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Michael Cohen’s bombshell opening statement on Trump to Congress

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, will claim that he is “ashamed … to take part in concealing” Trump’s alleged “illicit acts,” according to a statement he is expected to publicly deliver to the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

The statement, first obtained by Politico on Tuesday night, provides a stark contrast from his previous statements made prior to his conviction. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to campaign-finance violations and lying to Congress about plans for a Trump Tower in Russia.

In his statement, Cohen claims Trump did not explicitly order Cohen to lie to Congress, as was previously reported by BuzzFeed News in January, but that his directive was implied.

“Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress,” Cohen writes. “That’s not how he operates.”

“In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing,” Cohen added. “In his way, he was telling me to lie.”

Cohen claims he was deeply ashamed by his actions and his gullibility in serving Trump for decades as his “fixer.”

“I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty – of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him,” Cohen writes. “I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.”

A day after Cohen’s public hearing on Wednesday, he is scheduled to testify in a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Committee.

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