Trump branded a 'conman' as ex-lawyer savages him in Congress


President Donald Trump unloaded both on Michael Cohen and on lawmakers who scheduled his bombshell testimony that intruded on his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un.

Cohen then testified that he recalled being in a room with Trump, perhaps in early June 2016, when Trump Jr. entered the room, leaned to his father and said in a low voice, "the meeting is all set".

He said Cohen made "very demeaning comments about the president that Miss Patton doesn't agree with".

In dramatic public testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, the one-time "fixer" for Trump accused the president of breaking the law while in office and said for the first time that Trump knew in advance about a WikiLeaks dump of stolen emails that hurt his 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.

Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Trump directed him previous year to lie about hush payments made to a porn actress to silence her claims of an affair with Trump.

"In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russian Federation for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there's no business in Russian Federation and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing", Cohen plans to say.

President Donald Trump sought to discredit his former lawyer Michael Cohen Thursday after the ex-aide's bombshell congressional testimony in which he essentially called Trump a criminal.

They were confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then returned, Cohen said.

Cohen also testified that he never travelled to Prague in order to collude with Russians in 2016, as was alleged in a dossier of intelligence memos that had been gathered by a former spy from the U.K., CNN reported.

Sceptical and, at times, hostile Republicans noted repeatedly that Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

Cohen's disclosure that he's cooperating with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY on matters he said he couldn't discuss publicly spurred a grave tweet from Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and US prosecutor: "The words that he said today that would send a chill up my spine at the White House would be, 'I am in constant contact with the Southern District'".

Cohen also invested in New York City real estate, paying millions for apartments in Trump properties, including Trump World Tower, where the developer, at the suggestion of Donald Trump jnr, drafted Cohen to beat back a 2006 revolt by the building's co-op board.

"I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a bad thing", Trump said. Stone was indicted in January for obstruction, false statements and witness tampering, and he denies Cohen's allegations. Moreover, he said, "Lying for Mr. Trump was normalized and no one around him questioned it". He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a "shithole".

Cohen detailed reimbursements from Trump for hush money Cohen paid weeks before the election to keep adult-film star Stormy Daniels quiet about an affair she alleges she had with Trump more than a decade ago.

Republicans argued that Cohen, who will start a three-year prison sentence in May for campaign-finance violations, tax evasion and bank fraud, was an untrustworthy witness.

"Over the past year or so, I have done some real soul-searching", Cohen told the committee yesterday in his opening remarks.

Cohen replied, "As neither should I as the son of a Holocaust survivor". "I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore".

Cohen also took aim at a fellow personal lawyer for Trump.

Cohen's allegation would contradict the president's assertions that he was in the dark on this issue. Republicans were focused like a laser on showing that Cohen was untrustworthy, and thus the hearing was a colossal waste of time.