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Politics

Live: Cohen Tells Lawmakers Trump Lied about Wealth

February 27, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president’s former personal lawyer says Donald Trump lied about his wealth to look richer to Forbes magazine and less wealthy for tax authorities.

Michael Cohen is testifying under oath before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Cohen says financial documents show Trump inflated his assets to rank higher on the Forbes world’s billionaires list. Trump ranked 766th on the publication’s latest list, which was released last March.

Cohen claims Trump would also deflate his assets to pay lower real estate taxes.

Democrats have promised an aggressive effort to investigate the president since they regained control of the House in January.

For more than a decade, Cohen was a key power player in the Trump Organization and a fixture in Trump’s political life.

Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Trump.

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10:52 a.m.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is telling Congress that President Donald Trump lied to the American people about negotiations during the 2016 presidential campaign about a proposed Trump building in Russia.

Cohen says in public testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee that Trump “knew of and directed” the negotiations about a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress about the timing of the business proposal.

Cohen is testifying that Trump didn’t “directly” tell him to lie to Congress about the project but he did so “in his way.”

Cohen says that while he was negotiating the Russian business deal during the campaign, Trump would look him in the eye and tell him “there’s no business in Russia.”

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10:50 a.m.

The top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee is charging that Democrats are bringing President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to testify so they can “start their impeachment process.”

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio tells the committee chairman, Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, at the start of the hearing that “your chairmanship will always be identified by this hearing.”

Jordan and other Republicans are challenging Cohen’s credibility because Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress in 2017, among other charges.

Democrats invited Cohen to testify after he turned on Trump and started cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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10:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is accusing Trump of being a “racist.”

Testifying under oath before a House committee, Cohen says he heard Trump say that black people “would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”

Cohen says that when he and Trump were driving through a “struggling neighborhood” in Chicago, Trump said that “only black people could live that way.”

Trump has denied charges of racism before, and has said, “I’ve never used racist remarks.”

For more than a decade, Cohen was a key power player in the Trump Organization and a fixture in Trump’s political life.

Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Trump.

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