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During an explosive testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, claimed he was ordered to lie to Melania Trump regarding her husband’s alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.
Cohen, who called Trump a racist, liar and a conman during his testimony, said lying to the First Lady was among one of his biggest regrets.
“He [Trump] asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did,” Cohen claimed during his testimony. “Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person – I respect her greatly and she did not deserve that.”
Cohen also claims he was directed by Trump to pay hush money to Daniels using his own money so that the funds could not be traced back to the president to “negatively impact his campaign.” Cohen produced a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer he said was taken from his own equity line of credit and used as hush money payment to Daniels. Cohen also produced a copy of a $35,000 check he said was one of a series Trump wrote to him from his personal bank account as reimbursement for the payments, which was dated August 1, 2017.
“Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign,” Cohen said. “And I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.”
Cohen is facing three years in prison on felony charges of campaign finance violations, lying to congress and making false statements – charges Republicans were quick to detail during the testimony, arguing Cohen is a convicted liar not to be believed.
Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Trump, who is in Vietnam for his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, took to Twitter shortly before Cohen’s testimony began to tweet, “Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!”
“It seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong,” Cohen said during his opening statement while offering apologies to his family, the American people, and Congress. “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 not protecting Mr. Trump anymore.”