A U.S. House committee, including eastern Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay, has questioned today President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. During the tense hearing, Clay says the American people are tired of being lied to by the president, Trump’s children and legal team.
“They (Americans) have been even lied to by his Congressional enablers who are still devoted, perpetuating and protecting this giant con game on the American people,” he says.
Republicans bashed Clay and Democrats for relying on a convicted liar’s testimony. Cohen faces a three-year prison sentence for lying to Congress about the Trump Organization’s pursuit of a tower project in Russia. One GOP member chastised Cohen for not abiding by attorney-client privileges and immediately giving up confidential information to lawmakers.
Clay, a Democrat and Missouri’s only member on the committee, cites Crain’s New York Business News reporting the Trump organization saying it had $9.5 billion in 2016 revenue. Clay says public filings suggest the organization’s revenues were less than one-tenth of $9.5 billion.
He questions Cohen about Trump’s financials.
“To your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues,” asks Clay.
“Yes,” says Cohen.
“Was that done with the president’s knowledge or direction,” asks Clay.
“Everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of Mr. Trump,” says Cohen.
Clay, whose district includes St. Louis and St. Louis County, goes on to have Cohen explain why Trump would boost financials and what purpose it served.
“It depends on the situation,” says Cohen. “There were times that I was asked again with Allen Weisselberg, the CFO, to go back and to speak with an individual from Forbes, because Mr. Trump wanted each year to have his net worth rise on the Forbes Wealthiest Individuals list.”
Cohen says Trump financial statements from 2011, 2012 and 2013 were used to discuss with media and demonstrate Trump’s significant net worth.
“Inflating assets to win a newspaper poll to boost your ego is not a crime,” Clay says.
Clay then asks Cohen if Trump ever provided exaggerated financial information to a bank to help get a loan.
“These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank on one occasion where I was with him in our attempt to obtain money so that we could put a bid on the Buffalo Bills,” says Cohen.
Cohen also says Trump gave him hush money to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she and Trump had an affair in 2006.
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