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Cohen Savages Trump in Opening Statement: 'He Is a Racist. He Is a Con Man. He Is a Cheat.'
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=48954"><span class="small">Jason Linkins, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 09:23

Linkins writes: "Cohen returns to Congress, where he previously gave testimony about Trump's financial dealings, seeking to repair the damage he blames himself for enabling."

Michael Cohen. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Michael Cohen. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

ALSO SEE: Michael Cohen Will Testify That Trump Knew Roger Stone Talked With
WikiLeaks About DNC Email Dump

SEE ALSO: Michael Cohen to Tell Congress Donald Trump
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Cohen Savages Trump in Opening Statement: 'He Is a Racist. He Is a Con Man. He Is a Cheat.'

By Jason Linkins, ThinkProgress

27 February 19

The president's former fixer makes an attempt at repairing the damage.

he opening statement that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and self-styled “fixer,” plans to deliver at the top of his testimony before the House Oversight Committee was leaked late Tuesday night. In his planned remarks, Cohen enunciates a considerable amount of regret, enumerates several pieces of evidence, and spares his former employer no quarter.

“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience,” Cohen writes. “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat.”

The New York Times broke the story overnight.

Cohen returns to Congress, where he previously gave testimony about Trump’s financial dealings, seeking to repair the damage he blames himself for enabling. By the looks of his opening statement, he’s also aware of the need to make a game effort in repairing his own tattered reputation.

“Before going further, I want to apologize to each of you and to Congress as
a whole,” Cohen says, “The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump.” Coming off as credible will be a high hurdle for Cohen to surmount, and Republicans have vowed to make every effort to undermine his credibility.

In his opening statement, Cohen alleges Trump “knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.” He also lays out some of the documented evidence he believes will shine a light on the president’s character, including a “copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account…to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign.” Cohen also plans to furnish Congress with various financial statements and documents which speak to both Trump’s innate corruption and narcissism.

Additionally, Cohen will seek to explain to the members of the committee exactly how Trump advised him to deceive Congress and others. “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress,” says Cohen. “That’s not how he operates.”

Per Cohen:

In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and 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-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me “How’s it going in Russia?” – referring to the Moscow Tower project.

You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.

If Trump felt it would not ultimately matter whether or not he lied about participating in this deal, Cohen explains there’s a perfectly good reason: “He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election.”

“The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.” One that went, Cohen implies, spectacularly wrong:

I knew early on in my work for Mr. Trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests. I am ashamed to say, that when it was for a real estate mogul in the private sector, I considered it trivial. As the President, I consider it significant and dangerous.

You can read Cohen’s full opening statement here.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2019 09:48


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+5 # wilhelmscream 2019-02-27 14:14
'He Is a Racist. He Is a Con Man. He Is a Cheat.’
That’s been known since the 70’s (Low income housing discrimination)
+2 # DongiC 2019-02-27 19:13
When a nation elects a man of Trump's ilk, that nation is in a state of decline. Trump as president has given me no reason to change my view. The Republican Party has provided a massive proof of moral degeneration by their determined support of our 21st century Nero. He too was a master of everything from art and literature to an athlete of olymbic stature. Trump knows no limits and neither conscience nor truth restricts him in any way. His path leads to pain and suffering as his countryman will soon find out. Woe to these United States!
-6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-27 19:59
Probably a third of the people in the US are racists, con-artists, and cheats. Most of them are republicans. There is nothing new here. It is not a crime to be any of those things. Cheating is sometimes a crime but more often just taking advantage of gullible people.

Cohen is singing in order to stay out of jail as long as he can. It is hard to blame him for that. It is easy to blame prosecutors who do to people what the SDNY and Mueller Probe have done to Cohen. Now that is a major abuse of power.
0 # Caliban 2019-02-28 20:37
Cohen was clearly involved with some "major abuse of power", but the abuser was his boss DT.

Nor was it Mueller nor the Southern District who brought this about. Time to live in the real world, #RR, not a Trump-loving sycophant.