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Michael Cohen alleges payments from Trump while he was president



Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime fixer and lawyer, provided documents related to hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign, in his prepared opening statement provided to multiple news outlets early Wednesday morning.

Cohen is testifying publicly before the House Oversight Committee at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, where lawmakers plan on grilling him over his dealings with Trump — including alleged hush-money payments made during the 2016 election to women claiming to have had affairs with Trump.

The president’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to charges brought by the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, including a campaign finance violation related to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford).

He addresses the payments and presents documents related to them.

Read more: Michael Cohen will testify that Trump knew Roger Stone was in touch with WikiLeaks during the election

“He 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,” Cohen’s statement reads. “Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.”

One of the documents provided to the committee is a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from Cohen to Daniels’ attorney. He claims he was directed by Trump to use funds from his “Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign.”

The second document related to the hush-money payments is a copy of a $35,000 personal check from Trump to Cohen dated August 1, 2017, which was well into the first year of Trump’s presidency. Cohen alleges that he was paid “11 check installments” related to repaying Cohen.

“I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later,” Cohen said.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, relating to lying about Trump’s dealings with Russia when he first testified in 2017, and he acknowledges that lawmakers and the American people may not find him credible. His testimony will again be under oath. He could face more jail time if he made false statements to Congress again.

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