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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  February 27, 2019 10:00am-11:01am PST

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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 are 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 from north carolina. >> mr. cohen, 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. have you had any foreign contract with foreign entities,
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whether it's know vanovaris, ko airline, kazakhstan bank, your testimony earlier was 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 or publicly traded companies. >> do you have foreign contracts? >> i currently have no foreign contracts. >> did you have foreign contracts over the last two years? >> foreign contracts? >> contracts with foreign entities -- >> yes. >> yes? >> yes. >> why didn't you put them on the form? it says it's a criminal offense to not put them on the form for the last two years. why did you not do that in he a because those foreign companies that you're referring to are not government companies. >> it says non-governmental, mr. cohen. you signed it. >> they're talking about me as being non-governmental. right, it says foreign agency. 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 non-government employee. it was not lobbying, and they are not foreign -- >> this has nothing to do with lobbying. it says it's 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 before i leave -- i will 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 your 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? >> was it 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
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at the latest possible date as john dean said that he advised you? yes or no? >> no. >> he never advised you? >> john dean? i've never spoken with john dean. >> has he spoken to your attorney? >> i don't know. i've never spoken -- >> ask your attorney. he's right there 4i7bd you. >> we were here last night until 11:00, 12:00. >> you've known you've been come rg for sometime. >> answer the question. >> we were working till 11:00, 12:00 last night to finish everything. >> so you were writing it last night, mr. cohen? don't give me that bull. >> we were making ed its all the way through the night. >> i recognize -- >> i'm sorry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cohen, in november 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 the felix saider, a
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russian-born real estate developer and convicted member of the russian mafia who, according to press reports, pled guilty for his role in a 40 million stock manipulation scheme. it is worth noting as 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 mobmobster felix saider. he testified, quote, not many. if he were sitting in the room now, i 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.
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>> in the 26th floor is important why? >> because it's mr. trump's floor. >> so he had an office on the same floor as president trump. >> in fact, his office, when he left, became my office. >> and isn't it also true that convicted russian mobster saider even had business cards indicating that he was a senior advisor to donald trump as reported by the washington post? >> yes. >> did convicted russian mobster saider 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. saider by a reporter for the associated press. he stated, quote, felix saider,
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boy, i have to even think about it, unquote. 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 saider, would those be in the trump organization's files? >> they'd be in the trump organization's files, they would be ccs to aroc which was the name of mr. saider's company. i suspect on mr. saider's e-mail address, 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 that was working on it. now it would probably be in a box off-site.
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they have storage facility that they put old files. >> in addition to convicted russian mobster saider, do you know of any other ties to convicted or alleged mobster president trump may have? >> i am not aware. >> is is 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, 10, 20, 50? >> honestly, sir, i'm not aware of any. the statement that you're referring to i believe was made by either eric or don. i don't agree with it. >> so 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, do you mean walking in with a satchell of rubles, the answer is i've never seen that happen. i never heard of it. i will tell you when we sold mr. trump's property in palm beach, the home for $95 million,
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it came in by wire, and that came from mr. ruboliviev's bank account. >> one other question. you talked about president trump doing 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 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, mr. saider was unable to provide me with 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. >> well, 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 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 were inaccurate. and the reason don came to me is because i had an apartment there for investment. my parents had an apartment there. my in-laws lived there. friends of mine, we all bought -- it's a big block from a brokerage company and we got a good price on each unit. and we ultimately turned over the board and i became actually the treasurer of the board
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because the out of control spending was going to put the building into bankruptcy. i was proud to say that within a year we had plus a million dollar 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 business, 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 -- the next time i was sitting in his office. he asked me if i was happy with
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the sleepy old firm i was with. he said, would you rather work for me? i said, are you offering me a job in and he said, yeah. and we negotiated and i actually never went back to my office. >> all right. 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 if i said, that's the nicest-looking tie i've ever seen, isn't it? what are you going to do, are you going to fight with him? the answer is no. yeah, it's the nicest looking tie i've ever seen. 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 again, i don't know whether we should believe you here today. >> 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 are many, i think over 40 statements written in my support to the sentencing judge.
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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. i'm going to pay the consequence 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 i am, i am trying. i am trying. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> miss hill. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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i want to mention really quick a clarification on the truth in 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. so, mr. cohen, what i'd 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's as 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
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constitution of the united states. my forefathers 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. so, mr. cohen, on january 22nd, 2018, just days after "the wall street journal" broke the story that mr. cohen paid $130,000 to stephanie clifford to silence her during the 2016 presidential campaign, a nonplayoff it watch dog called common cause filed a complaint with the department of justice and f.e.c. alleging the payment to miss clifford may have represented an illegal payment to the trump campaign. i asked that it be entered into
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the record. on february 13, 2018, you sent a statement to reporters that said, quote, i used my own personal funds to 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 clifrt and neither reimbursed me for the payment either directly or indirectly. was this statement false? >> the statement is not false. i purposely 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 allen weisselberg. >> so it was carefully worded? >> yes, ma'am. >> great. mr. cohen, a reporter for the magazine vanity fair has reported that she interviewed you the very next day on february 14th, 2018, about the payment and reimbursement and she wrote, quote, last february 14th i interviewed cohen in his office about the statement he gave the f.e.c. in which he said trump didn't know about the stormy payment or reimburse him for it. do you recall this meeting with the reporter?
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>> i do. >> the reporter also wrote, trump called while i was there. 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 while you were having a meeting with the reporter? >> yes. >> did the president call you to coordinate on public messaging about the payments to miss cliffords in or around february 2018? >> yes. >> what did the president ask or suggest you say about the payments or reimbursements? >> he was not knowledgeable of these reimbursements and he wasn't knowledgeable of my actions. >> he asked you to say ha? >> 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
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stated before, one had two checks. >> and you have copies of all of those? >> i can get copies. 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. >> mr. gibbs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, i've just been sitting here, i'm new to the committee. i'm not an attorney. maybe i could be a better attorney. i don't know. you come in here and you rail on the president of the united states, commander in chief while he's over across the pacific ocean to negotiate this deal to make this world safer.
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mr. chairman, having this committee at this time when the commander in chief is out of the country as a new president. you call him a racist, a cheat, attack his character. 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, he's trying to make this country better for every american. and for you to come in here and do that -- on your part is really unbelievable. real repentance would be go serve your time and don't come back here and make allegations towards a man you can't substantiate. i'm looking here at the remarks of the prosecutor for the southern district of new york, false statements to bank 3 which cohen pleaded guilty was -- isolated event. one of the long series of self-serving lies. cohen told financial institutions. earlier in your testimony you said there was a home equity loan. apparently the prosecutors in
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new york think there's other financial things that you did. also they said managed to commit a series of crimes all withholding himself as a licensed attorney and up standling member of the bar, also the southern district prosecutor said -- wrote that your consciousness of wrongdoing is fleeting, that your remorris is minimumable and your instinct is 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, you're trying to tell us you have now, 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. and so that's just kind of, you know, the president is working tirelessly and you come and make these allegations. you could have left any time you want. looks to me like you're trying to save face. the other questions that came out here, looks to me like you're going to have a very lucrative deal at some point in your life but you don't look like you're close to retirement. you're going to have some type
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of lucrative deal. one of my questions is, it's come up a little bit, 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 to you and your family in the future? >> no. the conversations were about the topics because there were things that originally we could not speak about at the request of whether it was the special counsel's office or the southern district or any of the other agencies, including the house select intel or the senate select intel. sir, 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. >> and if you believe that i'm here -- >> i understand. this is a political theater. >> sir, if you believe -- it's not political theater for me. if 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 that come about, you'll be pretty good in about five years. i yield the rest of my time to the chairman. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. you said you started cat campaign? >> that's correct, in 2011. >> you started the campaign for donald trump? >> i did, sir. >> that's news. >> should trump >> wow. >> 2011. it was my idea.
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i saw a document in the newspaper that said, who would you vote for in 2012? 6% of the people said -- >> michael cohen -- michael cohen -- >> 20% said they'd vote for donald trump. i brought it into his office. mr. trump, take a look at this? wouldn't that be great? with that is where it all started. >> yeah, okay, i'm sure he'd never thought of anything like that until -- let me ask you one question. i got 8 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 just what time to show up, actually what you're going to talk about? >> the gentleman's time expired. mr. sarbanes. mr. sardanes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. cohen.
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i know the other side is suggesting that you are a incouragible liar. i don't know what you have to gain at this point from lying. they talk about book deals and other things you want to do. 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 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. i think you said that it was at least one white house attorney, jay sekulow, who was there, and you acknowledged 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 from mcdermott will and emory. it 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
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back substantively on the testimony? >> i'm sorry, sir, i don't know. 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 in a sense 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, which is to 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 toe 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 toe that line whether it results in false testimony or not. >> ito toed the party line and m now suffering and i'm going to continue to suffer awhile is so
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obviously we read about in the paper being investigated at the current moment. -- >> thank you. >> mr. higgins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cohen, it's on my heart to tell you, sir, that i'm sorry for what your family is going through. i feel for your family. >> thank you. >> the word tells us clearly that a man's mouth is his destruction and his lips are the snare of his soul, 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 the time they're actually booked and while they're incarcerated,
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they're quite penitent and then return to their former selves when they're back on the street. so, respectful to your family and what they're going through. 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 2 hours 50 seconds in. you stated regarding your credibility that you're being accused of having no credibility, that it 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 in your -- with your testimony today, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> you believe they -- those
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documents to be worthy of evidence? r for this oversight hearing today? >> i leave that to you to decide. >> i ask you again, sir, and ed please don't be incredulous. this is serious question. where are the 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 -- noted what the gentleman just state and had 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,
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mr. cohen, one of my colleagues asked you regarding the television deal. you expressed wonderfulment that your predicament could possibly get you on television. it certainly got you on television today, has it not, sir? >> sir, i was on television representing 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 just one that's in a 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?
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>> yes. >> no. but i have been approached by many people who are looking to do book deals, movie deals and so on. >> it leads me back to my instinct that compares you to many of the men that i have arrested during the course of my career. mr. chairman, our primary hearing to introduce the oversight committee, the 116th congress to the american people has manifested in the way that it obviously -- 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
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accurate in that statement. >> i'm sorry, say that again. >> earlier you said 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. do you stand by that? >> yes, i did not want a role in the new administration. >> the court -- >> can i finish, please? 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. >> thank you. >> mr. welch. >> 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, dumped by wikileaks. mr. cohen, during your opening
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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 spoken to julian assange, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> you said that mr. assange told mr. trump about an upcoming quoting 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 speakerphone? is that what you indicated? >> 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, i didn't. i never did.
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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. 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 is going to be a massive dump of e-mails that's going to severely hurt the clinton campaign. >> and 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? >> no.
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>> 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 internal dnc e-mails. could your meeting with mr. trump have been before that date? >> yes. >> so mr. trump was aware of the upcoming dump before it actually happened? >> yes. >> and -- >> sir, i don't know whether he knew or not, and i don't believe he did 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? >> yes, sir. >> and are there any records that would corroborate the day of this meeting, calendars, perhaps? >> i'm not in possession, but i believe it is part of the special counsel, and they probably are 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? >> again, when he called, rona graph yelled out to mr. trump, roger is on line one, which was regular practice. >> and that's his assistant? >> yes. >> all right. during the news conference on july 27th, 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,
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you believe, was before this -- >> i'm sorry, yes. 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, but he certainly had knowledge. >> thank you. just one last question. mr. raskin had been asking you some questions. one of the things in your answer 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 -- 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 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 over -- 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 had been created over the years, that if he left, somebody could open up the key to a drawer and find all this information. so we were going to look to buy all of those life rights and so on. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. cohen, thank you for testifying. i join congressman higgins in feeling for your family. i have no part in this. i've heard all the testimony and i'm trying to decide what --
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trying to decide. are you sorry for what 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 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. >> no, go through all the ones with the real estate, with the banks. on your heloc loan, you failed to disclose more than $20 million in debt. you failed to disclose 70,000 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 wasn't for the benefit of president trump. this was to benefit michael cohen. so that's my question, did you just get caught? 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 didn't you wiretap him 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 guy would do -- an honest lawyer? >> i actually never thought 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 regarding other monies that he
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expended. >> but this is a man that you trusted, you'd take a bullet 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 do that. >> so you didn't tell them? >> no, i did not. sometimes i also use the recordings for contemporaneous note taking instead of writing it down. i find it easier. >> if the shoe were reversed, would you like your trusted lawyer recording you? >> i probably would not, no. >> no, sir. it's untrustworthy. it's something people just would not do. now, your bank loans that i just ran down, did you ever default on any of these loans? >> no, sir. >> so the bank didn't take any loss? >> no bank has -- i am not in default. i have never filed bankruptcy. the heloc you're referring to, i replaced that from a different
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heloc, paid it off. i owe no banks any money. >> how about your medallion taxicab, did you have to sell -- >> 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 ridesharing. 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 it, yes, the bank actually redid and they refinanced the entire package. >> currently? >> post it. >> have they had to do a long lost reserve -- >> i don't know what they did. it's the same amount. i didn't get the benefit of it, no, sir. >> most likely they did. >> they may have done that, sir, but that's for their own banking not for me. >> if they suspect you of lying,
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which you admitted to, if they suspect you of maybe not being able to make your loan payment, they have to have a loan loss reserve that's 125% of what you -- 20 million, they have to post in their account, 20 million plus. so they get to interest on it. you know who pays for that? the american public who deals with that bank. >> but sir, i'm not in default and i'm current on each and every one of those medallion loans and i have never owed any money to first republic bank. in fact, at the time that i had the heloc, i had more cash sitting in that same bank than the heloc and my mortgage combined. >> have you ever been to prague? he a i ha >> i have never been to prague. i've never been to the czech republic. >> thank you, mr. chair man. and thank you, mr. cohen. on page 5 of your statement, you say, and i quote, you need to
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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 lowell as well. >> and you have a copy of your original statement that you can provide to the committee? >> i can try to get that for you. >> all right, if you would do that. 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 technically still be in effect today? >> no, it's been terminated. >> it has been terminated? >> yes, ma'am. >> did from 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 certainly drive up the price per square foot. no different than in any condo he 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 or -- >> personal. my daughter was studying at queen mary 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 talking about in moscow or the trump tower elevator tape? >> there was -- there is an elevator tape that went up for auction ostensibly in 2016 >> yes, i've heard about this. >> and who is on that tape?
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>> 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. iechlt hea i've heard about that tape for years. i've known four or five different people from ami. >> there was a tape that went up for auction. >> 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 it. >> and 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 doesn't exist. mr. trump would never -- in my opinion, that's not something -- >> good to know. is there a love child? >> there is not to the best of
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my knowledge. >> so you would payoff someone to not -- >> it wasn't me, it was ami, it was david pecker. >> so 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 he asked you -- >> when you say threaten, i'm talking 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 100 tapes. >> voice recordings. >> voice recordings.
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and 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. >> did mr. did mr. trump tape conversations? >> not that i am aware of. no. >> were you involved in the $25 million settlement to trump university? >> i had enrolled in that. >> who paid the settlement? >> i believe it was mr. trump. >> i don't know the answer. >> you don't know the answer but you were involved. >> there is some reference of a businessman in kansas being involved in that, are you familiar with that? >> my 13 seconds left, what do you want your children to know? >> i am sorry for everything, i am sorry for the pain that i have caused them. i wish i can go back in time. >> thank you, i yield back.
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>> young lady's time is expired. >> members of committee, before we go to miss miller, is a vote apparently coming up in about 10 to 20 minutes. what we'll do is we'll recess and we'll come back, listen up -- 30 minutes after the last vote begins. not when it ends, 30 minutes after it begins. all right, miss miller. >> i am very disappointed to have you in front of this committee today. quite frankly, this is not what the people of west virginia sent me into the congress. i find this hearing not in the best interest of the american people. this is another political gain
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with the soul purpose of discrediting the president. if it is not already obvious, there are members here with a single goal in congress to impeach president trump. to achieve this goal, they'll waste not only precious taxpayer dollars but time in this committee and congress as a whole. in fact, they'll go so far as to bring a convicted tefelon in frt of our committee. we are supposed to take what you say mr. cohen at this time about president trump as the truth. you are 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 can be focused on actual issues that are facing america like border security, or
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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 from the southern district of new york, mr. cohen, pled guilty to fraudulent conduct, willful tax evasions and making fault statement to a financial institutions, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to congress. each of the crimes involved deception, and each appears to be motivated by personal read and ambition. this is who we have in front of us today in our committee. someone who's about to be sentenced to prison for three years for evading his taxes, deceiving a financial institution, lying to congre congress -- among other counts.
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one of the most appalling facts of this hearing is mr. cohen has used his experiences with president trump both before and after he was elected for his own grieve and profit. i would like some yes or no answers. is it true that you tried to sell a book about your time with president trump entitled "trump's revolution from the time to the white house," understanding donald trump? >> yes. >> that happened early on when i was still part of the rnc. >> this book deal which you had with hatchet books was worth around $500,000, correct? >> no, more. >> how much more? >> about $750,000. i did turn it down. >> given that you continue to profit your time with mr. trump, i worry this committee hearing,
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the majority had given you will serve as a platform for you to continue to lie and sensational lies and exaggerate where ever it suits you. do you plan to pursue another book deal about your experiences? >> yes. >> i would presume this book would be different than your latest pitch. your new angle may please some new fans, anything to sell books. mr. chairman, we cancelled hearings on child separations and on other issues that are close to my heart for this media circ 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, i yield my time to mr. jordan. >> thank you, gentle lady for
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yielding earlier. >> mr. cohen, the gentle lady from california talked about this tape. >> i am sorry, i can't hear you. >> earlier this elevator tape that you said does not exist. >> i do not believe it exists. >> the trump's team was willing to pay to make sure that a story about a nonexistence tape never became public. >> no, sir, that's not what i said. >> they're willing to stop the false tape? >> we learned this tape was potentially in the market and it existed. what we did was exactly what we did with all the other catch and kill. we looked for it. if in fact that it did exist, we would have tried to stop. that's what i would have done. >> i never gotten it and i can assure you one thing of mr. trump and many things he would never ever do something like that. i don't see it.
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>> mr. cohen, i would like to ask you about the details of the $130,000 payment you made from stephanie clifford, stormy danie daniels, in order to purchase a asylum shortly before the 2016 elections. first, documents filed by the federal prosecutors new york, you created an l.l.c, is that correct? >> yes, that's correct. >> you created this company to make payments to miss clifford, is that correct? >> yes. that's correct. >> you then wired $130,000 to the attorney representing miss clifford at that time and wrote in the memo field for the word "retainer." >> correct. >> can you decide why you decided to use this complicated process to make this payment. >> starting an l.l.c. is not
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sophisticated. you call up a company and you pay for it and they open it for you. the reason that i used the home equity line of credit as opposed to cash that i had in the same exact bank is because i didn't want my wife to know about it because she handles all of the banking. i didn't want her to come to me and asking what's the $130,000 for then i was going to be able to move money from one account to the other and pay it off. i didn't want to have to explain to her what that payment was about. i sent it to the account to pete davidson in california. he would hold it in escrow until such time i received the executed nda. non disclosure review. >> mr. trump adviknows that you
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going through this process to hide the payment? >> yes. >> what his concern was there would be a check that had his distinct signature onto it and after she cashed the check, all you need to do is make a photo copy of it and it is going to prove positive on what took place. the goal was to keep him far away from as much as possible. >> can anyone corroborate what you have shared with us? >> absolutely. >> that is? >> pete davidson. president trump. >> after the election, including expenses and $130,000 payment, prosecutors stated that you presented an executive of a copy of the bank statement reflecting
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$130,000 wire transfer, is that accurate? >> that's accurate. >> yes, it is made part of the exhibit. >> you will provide it to the committee? >> yes, ma'am. >> is executives at the company then and i quote "agreed to reimburse cohen by adding $130,000 and 50,000 grossing of that amount to 360,000 for tax purposes and adding $60,000 bonus such that cohen would be paid $420,000 in total." executives of the company decided to pay $420,000 of monthly installments over the course of the year of $35,000, is that accurate? >> yes, that's accurate. >> because if you pay $130,000 and you live in new york, we have a 50% tax bracket, in order to get you 130 back, you have to have 260. if he gave me back 130, i would


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