March 7 (UPI) — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, gave members of the House intelligence committee documents he says prove that his statements to Congress in 2017 were edited by the president’s current lawyer.
Cohen provided the documents and emails during a closed-door hearing Wednesday, unnamed sources at the hearing told multiple media outlets, including ABC News and CNBC.
Cohen said the documents show that Jay Sekulow edited portions of his statement to the House and Senate intelligence committees discussing the length of negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. He submitted the statements to the committees prior to his testimony.
His original testimony stated the negotiations ended in January 2016, but he later said they continued after that date.
Cohen admitted in November 2018 that the statements were false and he was sentenced to three years in prison in December after pleading guilty to nine federal charges.
Sekulow denied altering Cohen’s original testimony before the committee in a statement to ABC News.
“Today’s testimony by Michael Cohen that attorneys for the President edited or changed his statement to Congress to alter the duration of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is completely false,” he said.
After the hearing, Cohen said he felt he was able to provide the committee with the information they needed from him.
“I believe that all of the members were satisfied with the statements and the responses that I gave to them,” he said.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Cohen was fully cooperative, but said there may be “additional documents he has to offer.”
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said he would “provide additional information in the future, if needed.”
Last week, Cohen testified over the course of three days for three committees about a range of issues. He primarily offered insight into what actions he performed as Trump’s attorney and how the president operates within his administration.
Cohen’s return came as congressional Democrats in the House, now as the majority party, are ramping up efforts to investigate Trump and his associates.
His appearances before the House and Senate intelligence panels last week were private, but Cohen gave dramatic testimony in a public hearing before the House oversight committee. Wednesday’s hearing also occurred in private.
Schiff, however, said he expects a transcript of Wednesday’s testimony to be released publicly once the Justice Department signs off on it.
Among Cohen’s many remarks last week is an assertion that he would not expect Trump to give up the presidency easily if he isn’t re-elected in 2020.
“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” he said. “And this is why I agreed to appear before you today.”
Also during the testimony, he called Trump a “racist,” a “con man” and a “cheat,” adding that he regretted ever working for the former New York real estate mogul. He also said Trump ordered him to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels over a purported affair.
Republicans on the panel grilled Cohen during the hours-long hearing, repeatedly pressing hard-edged questions and questioning his credibility — particularly by pointing out that he’s headed to prison for lying to Congress.
Cohen was also disbarred last week and Republican lawmakers have called for a review of his testimony to see if perjury charges are warranted.
Since the high-profile hearing last week, Trump has made repeated rejections of Cohen’s claims, tweeting at one point, “Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his [Congress] testimony. Like a different person! He is totally discredited!”
Cohen’s return Wednesday came on the day he was supposed to begin his three-year prison sentence. Shoulder surgery prompted authorities to delay the start of his sentence by two months, until May 6.