Michael Cohen revealed on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is being investigated for ‘other wrongdoing’ although he refused to divulge details because of the ongoing investigation.
He made his comments during his nearly 5 hours of testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Committee – his second out of three appearances this week on Capitol Hill and the only one before cameras.
Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, revealed the last time he had contact with Trump or one of his team was ‘within two months’ of the April 2018 FBI raid on Cohen’s home, office and hotel suite.
Michael Cohen revealed that President Trump is being investigated for ‘other wrongdoing’ although he refused to divulge details
President Trump is in Vietnam for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Cohen also implicated Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son seen above, as part of the conspiracy to offer hush money payments to women during the 2016 campaign
Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi asked Cohen what he was told during that contact.
Cohen declined to offer details.
‘Unfortunately, this topic is actually something that’s being investigated right now by the Southern District of New York and I’ve been asked by them not to discuss and not to talk about these issues,’ Cohen replied.
The Southern District of New York was the lead prosecutor in Cohen’s case and is probing Trump’s business dealings.
‘Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven’t yet discussed today?’ Krishnamoorthi inquired.
‘Yes,’ Cohen responded. ‘And again, those are part of the investigation that’s currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.’
Cohen also implicated Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, as part of the conspiracy to offer hush money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.
He revealed the president’s son signed a check to fund illegal hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, potentially placing Trump Jr. in legal trouble.
One of Cohen’s eight guilty pleas was to campaign finance violations tied to the payoff to Daniels.
A ‘hush money’ payment to Daniels during the 2016 race with funds originating from a home equity line of credit Cohen obtained – at Trump’s direction, he claimed – was part of the money Trump repaid in a series of $35,000 checks to Cohen that continued during his first year in office.
Cohen provided two checks to the House Oversight and Reform Committee as evidence.
One check provided to the committee was signed by Trump himself in August 2017, more than six months into his administration, and issued from what Cohen says is the president’s personal account.
The other is from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust – and signed by both Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.
A Trump Organization official told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that Donald Trump Jr. was unaware when he signed the check that it was part of a repayment plan for Cohen’s hush-money outlay.
Cohen said Wednesday that the money ‘was declared to be a retainer for services’ although ‘there is no retainer agreement.’
Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna drilled down on the payments, saying they were the ‘smoking gun’ showing ‘garden variety financial fraud’ at the president’s business.
Khanna asked Cohen whether Trump was aware of the scheme.
Rep. Ro Khanna (center) asked Michael Cohen about payoffs to Stormy Daniels
Cohen talked about Donald Trump Jr’s involvement in payments to Daniels
Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that as a lawyer for Daniels (right) threatened to go public with her claims of a sexual affair more than a decade earlier, Trump (left, in Vietnam on Wednesday) ordered him to find a way to funnel the payment to her via that attorney
Michael Cohen offered financial documents to the committee and said he did not know if the president’s taxes were under audit
Cohen has provided members of Congress with two checks, one signed by the president and the other by his son Donald Jr, which he says was reimbursement for payments meant to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet; President Trump’s check was written after he had been president for more than a half-year
The Donald Trump Jr.-signed check was dated in March 2017, and was drawn on a family Trust; A Trump Organization official told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that Trump Jr. was unaware when he signed it that it was part of a repayment plan for Cohen’s hush-money outlay
Cohen replied in the affirmative.
‘Are you telling us, Mr. Cohen, that the president directed transactions in conspiracy with Allen Weisselberg and his son, Donald Trump Jr., as part of a criminal conspiracy of financial fraud?’ Khanna followed up. ‘Is that your testimony today?’
‘Yes,’ Cohen said.
Cohen did decline to say whether he believed Trump Jr. was being investigated by federal prosecutors.
Cohen also indicated Trump could have committed financial fraud when he faced questioning from freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
He revealed additional details on how Trump provided insurance companies with financials that exaggerated his assets and wealth but wanted to reduce his real estate taxes – and if the president lied on insurance and IRS forms to make this happen, that would be fraud.
Ocasio-Cortez stayed on financial issues for nearly all her questioning as she laid the groundwork for the committee to continue and expand its investigation of the president’s business empire.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s questions to Michael Cohen laid the groundwork for additional subpoenas on Trump’s businesses and taxes
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kept her questions focused on the Trump’s financial issues
‘Where would the committee find more information on this? Do you think we need to review his financial statements and tax returns in order to compare them?,’ she asked.
‘Yes, and you would find it at the Trump Org,’ Cohen told her.
She also set up the possibility of the committee using its subpoena power to obtain the president’s tax records and other financial documents.
Ocasio-Cortez inquired if it ‘would it help for the committee to obtain federal and state returns from the president and his company to address that?’
‘I believe so,’ Cohen told her.