Rep. Chip Joy: Cohen Hearing Was 'Swamp in Action'

He said Mr Trump then told the Trump Foundation - a charitable organisation - to repay the fake bidder the $60,000 that had been spent on the painting, despite keeping the piece of art himself.

Armed with exhibits and corroborating documents, Cohen divulges, with startling frankness, sensitive information about subjects that have dogged the Trump presidency since inauguration: pay-offs to Stormy Daniels, the Democratic National Committee email leaks from WikiLeaks, the Russian Federation investigation, and, most tellingly, Trump's very character - if the public were looking for spice, they got it.

Cohen testified: 'Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

In prepared testimony obtained by media, Cohen also says that Trump implicitly told him to lie about a Moscow real estate project.

Cohen said Trump continued efforts to build a skyscaper in Moscow during the height of the election campaign, saying he had previously lied in saying the project had been halted beforehand.

Cohen provided a lot of new insight into Trump's involvement in hush money payments, his taxes, his business and his 2016 campaign.

Cohen told the committee: "Mr Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event".

In his book, Let Me Finish, Mr Christie writes that Mr Trump "is a man who wakes up every morning with unparalleled self-confidence".

Cohen says Trump-tied lawyers including Jay Sekulow and Abbe Lowell (who represents Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump) edited his false congressional testimony about the Moscow deal, and Trump indirectly encouraged him to lie about the deal in a face-to-face meeting.

Cohen said that Donald Trump, to his knowledge, had not fathered a secret non-marital child.

Trump's motorcade arrived back at Hanoi's JW Marriott from dinner with Kim just as Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings pounded the gavel to begin the hearing.

Throughout the day, Republican members of the Oversight panel repeatedly used Cohen's lies to disparage him and challenge his veracity. Trump accuses Cohen of now lying to reduce his prison sentence.

"I do not think you could believe much of what this guy says".

Cohen also suggested federal prosecutors in NY are investigating some unspecified crime involving Trump.

"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 said.

"Cohen denied committing various fraudulent acts that he has pleaded guilty to in federal court", the letter said, point to Cohen saying that he "never defrauded any bank".

"You've claimed that you've lied but you're not a liar", said Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.

He said he feared that if Mr Trump loses the the election in 2020 "there will never be a peaceful transition of power".

"The good news is on the underlying campaign finance charge, that the payments to Stormy Daniels were a campaign finance violation", Mr Christie told 7.30. "You have heard him call poorer countries 'shitholes.' In private, he is even worse", Cohen testified.

Cohen said nothing happened within the Trump Organization without Trump knowing about it. He said the check was one of 11 installment checks. Cohen testified that Manhattan federal prosecutors, for example, are probing other alleged crimes, with his help.

All the while, Republicans portrayed the hearing as a sham, motivated by animus against the president, with Cohen's mere presence in the hearing room serving as proof. It was evidently of Mr. Trump and a woman, presumably Mrs. Trump?

It's not immediately clear what evidence Cohen has to support the allegation or how legally problematic this claim might be for Trump.

Cohen grew visibly emotional at the end of the hearing as Cummings thanked him for coming.

  • Joey Payne