Michael Cohen’s prepared opening statement for his testimony before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday is out — and wow, is it a doozy. The New York Times obtained Cohen’s statement, and posted it online early Wednesday morning.
Perhaps Cohen’s most explosive claim is that he heard Roger Stone tell Trump about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s plans to release hacked emails during the presidential campaign — the most direct allegation yet that Trump was in the loop about WikiLeaks’s plans.
According to the opening statement, Cohen also plans to present a copy of a check personally signed by Trump in August 2017 — while Trump was president — to pay Cohen back for the hush-money payoff to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
New York Magazine reports:
Cohen provides “a copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account — after he became president — to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign.”
He attaches a copy of a “$35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank 14 account on August 1, 2017 — when he was President of the United States — pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me — the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer — for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year — while he was President.”
Breaking News: Michael Cohen plans to testify on Wednesday that President Trump is a “conman” and a “cheat” who knew an adviser was communicating with WikiLeaks https://t.co/z7PidgzO0z
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 27, 2019
Today, Michael Cohen will testify under penalty of perjury that Trump was told in advance about both Wikileaks releases & the 2016 Trump Tower meeting – belying Trump’s denials & getting to central questions of Mueller probe. Oh, and Trump is talking nukes with Kim.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 27, 2019
“Michael Cohen seems to have the receipts,” @JohnAvlon says, as Cohen is set to publicly testify that Trump knew Roger Stone talked with WikiLeaks about DNC email dump, according to a copy of his public testimony. https://t.co/RdWTJrOFWH pic.twitter.com/MxtEROXYPs
— New Day (@NewDay) February 27, 2019
Great catch by @ScottMStedman: Trump told Mueller in writing that Roger Stone did not tell him about WikiLeaks, per CNN. But Cohen now says Stone told Trump about the impending WikiLeaks release in July 2016. If Mueller can prove Cohen’s story… https://t.co/TIsC7foVTI
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 27, 2019
“It looks now… that there may be an indictment waiting for the President… when he leaves office,” Democrat @RepSwalwell tells @donlemon, as Michael Cohen prepares to testify that Trump knew Roger Stone talked with WikiLeaks about the DNC email dump. https://t.co/SSeDLCdoe5 pic.twitter.com/m9PcNQNdx9
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 27, 2019