Published: Sat, March 02, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Important Takeaways from Cohen Testimony Amidst the Theater

Important Takeaways from Cohen Testimony Amidst the Theater

Adam Schiff, California Democrat, called Thursday's interview with Cohen, "very productive", saying it "shed light" on the Russian Federation probe, but offered up scant details. "Regardless, if he feels he has information that's relevant to this investigation, he should share it under oath before Congress".

He told reporters that his panel was poring over the transcript and anyone mentioned multiple times had a chance of hearing from them.

Cohen gave an explosive testimony before the House committee on Wednesday, labelling Trump a "racist", "conman" and "cheat".

The two congressmen also wrote that Cohen even lied when he said that his "blind loyalty" to the president "has cost me everything - my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation, and soon my freedom".

"Donald Trump ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great", Cohen testified.

Weisselberg was granted limited immunity as part of his cooperation with the federal investigation into hush-money payments facilitated by Cohen to two women who threatened to go public with their claims of extramarital affairs with Trump. Giving Congress a who's who of President Donald Trump's allies and business associates during his testimony, Cohen rattled off more than a dozen names, providing the committee with a potential roadmap for future hearings.

Cohen also said he's in regular contact with the federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY about ongoing investigations, and he said the president is under investigation for issues that haven't yet become public.

Jordan said Wednesday that nothing Cohen had to say had "any real value".

He was interviewed behind closed doors by the House Intelligence Committee for more than eight hours.

Cohen testified that Weisselberg told him he'd be reimbursed for the payment in 12 monthly installments totalling $420,000, which included a bonus and covered some of Cohen's taxes and other work he'd done for Trump.

Weisselberg was granted immunity previous year to testify before a federal grand jury in NY relating to the investigation into the hush money payments.

"This point-Mr. Cohen's culpability for bank fraud-materially affects the Committee's assessment of his credibility", the lawmakers wrote. Referring to the Democrats, Jordan said, "They just want to use you, Mr Cohen".

"This has obviously been an excruciating time for him", Schiff said. He was back in the White House residence on Friday morning, though, his energy laser-focused on Tucker Carlson, who offered a novel angle from which the president could attack his former attorney and fixer. During the hearing on Wednesday, Republican members of the Oversight Committee also suggested Cohen, who had a reputation for being one of Trump's most fiercely loyal aides, only changed his tune in the hopes of receiving a reduced prison sentence. One of the checks was signed by the president himself, while the other was signed by Trump Jr and Weisselberg.

In 2017, he submitted a statement saying efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow had ceased by January 2016, when those talks in fact continued until June of that year, after Trump had clinched the Republican presidential nomination.

Ronald Fischetti, a veteran criminal defence lawyer in NY, said Cohen could get a reduced prison term if prosecutors deem he has provided substantial help in their investigations. I was actually impressed that he didn't say, "well, I think there was collusion for this reason or that".

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