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tv   Michael Cohen Testifies Before House Oversight Committee  CSPAN  February 27, 2019 11:59am-1:59pm EST

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campaign and lied about it, closed quote. how did the president actually direct the negotiations? >> after each communication i had, i would report back to him. our goal was to get this project. we were interested in building what would have been the largest building in all of europe. if i can say one last thing, this is on topic. the lies that i told to congress in fairness benefitted mr. trump. in furtherance of my protection of mr. trump, which i stated in my temperature. i am not protecting mr. trump anymore. while i truly appreciate taking some of your time onto it, to attack me every single time that
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i had no credibility, it is for exactly that reason i spent the last week searching boxes to find the information that i did so you don't have to take my word for it. i don't want you to. look at the documents and make your own decision. >> let me just say -- i don't think my colleagues are afraid you are going to lie. i think you you are afraid you are going to tell the truth. >> thank you, sir. >> i yield the balance of my time. >> i just want to respond to mr. lynch. when have you ever seen an agency where this happened. james comey fired, lied three times under oath as we speak. jim baker, fbi council demoted then left. currently under investigation.
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lisa page demoted then left. counter intelligence, demoted then fired. that's what happened. we asked for rob rosenstein. we know three people have told us rob rosenstein was contemplating using the 25th amendment to remove the guy from presidency. we asked for him to be a witness. instead we get 30 minutes from a guy who is going to prison for lying to congress. you were asked who all you talked to. mr. schiff, cummings. you've gone before both committees. have you spoken to chairman adler or anyone on his staff? is. >> i don't know about my attorneys. i have not spoken them. i am not aware if my
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attorneys -- i can ask them. >> you can turn around and ask him. >> the answer is no. >> you said at this time, mr. davis is not getting paid. are you anticipating when i earn a living. >> he's going to wait three years? >> yes. >> i've never heard of that. >> i guess he thinks it is important. >> mr. cohen, you are a disgraced lawyer. you've been disbarred. i'm sure you remember. maybe you don't remember duty of loyalty, duty of confidenciality, attorney-client privilege. i think the man over your shoulder knows that well and wouldn't do what you are doing here today. we want to think of you as this
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icon. you are the person somebody would call at 3:00 in the morning. no, you wouldn't. we saw mr. comber dissect you. in front of this committee, you conflicted your testimony. you are a pathological liar. you don't know truth from falsehood. >> are you referring to me or the president? is. >> this is my time. squoo are you familiar with rule 37 in the criminal rules and procedures. >> i am now. >> it is understood you've been in contact with the southern distract with new york. is that true? >> i'm in content contact with the southern district of new york. >> part of that is the discussion of reducing sentence
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time? >> no, it is not. >> part of your reason for appearing today is to reduce your sentence time. >> i'm not sure how i am appearing here today. if there is something this group can do for me, i would gladly welcome it. america is watching you. i've been getting texts right and left saying how can anybody listen to this person. he doesn't know fact from fiction. you didn't do this for donald trump. you did it for you. this is all about you. the twitter feed. let me read another one. women love michael cohen, strong, pit bull, sexy. ared to make a difference against the law.
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that is pretty sad. over and over again, we wanted to have trust. it is built on the premise we are truthful. there is no truth with you whatsoever. that is important to you. to look up here and remember the old adage our moms taught us. liar, liar pants on fire. no one should listen to you. it is sad. i want to quote the chairman's very words. this is a real -- hold on. sad state. >> mr. colbert. >> mr. cohen, several times in your testimony, you state the bad things you did for mr. trump. and at some point, you apparently changed your course of action.
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there is a rekurn refrain 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 is several factors. helsinki, charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another, putting up silly things like this, really unbecoming of congress. that sort of behavior that i'm responsible for. i'm responsible for your silliness. i did the same thing you are doing now for ten years. i protected mr. trump for ten years. the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value and you want to use that as the
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premise for december -- discrediting me and say i'm not the person that people would call at 3:00 in the morning, would make you a liar. people who follow mr. trump blindly will suffer the same consequences i'm suffering. >> what warning do you give young people who are tempted as you were. would you encourage them not to wait ten years to see the light? what encouragement would you give young people, particularly lawyers to not abuse their bar licenses? >> look what happened to me. i have a wonderful wife and two
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children. i achieved success. i didn't have to go to work because i had to. i went to work wifor him becausi wanted to. if i'm the picture of what not to do. that's what i want to teach my children. i've made mistakes. i'm owning them. if that isn't enough to dissuade a person from acting as i did, i'm not sure that person has any chance very much like i'm in right now. >> a recurring theme is the concern for your familiar's safety? what are you concerned about? >> the president has over 60 million people. when he turned around early in the campaign and said, i can
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shoot somebody on fifth avenue and get away with it. i want to be very clear. he's not joking. he's telling the truth. you don't know him. i do. i sat next to this man for ten years and i watched this back. i'm the one who started his campaign and continued in 2015 to promote him. so many things i thought that he can do are just great. and he is doing are just great. but this destruction of civility, when he goes on twitter and starts bringing in my inlaws, my wife, what does he think is going to happen. he's sending out the message he can do what he wants. it is becoming his country and he's becoming an autocrat. and hopefully something will happen to me, my family, my
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children so i won't be here to testify. i thanked everybody who joined and said that is just not right. >> have you seen mr. trump physically threat people with physical harm? >> no. he would use others. >> he had to hire people to do that? >> i'm not sure he would have to hire them, they are already working there. everyday most of us knew we were going to come in and lie for him on something. that became the norm. that is exactly what is happening right now in this country and is happening here in government, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my time is expired. >> mr. chairman, can we take a
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break? [ inaudible ] >> that's okay. thank you, sir. thank you.
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>> the house oversight and reform hearing with president trump's former attorney michael cohen got under way this morning at about 10:00. they've about at it a little over two hours. mr. cohen requested a break. we don't know how long it will last. it should resume shortly. our coverage on the c-span network includes a reair tonight of all of the hearing.
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we have cameras outside of the hearing room itself to talk with members during the breaks and afterwards to night. we'll be live for all of it here on c-span 3.
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>> chairman cummings from the house oversight committee. we understand it will be a ten minute break or so. sometimes these have a tendency to go a little longer. again, a reminder, we'll reair all of it tonight at 10:00 eastern on c-span. you can find it at c-span.org. while we are waiting, we'll show you as much as we can of the
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opening statement of michael cohen which lasted 30 minutes. >> please rise and i will begin to swear you in. raise your right hand, do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god. let the record show that the witness answered in the affirmative. thank you. you may be seated. the microphones are sensitive. please speak directly into them. without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record. with that, mr. cohen, you are now recognized to give an or al presentation of your testimony. >> chairman cummings, ranking
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member jordan and members of the committee. thank you for inviting me here today. i have asked this committee to ensure my family be protected from presidential threats and that the committee be sensitive to questions pertaining to ongoing investigations. i 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 to offer the american people what i know about president trump. i recognize some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility. it is for this reason i have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that information you will hear is accurate and truthful. never in a million years did i
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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 win. i regret the day i said yes to mr. trump. i regret all the help and support i gave him along the way. i am ashamed of my own failings and publicly accepted responsibility to them by pleading guilty in the southern district of new york. i am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty of the things i did for mr. trump in an effort to protect and promote him. i am ashamed that i chose to take part in concealing mr. trump's illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.
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i am ashamed because i know what mr. trump is. he is a racist. he is a con man. and he is a cheat. he was a presidentant candidate that knew roger stone was talking with with wiki leak. i will explain. i am providing a few documents including 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 he gave
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to such institutions such as deutsche bank. a copy of an article with mr. trump's handwriting that reported on an auction of a portrait of him self. he arranged for the bidder at the time and reimbursed the bidder from his nonprofit charitable foundation with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs. copies of letters i wrote at his direction that threatened his high school, colleges and college board not to release his grades or sat scores. i hope my appearance here today, my guilty plea and my work with law enforcement agencies are steps along a path of redemption that will restore faith in me and help this country understand
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our president better. before going further, i want to apologize to each member, to u.s. congress as a whole. the last time i appeared before congress, i came protect mr. trump. today, i am here to tell the truth about mr. trump. i lied to congress when mr. trump stopped negotiating the moscow tower project in russia. i stated that we stopped negotiating in january of 2016. that was false. our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign. mr. trump did not directly tell me to lie to congress. that's not how he operates. in conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time i was actively negotiating in russia for him.
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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. there were at least a half a dozen times between the iowa caucus in janua caucus in january 2016 and june when he would ask me, how is it going in russia, referring to the moscow tower project -- >> ms. fox. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cohen, you have admitted to lying on your taxes. according to federal prosecutors, you also lied to banks to get loans, prosecutors
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wrote, quote, to report falsely the amount of debt he was carrying. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> you lied on financial documents. >> you lied to financial institutions in order to secure loans. >> you have lined to banks and to congress. it seems there is not much you won't lie about. your common crimes each involving desemgs and being motivated by your personal greed and ambitious. is your appearance here today motivated by your desire to remain in the spotlight for your personal benefit? >> no, ma'am. >> you have sought outweighs to
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repair your image to an honorable truthful man appearing before cable news. i am considered you could be using your story for personal benefit such as a desire to make money from book deals. can you commit under oath you have not and will not pursue a book or movie deal based on your experiences working for the president. >> no. >> you cannot commit to making money off a book or movie deal based on your work? >> no. two parts to your question. the first part you asked me whether or not i had spoken to people regarding a possible book deal. i have. i have spoken to people who sought me out regarding a movie deal. >> i didn't ask if you had
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talked to anybody. i said can you commit under oath you have not and would not pursue a book deal. >> i will not, no. >> can you commit under oath you will not provide comments to a major news network on your experiences working for the president? >> no. >> can you say you will not pursue political office in the state of new york? >> no. >> you don't commit to changing your ways because you want to continue to use your background as a liar, a cheater, a convicted liar to make money. that's what you want to do? >> that's gonna get me a book deal, movie deal, a spot on tell vision. i don't think so? >> it appears that it will. i yield the remainor of my time. >> thank you.
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in your statement to the court last year, you said i want to apologize to the people of the united states, you deserve to know the truth. months later, buzz feed news ran the story in the country for a couple of days. january 17, 2019. on january 18, your council went on tv and wouldn't confirm or deny the story. the next day, special council did something that has never happened. the description of the statements in the characterization of the documents and temperature obtained by this office regarding michael cohen's testimony are not accurate. >> why didn't your lawyer, the day on tv, why didn't he deny the buzz feed story. >> i didn't think it was his respon responsibility to do that. we are not the fact checkers for buzz feed.
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>> you had the golden opportunity to gives them the truth on a false story. the buzz feed story. you lawyer didn't say a thing. he said this, i can't confirm. i can't deny. you had an opportunity one month after you said it, you didn't do it. why not? >> again, it wasn't our responsibility to be a fact checker of a news agent. they said something they had never done. they said that story was false. >> the president has told something over 9,000 lies to date. i do go on tell vision in an effort to correct his mistakes?
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the answer is no. >> the gentleman's tire is expired. >> i just find it interesting, sir, between yourself and colleagues that not one question so far has been asked mpresiden trump. that's why i thought i came here today. not to confess what i did. i've already done that. i'll do it again. i've made my mistakes. i'll say it now again. i'm going to pay the ultimate price. the american people don't care about my taxes. they want to know what i know about mr. trump. not question so far has been asked about mr. trump. >> mr. conway. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well, mr. cohen, based on your
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testimony and ten-year experience, i think you can recognize the behavior you are being subjected to on the other side of the aisle. slander, any trick in the book to prevent your testimony from sticking. to prevent a witness from coming to us that they fought means you could never tell the truth. not a single word they say would discredit ever single organize the trial. all of it depends on smon who turned. it would make rico null and void. this congress historically has relied on all kinds of shady figures who turned.
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one of the most famous wound up withes most famous decapitation. he was committed of a lot worse crimes than you are committed of. don't be fooled by what my friends on the other side of the aisle are trying to do today. it is do everything but focus on the principal. don't ask individual number one in the southern district of new york, as i recall. is that correct, mr. cohen. >> that is correct. >> i want to ask something that is not in your testimony and so far not made public. in our committee search of documents that weren't otherwise already redacted or made public, they may one mistake. there was an e-mail from a special assistant to the deputy white house council dated may 16, 2017. it says, potus, meaning the
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president, requested a meeting on thursday with michael cohen and jay sekulo. do you recall being asked to come to the white house at or around that time? may of 2017? >> off the top of my head, sir. i don't. i recall buying in the white house with jay sekulow with regard to the document production as well as my appearance before the house select intel. i'm not sure specifically. i will check my records. i'm more than happy to provide you with any documentation or response to this question.
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you touched on presumably the discussion this meeting occurred just before your meeting is that right? >> was this a topic of conversation with the president himself? >> in the occurrence i was there with mr. sekulow, yes? >> so you had a discussion with the president about your testimony. >> correct. >> what was the nature of that conversation? >> he wanted me to cooperate. he wanted to make sure, there is no russia, there is no collusion, there is no deal. he goes. it is all a witch hunt. this stuff has to end. >> did you take those comments
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to be suggestive of what might flavor your testimony? >> sir, he's been saying that to me for many, many months. at the end of the day. i knew exactly what he wanted me to say. why was mr. sekulow at the meeting? because he was going to be representing mr. trump going forward. >> in any way did the president coach you? >> again, it is difficult to answer. he doesn't tell you what he wants. again, michael, there is no russia, no collusion.
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i know what it means because i've been around him so long. stay ig on point, the party line that he created that so many others are touring. that's the message he wanted to reinforce. >> gentleman, your time is up. >> would you say at times you would do what mr. truyou though trump wanted you to do not what he told you to do? >> yes. >> so you went on your intintui? >> not intuition but what i knew. >> does a lawyer have the duty to provide good advice. >> yes. >> do you believe you were a
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good lawyer? >> i believe so. >> you said, quote, without bothering to consider whether that was improper much less the right thing to do. end quote. that's your end testimony today. you didn't even consider whether it was legal. how could you give your client legal advice when you are not even considering whether it is legal. i did what mr. trump wanted. >> i didn't ask whether you were a good fixer. i asked if you were a good lawyer. >> sometimes you need to meld them both together. i needed to protect mr. trump, which i am clearly serving the penalty of. >> you said without bothering to consider if it was proper or the
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right thing to do by ignoring any conscience that you were protecting mr. trump. >> as his lawyer, you feel you did a good job. you said you were a good lawyer, right? >> is that being a good lawyer? to not even consider whether it is legal or not? >> i didn't work for the campaign i was working for mr. trump. this goes all the way to 2011. this was in the first scenario my point is this is an on going situation. >> when were you disbarred? >> yes from what i read in the
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paper. >> when should you have been disbarred based on the legal council you were giving to your client? >> i don't know. >> how long were you coin sill for mr. trump? >> since 2007. >> how long had you failed to inform him as you testified today in the case of the payment to clifford. would that qualify for disbarment? >> i don't know, sir. i'm not the bar association. >> you should consult with them. >> there is no point now, i lost my law license. >> has anyone else offered to pay mr. davis for representing you? >> no. >> nobody has. >> no. are you offering.
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>> you said you become privy to the conversation of hillary clinton's e-mails that they would be leaked. >> i believe it was the 18th or 19th. >> definitely july? >> i believe so, yes. >> did you know that was public knowledge in june. >> i'll submit this for the record. it was reported to the media on june 12. >> i'm not saying you have fake news but old news. there is not much to that. i would like to yield the remainder of my time to mr. higgins. >> thank you, sir. i'm quoting you from earlier said, i spent last week looking through documents to find documents to support
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accusations. where are those boxes? >> in a storage. >> are these not boxes that should have been turned over during the criminal investigations? >> they were returned to me. >> should they not have been turned over. does mr. lanny davis know about these boxes? >> i don't understand his questions. >> thank you for coming and voluntarily testififying this morning. you were the special council to the trump organization. >> special council to donald j. trump. >> so you were the attorney for
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him? >> there to handle matters that he felt were important to him. >> those included legal matters? >> yes, sir. >> as a former attorney, you are familiar with legal documents known as nondisclosure agreements? >> yes. >> i'm sure you know that they can be reasonable in certain business contempts and abused to create a chilling effect to silence people as we've seen in the me too movement and other places. isn't that right. >> yes. >> and the trump organization used ndas extensively correct? >> that is correct. >> i'm reading from an article where the terms are described as very proud. the terms confidential information was defined to be anything that, quote, insists remain private or confidential
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including but not limited to any information with respect to the personal life, political afairs or business afairs of mr. trump or any family member, closed quote. does that sound familiar to you? >> i've seen that document. >> there is a class action document filed by former trump campaign working jessica den son isn't legal because it is too broad, too vague and would be used to retaliate against employees who complained of illegal at or wrongdoing. would you agree that the use of these types of ndas with this type of language and later when donald trump sought to enforce them, he intended to prevent people from coming forward with claims of wrongdoing? >> yes. >> would you agree that the
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attempt was to have a chilling effect on people or silence them from coming forward? >> if you want to define chilling. >> just using these ndas or trying to enforce them would try to keep people silent. >> that was the goal. >> nothing was ever done unless it was run through president trump, is that right? >> 100% certain. >> mr. cohen, do you believe there are people out there today either from the president's business or personal life who are not coming forward to tell their stories of wrongdoing because of the president's use of ndas against them? >> i'm sorry, sir. i don't know the answer to that. >> when was the last communication with president trump or someone working on his
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behalf? >> i don't have the specific date but it was a while ago. >> do you have a general time frame? >> i would suspect it would have been two months post the raid of my home. >> so early fall of last year? >> maybe. >> what did he or his agent communicate to you? >> this topic is being investigated right now by the southern district of new york. i've been asked by them not to discuss it or talk about these issues. >> fair enough. >> is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act regarding donald trump we haven't discussed today? >> yes. those are part of the investigation currently being looked at by the southern district of new york.
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>> sir, congressman cooper asked if you were aware of any physical violence committed by president trump. do you have any knowledge of president trump abusing any controlled substances? >> i'm not aware of that, no. >> do you have any knowledge of president trump being de-lynn kwent on alimony or child care payments? >> i'm not aware of that. >> do you have any knowledge of president trump arranging for medical procedures for any woman not in his family? >> i'm not aware of that, no. >> mr. cloud. >> thank you, chairman. mr. cohen, can you tell me the significance of may 6? couple months from now. >> that is the day i need to surrender in federal prison. >> can you for the record state
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what you've been convicted of? >> five counts of tax evasion, one count of misrepresent of documents to a bank, two counts, one dealing with campaign finance for karen mcdougal, one for campaign violations relating to stormy daniels as well as lying to congress. >> can you state what your official title with the campaign was? >> i did not have a position in the campaign. >> and in the trump administration? >> i did not have a title in the administration. >> the district of new york says this, cohen's criminal violations were stirred by his own ambition and greed. he privately told friends and
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colleagues, he expected to be given a prominent role in the new administration. when that did not materialize, he found a way to monditize his position. >> were they lying or are you lying today? >> i'm not saying they are lying. i did not want to go to the white house. i brought an attorney and sat with mr. trump with him well over an hour explaining the importance of having a personal attorney that every president has had one to handle matters like i was dealing with which included stormy daniels stephanie clifford and other personal matters that needed -- >> excuse me. this is my time. i ask unanimous consent to submit in from the southern district of new york.
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>> i'll give it to you in a second. this states you committed four distinct crimes. motivated to do so by personal greed and repeatedly used your power to influence to deceptive ends. it goes on to say they each involved and were distinct in their horm. involved deception and were motivated by personal greed and deception. there is a lot we don't know. here is what we do know. you were expecting a job at the white house and didn't get it. you made millions of lying for the president. you have a history of lies to banks, law enforcement, your family, congress, the american people. the southern district of new york, you said you did this out of blind loyalty to trump. your sentencing memo said this, this is not an act out of blind
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loyalty, he was driven to engrashate himself with the future president whose success he gave himself credit for. we are in search for truth and i don't know how we're supposed to ascertain truth when the witness has been convicted for lying before us. what's sad is the american people have seen this play out before. we have people in predominant positions fail and then a couple years later, they get a book deal. you're set to go to jail for a couple years. if you come out with a book deal, that's not bad living. my question is, will you today -- will you commit to donate any further proceeds to charity. >> no. >> thank you.
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will the gentleman yield? >> may i finish. >> i yield to mr. meadows. >> may i finish -- >> he's yelled to me. >> i didn't finish my response. everything -- >> i'm -- mr. chairman, may i finish my response? >> answer his question, please. >> mr. cohen, everything's been made of your lies in the past. i'm concerned about your lies today. under your testimony just a few minutes ago, to me, you indicated that you had contracts with foreign entities and yet we have a truth and testimony disclosure form which requires you to list those foreign contracts for the last two years and you put na on there. and it's a criminal offense to not have that accurately. so when were you lying? either in the testimony to me earlier today or when you filled out the form? >> the gentleman's time has
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expired. mr. cohen, you may answer his question and whatever you wanted to say -- >> i don't have an answer for his question -- >> no, no, no, no. mr. chairman -- >> as it relates -- >> he said he does not have an answer. >> mr. chairman, when we were in the majority with all due respect, mr. chairman -- >> the gentleman has just said he doesn't have an answer and you've already gone over your time. >> he's under oath to tell the truth. one of them is not accurate, mr. chairman. >> you'll have time -- >> mr. chairman, just a question. >> mr. cohen thank you for your composure today. our colleagues are not update because you lied to congress, they're upset because you stopped lying for the president. you described this as the
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greate great -- do you think it ever stopped about being making money for the president, his family and his organization? >> yes. >> when did it stop being that? >> when he won the election. >> what did it become at that point? >> then it had to be about figuring out what to do here in washington. >> can you carefully explain to america how the hush money payments to karen mcdougal and stormy daniels working? can you explain what catch and kill is? >> sure. i received a phone call regarding both karen mcdougal as well as stormy daniels, obviously, different times, indicating that there were issues that were going to be damaging to mr. trump with the stormy daniels it started in 2011 when he wanted to have something removed from a website
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and that was the first time i met keith -- i spoke with keith davidson, her then acting attorney, and we were successful in having it taken down from the website. it wasn't until years later around the time of the campaign did they come back and they ask what -- what are you going to do now because she's back on the trail trying to sell the story? at which point in time david pecker on behalf of the "national enquirer" reached out to her and her attorney to take a look at lie director tests that would prove that she was telling the truth. they contacted me and told me that she was telling the truth, at which point -- >> she took a lie detector test. >> she did. at which point in time i explained why this time it's
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different than another time. >> when you say different than another time, were there other women paid sexual hush money by donald trump, was this a standard operating practice? >> no. i'm not aware of any other case mr. trump paid. which brings us to the karen mcdougal. he was supposed to pay $125,000 for the life story of karen mcdougal. whatever reason, he elected not to pay it. david pecker was very angry because there was other monies that david had expended on his behalf. unfortunately david never got paid back for that either. >> so david did this in other -- >> other circumstances, yes. not all of them had to do with women. >> are you aware of anything that the president has done at home or abroad that may have subjected him to or may subject him to extortion or blackmail?
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>> i am not, no. >> okay. are you aware of any videotapes that may be the subject of extortion or blackmail? >> i've heard about these tapes for a long time. i've had many people contact me over the years. i have no reason to believe that that tape exists. >> in december 2015, donald trump was asked about his relationship with felix saider, a convicted felony and he replied, have to even think about it. i'm not that -- why did he endeavor to hide his relationship. >> he certainly had a relationship. felix was a partner in a company called bay rock what was involved in the deal of a trump soho hotel as well as i believe the trump ft. lauderdale project. why did he want to distance himself, that's what mr. trump does. he distances himself when things go bad for someone and at that
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point in time it was going bad for mr. saider. >> you said you lied to congress about trump's negotiations to build his moscow tower because he made it clear to you that he wanted you to lie. one of the reasons you knew this was because mr. trump's personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to congress about the timing of the moscow tower negotiations before i gave it. so this is a pretty breathtaking claim and i just want to get to the facts here. which specific lawyers reviewed and edited your statement to congress on the moscow tower negotiations and did they make any changes to your statement? >> there were changes made, additions -- >> were there changes about the timing -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. you may answer that question. >> there were several changes that were made including how we were going to handle that message which was the message of
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course being the length of time that the trump tower moscow project stayed and remained alive. >> that was one of the changes? >> yes. >> first of all i'd like to clear up something just something that bothers me. you started off your testimony and you said i think in response to some question that president trump never expected to win. i just want to clarify that i dealt with president trump several times as he was trying to get wisconsin, he was always confident, he was working very hard and this idea that somehow he was just running to raise his profile for some future adventure is preposterous. but be that at it may, my first question concerns your relationship with the court. do you expect -- right now i think your sentenced to three
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years, correct? >> that's correct. >> do you expect anytime using this testimony, other testimony, after you get done doing whatever you're going to do this week, do you ever expect to go back and ask for any reduction in sentence? >> yes. there are ongoing investigations currently being conducted that have nothing to do with this committee or congress that i am assisting in and it is for the benefit of a rule 35 motion, yes. >> so you expect and perhaps what you testify here today will affect going back and reducing this -- what we think is a relatively light sentence, you expect to go back and ask for a further reduction. >> based upon my appearance here today? >> whatever you do between now and your request -- >> the rule 35 motion is in the complete hands of the southern district of new york. and the way the rule 35 motion works is what you're supposed to
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do is provide them with information that leads to ongoing 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 because fruitful, then there's 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 from north carolina. >> i'm going to come back to the question i asked before with regard 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.
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have you had any foreign contact with foreign entities, whether it's in a var ris -- your testimony said you had contracts with them. in fact you went into deal -- >> it talks about lobbying. i did no lobbying -- >> in your testimony -- i'm not asking about lobbying dshl. >> they are not government agencies. they are privately -- publicly traded companies. >> do you have foreign contracts? >> i current -- >> did you have foreign contracts over the last two years? >> foreign contracts? >> contracts with foreign entities? >> yes. >> why didn't you put them on the form. it says it's a criminal offense to not put them on this form. why did you not do that. >> because those foreign companies that you're referring to are not government companies. >> it says nongovernmental -- it says foreign contracts.
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do you want us to read it to you? >> i read it and it was reviewed by my counsel and i am a nongovernment employee and it was not lobbying -- >> this has nothing to do with lobbying. it says it's a criminal offense to not list all of your foreign contracts. >> then i'm going to take a look -- and hopefully i will amend it prior to leaving because that's not the way i read your document. >> it's one more example of you skirting the truth. i want to ask one other question, mr. cohen, it's my time not yours. were you advised or was your counsel advised to with hold your written testimony to the latest possible date as john dean said last night on cnn? >> was it my what? >> were you advised to withhold your written testimony to this committee at the latest possible
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date to get it to this committee as john dean said that he advised you? yes or no? >> no. we will -- >> he never -- >> john dean? i've never spoken with john dean. >> has he spoken to your attorney. >> i don't know -- >> ask your -- >> we were working last night until 11, 12:00 -- >> you know you've been coming for some time -- >> you may answer the question. >> we were working till 11, 12:00 last night to finish everything. >> so you were writing it last night? don't give me that bull. >> we were making edits all the way through the night. >> i recognize mr. rudolph. >> thank you. mr. cohen, in november 2013, president donald trump testified under oath in a lawsuit related to the failed real estate project, during the deposition, president trump was asked about his knowledge of felix saider, a
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russian born real estate developer and convicted member of the russian mafia who pled guilty for his role in a 40 million stock manipulation scheme. it's worth noting the direct relationship between the russian mafia and the kremlin. president trump was asked how many times he interacted with convicted russian mobster felix saider. 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 saider in 2013 when he made that statement? >> yes. >> isn't it true that because of mr. saider's relationship to the trump organization, that he had an office in the trump tower? >> and on the 26th floor, mr. --
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>> it's important, why? >> because it's mr. trump's floor. >> he had an office on the same floor as president trump? >> in fact his office became my office. >> and isn't it true that convicted russian mafia russian mafia saider had business cards that he was a senior adviser to donald trump? >> yes. >> did convicted russian mafia felix saider pay rent for his office? >> no, he did not. >> based on those facts, isn't it true that president trump misled at best or worse, lied under oath? >> yes. >> in december 2015, president trump was asked again about his relationship to convicted russian mafia mr. saider by a reporter for the associated press.
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he stated, quote, felix saider, boy, i have to even think about it, unquote. he asked, 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 saider? >> they would be in the trump organization's files. there would be ccs to bayrock. possibly hard files in possession of mr. saider. >> and when you say in possession of the trump organization, where? >> it depends upon who the attorney was who was working on it. now it would probably be in a box off site.
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they have storage facilities that they put old files. >> in addition to convicted russian mobster saider, do you know of any other ties to mobsters president trump may have? >> i'm not aware. >> isn't it true with many people with ties to russia bought property in trump properties in crasash? >> i'm not aware of any. the statement you're referring to was made by eric or don. i don't agree with it. >> are you aware of any cash purchases by russian oligarchs and family members of trump properties? >> i'm not aware of that. when you say cash, if you mean walking in with a satchel of rubbles, i've never heard of it. when we sold mr. trump's
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property in facsimile beach, the home for $95 million, it came in by wire and that came from a russian bank account. >> you also talked about president trump doing negotiatio negotiations throughout the campaign regarding the trump tower in moscow. was he directly involved in those -- those doerkss and if so, how do you know? >> the answer is, yes, and as it relates to negotiations, it was merely follow ups as 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 that the project never advanced because they were unable to provide me that proof 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
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he trust you with the various tasks that you performed for him? >> i don't know, sir, you would have to ask him that question. >> we've heard here that you have bad character, you've admit today that over the years. you have no idea why he chose to hire you? >> in 2006, i was asked by don jr. 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 were the board were making about mr. trump were inaccurate. and the reason don came to me is because i had an apartment there for investment, my parents, my in laws. friends of mine. we all bought it from a brokerage company and we got a good price on each unit. and we ultimately turned over the board and i became the
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treasurer of the board because the out of control pending was going to put the board into bankruptcy. and within a year we had plus a million dollars versus minus 1.3. he tasked me with something else, it was to handle a problem that don jr. 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 because he had a series of questions that he wanted answered, and i read these two stack books, gave him the answers that he needed and with that, he -- in the next time i was sitting in his office and he asked me if i was happy at the firm i was with, and i said,
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yes, and he said would you rather work for me. i said are you offering me a job? and he said, yeah, and we negotiated 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. >> it would be no different if i said that's the nicest looking tie i've ever seen. isn't it? are you going to fight with him. the answer is no. you say, yeah. that's how he speaks. he doesn't give you questions, he doesn't give you orders. he speaks in a code and i understand the code because i've been around him for a decade. >> and it's your impression that others who work for him understand the code as well. >> most people, yes. >> mr. cohen, i don't know
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whether we should believe you today, but i'm going to ask you this one last question. what is the truth that you know president trump fears most? >> that's a tough question, sir. 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 i don't know whether he should believe you here today. >> it's a tough question. i don't 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 over 40 statements written in my support to the
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sentencing judge. i have friends who i treat incredibly well that i know for over 40 years and i treat people after 40 minutes the same exact way. am i perfect? no. do i make mistakes, yes, have i made mistakes, absolutely and 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 children, support and grow old. >> you feel you're following a different set of principles now? >> i do. and i'm trying. i'm trying very hard. i thank you for your questions. some of the other ones make it difficult to try to show some redemption. but i am -- i am trying. i am trying. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i want to mention really quick a clarification on the truth and testimony form. 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. 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. when i ask these questions today, it is not as someone who has a vendetta against the president. it's 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
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and defend the constitution of the united states. my fore fathers served their country, they served their commander in chief and they 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. mr. cohen, on january 22nd, 2018, just days of the "wall street journal" broke the story that money was paid to stephanie clifford, they alleged the payment may have -- i ask ask
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that their complaint be entered into the record. you sent a statement to the reporters that said i used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to ms. stephanie clifford and nor the trump campaign was involved in the transaction. 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 weisselberg. >> so it was carefully worded. >> yes. >> a reporter said she interviewed you the next day about the payment and reimbursement and she wrote last february 14th i interviewed cohen in his office about the statement he gave the fec which were he said trump didn't recall
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the payment. i couldn't hear much but he wanted to go over what the public messaging would be. is that accurate? >> it is. >> did the president call you to coordinate on public messaging about the payments to ms. clifford's in or around 2018? >> yes. >> what did the president ask you to say? >> 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 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
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stated before one had two checks. >> and you have copies of all of those? >> i can get copies. i would have to go to the bank. >> so we will be able to get copies of all 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 reminder of my time. >> mr. gibbs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i've been sitting here, i'm new to the committee. i'm not an attorney. i was looking through this -- you coming here and you rail on the president of the united states, commander in chief, while he's over across the
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pacific ocean, trying to negotiate and having the committee at this time -- but you call him a racist, a cheat. you're attacking 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's very sincere, he's trying to make this country better for every american and for you to come in here and do this, it's really unbelievable. real repencence would be go serve your time and don't come here and make allegations. looking here from the remarks on the prosecutor of the southern district of new york, false statements to bank 3 which cohen pleaded guilty -- it was a long series of self-serving lies cohen told numerous financial institutions. earlier in your testimony, i think i heard you say it was a
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home equity loan. but the prosecutors think there were other financial things that you did. managed to commit a series of crimes all while being a licensed attorney. also the southern district prosecutors said that -- wrote that your consciousness of wrongdoing is fleeting, that your remorse is minimal and your extinct 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, was that bad, why didn't you leave? you weren't stuck there for financial reasons, you had ways to leave. you were an attorney. that's kind of -- the president is working tirelessly. you're going to have a very lucrative deal at some point in your life because you don't look like you're close to retirement.
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you're going to have some type of a deal. one of my questions is, talks with you and your attorney and there's been talks about members of congress and staff and you said there was some discussions, was any of those discussions that you or your attorneys had with members of congress or staff or prosecutors to considerations to favor or other considerations of your family in the future? >> no. the conversations were about the topics and because there were things that originally we could not speak about at the request of whether it was the special counsel's office, the southern district or any of the other agencies including the house select intel or the senate select intel. just for your personal edification here, i was asked to come here. your chairman sent a letter to mr. davis. and i accepted. so i'm here voluntarily.
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>> i understand that. i think this is political theater. >> 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 -- >> this world today with these lucrative book deals and movies that come about, i think you'll be pretty good in about five years. >> 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. >> that's news. >> should trump run.com. >> wow. >> 2011. it was my idea.
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i saw a document in a newspaper that said who would you vote for in 2012? 6% said -- >> michael cohen -- the reason donald trump is president is -- >> i said to him, mr. trump, take a look at that. he said wouldn't that be great. and with that is where it all started. i'm sure he had never thought -- >> i didn't say that he -- >> i 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. >> whoa. not time to show up. actually what you're going to talk about. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you, mr. cohen. i know the other side is suggesting that you are a liar and that you're lying here today. i can't think of anything you have to gain at this point from lying. 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 interpretering it and of course you brought documents 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
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the white house where the testimony was being reviewed and i think you said that it was at least one white house attorney jay sekulow who was there and you acknowledged that there were some edits that were made to your testimony. so on that 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 at the time. and it was a joint defense agreement. so the document circulated around. i believe it was also reviewed by abby loll who represents jared and ivanka. >> why did you provide the testimony to the white house? >> it was pursuant to the joint defense agreement that we were
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all operating under. >> what were the edit that is came back on the testimony? >> i don't know, sir. i'd have to take a look at the document. >> did you have a -- do you have a reaction to why there might not have been a protest to what was going to be false testimony that was going to be provided? >> no, sir. because the goal was to stay on message. just limit the relationship whatsoever with russia, it was short, there's no russian contacts, there's no russian collusion, there's 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 tow the line, whatever the story line or the narrative of the day or the month or the year is going to be.
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you tow that line whether it results in false testimony or not? >> i towed the party line and i'm now suffering and i'm going to 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. you're offering us some very helpful perspective on how the trump world operators and another reason i find your testimony fairly compelling and credible is because a lot of the things 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
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activities around the inaugural committee, the inauguration of the president. there was an article that appeared in a watchdog group about some negotiation of pricing of things at the trump hotel where it looks like the rental that was being quoted was substantially, even double, what you would expect to pay, according to what the market should bear. and so in a sense, the trump hotel was up charging -- >> even i couldn't afford to stay there. >> do you have a sense of 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?
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>> it did happen. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> all i can say to you is i 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 actual -- that issue is something that's also obviously we've read about in the paper being investigated at the current moment. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cohen, it's on my heart to tell you, i'm sorry for what your family is going through. i feel for your family. the word tells us clear that the man's mouth is his destruction and i see you 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 this time that they're booked
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and while they're incarcerated, and return to their former selves when they're back on the street. so i'm respectful to your family, i owe you the honesty to tell you that that's my sense of you good sir. i'm going to give you another opportunity to respond what you brushed off earlier regarding your own statement during this testimony from c-span notation at two hours and 50 seconds in, you stated regarding your credibility that you're being confused of having no credibility, that it's for that reason, i spent the last week searching boxes to find the information that i did so 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 in your -- with your testimony
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today, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> do you believe those documents to be worthy of evidence. >> i leave that to you to decide. >> and i ask you again, sir, 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. >> mr. chairman, i -- authorities have noted what the gentleman had just stated. and that actions be taken for those boxes to be seized and reviewed based upon proper warrant signed by a sitting judge.
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you noted earlier today, mr. cohen, one of my colleagues asked you regarding the television deal, you express wonderment that your predicament could possibly get you on television. it certainly got you on television today, as it not, sir? >> i was on television kepting mr. trump going back into 2011. >> i didn't know who you were until today, really, until the fbi raided your home. most of america didn't know who you were. how many attorneys do you think mr. trump has had through the course of his career? quite a few i would imagine. you're one that's in the trap right now. 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?
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>> with mr. davis, no. but i have been approached by many people who are looking to do book deals, movie deals -- >> 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 -- >> our primary hearing to introduce the oversight committee, 116th congress to the american people, has manifested in the way that it obviously is -- this is an attempt to injure our president, lay some soft corner stone for future impeachment proceedings. i yield my 30 seconds to the ranking member. >> the united states southern
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district of new york is not accurate in that statement? >> i'm sorry. >> earlier you said that the united states southern district of new york attorney's office, that statement is not accurate, you said it's not a lie, it's not accurate. >> yes. i did not want a role in the new administration. >> the court is wrong? >> 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, i appreciate mr. chairman, you're saying that statement from the southern district of new york attorneys is wrong? >> i'm saying i didn't write it and it's not accurate. >> all right. thank you. >> thank you. one of the most significant events in the last presidential campaign of course was the dump of e-mails stolen from the democratic national committee,
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dumped by wikileaks. during your opening statement, which was at the height of the election you testified you were actually meeting with donald trump in july 2016 when roger stone happened to call and tell mr. trump that he had just spoke to julian assange, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and you said mr. assange told mr. trump about an upcoming, 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. was that on speakerphone? >> yes. mr. trump has a black speakerphone that sits on his desk. he uses it quite often because with all 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
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i didn't, i never did. was that statement by president trump true? >> no. it's not accurate. >> 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 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. >> was 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 in your knowledge indicate an awareness that this conduct was wrong?
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>> no. >> the reason i ask is because on july 22nd, on the eve of the democratic convention, wikileaks published as you know the 20,000 leaked intentional dnc e-mails. could you meeting with president trump have been before that date? >> yes. >> so mr. trump was aware of the upcoming dump before it actually happened? >> yes. >> and is there -- >> though, sir, i don't know whether he knew or not, what the sum and 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, correct? >> yes, sir. >> are there any records that would corroborate the day of this meeting, calendars, perhaps? >> i'm not in possession, but i believe, again, this is part of the special counsel and they probably best suited to
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corroborate that information. >> was anyone else present in the room 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 wikileaks e-mail dump? >> well, again when he called, row in a graph called out, roger is on line one. >> and that's his assent? >> yes. >> and during a news conference, candidate trump appeal today 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. 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
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you believe was before -- >> yes. >> this -- >> 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 30,000 e-mails was what he was referring to, but he certainly had knowledge. >> thank you. just one last question. you've been asked some questions and one of the things in your answers 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 a elevator
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operator who claims that he overheard the conversation taking place between one of mr. trump's other executives and somebody and he ended up paying him $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 over the -- the reason why in the recording when david was looking to become the ceo of "time" magazine, we were concerned about -- we'll call it the treasure-trove of documents that has been created over the years, that if he left, somebody could open up a drawer and find all this information. we were going to look to buy all those life rights and so on. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you for testifying. i join congressman higens in feeling for your family. they have no part in this. i've heard all the testimony and
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i'm trying to decide what clay is trying to decide. are you sorry for what you did or you just got caught. and the thing that amazed me is that in your opening statement which let me quote, last fall i pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of at the direction of and in coordination with individual one. was that the president? >> yes, sir. >> okay. your crimes were of your own to benefit yourself. >> some of them, yes. >> go through all the ones with the real estate, with the banks, on your 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,
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this fast for the benefit of president trump. this was to benefit michael cohen. 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 a very man that did you wiretapping illegally? did you not wiretap president trump without his knowledge? >> i did record mr. trump in a conversation, yes. >> is that lawyer client privilege? is that something that an honest lawyer would do? >> i actually 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 >> have you ever -- >> i had a reason for doing it. >> what was your reason. >> because i knew he wasn't going to pay that money and david pecker had already chewed me out on multiple occasions
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regarding other monies that he expended. >> but this is a man that you trusted, you'd take a bullet for, you secretly recorded. 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 do that. >> so you didn't tell them? >> no, i did not. sometimes i used the recordings for note taking instead of writing it down. >> if the shoe were reserved, would you like your trusted lawyer recording you? >> i probably would not, no. >> it's untruth worthy. it's something people would not do. your bank loans that i ran down, did you ever default on my of these loans. >> no, sir >> so the bank did not take any loss. >> i am no in default. i never filed for bankruptcy. the loan you're referring torks i replaced that from a different
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loan. i owe no banks any money. >> how about your medallion, did you have to sell that? >> 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. >> would the makes mange you a loan again -- >> actually, they did. they did. yes. the bank actually redid and they refinanced the entire package. >> currently. i didn't get the benefit of it, no, sir. >> most likely they did. i was -- >> they may have done that, sir. but that's for their own banking, not for me. >> it's by law.
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if they suspect you of lying, which you admitted to, if they suspect you of maybe not being able to make a loan payment, they have to have a loan loss reserve that 125% of what you -- is 20 million, they have to post in their account, 20 million plus. they get no interest on. you know who pays for that? the american public who deals with that bank. >> i'm not in default and i'm current on each and every one of those medallion loans. at the time that i had the helock i had more cash sitting in that bank -- >> have you ever been to prague. >> i've never been to prague. >> never have. >> i've never been to the czech republic. >> i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you mr. cohen. on page five of your statement you said and i quote, you need
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to know that mr. trump's personal lawyers reviewed and edited my 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 loll as well. >> do you have a copy of your original statement? >> i could try to do that for you. >> the letter of intent for the moscow tower was in the fall of 2015, correct? >> correct. >> was there an expiration date on that letter of intent. >> there was no expiration date. >> it could still be in effect today. >> it's been terminated. >> did mr. trump tell you to offer vladimir putin a free penthouse? >> no, ma'am. that was felix saider. it was a marketing stunt that he spoke about. >> so felix saider had suggested to you that mr. trump offer a
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penthouse to mr. putin? >> yes. because it would drive up the price per square foot, no different 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 -- >> personal. my daughter was studying in london. >> so you did not meet with any russians? >> no. >> there is an elevator tape that has 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 talked about in moscow or in the trump tower elevator tape? >> there's an elevator tape that went up for auction in 2016, is that correct. >> i've heard about this.
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>> who was on that tape. >> it's mr. trump with melania. >> and what happened in that tape? >> 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 known four or five different people including folks from ami who have -- >> but there was some tape that went up for auction. >> i don't believe that auction was real and i don't believe mr. trump ever struck mrs. trump ever. i don't believe it. >> are you aware of anyone purchasing that tape, then. >> i don't believe it was ever purchased. >> you never saw this tape? >> no, ma'am. and i know several people who went to try to go purchase it for cash and kill purpose, it doesn't exist. in my opinion, that's not something -- >> good to know. is there a love child.
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>> there is not to the best of my knowledge. >> so you would pay off someone to not -- >> it wasn't me. it was ami. it was david pecker. >> he paid off 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. >> 100 times? >> more. >> 200 times. >> more. >> 500 times? >> probably. over the ten years. >> over the ten years -- >> when you say threaten, i'm talking about with litigation or an argument with -- >> intimidation? >> a nasty reporter that has -- is writing an article. >> what do you know about -- let's go to your tape. she said there's probably a hundred tapes.
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>> voice recordings. >> voice recordings. will you make them available to the committee. >> if you would really like them. >> did mr. trump -- >> don't you have to gavel that, sir. >> we would. >> sorry. >> 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 gave the settlement? >> i believe mr. trump. i don't know the answer. >> you don't know the answer but you were involved? >> in some aspect. >> there is some reference to a businessman from kansas being involved with that. are you familiar with that? >> in my 13 seconds left, i'm sorry for the pain i've caused them, i'm sorry for everything, and i wish i could go back in
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time. >> the young lady's time has expired. to the members of the committee, before we go to, so you can properly plan, there is 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 when it ends. 30 minutes after it begins. and we'll do that promptly. all right, 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
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discrediting the president. if it was not already obvious, 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 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.
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neonatal abstinence syndrome or improving our nation's crumbling infrastructure. instead, the democrats are trying 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 veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct, willful tax evasion, 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
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about this hearing is that mr. cohen has used his experiences with 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, isn't that correct? >> 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
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you will only serve as a platform for you to continue to lie, and sensationalize and 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. >> thank you, gentle lady.
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earlier, mr. cohen, the gentle lady from california talked about this tape. >> i'm sorry, i can't hear you. >> earl ever, the gentle lady from california talked about this elevator tape that does not exist. >> that's correct. >> is it 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 centigrade they were willing to stop a false tape? >> we looked, we learned that this tape was potentially on the market, than it existed, and so what we did is exactly what we did with all of 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 have never heard it, and i can ashire you one thing about mr. trump, many things he would never, ever do something like
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tlafr that. i don't see it. >> mr. cohen, i would like to ask you more about the details of the 130,000 dollars payment you made to stephanie clifford, the adult film actress known as stormy daniel, 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 essential consultants llc. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> and you created this company for the purpose of making a payment to ms. clifrld, is that correct? >> amongst other things, yes. >> you did use a home equity line of credit to fund the account, 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 word, quote, 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
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a sophisticated means. you call up a company, you pay for, it and they open it for you. and the reason that i used the home equity line of credit as opposed to cash ta that i had in the same exact bank is 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, the interest on lawyers account to keith davis, california, ms. daniel's attorney. he would hold it in escrow until such time as 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
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to make the payment? why was the distraction so important, beside you not wanting your wife to know. >> what his concern was there would be a check that it would have his distinct signature and after you cash a check all you have to do is make a photo copy and proof positive on exactly what took place so here 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, allen weisselberg, president trump. >> now, let's talk about the reimbursement, according to federal prosecutors, and i quote, after the election, cohen sought reimbursement for election-related expense, including the 130,000 dollars 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

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