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Cohen says the president and Trump Jr. were part of a ‘criminal conspiracy’ to commit ‘garden variety financial crime’

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Michael Cohen testifying under oath before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (screengrab)

In public testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, longtime Donald Trump “fixer” and personal attorney Michael Cohen said that President Donald Trump, his son, Donald Trump, Jr. and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to commit financial fraud.

“Mr. Cohen, I want to focus my questions on the smoking gun document you have provided this committee. This document is compelling evidence of federal and state crimes, including financial fraud,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) noted.

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“You provided this committee with a check from President Donald J. Trump’s Revokable Trust account, which marked as exhibit 5b. It is a check for $35,000 and it is dated March 17, 2017 — after the president took office,” he continued, as he put an image of the check on the overhead monitor in the hearing room.

Check from the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust to Michael Cohen (screengrab)

“As federal prosecutors laid out in their criminal charges, payments like this check resulted in numerous false statements in the records and books of the Trump Organization. It’s important for America to understand this had nothing to do with collusion — this is financial fraud, garden variety and fraud,” Khanna noted.

“It was disguised as a payment for legal services, but this was not a payment for legal services, was it, Mr. Cohen?” he asked.

“No, sir,” Cohen replied.

“I just want the American public to understand the explosive nature of your current testimony in this document. Are you telling us, Mr. Cohen, that the president directed transactions in conspiracy with Allen Weisselberg and his son, Donald Trump, Jr. … as part of a criminal conspiracy of financial fraud, is that your testimony today?” Khanna asked.

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“Yes,” Cohen replied.

“Do you know if this criminal financial scheme that the president. Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump, Jr. are involved in is being investigated by the Southern District of New York?” Khanna asked.

“I would rather not discuss that question, because it could be part of an investigation that’s currently ongoing,” Cohen replied.

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