Sarbanes Questions Former Trump Personal Attorney Michael Cohen at Oversight Hearing

Congressman Sarbanes Pressed Cohen on Wide Range of Issues, Including Lying for President Trump and Shady Activities Conducted by the Trump Inaugural Committee


Feb 27, 2019
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) questioned Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, about a wide range of issues, including lying for the President when appearing before Congressional investigators.

“Did you have a reaction to why there might not have been, in a sense, a protest to what was going to be false testimony that was going to be provided?” asked Congressman Sarbanes.

Cohen answered: “No, sir, because the goal was to stay on message – which was, ‘limit the relationship whatsoever with Russia.’ It was ‘there’s no Russian contacts, there’s no Russian collusion, there’s no Russian deals.’ That’s the message. That’s the same message that existed well before my need to come and testify.”

Sarbanes continued: “It’s an example of where this idea, this mentality of ‘you toe the line’ – whatever the storyline or the narrative of the day, or the month, or the year is going to be. You toe that line, whether it results in false testimony or not.”

See below for video of the exchange.

Congressman Sarbanes also questioned Cohen about media reports suggesting that the Trump Inaugural Committee and Trump Organization engaged in illegal activities.

“I’m interested in some of the activities around the Inaugural Committee, the Inauguration of the President,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “There was an article that appeared in ProPublica, a watch dog group, about some negotiation on pricing of things at the Trump Hotel, where it looks like the rental that was being quoted was substantial – even double of what you would expect to pay according to what the market should bear. In a sense, the Trump Hotel was up-charging to the Inaugural Committee.”

Sarbanes asked: “So I’m just curious, do you have a sense of whether that kind of practice is something that is consistent or inconsistent? Is it possible that that kind of up-charging could be done inside a Trump operation?”

Cohen replied: “It did happen. All I can say to you is I wasn’t a part of the Inaugural Committee. I raised a lot of money for the Inauguration, but I was not part of it. And there was a lot of things and that issue is something that also obviously we read about in the paper, is being investigated at the current moment.”

See below for the full exchange.