Cohen reveals new probe of Trump by prosecutors — and 5 other takeaways from his testimony

on Feb27
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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, spent hours on Wednesday taking questions from the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

After his striking prepared remarks came out late Tuesday, political analysts were bracing for fresh revelations in his Q&A with lawmakers.

See live blog and video of Cohen testimony

Here are six takeaways from what we heard in the back-and-forth from Cohen, who is set to serve time in prison for lying to Congress in 2017.

1. New probe of Trump by prosecutors revealed

In response to a question about his last conversation with Trump or Team Trump, Cohen declined to comment as follows: “This topic is something that’s currently being investigated right now by the Southern District of New York.”

That remark came during an exchange with Illinois Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who then followed up with this question: “Is there any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven’t yet discussed today?”

“Yes,” Cohen said. “And again, those are part of the investigation that’s currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.”

2. A Cohen book or movie could be in the works

North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx accused Cohen of using his testimony for his own personal benefit, like getting book or movie deals.

She asked him to promise that he won’t pursue a deal along those lines, and Cohen refused to do so. He also refused to promise he wouldn’t run for office.

In an exchange with Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark Green, Cohen said he could make a note of what actor the congressman wants portraying him. That drew a chuckle from Green during the mostly tense hearing. GOP lawmakers repeatedly said Cohen’s past actions didn’t make him seem like a credible witness.

3. Cohen hints at other payments of hush money

Cohen’s testimony raised fresh questions about Trump ally David Pecker, the CEO of National Enquirer’s parent company. That company, American Media Inc., has admitted to making hush-money payments on Trump’s behalf to Karen McDougal during the 2016 presidential to quash her allegations about an affair.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin asked if Pecker had done this in “other cases of other mistresses or women.”

“Other circumstances, yes,” Cohen said. “Not all of them had to do with women.”

4. Cohen says Trump-Sater documents probably in a box somewhere

Cohen talked about the Trump Organization’s ties to mob-linked operator Felix Sater, following questioning from California Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda.

Cohen alleged that Trump lied while under oath in 2013 when he said he didn’t know Sater well. He also said business records that show links between Sater and Trump are probably in a box at an offsite Trump Organization storage facility.

5. Cohen’s ‘Truth in Testimony Disclosure Form’ questioned

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, a Trump ally and head of the conservative Freedom Caucus, questioned how Cohen had filled out a “Truth in Testimony Disclosure Form” ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

The congressman blasted Cohen for not disclosing dealings with foreign entities on the form, but California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill later said at the hearing that witnesses just need to disclose contracts with a foreign government, not all overseas entities.

6. No trip to Prague

Cohen has faced an allegation, which surfaced in the infamous “dossier” of former British spy Christopher Steele, that he was in Prague in 2016 basically to serve as a liaison between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

But Cohen during this hearing said: “I’ve never been to Prague.”

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