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🌈 🦄 🍭 Live-tweeting Michael Cohen hearing here beginning at 10 a.m., today Feb. 27, 2019
Here we go. Chair @RepCummings gaveled in. Already the shouting begins. The ranking member Mark Meadows is angry that he did not see the written testimony or evidence 24-hours in advance.

Meadows is screaming and saying the hearing cannot go forward. He said witness Michael Cohen held his statement and said "we should not stand for it."

Meadows made a motion to postpone. Cummings held a voice vote to table the motion. The Meadows wanted to have an appeal of the ruling. Voice vote supports Cummings. Now Meadows wants a roll call. Here we go. It's going to be a long day.

24 yeses, 17 nos. Hearing will go forward.

Cummings: You have made it clear that you don't want the American people to hear what Cohen has to say. . .The American people can judge his credibility for themselves.

Meadows responded, no, that he just wanted to follow the rules. (Sure, Jan).

Chair Cummings begins his statement. He begins by reminding us of Cohen's admissions to committing campaign finance felonies "in coordination with and at the direction of" President Trump. And he admitted to lying about his actions to protect the president.

"Each of us in this room have this duty to serve as an independent check on the executive branch. . Ladies and gentlemen, we are in search of the truth."

Said he received the written statement late last night

Now Chair Cummings is highlighting documentary evidence, including check signed by President Trump while in White House. Dated August 1, 2017. Said six months later in April 2018, president denied anything about it.

Now Cummings is reminding us of the changing story and lies about the nature of the reimbursement payments to Cohen (for paying Stormy Daniels for her silence).

Cummings is now reading from Cohen's written testimony alleging that he was in the room with Donald Trump who put Roger Stone on the speaker phone and said that Assange told Stone that, within a couple of days there would be an email dump damaging to Clinton's campaign

Chairman @RepCummings: The American people vote for accountability in November. Said Cohen's testimony is the beginning of the process. "The days of this committee protecting the president at all cost are over"

"We will not restrict questions" regarding Russia as Cohen mentions this topic in his written testimony. Oh, boy.

Chair Cummings: "Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the whole stair case. There comes as time when silence becomes betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

Now Jim Jordan is shouting. Are all of the Republican committee members going to scream and shout? So emotional. Trying to pin this on the Clintons. Says to Cummings: "You have stacked the deck against the truth,"

Jordan is now blaming @TomSteyer. Said the the House is trying to remove the president "because Tom Steyer told them to."

Now Jordan is talking about the Steele Dossier. But Cohen is actually talking about campaign finance violations related to hush-money payments made to candidate Trump's mistresses

Correction. Jim Jordan is the ranking member. Above, I mistakenly wrote that Meadows was. Sorry about that.

Cummings addressed the attendants at the hearing and noted that protesters would be removed

Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today.

"I have asked this Committee to ensure that my family be protected from Presidential threats, and that the Committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investigations."

"Thank you for your help and for your understanding. I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the Committee’s questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump."

" I recognize that some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility. It is for this reason that I have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable, and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful."

Never in a million years did I imagine, when I accepted a job in 2007 to work for Donald Trump, that he would one day run for President, launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance, and actually win."

"I regret the day I said 'yes' to Mr. Trump. I regret all the help and support I gave him along the way. I am ashamed of my own failings, and I publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the Southern District of New York."

"I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat. He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails."

Now he is discussing the documents he brought with him

"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"

"Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank"

"A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation"

" Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores."

"I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow
Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January
2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during
the campaign."

"You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited
my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower
negotiations before I gave it."

"Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. .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 .go out and lie to the American people"

Apologies to family and to Congress, again and again

Cohen: "last fall I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the
direction of, and in coordination with Individual #1. For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump."

Being around Trump was "intoxicating" to him. Said the bad in Trump outweighs the good. Said he's "capable of behaving kindly, but he's not kind. . .he's capable of being loyal, but he's fundamentally disloyal."

"Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to
make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation –
only to market himself and to build his wealth and power."

"Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the 'greatest infomercial in political history.'"

"Lying for Mr. Trump was normalized" and no one then or even today questions it

"A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the
release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of
time. The answer is yes."

Cohen said he was in the room with Donald Trump when he learned this.

"Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a
massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign."

Cohen: "Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of 'wouldn’t that be great.'"

Cohen's refrain, "and yet I continued to work for him" refrain is both a confession for him and also echoes what we are all doing but allowing this to continue.

Cohen said Trump is a racist "He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a 'shithole.' This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States."

"It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served
his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in
Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes."

Criminal tax fraud? Hope NYAG Tish James is watching. "The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself"

Cohen apologies to the First Lady for lying to her about her husband's affair. "She did not deserve that."

"I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank 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." 51/
BAM! New information not in this part of Cohen's written testimony. Says other checks were signed by Trump accountant Allen Weisselberg and son Donald Trump, Jr.

"The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the
payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign
finance laws. You can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr.
Trump, in the pleadings in" SDNY.

Another exhibit Cohen discusses. "I’m giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr. Trump’s direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal
actions if Mr. Trump’s grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without
his permission."

"Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply
the fact that he received a medical deferment"

"He finished the conversation with the following comment. 'You think I’m
stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.' I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now. And yet, I continued to work for him."

Now he makes clear that while he has suspicions, he does not "know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia."

Cohen: "I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual."

"People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: 'The meeting is all set.” I remember Mr. Trump saying, 'Ok good…let me know.'"

Nothing went on in Trump world" without Trump's knowledge or approval.

"I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary . . . when he walked behind his dad’s desk that day -- and that Mr. Trump knew that was the meeting Don Jr. was talking about when he said, “That’s good…let me know.”

This is very powerful and relatable from Michael Cohen: "For those who question my motives for being here today, I understand. I have lied, but I am not a liar. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad man. I have fixed things, but I am no longer your 'fixer,' Mr. Trump'"

Cohen is discussing intimidation of him by Trump and Rudy Giuliani

"Mr. Trump called me a 'rat' for choosing to tell the truth – much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government."

Cohen completes his opening statement. @RepCummings asked "do you recognize the gravity of your offenses." Cohen said "I most certainly do, Mr. Chairman." Cummings said, "We will not tolerate lying to this Congress by anybody.

Cohen said in 2016, prior to the election, he was contacted by Keith Davidson, the lawyer at the time for Stormy Daniels (Clifford) about paying her $130,000 for her story . . .went into Mr. Trump's office to discuss the issue with him.

Said Allen Weisselberg was in the office with Cohen and Trump at one of those meeting about the topic before the election. Trump sent Allen and Michael out to figure out how to make it happen

Cummings asking why Trump was signing checks on behalf of the Trump Organization when Trump claimed he had given up control over company. Cohen said there was never any retainer agreement. Cohen said Weisselberg has information & Don jr. "cursory" information about payments

Is there any doubt that Trump knew exactly what he was paying for (reimbursement for Stormy Daniels payments). Cohen says there is no doubt in his mind.

Jim Jordan is reading from a transcript of a threat Cohen made to a journalist at the Daily Beast. Cohen said he made statement to protect Donald Trump, Junior, Ivanka and Eric. (Note this is about a story reporter would write about Trump raping his ex-wife Ivana).

Jordan is asking about whether Cohen's other crimes (tax evasion), was that in blind loyalty to Mr. Trump. Cohen said no. He's trying to get at the fact that Cohen cheated and lied separate from his loyalty Trump. Even the fake Twitter account. Said "we were having fun."

A little humor here. After asking about the Women for Michael Cohen twitter account, Jordan said "Did you lie to help yourself or Mr. Trump?" Cohen responded, "I don't think that really helped me. Most of the people on that site were men."

Now Jordan is asking why Cohen didn't leave Trump after ten years. Jordan said that Cohen wanting a job at the White House and that is why he's attacking Trump now.

Jordan is grouping Cohen with Mr. Comey and McCabe. To be honest, that's a good crowd

Next up Congresswoman @DWStweets. "Is it your testimony that Mr. Trump had advance knowledge of the WikiLeaks leak of DNC emails. Cohen said he had advance knowledge of emails to be dumped.

"The company was involved in the deal, which means the family was involved" in the Russia Trump Tower deal" Cohen tells Wasserman Schultz

Said Roger Stone was a free agent and spoke a lot with Trump. Wasserman Schultz asks how his testimony can be corroboration. Cohen said special counsel may have.

Did president lie re colluding or coordinating with Russians, she asked.

Michael Cohen: "I wouldn't use the word colluding. Was there something odd about the back and forth praise with President Putin. .I was not part of the campaign. . . There's just so many dots that seem to lead in same direction"

Said rather not answer question as to whether his desire to win meant he would work with an adversary because intelligence committees are looking into that
Trump Tower Moscow project was worth hundreds of milions of dollars. Didn't expect to win. This was business as usual.

Shouting has commenced again. Republican Mark Green of Tennessee is now asking or rather making a statement in a very aggressive tone. "How on earth is this witness credible." Calls him "a self-serving fraud."

"He's a fake witness" says Mark Green. Now he asks what Cohen's source is income. "I don't expect I'll have a source of income when I'm in the federal penitentiary."

Green asked if he has any book deal. Cohen said he doesn't but he's been approached, such as re movies. Said Green should let him know who he'd like to play him in the film.

Jordan is shouting now. Wants to know how many times Cohen spoke with the special counsel between time he spoke with him/them and now. Cohen said he didn't know

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Democrat from New York is up now. He says that Trump authorized his actions such as the aforementioned Daily Beast story

Cohen is discussed how he and Allen left Trump's office after getting Trump direction to figure out how to pay off Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford). Got down to the wire. So he had to use his own money.

Cohen said there's "a footnote buried somewhere" in Trump's restated financials to show in-kind payment on behalf of campaign?

Cohen said he was involved in "several of these catch-and-kill episodes." Said these existed between David Pecker of AMI and Trump long before Cohen began working for Trump in 2007.

Maloney thanked Cohen and said: "Mr. Cohen, this is a story of redemption."

Rep. James Comer, Republican from Kentucky. "Did your so-called blind loyalty to the President cause you to defraud the bank." Cohen said he never defrauded a bank. That no bank ever lost a dollar.

Cohen said, "I pled guilty and I'm going to prison."
Comer: "Because your a con?"

Rep. Comer said "your intent to defraud the bank was" to purchase a summer home. But Cohen said there was no summer home.

Lots of details here. Seems like Comer did not have staff to prep him or he is not very smart

Jordan is shouting and yelling that Cohen does not take responsibility for his actions.

"I took responsibility and I take responsibility."

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democrat from Washington D.C. is up now. Reminds us that the Access Hollywood video happened in late October, right before election. Was Trump concerned about impact on election?

Yes, Cohen said. Cohen also said he was in London visiting his daughter who was studying abroad.

"We need you to start making phone calls and we need to spin this" He said Hope Hicks told him.

He grouped this concern together with the Story Daniels and Karen MacDougal matters. Said candidate Trump was concerned about it.

Cohen said that after the "wild fire" of the Billy Bush tape, that another issue affecting women would ruin Trump's chances at election. Said Keith Davidson gave him the $130,000 number

Trump told Weisselberg and Cohen that he'd spoken with some friends and they said that it wasn't a lot of money, and they should do it.

Jim Jordan is talking. What is going on? He has Lynn Patton standing behind him. Jordan said she would never work with someone was racist. He is screaming now. Cohen said, I worked for him and I am the son of a Holocaust survivor.

"Ask Ms. Patton who is black, how many executives who are black work for the Trump administration." Cohen said

Jordan is shouting about Novartis paying him over $1 million ("not something unusual in DC").

Why is it okay for Jordan to screaming at him.

Now Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) is questioning Cohen.

This shouting has given me a headache. Also, when can we take a break?

Rep. Clay is asking about the "flagrantly untrue" financial information to Craines.

Asked Cohen whether Trump inflated his net worth.

"Everything was done with the knowledge and direction of Trump."

Trump wanted his ranking to raise each year on the @Forbes list. Cohen described how the would inflate the asset values for purposes of falsifying Trump's net worth

Clay turns to some of the exhibits, the financial statements for 2011 – 2013 . They would provide them to Forbes and also to insurance companies to have premiums reduced. Always done with Trump's direction and knowledge

Cohen said these documents were provided to Deutsche Bank so they could get money to put a bid on the Buffalo Bills

Who's shouting now? Oh, it's Meadows. He is stating that there should be a criminal referral of Cohen for unregistered foreign lobbying

Next up is Rep Jody Hice, a Republican from Georgia. Wants to know if anyone on his team cooperated with "the Democrat party."

Cohen said he spoke with chairman Cummings, Schiff and party.

Rep. Hice asked if Cohen spoke with Tom Steyer. Asked who is paying Lanny Davis. "So he is doing all this work for nothing." Implication is that Steyer or someone else is to represent Cohen.

Is it just me, or is it odd that none of the Republicans have asked any questions about the allegations against the president or the documentary evidence Cohen has provided?

Hice is a bit of a drama queen, TBH

Okay. Now we have a Democratic shouter. Rep. Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts shouts to berate his Republican colleagues for having their own agenda and not bringing to testify Manafort, Gates, or Papadopolous, the oter convicted members of Trump's inner circle.

In addition to Donald Trump (Individual-1) Cohen briefed "Don Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump" on the Trump Tower Moscow deal. He said there were about ten meetings in total.

"We were interested in building one of the largest buildings in all of Europe."
(Hmm. Is Moscow, Russia considered Europe?)

Back with shouting from Jordan. I'm so done with the shouters. Shouting about Rod Rosenstein. Oh, is this new? Jordan wanted Rosenstein to be a witness today and @RepCummings said no.

More scolding now from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

Gosar: "Your don't know truth from falsehood."

Cohen: "Are you talking about me or the president."

We are now at the "liar, liar pants on fire" portion of the questioning from Rep. Gosar.

Praise the Lord. A quiet, calm voice. Rep. Cooper (D-TN) asked what made Cohen change, to see the light.

Cohen said: "Helsinki, Chartlottesville, watching our daily destruction of our civility."

"You make mistakes in laugh. And I've owned them" and "paying the price."

Worried for his family's safety. When Trump said during the campaign "I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away from it." He's not joking. He means it.

"He's sending out the same message that he can do whatever he wants. This is his country. He's becoming an autocrat."

"Everybody's job at the Trump organization is to protect Mr. Trump." Everyone's job there was to come in and lie for him.

Phew. We are taking a break. I am taking an Advil.

While we are on break, I'm going to share some helpful comments made by others during the hearing

@eliehonig wrote, quoting Cohen: "'I am in constant contact with the Southern District of New York about ongoing investigations.' Important line."

From @pdacosta

"'Is it possible the whole family is compromised?'


We're back, gaveled in around 12:24 p.m.

Grateful that Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC ) is not shouting. She wants to him to commit not to making money off a book or movie deal.

"I would not do that, no."

Ranking Member Shouty McShoutface is back. Jordan is asking why his lawyer did not deny the @BuzzFeedNews story.

Cohen said we are not the fact checkers for BuzzFeed.

Cohen: The president has told more than 9,000 lies. Neither he nor his lawyer goes on TV to correct that. "Not one question so far has been asked by Mr. Trump from your colleagues. "That's why I thought I was here."

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). Said every criminal trial of organized crime and RICO would not be possible without flawed witnesses on "shady figure who turned."

Ears perked up. Connolly says he's raising something that has not been discussed. Talking about an email was produced by White House about a May 2017 meeting request for Cohen to meet with president's attorney Jay Sekulow.

Connolly: did you have a conversation with president and Sekuow re your pending testimony before House committee

Cohen: Wanted to make sure that he was saying there is no business with Russia. No collusion. It's all a witch hunt. . . I knew exactly what he wanted me to say

Rep. Massie (R-KY) asked Cohen whether he was acting on "intuition". Asked whether he was giving his client good legal advice. "I didn't ask whether you were a good fixer, I asked whether you were a good lawyer."

Massie says Cohen failed to inform Trump that the payment to Stormy Daniels was illegal.

Thinks it was around July 19th, 2016 when he learned that emails would be leaked. Massie waves an article from June 2016 saying that Assange said he was going to leak, so this is nothing new.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) asked questions while I need to take a break to read some work emails. Now Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX) asked him to state what he pleaded guilty to. Asked why the discrepancy between what the SDNY said that Cohen wanted to work at White House

Rep. Cloud is speaking softly following in lock-step with his fellow Republicans to discredit Michael Cohen as a liar. He is also mischaracterized what Cohen said today. He made clear that he committed many of crimes to benefit himself, not out of blind loyalty

It's amazing to me that Rep. Cloud is completely misleading us as to what Cohen said today

Meadows is bright red waving a paper, shouting.

Best characterization of the Republican committee members demeanor today. @RepRaskin "Our colleagues are not upset because you lied for the president. They are upset that you stopped lying for the president."

Talking about "catch and kill" again.

Cohen not aware of anything Trump did here or abroad that may have subjected Cohen to blackmail or extortion.

Cohen said now, and regarding any tape, said, "I have no reason to believe that tape exists."

Rep. Raskin asked about Felix Sater. Why did Trump distance himself from Sater who had been involved in Trump Soho.

Cohen said when things went bad, Trump would distance himself

Cohen said Trump's lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, made several changes including how to handle "that message" around the length of time the Trump Tower meeting stayed alive.

Now Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI): Said "I find it offensive that anti-Trump people say that he did this on a lark and did not intend to win."

New: Cohen said there are discussions unrelated to what they are discussing today that he will seek a reduction of sentence. Must be information that leads to ongoing investigations. If those investigations become fruitful, then there is a possibility of a Rule 35 motion

However, this testimony today won't be the basis of a sentencing reduction motion, Cohen said

Screaming Jim Jordan is back. Wants to know why the form he filled out this morning before testifying. Said why didn't he put it down on the form.

This is such a stupid line of questioning. He was readily talking about foreign contracts

Cohen: "I've never spoken with John Dean."

Reason his statement was in late last night is because they were still writing and editing.

Jordan shouted some more

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA) is a loud-talker. He's asking about Trump's relationship with "the convicted Russian mobster, Felix Sater." Wants to know where the records would be.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI): "Why did Mr. Trump choose to hire you?"
Cohen recounts the same story we have heard before about the job offer. Amash now acts about how Trump communicates indirectly.

Rep. @justinamash "What is the truth you know that President Trump fears most?"

Cohen said that is a tough question.

Amash asked Cohen what principles he has followed and what he hopes to follow. He tries to treat his friends well. "I would like to get my life back, protect my wife and children, support, and grow old."

Said he appreciated Amash's questions. Trying to show redemption

BAM! Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) reveals that the actual question on the form that Ranking Member Jordan was shouting about related to contracts "originating with foreign governments." If that is what it really says, then Rep. Jordan has some 'splaining to do.

Hill says she is from a purple district and has family members in service who took oath to follow orders of president. She's repeating some of his carefully worded testimony that was misleading but not literally false. Said that's why Trump's lawyers helped him write

Whoops. Sorry. It's Meadows who was shouting about the form. I may have mixed him with Jordan. They both shout a lot. Apologies for that

So, let me rewrite that:

BAM! Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) reveals that the actual question on the form that Ranking Member Jordan was shouting about related to contracts "originating with foreign governments." If that is what it really says, then Meadows has some 'splaining to do.
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) said Cohen "railed" on the president. Said Cohen called president a racist and a cheat. Said "that's unbelievable."

Rep. Gibbs: "Why didn't you leave?"

Gibbs: "This is political theater."

Cohen: "This is not political theater for me" You've known him for a short time.

Rankling member Jordan is rudely mocking and taunting

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) is speaking sedately and slowly. Is he tired? He might speed it up. He's only got 5 minutes

Sarbanes: "Who at the White House reviewed your testimony?"

Cohen said it was originally created by himself and his attorney. There was a joint defense agreement. Thinks Abby Lowell (who represents Ivanka and Jared) also saw it.

Sarbanes asked for the edits that came back. Cohen said he'd have to review the document. HEY, I'D LIKE TO SEE THAT EDITED DOCUMENT

Cohen talked about towing the party line, that he knew "no Russia" was part of it. Repeats what he has said before

Sorry typo. Abbe Lowell is the proper spelling

Rep. Sarbanes is referencing an article from @ProPublica about Trump Hotel overcharging or upcharging the inaugural committee. Did that happen?

Cohen: It did happen. He was not part of the committee, though he did raise money for the committee.

Now Clay Higgins (R-LA) is likening Cohen to the recidivist street criminals he knew of when he was in the police force. He is asking again about boxes of evidence

Higgins wants boxes that FBI had taken when his office was raided to now be seized.

Why are the Republicans obsessed with film and book deals?

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) is up. He's focusing on the conversation on the speaker phone that Cohen listened in on between Roger Stone and Donald Trump in July 2016.

Welch said this January president Trump told the @nytimes that he had never spoken to Stone about WikiLeaks. Is that accurate?

Cohen said: No.

Cohen then reiterated what he said (and wrote in his testimony) about what Stone told Trump

From written testimony: "Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign."

Cohen said special counsel may have a better sense of the calendar, as to when this transpired

Welch is asking about how Pecker spent money to protect Trump.

Cohen said story about Trump having lovechild with an employee whose husband also works for company. Some payment by Pecker to person who heard story

Cohen described a "treasure trove" of documents Pecker had at National Enquirer (AMI)

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC): "Are you really sorry for what you did, or did you just get caught?"

Norman said all of his crimes were to benefit himself

Jackie Speier (D-CA): Who were the attorneys who edited his statement?
"Jay Sekulow and I believe Abbe Lowell as well."

Good! She asked him for a copy of his original remarks. He said yes.

Speier asked him if he met with any Russians while in Europe in summer 2016. He said no.

There is an elevator tape, supposedly Trump struck Melania. "I'm certain it's not true." He said he doesn't believe there is a tape. He said he would never strike her.

Cohen also said to the best of his knowledge there was not a love child

Over the ten years he worked for Trump he asked Cohen to threaten (either with litigation or an argument) people on his behalf. Hundreds of times.

Cohen is getting choked up when Speier asks about his children. Wishes he could go back in time

Now @RepCarolMiller (R-VW) is up. She is very disappointed. Not yelling but scolding.

Let me say, I am disappointed in her. To quote @RepRaskin: "Our colleagues are not upset because you lied for the president. They are upset that you stopped lying for the president."

"Anything to sell books" says @RepCarolMiller

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) asked about the complex nature of setting up an LLC to make a payment to Stormy Daniels' attorney. He said he didn't want his wife to know why he was paying $130,000

"Everything had to approved by Mr. Trump."

Let me just say bravo to @justinamash. He is the sole Republican on this committee who put country over party.

Rep. Green again. Asking about tax evasion. Not sure why these Republicans don't ask why Trump chose Cohen (felon), chose Manafort (felon), chose Gates (felon), chose Papadopolous (felon).

Rep. Mark Desaunier (D-CA) is up. Asks about Trump Tower Moscow project.

At Trump's direction, Cohen said he discussed with Corey Lewandowski when Trump could travel to Russia to take a look at the project. Early on in the campaign. Said it never came to fruition.

Desaunier: Why did the deal stop?

Cohen: Because he won the presidency.

Now Desaunier is asking about hiring someone from Liberty University in 2014 to manipulate CNBC and Drudge Report polls. Did president have any involvement?

Cohen: Yes

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL). Same old. Same old. His questions remind me of what @RepRaskin said earlier today.

"Our colleagues are not upset because you lied for the president. They are upset that you stopped lying for the president."

"Not only did I lie to the American people. I lied to the First Lady. . . He had me speak to her and explain to the First Lady. . .And I don't feel good about any of this."

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) asks Cohen about witness intimidation. "Why do you believe the president is repeatedly attacking you?"

Cohen: Says he has access to 60 million people on social media and ability to spark action. And his own words about shooting someone

Lawrence: What do you think he can do to you?
Cohen: A lot. (Refers to what his followers can do)
Lawrence: What it is a lot?
Cohen: Says he does not walk with his wife of children. Talks about receiving threatening tweets and messages.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). Asks whether Cohen has been to Prague or the Czech Republic.

Cohen: No

Rep Roy is grandstanding and shouting.

"Don't bother watching" he told his wife. She obeyed.

Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-UVI): "Thank God the Democratic majority can walk and chew gum at the same time."

She suggested that @mattgaetz engaged in witness tampering in violation of 18 USC § 1512, and a possible referral for criminal investigation

Important line of questing. Plaskett is zeroing in on possible felonies involving material misstatements to the OGE about the reimbursement to Cohen for payment to Stormy Daniels. Rudy and Sheri Dillon statement that there was a retainer agreement with Cohen was not true

Recess begins. We have an hour or so break. Praise @RepCummings

While we wait for the committee to return, gathering some observations about the hearing from others

Now discussing the hearing live on @KPFK with @ianmastersmedia

Important confirmation


As expected, Don Junior is in more hot water now

One more thing before we return from break. This from @jaketapper

Okay. We are back. It's 4:20 p.m. Michael Cohen is seated at the table. Just waiting for Chair Cummings to gavel us in

Cohen is discussing the truth in testimony form that he filled out. His lawyers and he said that the question did not apply to his contract with BTA bank, but if the counsel for the committee reads the question differently, he would be happy to provide

Meadows is still angry. Cummings said we will work this out.

Now it's Rep Ro Khanna (D-CA) asking question. He's projected on the screen a check signed for $35,000 from the revocable trust, not his personal account.

Rep. Khana: Donald Trump Jr who signed the check is Executive-2?

Cohen: I think so.

Cohen: Trump acknowledged the payment. Allen Weisselberg said it would be done by 12 installments.

BAM! Rep. Ro Khanna asked if Trump's criminal conspiracy involving Donald Trump, his CFO Weisselberg, and his son Trump Jr.

Cohen: Yes

@RoKhanna asked whether the SDNY was investigating this criminal conspiracy among the four people.

Cohen: Said he did not want to answer. I think he said because this may be subject to an investigation. But he did agree that he is the only one so far headed to prison

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-TX) asks Cohen why Trump won't release his tax returns. cc @taxmarch
Cohen: He said he did not want think tanks that were filled with tax experts and then he would end up with an audit and he would have tax penalties.

Rep. Gomez says it's ironic that the Republican minority who is today questioning Cohen due to his admitted tax evasion refuses to ask for the president's tax returns, yet for 40 years, presidents have provided

Rep. Gomez: Does the president surround himself with people who will break the law for him?

Cohen: [Pauses]. From the facts and circumstances it looks like that's the case

Gomez: Wants tax returns

Mark Meadows is reading tweets into the records. People who are saying Cohen wanted job in White House

Jim Jordan is now reading opinions from people watching the hearing saying it's a show trial

Rep. @AOC is asking questions now. Did president provided inflated asset statements to insurance companies?

Cohen: Said yes and provided names and said information would be provided in the Trump Org.

Now @AOC is asking about a golf course in her district. Taxpayers spent $127 million in a generous deal which allows him to get every dollar that flows in. Did he improperly devalue his assets to gain tax benefits? She used example with golf course in Jupiter

Cohen: This is identical to what he did at another golf course

@aoc: Dubious tax schemes and "out right fraud" that the @nytimes reported

Cohen: Not there in 1990s. But Allen Weisselberg would know. He agreed that getting Trump's federal and state tax returns would help

Rep.@AyannaPressley is up. Quotes Brandeis. "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." Asking about Trump charitable foundation and Cohen's use of a straw buyer for portrait.

Cohen: All about ego. Said that the trust paid for it. (Not sure if he meant charity)

Rep. Pressley asks further questions about alleged illegal use of the Trump charitable foundation for his personal expenses. He responds.

Now she's asking about Trump's racism. Can you be a racist even if you have a black friend.

Cohen: Yes.

Rep. @RashidaTlaib said "some of my colleagues cannot handle the truth." Speaks about her constituents who are upset by the president's behavior. She said that there were bribes paid in March and August of 2017. Not sure what she means

Rep. Tlaib asked whether Cohen covered up felonies designed to help his brand?

Cohen: Yes

Good for her. @RashidaTlaib said using a black woman as a prop is in and of itself racist.

Meadows is demanding that @RashidaTlaib have her words stricken from the record. So she re-reading it.

She said: I am not call the gentleman a racist.

Cummings: You were not intending to call Mr. Meadows a racist?

Tlaib: She said she was just tying to express herself

Here we have it @RepMarkMeadows is a shouter and a crier. Why are his feelings more important than @RashidaTlaib?

This is such an important moment. How will @RepCummings handle this dispute? I have tears in my eyes. Where are we going with this?

Chair Cummings just said Mark Meadows is one of my best friends.

Tlaib: Said she was not referring to Meadows as a racist.

Meadows: He withdrew his request that the comment be striken

That interchange between Tlaib, Meadows, and Cummings will be studied for many, many years to come. I am still having chills about that. Cannot even begin to fully process it.

Would love to hear your thoughts: @ProfCiara, @ElieNYC and @mayawiley

Michael Cohen closing remarks.

"My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything. . . .Soon my freedom. I will not sit back, say nothing, and let him do that to the country. . . I fear if he loses the election in 2020 that theere will never be a peaceful transition of power"

Jim Jordan is offering his closing remarks. Same stuff from earlier.

Now Elijah Cummings' closing remarks.

Saddest part of this whole thing are the innocent people who are hurting. His family.

"If we as a nation don't allow people after they've made mistakes to change their lives. . ." we would not be doing well.

"We are better than this"

Cummings: "I tell my children. When bad things happen to me, don't ask why is this happening to me. Ask, why is this happening for me."

Cummings: "It sounds like you are crying out for a new normal, for us getting back to normal. Sounds to me like you want to make sure that our Democracy stays in tact."

Cummings: "You got caught up in it" -- meaning caught up in the president's lies.

I live in the inner city of Baltimore. When you call someone a rat, that's the worst thing that you can call him. The president called you a rat? We're better than that!

Cummings is speaking such truth and with such compassion, that Cohen is getting emotional. He is trying to hold it together.

"When we are dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to keep our Democracy in tact? Did we stand on the sidelines and do nothing?"

"We have got to get back to normal." Gavel.

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