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Testimony of Michael Cohen Before the House Committee on Control and Reform

WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, the former “repairman” and personal advocate of US President Donald Trump, testified on Wednesday before the House committee on control and reform, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.
Cohen, who worked for Trump from 2006 to 2018, including as a personal attorney, co-chair of Trump Entertainment and vice president of finance for the Republican National Committee, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the investigation by special advocate in Russia in August.
These accusations include fraud, lying before Congress and the violation of campaign finance laws, which he said he committed at Trump’s request – an allegation the president refuted.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in the United States. The start of this prison sentence is expected to begin in May.
Here are the key moments of the testimony:
Cohen fears Trump does not allow “peaceful transition”
Cohen testified on Wednesday in Congress that he feared Trump would not allow his successor to take control of the White House peacefully if he loses the presidential election of 2020.
“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I’m concerned that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen said in his closing remarks.
Cohen says he did not review Trump’s statements
Cohen stated that he saw the president’s tax returns but did not review them.
Trump has broken with decades of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his tax returns during his 2016 campaign. He said he will not release them because he is audited.
On Wednesday, Cohen downplayed this logic, saying he assumes that Trump is not audited.
Cohen said he had asked Trump about the auditing paperwork to prepare his response to reporters about the problem, but he had never received any documentation.
Cohen said Trump did not want to publish his tax returns because he feared that a public review would lead to an audit and sanctions.
“What he did not want was a whole group of think tanks, tax experts, checking his tax return and starting to shred it, then he would end up in an audit and end up having taxes. consequences, penalties and so on,” said Cohen at the panel of the House.
Cohen says Trump devalued assets to pay lower taxes
Cohen said Trump had devalued his assets in order to pay lower property taxes.
Cohen said Trump said the Trump National Golf Club at Briarcliff Manor in New York was worth more than he had reported to local tax authorities. Cohen said that in order to reduce real estate bills, he would devalue the assets and then claim a deduction from the tax authorities.
Cohen also testified that he knew the president had inflated his assets with an insurance company.
Cohen said Trump had called him to ask him to mislead the public about the hidden money paid to a porn actress.
Cohen said Trump called him in February 2018 to discuss public messages on the $130,000 paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her silent about allegations of extramarital affair.
Cohen said Trump had asked him to say the president “was not aware” of the payments.
In fact, Cohen stated that Trump had directed and coordinated the payments. The documents also show that Trump personally signed at least one paid check to Cohen to repay the payments.
The White House denied that Trump had an affair with Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks says he never spoke to Stone.
In a tweet, WikiLeaks said that its publisher, Julian Assange, “has never had a phone call with Roger Stone”.
He added that he “publicly teased his pending publications on Hillary Clinton and published [more than 30,000] emails on March 16, 2016”.
Cohen said Stone spoke to Trump about the WikiLeaks dump during a phone conversation.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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