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'Liar, Pants on Fire': GOP keeps focus on Cohen, not Trump

'Liar, Pants on Fire': GOP keeps focus on Cohen, not Trump

After hearing Cohen speak, Cummings said he believes Trump committed a crime while in office, saying Wednesday was the beginning of a process and that Americans want accountability.

Committee chairman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, said his panel would further investigate issues raised by Cohen's testimony and may try to get the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., and his former accountant, Allen Weisselberg, to testify.

So when did Cohen actually lie to Congress-then or now?

That's not quite what Cohen said. Cohen also described hearing longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone tell Trump in advance about a 2016 WikiLeaks release of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign. Weisselberg is the CFO of The Trump Organization. He claimed that Trump inflated his assets to request a bank loan and that he used money from the Trump Foundation to run up the auction price of a portrait of himself. The president retweeted an earlier dig at Cohen but otherwise did not offer live commentary.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, testifies before Congress. In May, he is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence, the culmination of his dramatic fall from Trump intimate to outcast and felon.

Meadows then said he has spoken to Trump over 300 times and has not heard the president make any racist comments before in private.

Trump also reiterated his repeated defense that his presidential campaign did not collude with Russian Federation. (Nor is his attorney, Lanny Davis, a Clinton confidant whose client list has included African dictators and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.) Cohen is about to go to prison for lying to Congress about the ongoing 2016 negotiations to build Trump Tower Moscow, which we now know extended through most of the year even as Trump repeatedly and publicly denied them. It's not clear how much Cohen would know about the paper trail at Trump's business.

This was the backdrop to Wednesday's remarkable theater, with the president's ex-fixer Michael Cohen spelling out Trump crimes old and new, with the parties lined up in their usual fashion.

Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos and Team Detained in Venezuela During Maduro Interview
When they finally did have a chance to chat with Maduro, he apparently "didn't like" their questions. Coronell tweeted that he had spokmen with Ramos, who told him that he and his team had been freed.

Trump however insisted his former lawyer said no collusion had taken place.

On Wednesday, he said Weisselberg decided that reimbursement payments to Cohen should be spread over 12 months so they would look like a retainer agreement, rather than a one-time payment. He said he was left with the unmistakable impression Trump wanted him to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate project, though the president never directly told him so.

Like Trump, who is from Queens, Cohen grew up on the edge of New York City, on Long Island, thirsting to conquer Manhattan, the epicentre of wealth, power and glamour.

Cohen, shaking off incessant criticism from Republicans anxious to paint him as a felon and liar, became the first Trump insider to pull back the curtain on a version of the inner workings of Trump's political and business operations.

"And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid". Such criminal cases are often hard for prosecutors to build given their complexity, typically requiring documentation and testimony from insiders like Cohen.

But Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) charged that GOP committee members were angry because Cohen "stopped lying to Congress for the president".

"I did things and I acted improperly. They saw the swamp in action.I think they're frustrated watching the Democratic Party pull up a witness like Michael Cohen who is untrustworthy by definition".

As someone who considered #MichaelCohen one of my very best friends for the past 10+ years - virtually inseparable... "I covered it up and protected his brand and him as well". "He never expected to win the general election", Cohen said.

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