. cohen, i'm going to come back to the question i asked before with regards to your false statement that you submitted to congress. on here it was very clear that it asked for contracts with foreign entities over the last two years. have you had any foreign contract with foreign entities whether it's novartis or the korean airline or kazakhstan bta
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bank. your testimony earlier said that you had contracts with them. in fact, you went into detail. >> it talks about lobbying. i did no lobbying. >> in your testimony -- i'm not asking about lobbying, mr. cohen. >> they are not government agencies. they are private -- publicly traded companies. >> do you have foreign contracts? >> i currently have no foreign contracts. >> did you have foreign contracts over the last two years? >> contracts with foreign entities? did you have contracts? >> yes. why didn't you put them on the form. it says it's a criminal offense to not put them on this form for the last two years, why did you not do that? >> because those foreign companies that you are referring to are not government companies. >> it says non-governmental. >> they were told non-governmental. >> foreign agency -- it says foreign contracts. do you want us to read it to
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you. >> i trd and it wread it and itd by my counsel, and i was not lobbying. >> it has nothing to do with lobbying. it is a criminal offense to not list all your foreign contracts. that's what it says. >> well, then, i'm going to take a look at it -- >> no, and hopefully i will amend it prior to leaving because that's not the way i read your document. >> you know, it's just one more example, mr. cohen, of you skirting the truth. okay. i want to ask one other question. one other question, mr. cohen, it's my time, not yours. were you advised or was your counsel advised to withhold your written testimony to the latest possible date as john dean said last night on cnn? >> it was my what? >> were you advised or was your counsel advised to withhold your written testimony to this committee at the latest possible date to get it to this committee at the latest possible date as john dean said that he advised you? yes or no?
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>> no. >> he never advised you? >> john dean? i've never spoken with john dean. >> has he spoken to your attorney. >> well ask your attorneys -- >> we were working last night until 11:00, 12:00 at night. >> you've known that you've been coming for some time. >> you may answer the question. answer the question. >> we were working until 11:00, 12:00 last night to finish everything. >> so you were writing it last night, mr. cohen? we were making edits. >> that's bull. >> we were making edits all of the way through the night. >> i'm sorry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. cohen, in november of 2013, president donald trump testified under oath in a lawsuit related to the failed real estate project, trump international hotel and tower in fort lauderdale. during the deposition president trump was asked about his knowledge of felix sader, a russian-born real estate developer and convicted member of the russian mafia who
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according to press reports pled guilty for his role in a 40 million stock manipulation scheme. it is worth noting and well publicized the direct relationship between the russian mafia and the kremlin. over the years president trump was asked how many times he interacted with convicted russian mobster felix sader. in 2013 president trump testified that, quote, not many. if he were sitting in the room right now i really wouldn't know what he looked like, unquote. mr. cohen, as you previously testified, isn't it true that president trump knew convicted russian mobster felix sader in 2013 when he made that statement? >> yes. >> isn't it tru the that becausf mr. sater's relationship that he had an office at the trump tower. >> and on the 26th floor? >> 26th floor is important why? >> it's mr. trump's floor.
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>> he had an office on the same floor as president trump? >> in fact, his office when he left became my office. >> isn't it also true that convicted russian mobster sater even had business cards indicating that he was a senior adviser to donald trump as reported by "the washington post"? >> yes. >> did convicted russian mobster sater pay rent for his office? >> no, he did not. >> so based on those facts isn't it true that president trump misled, at best or worst, lied under oath? >> yes. >> in december 2015 president trump was asked again about his relationship to convicted russian mobster mr. sater by a reporter for the associated press. he stated, quote, felix sater, boy, i'd have to even think about it, unquote.
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he added, quote, i'm not that familiar with him, unquote. mr. cohen, where would we find business records that explain the president's relationship to the convicted russian mobster felix sater? would those be in the trump organization's files? >> they'd be in the trump organization's files. there would be ccs to bayrock which was the name of mr. sater's company. i suspect on mr. say the are's e-mail address, possibly hard files in possession of mr. sater. >> and when you say in possession of the trump organization where? >> it depends upon who the attorney is working on it. it would be in a box off-site. they have a storage facility that they -- have files. >> in addition to convicted
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russian mobster sater, do you know of any other ties to convicted or alleged mobsters president trump may have? >> i am not aware. >> isn't it true that many people with ties to russia ultimately bought condos in trump properties, usually for cash and if so, how many are we talking? ten, 20, 50? >> hon estly, sir. i'm not aware of many. the statement you are referring to was made by eric or don. i don't agree with it? >> are you aware of any purchases by russian oligarchs or members of trump properties? >> i'm not aware of that. when you say cash, you mean walking in with a satchel of rubles? the answer is i've never seen that happen. i've never heard of it. i will tell you when we sold mr. trump's proper nty in palm beac the home for $59 million and it
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came from wire and it was from the reboliev's bank account. >> and you talk about president bush's negotiations throughout the campaign regarding the trump tower in moscow. was he directly involved in those negotiations and if so, how do you know? >> well, the answer is yes and as it relates to negotiations it was follow-ups to what's currently happening, what's happening with russia meaning he wanted me to give him a status report. the problem with this is the project never advanced because they were unable, mr. sater was unable to provide me with prf that somebody owned or controlled the piece of property that we can actually build on. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. cohen, why did mr. trump choose to hire you and why did he trust you with the various tasks that you performed for him?
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>> i don't know, sir. you would have to ask him that question. >> well, we've heard here that you have bad character. you've admitted to that over the years. you have no idea why he chose to hire you? >> in 2006 i was asked by don junior to come meet with his father. i did, he then followed up by asking if i would take a look at an issue that was occurring at trump world tower with the board. i went ahead and i looked into it and i found that the statements that the board were making about mr. trump was accurate and the reason don came to me was i had an apartment there for investment and my parents there, and my in-laws and we all bought as a big block from a brokerage and we got a good price for each upity and we ultimately turned over the board and i became actually the treasurer of the board because the out-of-control spending was going to put the building into
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bankruptcy, and i was proud to say that within a year we had plus a million dollars versus minus 1.3. at the end of the day, mr. trump appreciated that and he tasked me with something else. it was to handle a problem that don junior had created in terms of a business -- a license deal, and we resolved that, and then on top of that the third time mr. trump had asked me to take a look at the third trump entertainment resort chapter 11 reorganization buecause he had series of questions that he wanted answer, and i read these two stacked books and gave him the answers that he needed and with that he and the next time i was sitting in his office and he asked me if i was happy at the sleepy old firm that i was with. i said yes. he asked would you rather work
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for me? i said are you offering me a job? he said yes and i never went back to my office. >> you suggested that the president sometimes communicates his wishes indirectly. for example, you said, quote, mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates, end quote. can you explain how he does this? >> sure. it would be no different than if i say that's the nicest-looking tie that i've ever seen. what are you going to say? are you going to fight with him? the answer is yes. he doesn't give you questions. he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in code and i understand the code because i've been around him for a decade. >> it's your impression that others who work with him understand the code, as well? >> most people, yes. >> mr. cohen, i don't know whether we should believe you today, but i'm going to ask you this one last question.
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what is the truth that you know president trump fears most? >> that's a tough question, sir. i don't -- i don't -- i don't have an answer for that one. what does he fear most? >> what's the truth that he fears most, from your perspective, and again, i don't know whether we should believe you here today, but -- >> it's a tough question, sir. i don't even know how to answer that question. >> let me ask you this. what principles have you chosen to follow in your life and do you wish to follow different principles now? >> i've always tried to be a good person. i've tried to be a great friend. there were many -- i think over 40 statements written in my support to the sentencing judge. i have friends who i treat incredibly well they know for
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over 40 years and i treat people after 40 minutes the same exact way. did i -- am i perfect? no. do i make mistakes? yes. have i made mistakes? absolutely. i'm going to pay the consequences for it, but all i would like to do is be able to get my life back to protect my wife and my children, support and grow old. that's pretty much where i'd like to be. >> and you feel you're following a different set of principles now than you followed throughout your life? >> i do, and i'm trying. i'm trying very hard. i thank you for your questions. some of the other ones really make it difficult to try to show some redemption, but you know, i am trying. i am trying. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> mr. hill? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to mention really quick a clarification on the truth and testimony form.
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the mention was around whether it talks about foreign entities at all, and the question is in fact whether witnesses have any contracts or payments originating with a foreign government. it does not cover all foreign entities, just foreign government entities, so mr. cohen what i would like to ask you to do is review this issue over lunch with your attorneys and if you need to amend your form we ask that you do that before the conclusion of today's hearing. also, i represent a purple district. i did not come here for partisan bickering. in fact, i actively wanted to avoid it. so when i ask these questions today it is not as someone who has a vendetta against the president. it is someone who comes from generations of service members who swore an oath to obey the orders of the president of the united states and who along with myself and every single other person up here, swore to uphold and defend the constitution of the united states. my forefathers served their country, they served their commander in chief and they
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served the idea that america is free and just and that the law of the land rules us all especially those in the highest levels of our government. so i ask these questions to help determine whether our very own president committed felony crimes while serving in the oval office including efforts to conceal payments that were intended to mislead the public and influence the outcome of an election. i hope to god that is not the case. so mr. cohen, on january 22nd, 2018, just days after "the wall street journal" broke the story that mr. cohen paid their 130,000 to clifford to silence her during the 2016 presidential campaign, common cause to file a complaint with the -- to file a complaint with the department of justice and fec alleging the payment to miss clifford may have represented an illegal contribution to the trump campaign. i ask that their complaint be entered into the record. on february 13, 2018, mr. cohen, you sent a statement to the reporters that said, quote, i used my own personal funds to
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facilitate a payment of $130,000 to miss stephanie clifford and neither the trump organization nor the trump campaign was party to the transaction with miss clifford and neither reimbursed me for the payment directly or indirectly. was the statement false? >> the statement is not false. i purposefully left out mr. trump individually from that statement. >> okay. why did you say it that way? >> because that's what was discussed to do between myself, mr. trump and alan wieselburg. >> so it was carefully worded? >> yes, ma'am. >> great. mr. cohen, a reporter for the magazine "vanity fair" stated she interviewed you about the payment and reimbursement. last february 14th i interviewed mr. cohen about the statement he gave the fec in which he said mr. trump didn't know about the stormy statement or reimburse him for it. do you recall this interview with the reporter? >> do.
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>> could rn't hear much, but he wanted to go over what the messaging would be? is that accurate? >> yes. >> did the president call you while meeting with the reporter. >> >> yes. >> did he call you about the messaging about the payments to miss clifford? >> yes. >> what did the president ask or suggest you say about the payments and reimbursements? >> he was not knowledgeable of these reimbursements and he wasn't knowledgeable of my actions. >> he asked you to say that? >> yes, ma'am. >> great. in addition to the personal check for $35,000 in july 2017, is there additional corroborating evidence that mr. trump, while a sitting president of the united states, directly reimbursed you hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws? >> there are 11 checks that i received for the year. the reason why 11 because as i stated before one had two checks. >> and you have copes of all of those. >> i can get copies.
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i'd have to go to the bank. >> so we will be able to get copies of all 11 checks that mr. trump provided to you as part of this criminal scheme? >> it's either from his personal account as what was demonstrated in the exhibit or it would come from the donald j. trump account, the trust account. >> thank you, mr. cohen. i yield back the remainder of my time. thank you, mr. chairman. i've just been sitting here and i'm new to the committee and not an attorney. your answers, you're either competent or not a liar. you come in here and you come in here and you rail on the president of the united states, commander in chief as he flies over the pacific ocean trying to negotiate a deal to make this world safer and mr. chairman, just having this committee at this time while the commander in chief is out of the country i
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think is a new precedent, but you call him a racist, a cheat, and attacked his character and i've been with the president a little bit, and i didn't see that in the president. i see a president who is very sincere, who is trying to make this country better for every american, and for you to come in here and do this on your part is unbelievable. real repentancy is go serve your time and don't come here and make allegations against a man that i can substantiate. i can look at the remarks from the prosecutor of the southern district of new york. false statements to bank three which cohen pleaded guilty was far an isolated event and it was one of the self-serving lies that cohen told in numerous financial institutions. not only is it a home equity loan and the prosecutors in new york think there are other financial things that you did. also they said, managed to commit a series of crimes all
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withholding the license attorney and an outstanding member of the bar and also the southern district prosecutor said wrote that your consciousness of wrong doing is fleeting and your instinct to blame others is strong. so i'm kind of left here, why you worked for the president for ten years before he was president. if you have any sense of integrity that you're trying to tell us that you have now, if it was that bad, why didn't you leave? you weren't stuck there for financial reasons. you had ways to leave. you're an attorney. the president's working tirelessly and you could have left any time you want and it seems to me you're trying to save face and it looks like to me you will have a very lucrative deal at some point in your life because you don't look like you're close to retirement and you will have some type of lucrative deal and one of my
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questions that's come up a little bit is talks with you and your attorney and talks of member of congress and staff and you said there was some discussions. was any of those discussions that you or your attorney his with members of staff or prosecutors to considerations to favor or other considerations to you or your family in the future? >> no. the conversations were about the topics and because there were things that originally we could not speak about the request of the special counsel's office or the southern district or any of the other agencies and the house select intel or the senate select intel. sir, just for your personal effication here. i was asked to come here. your chairman sent a letter to mr. davis and i accepted so i'm here voluntarily. >> i understand that. i understand that, i think it's political theater. >> it's not political theater
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for me. i take no pleasure in saying anything negative about mr. trump. you've met him for a short period of time. i've been with him for over a decade. i've traveled with him internationally. i've spent dinners with him. it doesn't make me feel good about what's going on here, and as far as saving face. i'm not sure how being in front of the world being called -- >> at the end of the day with the lucrative book deals that have come about i think you'll be pretty good in about five years. i yield the rest of my time to the ranking member. >> earlier you said you started the campaign? >> that's correct. in 2011. >> you started the campaign for president of the united states for donald trump? >> i certainly did, sir. >> now that's news. >> should trump >> wow! >> 2011. it was my idea. i saw a document in the newspaper that said who would you vote for in 2012?
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6% of the people said michael cohen. >> michael cohen. >> 6% said they'd vote for president trump. >> so i brought it into his office and i said to him, mr. trump, take a look at this and he said wouldn't that be great? and with that is where it all started. >> yeah. okay. i'm sure he had never thought of anything like that until you came along. >> didn't say that. >> i've got eight seconds. what did you talk to mr. schiff about? >> i spoke to mr. schiff about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing. >> oh. not just what time to show up and actually what you're going to talk about? >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> wow. >> mr. sarbanes? mr. sarbanes? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. cohen. i know the other side is suggesting that you are an
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incorrigible liar and that you are lying here today. i can't think of anything you have to gain at this point from lying. i mean, they talk about book deals and other things that you want to do, but i see a lot more that you could lose by telling the truth today given the threats and other things that have been made against you and your family. so that's how i'm interpreting it and of course, you brought out do you means with you, as well, to bolster the credibility of your testimony. i did want to go back to an earlier line of questioning regarding the preparation of your testimony before you came before the intelligence committee. you talked about a meeting at the white house where the testimony was being reviewed, and i think you said that it was
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at least one white house attorney jay sekulow and you acknowledge that there were some edits that were made through your topic. who at the white house reviewed your testimony? >> i don't know the answer to that. the document was originally created by myself along with my attorney for will, mcdermott and emory and there was a joint defense agreement so the document circulated around. i believe it was also reviewed by abby lowell who represents ivanka and jared kushner. >> why did you provide the testimony to the white house? >> it was pursuant to the joint defense agreement that we were all operating under. >> what were the edits that came back substantively when the testimony -- >> i'm sorry. i don't know, sir, i'd have to
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look at the document. . >> did you have a -- do you have a reaction to why there might not have been, in a sense, a protest to what was going to be false testimony that was going to be provided? >> no, sir, because the goal is to stay on message. just limit the relationship whatsoever with russia. it was short, there's no russian contacts and no russian collusion and no russian deals. that's the message. that's the same message that existed well before my need to come and testify. >> so it's an example of where this idea, this mentality of you toe the line whatever the storyline or the narrative of the day or the month or the year is going to be. you toe that line whether it results in false testimony or
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not. >> i toed the party line, and i'm now suffering and i will continue to suffer for a while along with my family as a result of it, so yes. >> let me switch gears quickly before my time expires and you may not have direct knowledge of some of these things, but you're offering us some very helpful perspective on how the trump world operates and frankly, another reason i find your testimony fairly compelling and credible is because a lot of the things you're describing, a lot of the behavior you're describing is very consistent with what we all see every single day so it's not a leap for us to arrive in the same place of perspective that you presented. i'm interested in some of the activities around the inaugural committee, the inauguration of
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the president and there was an article that appeared in pro-publica, a watchdog group about some negotiation on pricing of things at the trump hotel where it looks like the rental that was being quoted was substantial and what you would expect to pay according to what the market should bear so in a sense, the trump hotel was upcharging to the inaugural. >> even i couldn't afford to stay there. >> yeah. and so i'm just curious, do you have a sense whether that kind of a practice is something that is consistent or inconsistent? is it possible that that kind of upcharging could be done inside a trump operation? >> it did happen, and -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> what i can say to you is i
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wasn't part of the inaugural committee. i raised a lot of money for the inauguration, but i was not part of it and there was a lot of things in that, actually, that issue is something that is also that we read about in the paper that is being investigated at the current moment. >> mr. higgins? >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. cohen, it's in my heart to tell you, sir, i'm sorry for what your family is going through. i feel for your family. the word tells that the mouth is his destruction and the soul, and i see a man trapped in that, however i must tell you that i've arrested several thousand men and you remind me of many of them, the ones that immediately become humble and remorseful at the time they're actually booked and while they're incarcerated they're quite penitent, and then return to their former selves
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when they're back on the street. so respectful to your family and what they're going through, that's my sense of you, good sir. i'm going to give you another opportunity to respond to when you brushed off earlier regarding your own statement during this testimony from a c-span notation at two hours and 50 seconds in, you stated regarding your credibility that you're being accused of having no credibility that is exactly for that reason 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 decisions. now the documents you're referring to, mr. cohen, are the documents that you submitted today. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> do you believe those documents to be worthy of evidence for this oversight
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hearing today? >> i'll leave that to you. >> i'll ask you again, sir, and please don't be incredulous, and this is a serious question. where are those boxes that contain documents worthy of evidence to be presented to congress and why have they not been turned over to investigating authorities looking into some of the many criminal activities that you're allegedly cooperating in? where are these boxes? who knows? where is this treasure of evidence? >> the boxes that i'm referring to were boxes that were in my law office when the fbi entered and seized documents. >> investigating authorities and noted what the gentleman has just stated and that actions be taken for those boxes to be seized and reviewed based upon proper warrants signed by a sitting judge. you noted earlier today, mr.
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cohen, kriet quite incredulenta about a television deal and you expressed wonderment if your predicament could get you on television. it certainly got you on television. >> sir, i was on television representing mr. trump going back to 2011. >> i didn't know who you were until the fbi raided your home. how many attorneys do you think mr. trump has had during the course of his career? quite a few, i would imagine. you're just one that's in the trap right now and i understand you're trying to get out of it. you're in a bind, but i ask you, good sir, have you discussed film and book deals with your stated current attorney mr. davis, lanny davis? >> with mr. davis? no. but i have been approached by many people who are looking to do book deals, movie deals and
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so on. the answer to that is yes. >> it leads me back to my instinct that compares you to many of the men that i've arrested during the course of my career. mr. chairman -- >> with all due respect, sir -- >> that our primary hearing to introduce the oversight committee to the 116th congress of the american people has manifested in the way that it obviously is. this is an attempt to injure our president and lay some sort of soft cornerstone for future impeachment proceedings. this is the full intent of the majority. i yield my remaining 30 seconds to the ranking member. >> mr. cohen, earlier you said the united states southern district of new york is not accurate in that statement. >> i'm sorry. say that again. >> earlier you said the united
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states southern district of new york attorney's office, that statement is not accurate. you said it's not a lie, you said it's not accurate. do you stand by that? >> yes. i did not want a role in the current administration. >> can i finish, please? >> sure. >> i got exactly the role that i wanted. there is no shame in being personal attorney to the president. i got exactly what i wanted. i asked mr. trump for that job and he gave it to me. >> all i'm asking, mr. cohen and i appreciate it, mr. chairman. you are saying that statement from the southern district of new york is wrong? >> i am saying i did not write it and it's not accurate. >> thank you. one of the most significant events in the last presidential campaign, of course of course was the dump of e-mails stolen from the democratic national committee dumped by wikileaks. mr. cohen, during your opening statement which was at the height of the election you testified you were actually
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meeting with donald trump in july 2016 when roger stone happened to call and tell mr. trump that he had just spoken to julian assange. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> you said that mr. assange told mr. trump about an upcoming quote in your opening statement. quote, massive dump of e-mails that would damage hillary clinton's campaign. so i want to ask you about roger stone's phone call to the president. first of all, was that on speaker phone? was that what you indicated? >> yes. mr. trump has a black speakerphone that sits on his desk and he uses it quite often because with all of the number of phone calls he gets. >> in january of this year, 2019 "the new york times" asked president trump if he ever spoke to roger stone about these stolen e-mails and president trump answered and i quote, no, i didn't. i never did. was that statement by president trump true? >> no, it's not accurate.
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>> and can you please describe for us to the best of your recollection, you were present, exactly what mr. stone said to mr. trump? >> it was a short conversation, and he said, mr. trump, i just want to let you know that i just got off the phone with julian assange, and in a couple of days there's going to be a massive dump of e-mails that's going to severely hurt the clinton campaign. >> and were mr. trump and mr. stone aware of where those e-mails came from? >> that, i'm not aware of. >> did mr. trump ever suggest then or later to call the fbi to report this breach? >> he never expressed that to me. >> did the president at that time or ever since if your knowledge indicate an awareness that this conduct was wrong? >> no. >> the reason i ask is because on july 22nd, on the eve of the
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democratic convention, wikileaks published, as you know, the 20,000 leaked internal dnc e-mails. could your meeting with mr. trump could have been before that date? >> yes. >> so mr. trump was aware of the upcoming dump before it actually happened? >> yes. >> right? and is there any -- >> sir, i don't know whether he knew or not, and i don't believe he did what the substance of the dump was going to be only that there was going to be a dump of e-mails. >> and he was aware of that before the dump occurred? >> yes, sir. >> all right. are there any records that would corroborate the day of this meeting, calendars, perhaps? >> i'm not in possession, but i believe this is part of the special counsel and they are the best suited to corroborate that information. >> was anyone else present
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during the call? >> i don't recall for this one, no, sir. >> is there anyone else the committee should talk to about the president's knowledge of the wic wikileaks e-mail dump? >> when he called rhona craft yelled out to mr. trump, roger is on line 1 which is regular practice. >> that's his assistant? >> yes. >> during the news conference on july 27, 2016, then-candidate trump publicly appealed to russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mails and make them public. he stated and i quote, russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. now going back to mr. stone's phone call to the president, do you recall if mr. trump had knowledge of the wikileaks dump at the time of his direct appeal to russia? >> i am not. but the call with mr. stone, you believe, was before.
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>> yes. ? i'm sorry. i thought you were talking about a different set of documents that got dumped. i was in mr. trump's office, it was either july 18th or 19th and, yes, he went ahead. i don't know if the 35,000 or 30,000 e-mails was what he was referring to. he certainly had knowledge. >> thank you. just one last question. mr. raskin had been asking you questions and one was that mr. pecker expended other monies to protect mr. trump. can you elaborate on what some of those other activities were? >> sure. there was the story about mr. trump having a love child with an employee -- with an employee and actually the husband of that employee works for the company as well, and there was an elevator operator who claims he overheard the conversation taking place between one of mr.
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trump's other executives and somebody and he ended up paying like $15,000 in order to buy that story to find out whether it was true or not and that's just one example of things that david had done. it was the reason why in the recording when david was looking to become the ceo of qwest ti"t magazine, we were concerned of the treasure trove of documents that someone could open up the drawer and we would have to buy the life rights and so on. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you for testifying. i join congressman higgins in feeling for your family that have no part in this. you know, i've heard all of the testimony, and i'm trying to decide what clay is trying to decide. are you really sorry for what
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you did or you just got caught? the thing that amazed me is that in your opening statement which, let me quote, last fall i pled guilty in federal court for the felonies of, at direction of, and in coordination with individual 1. th was that the president? >> yes, sir. >> okay. your crimes were of your own to benefit yourself. >> some of them, yes. >> no. go through all of the ones with the real estate, with the banks, on your hiloc loan you failed to disclose more than $20 million in debt. you failed to disclose 70,000 in monthly payments, on your 14 million line of credit. you failed to disclose that you had drawn on that. so this was all for yourself. this wasn't for the benefit of president trump. this was to benefit michael
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cohen. so that's my question. did you just get caught? and you worked for this man for ten years, mr. cohen. you came in here with these -- with these -- he's a con man. he's a cheat. this is the very man that did you wiretapping illegally? did you not wiretap president trump without his knowledge? >> i did record mr. trump without his knowledge, yes. >> is that something that an honest guy would do? an honest lawyer? >> i never thought that this was going to be happening and that that recording even existed. i had forgotten. >> but you did it? >> yes, i did. >> i had a reason for doing it? >> what's your reason? >> because i knew he wasn't going to pay that money and david pecker had already chewed me out on multiple occasions regarding other monies that he expended. >> but this is a man that you trusted, you'd take a bullet
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for, you secretly recorded. let me ask you this, mr. cohen, have you legally or illegally recorded other clients? >> i have recordings of people, yes? legally or illegally. >> i believe that they're legal. >> did you tell them? in new york state you don't have to' tell them. >> no, i did not. >> sometimes i use contemporaneousl contemporaneously i find it easier. >> if the shoe were on the other foot would you like your lawyer recording you? >> no, i would not. it's untrustworthy and something people would not do. your bank loan, did you ever default on any of these loans? >> no, sir. so the bank didn't take any loss. >> ney bank has, i am not in default. i have never filed a bankruptcy. the hiloc you're referring to i replaced that from a different hilock and paid it off. i owe no banks any money. >> how about your medallion taxi
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cab today? >> the ones in chicago, yes. i do have to sell. however, new york, the answer is no, i don't, and they are -- the industry is going through a major, major correction because of ride sharing. it's changed a lot of things. >> the value of it has. >> yes, sir. >> right. so no bank -- would the banks make you a loan again based on your record? >> actually they did. they did. post -- yes, the bank actually redid and they refinanced the entire package. >> currently. >> post this. >> yes. >> they've never had to do a loan loss reserve for the projected losses? >> i don't know what they did. it is still the same amount. most likely they did. >> they may have done that, sir, but that's for their own banking, but not for me. >> if they suspect you of lying which you admitted to, if they suspect you of maybe not being
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able to make a loan payment they have to have a loan loss reserve that's 125% of what you -- 20 million, they had to post in their account 20 million plus. so they get no interest on it and you know who pays for that? the american public who deals with that bank. >> sir, i'm not in default and i'm current on each and every one of these medallion loans and i've never owed any money to first republic bank. in fact, at the time that i had the hilock, i had more cash sitting in that same bank than -- than the hilock and my mortgage combined. >> have you ever been to prague? >> i've never been to prague. >> never have? >> i've never been to the czech republic. >> i yield back the balance of my time. >> miss speier? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you mr. cohen. on page 5 of your statement you say, and i quote, you need to know that mr. trump's personal lawyers reviewed and edited my
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statement to congress about the timing of the moscow tower negotiations. who were those attorneys? >> from the white house? >> yes. >> jay sekulow, i believe abby lowell as well. >> and do you have a copy of your original statement that you can provide for the committee? >> i can do that. >> all right. if you can do that. >> the letter of intent for the moscow tower, was it in the fall of 2015, correct? >> correct. >> was there an expiration date on that letter of intent? >> there was no expiration date. >> so it could technically still be in effect today. ? no. it's been terminated. >> it has? >> yes, ma'am. >> did mr. trump tell you to offer vladimir putin ay from penthouse? >> no, ma'am. that was felix say thor and it was a marketing stunt that he spoke about. >> so felix sater had suggested to you that mr. trump offer a penthouse to mr. putin? >> yes because it would certainly drive up the price per square foot.
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no different than in any condo where they start listing celebrities that live in the property. >> in 2016, did you travel to europe? >> yes. >> did you meet with persons associated with the moscow tower project? >> no. >> it was for personal. >> my daughter was studying in queen mary in london. >> so you did not meet with any rug russians? >> no. >> there was an elevator tape that's been referenced as a catch and kill product. it was evidently of mr. trump and a woman presumably mrs. trump, is that correct? >> are we talking about in moscow or the trump tower elevator tape? >> there's an elevator tape that went up for auction effectively in 2016. >> yes. i've heard about this. >> and who is on that tape? >> it's mr. trump with melania. >> and what happened in that tape?
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>> the story goes that he struck melania while in that elevator because there's a camera inside which i'm not so sure. actually, i'm certain it's not true. i've heard about that tape for years. i've heard four or five different people including folks from ami who have -- >> there was some tape that went up for auction, is that correct? >> i don't believe that auction was real and i don't believe anybody -- i don't believe mr. trump ever struck mrs. trump ever, i don't believe. >> are you aware of anyone purchasing that tape then? >> i don't believe it was ever -- >> so you never saw this tape? >> no, ma'am, and i know several people who went to go try to purchase it for catch and kill purpose. it didn't exist. mr. trump would never, in my opinion, that's not something that -- >> good to know. >> is there a love child? >> there is not to the best of my knowledge. >> so you would pay off someone
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to -- >> it wasn't me, ma'am. it was ami. it was david pecker. >> he paid someone about a love child that doesn't exist? >> correct. it was about $15,000. >> okay. how many times did mr. trump ask you to threaten an individual or entity on his behalf? >> quite a few times. >> 50 times? >> more. >> a hundred times? >> more. >> 200 times? >> more. >> 500 times? >> probably. over the ten years? >> over the ten years he asked you -- >> when you say threaten i'm saying with litigation or an argument with -- >> intimidation. >> a nasty reporter that is writing an article. >> what do you know about -- let's go to your tape. you said there's probably a hundred tapes? >> voice ykd arecordings? >> voice recordings. >> would you make them available
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>> don't you have to gavel that, sir. >> we would. >> mr. trump, did mr. trump tape any conversations? >> not that i'm aware of, no. >> were you involved in the $25 million settlement to trump university? >> i had a role in that, yes. >> who paid the settlement? >> i believe it was mr. trump. i don't know the answer to that. >> you don't know the answer, but you were involved in the -- >> yes, in a different aspect. >> there's some reference to a businessman in kansas being involved in that. are you familiar with that? >> i'm not familiar with that, no. >> final, in my 13 seconds left, what do you want my children to know? >> that i'm sorry for everything and i'm sorry for the pain that i've caused them -- and i wish i can go back in time. >> thank you. i yield back. >> to the members of the committee, before we go to ms.
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miller, for your -- so that you can properly plan, there's a vote apparently coming up in about ten to 20 minutes, and what we will do is we will recess and we will come back -- listen up -- 30 minutes after the last vote begins. got that? not at ends. 30 minutes after it begins. we'll do that promptly. ms. miller? >> i am very disappointed to have you in front of this committee today. quite frankly, this isn't the reason the people of west virginia sent me to congress. i find this hearing not in the best interest of the american people. this is another political game with the sole purpose of discrediting the president. if it was not already obvious,
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there are members here with the singular goal in congress to impeach president trump, to achieve this goal, they will waste not only precious taxpayer dollars, but also time in this committee and congress as a whole. in fact, they will go so far as to bring a convicted felon in front of our committee. we are supposed to take what you say, mr. cohen, at this time about president trump as the truth, but you're about to go to prison for lying. how can we believe anything you say? the answer is, we can't. this begs the question, why are those in the majority holding this hearing? i am appalled. we could be focused on actual issues that are facing america like border security, neo-natal absence syndrome or improving our nation's crumbling infrastructure. instead the democrats are trying
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to grasp at straws. let's talk about this witness. from his sentencing hearing in the southern district of new york, judge pauly stated, mr. cohen pled guilty to a variable fraudulent conduct, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to congress. each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition. this is who we have in front of us today in our committee, someone who is about to be sent to prison for three years for evading his taxes, deceiving a financial institution, lying to congress among other counts. one of the most appalling facts about this hearing, is mr. cohen has used his experiences with
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president trump both before and after he was elected for his own greed and profit. i'd like some yes-or-no answers. isn't it true you tried to sell a book about your time with president trump entitled, trump revolution, from the tower to the white house, understanding donald j. trump? >> yes. that happened early on when i was still even part, i believe, of the rnc. >> and this book deal which you had with hatchet books was worth around $500,000, snark? >> no, more, ma'am. >> how much more? >> i think it was about 750. >> wow. mr. cohen -- >> i did turn it down. >> given that you continue to profit from publicly discussing your time with mr. trump, i worry that this committee hearing the majority has given you will only serve as a platform for you to continue to lie and sensualize and
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exaggerate wherever it suits you. do you plan to pursue another book deal about your experiences? >> yes. >> i would presume this book would be a little different than your latest pitch, but your new angle might please some new fans. anything to sell books. mr. chairman, we've canceled hearings on child separation and on other issues that are close to my heart for this media circus. what a waste of time and money for a man who has gladly exploited the name of the president to promote his own name and fill his own pockets. it pains me that we are sitting here adding another chapter to his book. thank you and i yield the remainder of my time to mr. jordan. >> i thank the gentle lady for yielding. earlier mr. cohen, the gentle lady from california talked about this tape --
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>> i'm sorry, sir. i can't hear you. >> this tape, this elevator tape that you said does not exist. >> that's correct. i do not believe it exists. >> is it also your testimony that the trump team was willing to pay to make sure a story about a nonexistent tape never became public? >> no, sir, that's not what i said. >> they were willing to stop a false tape? >> we looked -- we learned that this tape was potentially on the market and that it existed and so what we did is exactly what we did with all the other catch and kill. we looked for it and if, in fact, that it did exist, we would have tried to stop it. that's what i would have done. i've never -- >> got it. >> i can assure you one thing about mr. trump, many things he would never, ever do something like that. i don't see it. >> ms. kelly? >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. cohen, i'd like to ask you more about the details of the $130,000 payment you made to
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stephanie clifford, the adult film actress known as stormy daniels in order to purchase her silence shortly before the 2016 elections. first, according to documents filed by federal prosecutors in new york, you created a shell company called the central consultants, llc, is that correct? >> it's correct. >> and you created this company for the purpose of making the payment to ms. clifford, is that correct? >> amongst other things, yes. >> you then used a home equity line of credit to fund the account in the name of the essential consultants, llc, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> you then wired $130,000 to the attorney representing ms. clifford at that time and wrote in the memo field for the, retainer, is that correct? >> correct. >> can you tell us why you decided to use this complicated process to make this payment? >> well, starting an llc is not a sophisticated means. llc, you call-up a company and you pay for it and they open it
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for you and the reason i used the home equity line of credit as opposed to cash that i had in the same exact bank was i didn't want my wife to know about it because she handles all of the banking and i didn't want her coming to me and asking me what was the $130,000 for and then i was going to be able to move money from one account to the other and to pay it off because i didn't want to have to explain to her what that payment was about. i sent it to the iola account to keep davidson in california, ms. daniel's attorney. he would hold it ination crow until stuch time i received the executed nda, nondisclosure agreement. >> did mr. trump know you were going through this process to hide the payment? >> yes. >> why not just use mr. trump's personal or company bank account to make the payment? why was the distraction so important beside you not wanting your wife to snow?
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>> what his concern was there would be a check that has his very distinct signature on to it and even after she cashed the check, all you need to do is make a photo copy of it and it's proof positive on exactly what took place. so the goal was to keep him far away from it as possible. >> can anyone corroborate what you have shared with us? >> absolutely. >> and that is? >> keith davidson, alan weisselberg, president trump. >> okay. now let's talk about the reimbursement, according to federal prosecutors and i quote, after the election, cohen sought reimbursement for election related expenses including the $130,000 payment, prosecutors stated that you and i quote, presented an executive of the company with a copy of a bank statement reflecting the $130,000 wire transfer, is that accurate? >> that is accurate. >> do you still have a copy of that bank statement? >> yes, it's made part of the
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exhibit. >> so you will provide it to the committee? >> yes, ma'am. >> according to federal prosecutors, executives at the company then and i quote, agreed to reimburse cohen by adding 130,050,000 grossing up that amount to 360,000 for tax purposes and adding a $60,000 bonus such that cohen would be paid $420,000 in total. executives of the company decided to pay the $420,000 in monthly installments of 35,000 over the course of a year. is that accurate? >> that is accurate. >> what was the purpose of grossing up the amounts essentially doubling what you had paid to ms. clifford and others? >> if you pay $130,000 and you live in new york where you have a 50% tax bracket, in order to get your 130 back you have to have 260, otherwise -- if he gave me back 130, then i'd be out 65,000. >> what was the purpose of spreading the reimbursements to


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