Jim Jordan: Cohen Hearing ‘First Step’ in Dems’ ‘Crazy Impeachment Plans’


When President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, two of the Republicans who questioned him the most aggressively were Rep. Jim Jordan of OH and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows (who heads the far-right House Freedom Caucus).

At Wednesday's hearing Cohen said Trump never explicitly told him to lie to Congress about the Moscow skyscraper negotiations.

He said Mr Trump then told the Trump Foundation - a charitable organisation - to repay the fake bidder the $60,000 that had been spent on the painting, despite keeping the piece of art himself.

Cohen said he was in Trump's office in July 2016 when Roger Stone, a self-described "dirty trickster" and longtime political adviser to Trump, called the then Republican presidential candidate.

Cohen says he isn't aware of direct evidence of co-ordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

Cohen testified on Wednesday, calling Trump a "conman" who knew in advance about the release of stolen emails aimed at hurting his Democratic rival in the 2016 election campaign.

Cohen said Trump continued efforts to build a skyscaper in Moscow during the height of the election campaign, saying he had previously lied in saying the project had been halted beforehand.

It was 'pretty shameful I think, ' Trump vented. According The Daily Beast, the letter referred to when Cohen said he never wanted to work in the White House.

As he did before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Cohen is expected to apologise for lying to Congress in 2017.

Sceptical and, at times, hostile Republicans noted repeatedly that Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

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Cohen spoke about an incident when Mr Trump's son, Donald Jr, walked behind his father's desk and told him in a low voice: "The meeting is all set".

"And I was a little impressed by that".

Cohen also asserted that federal prosecutors in NY are investigating other possible illegal activities involving the president.

"I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a bad thing", he said.

"It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes", Cohen said.

Cohen recalled Trump responding, "OK good... let me know".

Cohen again raised eyebrows when he was asked whether the President compelled him to lie. He said Trump was "not knowledgeable" about the transactions even though the president directly arranged for his reimbursement. "I will not sit back and allow him to do the same to the country".

The representatives claim, "While testifying under oath, Mr. Cohen made what appear to be numerous willfully and intentionally false statements of material fact contradicted by the record established by the Justice Department in United States v. Cohen". He was sentenced to three years in prison last year for lying to Congress and making false statements to banks, as well as tax evasion and campaign finance violations. "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore". And under the Republicans' "Liar, liar, trousers on fire" standard - so eloquently proffered by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona - no one should believe anything he had to say. It was one of several moments during the hearing where Cohen's old bravado as Trump's fixer was seemingly gone. [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. The president retweeted an earlier dig at Cohen but otherwise did not offer live commentary.

Cohen's testimony was only the first of what may be dozens of high-wattage congressional hearings this year.