US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has testified against him in US Congress, saying that he is a racist and a liar.
Despite pleading guilty in 2018 to having lied to Congress, Cohen was adamant in his testimony that Mr Trump had forewarning that Hillary Clinton’s politically damaging emails would be released and that he welcomed the news. However, Cohen said that he had no “direct evidence” that there was any collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.
Trump’s Republicans have been quick to dismiss Cohen’s testimony as coming from a convicted liar. Cohen compared Mr Trump to a Mafia “mobster” who expected absolute loyalty from his subordinates and for them to protect him even when it meant breaking the law.
Cohen declared that “I am not protecting Mr Trump anymore,”
He also said that New York prosecutors were performing an investigation into conversations between him and either Trump or his advisors following an FBI raid on his hotel room. He declined to provide more details, citing the fact it was still being investigated by federal prosecutors.
Originally seen as one of Mr Trump’s closest allies and chief legal representative, Mr Cohen has gone from saying he’d “take a bullet” for his former boss to someone who has now implicated the President in campaign finance violations.
Mr Trump, who is currently in Vietnam for a planned peace summit with North Korean Leader Kim-Jong Un, responded on Twitter by saying that Cohen “did bad things unrelated to Trump” and that he was “lying in order to reduce his prison time”.
Cohen is expected to report to prison soon to begin serving his 3 year sentence. Federal prosecutors see Cohen as a very important witness due to his close relationship with President Trump during the timeframes that are under investigation.