Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer will say the president is a “racist, a conman and a cheat” during a hearing on Capitol Hill today.
According to US media reports, Michael Cohen will allege Mr Trump:
:: Made racist comments “disparaging African-Americans, saying at one point that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid”.
:: Knew ahead of time about a leak of emails that would hurt his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
:: Led negotiations for a building project in Moscow even as he campaigned for the presidency and publicly stated he had no business interests in Russia.
:: Ordered him to pay $130,000 (£98,000) to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in order to cover up an affair in violation of campaign finance laws, and also told him to lie about it to First Lady Melania Trump.
Cohen’s appearance before the House of Representatives oversight and reform committee will be the first time he has spoken in public since he was convicted in May of campaign finance violations and tax evasion and admitted lying to Congress about Trump Organization plans in Moscow as part of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tuesday’s private session with senators marked the first of three days of testimony on Capitol Hill – and coincided with the 52-year-old being officially disbarred from practising law by the New York State Supreme Court.
The White House has expressed concern at politicians taking evidence from someone who has admitted lying to Congress.
And Mr Trump earlier tweeted: “Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!”
Ahead of his appearance, Michael Cohen said it is up to the American people to decide “exactly who is telling the truth”.
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