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

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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:

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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