Michael Cohen Testifies Against Trump


Fox News Footage

Michael Cohen presents his case to Congress.

Kathleen Toblesky, Photojournalist

On February 27, 2019, the former lawyer and attorney of President Donald Trump stood before Congress to publicly testify against him for possible crimes the president may have committed. According to The Real Deal, Cohen stated that Trump inflated the value of his assets to insurance companies.


“Find an asset that is comparable, find the highest price per square foot that’s achieved in the area and apply it to that building,” Cohen said during his testimony. “Or, if you’re going by the rent roll, you go by the gross rent roll times a multiple — and you make up the multiple, which is something he had talked about — and it’s based upon what he wanted to value the asset at.”


As an example for the alleged asset inflation, Cohen named 40 Wall Street, which he had fixed at $524.7 million back in 2011. In this particular asset, he used comparable figures from similar properties. This is a typical industry practice; however, this does allow Trump to set the value of the asset at whatever he chooses.


In addition to asset exaggeration, he also mentioned, verbally as well as in his written testimony, Trump’s “birther” claim he had made against former President Barack Obama, in which he had said that Obama was born in Kenya, making him ineligible to the presidency, according to The Atlantic. This, of course, was proven false, but, with this, Cohen reminds Congress that Trump has lied repeatedly in order to sabotage someone’s career. With this story, Cohen labels Trump as a “con man,” “cheat,” and “racist.”


According to The Washington Examiner, Trump has also alleged to seek NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) from his staff, which would prevent them from reporting any activity that may not be entirely legal.


“Would you agree that in the use of these types of NDAs, with this type of language, and later when Donald Trump sought to enforce them, that he intended to prevent people from coming forward with claims of wrongdoing?” asked Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who had recently introduced a bill to allow Trump staff to call out any “wrongdoing” in the government even with the NDAs they had signed, to which, Cohen had answered “yes.”


As the Democrats attempt to prepare their best argument in favor of impeaching Trump, many assumed that Cohen’s testimony would be of great use in their case against him. Unfortunately for them, Cohen does have a history of lying to Congress, a rather recent one, in fact. Just last week, according to National Review, he claimed to have flipped against Trump almost two years ago in Charlottesville. This even included the stripper who had attempted to blackmail Trump, and while the president never directly told Cohen to pay him off, Cohen was not able to provide details of the debacle.


Whether or not these allegations are true, Cohen has stirred up quite a debate among both the Republicans and the Democrats. Only time will tell if this impacts Trump’s presidency.