Michael Cohen testifies before Congress

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Amanda Wills, CNN

Updated 6:55 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019
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12:51 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Cohen points out that members are not asking about Trump

Michael Cohen pointed out that many committee members had not asked about President Trump during his testimony today.

The remarks came in an exchange with Republican Congressman Jim Jordan.

"All I wanted to say is I just find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues that not one question so far since I'm here has been asked about President Trump. That's actually why I thought I was coming today. Not to confess the mistakes that I've made," Cohen said.

He went on to say that he's already talked about his mistakes.

"Yes, I've made mistakes and I'll say it now again and I'll pay the ultimate price and I am not here today and the American people don't care about my they want to know what it is that I know about Mr. Trump and not one question so far has been asked about Mr. Trump," Cohen said.

Watch the video here:

12:38 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Here's why GOP Rep. Jim Jordan gets to keep asking questions

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you're following today's hearing closely, you'll notice that GOP Rep. Jim Jordan is asking a lot of questions.

While every member on the committee gets five minutes to ask questions, they can also elect to yield some — or all — of that time to another member.

Many Republican representatives are giving their time to Jordan, the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.

Jordan and Cohen have exchanged several tense moments during this hearing. Earlier, Cohen even said, "Shame on you Mr. Jordan," after he claimed the congressman mischaracterized his testimony.

12:25 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Cohen: I am partially responsible for "silly" behavior in Congress today

Michael Cohen said he protected Trump for a decade, but multiple factors contributed to his decision to start telling the truth, including "psyche, Charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility."

He said he's partially responsible for the "silly" behavior in Congress today.

"I'm responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you're doing now for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years," he said.
12:27 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

People are watching the Cohen testimony at this DC bar

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

Meet the youngest Michael Cohen watch party viewer: 18-month-old Penelope, (accompanied by her mother Emily Fisher).

While Duffy’s Irish Pub’s two dozen patrons sipped coffee, Guinness, cans of beer and the bar’s specially crafted “Flipper Cocktail” at 11 a.m., Penelope sat in her mother’s lap, sipping milk, munching on Goldfish and drawing with colorful markers.

Fisher lives in the area and while she had already read Cohen’s testimony last night, she wanted to visit a favorite local watering hole to “just see my neighbors and patronize a local business. It’s such a DC thing,” she said of the Wednesday morning watch party.

“This stuff is like candy to me,” Fisher said.

The pair called it a day just before noon — it was almost naptime, Fisher said.

“I don’t love that I’m at a bar at 10 a.m. hearing testimony about the President calling places shitholes.” Fisher said. “It’s not my dream for her as a child in the world.”

“But I’m also not going to cry about it,” Fisher added. “We’ll go to a park this afternoon and make up for it.”

Lauren Dezenski
Lauren Dezenski

3:31 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

GOP congressman calls Cohen "a pathological liar" 

 

In a heated exchange, Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, called Michael Cohen "a pathological liar."

"No one should ever listen to you and give you credibility. It's sad," he said.

At one point, Cohen chimed in to ask: "Are you referring to me or the President?"

Here's how the exchange went:

Gosar: You are a disgraced lawyer. We've been disbarred. I'm sure you remember, maybe you don't remember, duty of loyalty, duty of confidentiality, attorney-client privilege. I think the gentleman over your right side actually understands that very, very well and wouldn't do what you are doing here today. So let's go back at this credibility. You want us to make sure that we think of you as a real philanthropic icon, that you're about justice that you're the person that someone would call at 3:00 in the morning. No, they wouldn't. Not at all. We saw Mr. Comer dissect you right in front of this committee you conflicted your testimony, sir. You're a pathological liar. You don't know truth from falsehood. 

Cohen: Sir, I'm sorry. Are you referring to me or the President? 

Gosar: Hey, this is my time. 

Cohen: Are you referring to me, sir or the President? 

Gosar: When I ask a question I'll ask for an answer. 

Watch the moment below:

12:13 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Russian state TV aired some of Cohen's testimony

From CNN's Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Russian state TV "Rossiya 24”, which rarely covers Trump-related investigations in much detail, broadcasted some of Michael Cohen’s testimony live today, including questions about potential collusion and the Trump Tower Moscow deal.

"Among all accusations, the most important one, that started it all, the suspicion of collusion with Russia — well, Cohen does not have evidence of that which he started directly,” reporter Alexander Khristenko said during Rossiya 24's coverage.

The network also focused on the Republican attack-line against Trump, that is not a credible witness due to his previous lies to Congress. For any viewers in Moscow, the Cohen hearing is unfolding in primetime, on Wednesday night.

Many other international networks are also airing Cohen live, including Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, France 24 and CBC.

12:06 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Cohen says his lawyer is representing him for free (for now)

Michael Cohen, responding to questions about who is paying his lawyer Lanny Davis, said he is working for free.

Rep. Jody Hice asked if liberal activist Tom Steyer is paying for Davis to represent Cohen.

"Not that I'm aware of," Cohen responded.

Here's how the rest of the exchange went down:

Hice: "Who is paying Lanny Davis? 

Cohen: "At the moment, no one."

Hice: "He is doing all this work for nothing?"

Cohen: "Yes, sir, and I hope so."

Later, Rep. Jim Jordan asked if Cohen plans to pay Davis in the future.

"When I start to earn a living," Cohen responded.

Jordan said he has "never known a lawyer to wait three years to get paid."

12:00 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Cohen says Trump inflated his assets to be on the Forbes list of richest people

Michael Cohen said President Trump inflated his assets to be on the Forbes list of richest people, but deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

Cohen described how that process went down in this exchange with Rep. Lacy Clay:

Clay: To your knowledge, did the President or his company ever inflate assets or revenues? 

Cohen: Yes. 

Clay: Was that done with the President's knowledge or direction? 

Cohen: Everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of Mr. Trump. 

Clay: Tell us why he would do that and what purpose did it serve. 

Cohen: It depends upon the situation. There were times that I was asked, again with Allen Weisselberg, the CFO, to go back to speak with an individual from Forbes, because Mr. Trump wanted each year to have his net worth rise on the Forbes wealthiest individuals list. And so what you do is you look at the assets and you try to find an asset that has say, for example, 40 Wall Street, which is about 1.2 million square feet. 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. Or if you're going off of your rent roll, go by the gross rent roll times a multiple and you make up the multiple which is something he had talked about. It's based upon what he wanted to value the asset at. 

Watch more: CNN's Chris Cillizza explains how Cohen became Trump’s worst enemy:

12:54 p.m. ET, February 27, 2019

Watch the stunning exchange between Cohen and Rep. Mark Meadows about racism

In his questioning, GOP Rep. Mark Meadows introduced a guest he brought to today's hearing: Lynne Patton, a high-ranking political official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In a stunning exchange, Meadows claimed Patton, who is black, doesn't agree with Cohen's assessment that Trump is a racist, since she was hired to work for him.

Cohen responded that — by that logic — he also should not work for the President. Cohen is the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Meadows: Mr. Cohen, do you know Lynne Patton? 

Cohen: Yes, I do. 

Meadows: I asked Lynn to come today in her personal capacity to shed some light. How long have you known Ms. Patton? 

Cohen: I'm responsible for Ms. Patton joining the Trump organization in the job that she currently holds. 

Meadows: Well, I'm glad you acknowledge that because you made some very demeaning comments about the President that Ms. Patton doesn't agree with. In fact, it has to do with your claim of racism. She says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist. How do you reconcile the two of those? 

Cohen: And neither should I as the son of a Holocaust survivor. 

Watch the exchange here: