In day-long testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney, made several devastating revelations about the president — revelations that portend a new era of accountability for the president and his close associates. It was a big day, but it is only the first of many.
Mr. Cohen’s claims, if true, add to the evidence that Mr. Trump and his campaign had prior knowledge that Russia may have been interfering in the 2016 election and did nothing to stop it. Mr. Cohen testified that he was in Mr. Trump’s office when Roger Stone called and told Mr. Trump that he had just spoken with Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, who told Mr. Stone that “there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
Those emails were hacked by members of Russian military intelligence and shared with WikiLeaks, and the first release occurred precisely when Mr. Stone apparently told Mr. Trump they would be. During the same period, the Trump campaign sought or accepted multiple meetings with Russia-linked individuals who claimed to have damaging information about Ms. Clinton. If there was “no collusion,” as Mr. Trump so frequently claims, it was not for lack of trying.
But Mr. Cohen’s most damaging revelations related to Mr. Trump’s personal involvement in a potential criminal conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws and cover up those offenses. This possible conspiracy was the subject of a comprehensive report issued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the watchdog organization that I direct. In the report, we detail how Mr. Trump could be personally liable for unlawful campaign contributions in the form of payments involving Mr. Cohen to silence women who claimed that they had affairs with Mr. Trump. These potential violations are no small matter. Rather, they appear to have been committed for the purpose of suppressing negative stories about a central issue of the campaign: Mr. Trump’s attitudes toward and alleged mistreatment of women.
Mr. Cohen testified there was “no doubt” that Mr. Trump knew what these payments were for, that candidate Trump directed him to “use my own personal funds from a home equity line of credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign.” The decision to pay Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, for her silence directly followed the revelation of an “Access Hollywood” video in which Mr. Trump claimed that he sexually assaulted women. Mr. Cohen testified that Mr. Trump decided to make the payment to Ms. Clifford because Mr. Trump worried that a second scandal would negatively affect his chances of winning the election.
The most compelling evidence produced by Mr. Cohen on Wednesday was not anything he said but two documents he produced: copies of two ,000 checks he received in 2017, one signed by Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and Donald Trump Jr., the other by President Trump. With these and nine other payments over the course of that year, Mr. Cohen was “reimbursed” by the Trump Organization and President Trump for the money that Mr. Cohen spent to pay Ms. Clifford for her silence. The payments also included a ,000 bonus for Mr. Cohen — presumably a reward for his loyalty.
These checks are key. They corroborate Mr. Cohen’s testimony and provide hard evidence that Mr. Trump and senior executives at the Trump Organization knew of and committed overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy to violate campaign finance law and cover up those violations. Additionally, the checks are evidence that Mr. Trump knowingly made a false statement when he failed to report his liability to Mr. Cohen on his personal financial disclosure form in June 2017. This potential felony was committed while Mr. Trump was president.
Mr. Cohen explained he was confident that Mr. Trump would repay him the 1,000 that Mr. Cohen borrowed in his own name, quoting a conversation he had with Mr. Trump in the White House in February 2017. Mr. Cohen testified that President Trump said: “Don’t worry, Michael, your January and February reimbursement checks are coming. They were FedExed from New York and it takes a while for that to get through the White House system.”
Mr. Trump’s intent to influence the election by directing these contributions would be a crucial part of any potential prosecution for felony campaign finance violations. Mr. Cohen’s testimony is substantial, powerful evidence that President Trump understood he had a liability to Mr. Cohen from the beginning of his presidency and that Mr. Trump acted with the requisite intent to be subjected to prosecution for criminal campaign finance violations.
Although Mr. Cohen’s credibility repeatedly came under attack by the president’s allies on the committee, there are many reasons to trust what Mr. Cohen said today. Many of his most important claims were backed by documents, and federal prosecutors in Manhattan have access to millions of records and at least 12 recordings of Mr. Trump that were seized in searches of Mr. Cohen’s office, home and hotel room last spring. After his prosecutions, Mr. Cohen knows well the costs of lying.
Our constitutional order is set up to instill within every citizen a belief that public service is, at base, a public trust. Mr. Cohen’s testimony adds to the growing evidence that President Trump violated that sacred trust by failing to report foreign interference in the 2016 election, by violating federal campaign finance law to win the 2016 election and by lying to the American people and their government to cover up those offenses after he became president. What consequences should follow as these and other facts are established is as much a question for Congress and the American people as it is for federal prosecutors.
Noah Bookbinder is the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
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【不】【过】【接】【下】【来】【发】【生】【的】【事】【情】，【出】【乎】【了】【叶】【天】【凡】【的】【意】【料】，【不】【过】【也】【在】【情】【理】【之】【中】。 【叶】【天】【凡】【看】【到】，【那】【些】【暴】【露】【在】【煞】【气】【中】【的】【火】【剑】，【在】【以】【肉】【眼】【可】【见】【的】【速】【度】，【被】【腐】【蚀】【着】。 【这】【样】【下】【去】，【不】【出】【两】【分】【钟】，【这】【个】【魔】【人】【就】【能】【够】【挣】【脱】【这】【几】【个】【火】【剑】。 【叶】【天】【凡】【看】【到】【这】【种】【情】【况】，【赶】【紧】【又】【加】【了】【几】【只】【火】【剑】，【然】【后】【赶】【紧】【朝】【着】【这】【个】【房】【间】【查】【探】【了】【起】【来】。 【不】【过】【每】【隔】
【百】【水】【水】【立】【刻】【伸】【出】【手】，“【阵】【法】—【格】【挡】。” 【格】【挡】【住】【了】【那】【个】【妖】【怪】【之】【后】，【百】【水】【水】【看】【到】【那】【个】【妖】【怪】【处】【于】【邪】【化】【的】【状】【态】，【它】【的】【身】【上】【散】【发】【着】【阴】【暗】【的】【气】【息】，【双】【眼】【通】【红】。 【这】【是】【一】【邪】【化】【后】【的】【狼】【妖】。 【青】【阑】【看】【到】【这】【个】【妖】【怪】【的】【时】【候】【不】【禁】【感】【慨】，“【它】【倒】【是】【挺】【帅】【气】。” 【百】【水】【水】【听】【到】【青】【阑】【的】【话】【后】【有】【些】【无】【语】，“【谁】【让】【你】【夸】【赞】【他】【了】？” “【阵】【法】—
【说】【完】，【莫】【桑】【桑】【便】【有】【些】【紧】【张】【的】【瞪】【着】【冷】【夜】【爵】，【大】【有】【一】【副】【你】【不】【答】【应】【我】【今】【天】【就】【在】【这】【里】【不】【走】【了】【的】【样】【式】。 【冷】【夜】【爵】【轻】【笑】【一】【声】，【重】【新】【恢】【复】【了】【懒】【散】【的】【模】【样】。 【他】【鼻】【腔】【中】【发】【出】【淡】【淡】【的】“【嗯】”，【算】【是】【同】【意】【了】。 【为】【了】【表】【示】【自】【己】【不】【会】【再】【揍】【人】，【冷】【夜】【爵】【后】【退】【一】【步】，【双】【手】【插】【入】【裤】【袋】，【懒】【懒】【的】【靠】【在】【墙】【上】。 【只】【是】【在】【莫】【桑】【桑】【没】【有】【发】【现】【的】【情】【况】【下】，【那】香港东方心经2017“【可】【是】【大】【哥】，【一】【个】【人】【是】【好】，【是】【坏】，【如】【何】【分】【得】【清】？” 【顾】【掬】【尘】【苦】【笑】，【她】【也】【分】【不】【清】【啊】。【她】【要】【是】【能】【分】【得】【清】。【也】【不】【至】【于】【到】【现】【在】【也】【没】【弄】【清】【前】【世】【里】【倒】【底】【有】【哪】【些】【人】【参】【与】【了】【鲁】【国】【公】【家】【的】【灭】【门】【惨】【案】【了】。【人】【心】【叵】【测】。【这】【人】【之】【心】，【不】【但】【旁】【人】【看】【不】【清】，【有】【时】【自】【己】【都】【难】【以】【把】【握】。【所】【谓】【一】【念】【成】【佛】，【一】【念】【成】【魔】【便】【是】【如】【此】。 “【大】【哥】【也】【分】【不】【清】……【用】【脑】【子】
【她】【过】【去】【时】，【姜】【茴】【已】【经】【在】【翘】【首】【以】【盼】，【接】【过】【她】【递】【来】【的】【文】【件】【后】【就】【想】【打】【开】，【卿】【颜】【抬】【手】【按】【住】【她】【要】【打】【开】【文】【件】【袋】【的】【手】【说】【道】“【别】【看】。” 【姜】【茴】【神】【情】【微】【愣】，【看】【清】【她】【眼】【底】【的】【神】【色】，【担】【心】【会】【引】【起】【卿】【颜】【的】【难】【堪】，【姜】【茴】【最】【终】【没】【有】【打】【开】【文】【件】【袋】。 【她】【郑】【重】【的】【对】【卿】【颜】【说】【道】“【这】【份】【文】【件】【我】【会】【让】【靳】【垣】【转】【交】【给】【弗】【兰】·【艾】【利】【斯】。” 【卿】【颜】【东】【西】【交】【给】【她】【都】，【就】【不】
【康】【特】【助】【拿】【出】【纸】【巾】【擦】【了】【擦】【自】【己】【的】【核】【桃】【眼】，【忽】【然】【他】【睁】【大】【了】【眼】【睛】【定】【定】【地】【看】【着】【远】【处】。 “【发】【什】【么】【呆】【啊】？” 【方】【达】【不】【经】【意】【地】【随】【着】【他】【的】【目】【光】【看】【去】，【他】【的】【眼】【睛】【也】“【唰】”【地】【一】【下】【子】【睁】【大】【了】。 “【那】，【那】【是】【老】【夫】【人】【吧】？”【方】【达】【被】【自】【己】【看】【到】【的】【情】【景】【吓】【成】【了】【结】【巴】。 【天】【哪】！【他】【看】【到】【了】【什】【么】？！ 【他】【居】【然】【看】【到】【老】【夫】【人】【迈】【着】【魔】【鬼】【的】【步】【伐】【手】【里】