Michael Cohen says years of blind loyalty to Donald Trump has cost him deeply. In a lengthy House hearing today, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer called Trump a conman, a cheat and a racist. Republicans challenged Cohen's credibility and noted that he is a convicted liar. Cohen is headed to prison for lying to Congress, tax fraud, banking fraud and campaign finance violations. He said he lied to lawmakers previously to protect Trump. Cohen hit back at Republican criticism, noting that Republicans asked him no questions about Trump's actions or behavior.
Cohen said he is ashamed of taking part in Trump's "illicit acts." He also criticized his own "weakness and misplaced loyalty." Cohen repeatedly apologized for his actions and said he is seeking redemption. He said Trump asked him to give adult film star Stormy Daniels a hefty hush money payment and then lie to Melania Trump about it. Daniels has alleged having an affair with Trump, years before he became President. Trump has denied the accusation.
Cohen accused Trump of using social media to intimidate him. He said Trump wasn't joking when he famously said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it. Cohen also said people who work for Trump have one primary job: "Protect Mr. Trump." He alleged that Trump was aware of a pending "dump" of leaked emails from WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. Meantime, Cohen said federal investigators are looking into conversations he had with Trump or his advisers after the FBI raided his hotel room and office. The raids occurred in April of last year. Cohen did not elaborate.
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