- In his Wednesday testimony before the House oversight committee, Michael Cohen said that federal prosecutors in New York had an active investigation regarding President Donald Trump that had not been made public.
- In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign-finance violations in the Southern District of New York.
- Federal prosecutors said he made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, establishing the president as an unindicted coconspirator in the case.
- Follow along with Cohen’s testimony here.
In his Wednesday testimony before the House oversight committee, Michael Cohen said that federal prosecutors in New York were investigating “illegal acts” involving President Donald Trump.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois first asked Cohen when he most recently communicated with Trump or someone acting on Trump’s behalf. Cohen, the former longtime personal attorney to Trump, said his most recent communication with Trump or a Trump associate was last fall but declined to expand on the conversation.
“Unfortunately, this topic is actually something that’s being investigated right now by the Southern District of New York, and I’ve been asked by them not to discuss it, not to talk about these issues,” Cohen said.
Krishnamoorthi then asked Cohen whether he knew of “any other wrongdoing or illegal act regarding Donald Trump” that Cohen hadn’t discussed in his testimony.
“Yes, and again, those are part of the investigation that’s currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign-finance violations in the Southern District of New York. The campaign-finance violations were related to payments to buy the silence of two women, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, who said they had affairs with Trump. Trump has denied having any affairs.
Federal prosecutors said in their sentencing memo for Cohen that he made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” a person who Cohen identified as Trump, establishing the president as an unindicted coconspirator in the case.
Prosecutors also struck a nonprosecution agreement with American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, the tabloid that paid $US150,000 to buy the rights to McDougal’s story, which the company never published.
Trump’s team has sought to blame Cohen for the payments and has said the payments were made to protect his businesses and not to influence the election.
The nonprosecution agreement, however, states that AMI “further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.”
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are also said to be launching a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s inaugural committee misspent some of the $US107 million it raised, improperly sold tickets to foreign nationals, or brokered special access to the administration for top inaugural donors.
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