In electrifying testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Michael Cohen accused President Trump of personally signing checks reimbursing Cohen for their hush money scheme after he’d taken office. Cohen testified that Trump was intimately involved with the Trump Tower Moscow project during the 2016 campaign, and that Trump’s lawyers changed the text of Cohen’s congressional testimony about the development. To top it off, Cohen claimed under oath that Trump routinely engaged in tax and insurance fraud.
Cohen brought copies of the reimbursement checks and Trump financial statements to bolster his account.
The reaction to his explosive seven-hour hearing was split along party lines. House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said that “it appears” from Cohen’s testimony that Trump committed a crime while President. Republicans on the committee, meanwhile, trotted out black Trump admin official Lynne Patton to disprove Cohen’s claims that Trump is racist, and insisted that the public should not believe the testimony of the lying criminal the President handpicked to serve as his personal attorney for over a decade.
Cohen also testified behind closed doors to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. He’s set to appear before the House Intel panel for another session on March 6, and ex-Trump associate and Trump Tower Moscow collaborator Felix Sater will testify at a public hearing on March 14.
Congressional Democrats also want to bring Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and possibly Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. in for interviews after Cohen testified that they were well aware of Trump’s wrongdoing.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants everyone to lay off Cohen’s family, after he himself sent a tweet threatening to expose Cohen’s secret “girlfriends” ahead of the Wednesday Oversight hearing.
Trump’s campaign and the White House have dismissed Cohen’s account as the unreliable flailing of a convicted liar. But the President wants his lawyers to stick around after the special counsel report comes out, suggesting he knows that the federal probe in New York Cohen is assisting poses a real threat to him.
The redacted search warrant materials in that case will be made public pending a judge’s review.
Trump Jr. is insisting no one committed “actual crimes,” but instead just got into some hijinks “in past lives” before they got into politics.
Ahead of Paul Manafort’s March sentencing, Robert Mueller urged a judge to consider the “gravity” of his crimes and issue a harsh sentence. A subsequent redacted filing suggested that ex-Manafort associate Rick Gates provided additional evidence that may be beneficial to Manafort.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected Roger Stone’s motion to hold a hearing on whether Mueller’s team tipped off CNN before his Jan. 25 arrest.
House Intel Chair Adam Schiff said Democrats will subpoena Mueller’s report if Attorney General Bill Barr does not release it in full.
And a new report from the Post showed that Russia’s meddling in U.S. elections is far from over. On the day of the 2018 midterm elections, U.S. Cyber Command shut down the servers of the Russian government’s troll farm to avert any interference.
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