- March 1, 2019
- Laura Taylor
- News Writer
- Photos: Courtesy of ABC News
On Wednesday, Michael Cohen spent more than six hours answering questions about the decade he spent working for Donald Trump before the House Oversight Committee in a much-anticipated hearing. February 27, 2019 will be a date long remembered in history. Here are the 10 most important things to be learned from his hearing in Congress:
- Cohen revealed various questionable financial actions made by President Trump.
According to Cohen, President Trump wrote a check for $130,000 from his personal bank account to Cohen to reimburse Cohen for the hush money paid to cover Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal and to prevent damage to the Trump campaign. A check signed by Trump for $35,000 was presented at the hearing as one of many checks part of the $130,000. Cohen also admitted to lying to Melania Trump about the incident which he now regrets. “Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets,” said Cohen during his opening statement. “She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”
- Cohen admitted to lying to Congress.
Later in his opening statement, Cohen admitted to lying to Congress about when President Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. Cohen admitted the negotiations continued for several months into the campaign.
- Cohen presented President Trump’s financial statements from 2011-2013.
Trump’s statements lead to the discovery of inquiries to the Deutsche Bank to buy the Buffalo Bills and communications with Forbes. Trump inflated and deflated his assets in order to serve his own financial purposes. When it came to real estate taxes, Trump deflated his assets. When Trump wanted to be listed as one of the wealthiest people in Forbes magazine, he inflated his assets.
- According to Cohen, President Trump lied to Cohen and the American people about interactions with Russia during and after the campaign.
During Cohen’s active negotiations in Russia on behalf of Trump, Trump and Cohen would tell the American people there was no active business in Russia. However, later, Trump would ask Cohen how things were going in Russia regarding Moscow Tower project. The relationship between Russia and Trump during the campaign revolved around the finances of the campaign.
- Cohen wrote threatening letters to the College Board and colleges that Trump attended.
Cohen revealed more than just the questionable financial actions of Trump, Cohen also revealed that he wrote letters threatening the College Board, ordering them not to release Trump’s grades or SAT scores. At the hearing, Cohen presented letters he had written threatening schools and the College Board with civil and criminal action should they release Trump’s grades or SAT scores.
- Relationships amongst congressmen were also revealed during the hearing.
Representative Cummings counts Representative Mark Meadows among his closest friends in the Congress. North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District Representative Meadows leads the House Freedom Caucus and was being considered for President Trump’s chief of staff, but the White House wanted him to stay in Congress. Last year, Meadows was sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee, because the committee thought Meadows did not take ‘prompt’ enough action in handling sexual harassment allegations against former chief of staff Kenny West.
- Cohen confirmed that Trump knew of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails in advance from Roger Stone.
While Cohen was at Trump’s office, Roger Stone called regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails and was put on speakerphone. “Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” said Cohen during his opening hearing statement.
- Under oath during the hearing, Cohen said that he had never been to Prague or the Czech Republic.
According to former British spy, Christopher Steele, Cohen had traveled to Prague during the summer of 2016 to serve as a quasi liaison between Trump’s campaign and Russia. However, though widely disputed, Cohen did deny the travels.
- Cohen revealed his thoughts on Trump’s purpose for running for president.
One of the most debatable subjects that Cohen mentioned were his thoughts on Trump’s purpose in running for president. Cohen believes that the campaign was all just a marketing opportunity for Trump.
- Donald Trump just isn’t a very nice guy.
In Cohen’s opening statement, he calls Trump a racist, a conman, and a cheat. Cohen reveals the various situations that Trump put him in before and after the campaign, including lying to Melania Trump about an affair Trump was having, concealing information from the American public (which Cohen believes should be considered lying to the public), and being directed to write harsh threatening letters to the College Board and various colleges Trump attended.