House intelligence panel plans hearings with Trump associates Weisselberg, Sater

Saturday, 02 Mar, 2019

Mr Cohen, who testified again on Thursday (Friday AEDT) behind closed doors, suggested that Congress interview seven other Trump Organisation staffers and associates - including Mr Weisselberg and Mr Sater - and also seek Mr Trump's tax returns and other financial documents.

Cohen's attorney, former Clinton torpedo Lanny Davis, claimed his client told the truth, and it "may not be surprising that two pro-Trump Committee members made a baseless criminal referral".

Adam Schiff, California Democrat, called Thursday's interview with Cohen, "very productive", saying it "shed light" on the Russian Federation probe, but offered up scant details.

Cohen completed a third day of testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday, one day after publicly branding his former boss a racist and a con man who lied about business dealings in Russian Federation and directed him to hide extramarital relationships.

Republicans said Cohen has no credibility. Representatives for Trump did not respond to the allegations at the time.

Cohen provided a second cheque, saying he believed its signatures were Donald Trump Jr.'s and Weisselberg's.

During that broadcast, MSNBC host Ari Melber said Cohen had confirmed to him that he was working on a "tell-all book" about Trump.

Republicans seeking to discredit Cohen also seized Friday on a video clip that has recently resurfaced from a November 2016 appearance by Cohen on CNN. "They have a good chance of hearing from us". And now video clips of Cohen's past television interviews may have caught the former attorney lying to Congress, again.

House Financial Services Chairman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said she also wanted to investigate another allegation by Cohen: that Trump had directed a $15,000 speaking fee, owed to him personally, to his foundation instead. Having worked for the family for more than 40 years, he is said to have intimate and perhaps unparalleled knowledge of Trump's financial arrangements.

"Mr. Cohen testified truthfully before the House Oversight Committee". Pecker, chief executive of the National Enquirer's parent company and a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, helped kill potentially embarrassing stories about Trump over the years by paying hush money in a practice known as "catch and kill".

News of the upcoming hearings came after Cohen's grueling three days on Capitol Hill, including his explosive nationally televised testimony on Wednesday, during which he called Trump an inveterate liar, 'racist, ' and 'cheat'.

Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to felony charges of misuse of campaign funds in the hush payment, tax evasion and lying to Congress. Delaney Kempner, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Letitia James, said the office was "reviewing Michael Cohen's testimony carefully to determine if it will impact any ongoing proceeding or investigation that the office is undertaking".

They noted that it contradicts what federal prosecutors in NY have stated in a court filing, and also what others have said about that time.

"Donald Trump ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great", Cohen testified. He said the president arranged to reimburse Cohen, and Cohen brought to the hearing a check that he said was proof of the transaction.

Jordan and Meadows also claimed that Cohen made false statements in regard to his apparently well-known desire to get a job in the Trump White House. Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer rattled off more than a dozen names, giving the House Oversight and Reform Committee a potential roadmap for future hearings.

That's the main question of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Trump has repeatedly labelled a "witch-hunt".

"I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore", he added.

Sater, who worked with Cohen on the project while Trump was running for president, has said he and Cohen at one point talked about giving a 50 million US dollars penthouse to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a way to justify raising the prices of other units in the envisioned tower.