Michael Cohen’s Explosive Opening Statement: Trump Is a “Racist” and a “Con Man”

He also alleged that Trump knew in advance that WikiLeaks would be releasing hacked DNC emails.

Bryan Smith/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and longtime fixer, on Wednesday delivered devastating testimony against his former boss, branding him a “racist” and “con man” with a long record of lying to the American public.

“I am ashamed of my weakness and my misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him,” Cohen told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is: He is a racist, he is a con man, and he is a cheat.”

Cohen’s opening remarks included the explosive allegation that Trump knew in advance of WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election. The opening statement, which was nothing short of damning for the president, also detailed Trump’s alleged history of inflating his wealth and racist comments.

“Mr. Trump is a racist,” Cohen said. “The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call foreign countries ‘shitholes.’ In private, he is even worse.”

Cohen will begin his three-year prison sentence on May 6.

You can read Cohen’s prepared statement below:

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.