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

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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:

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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