Five Takeaways From Cohen’s Testimony to Congress
Michael D. Cohen made it personal.
迈克尔·科恩(Michael D. Cohen)发起了人身攻击。
In sworn testimony on Wednesday to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, he painted President Trump, the man he used to revere, as a con man, a cheat and a racist.
周三，在众议院监管和政府改革委员会(House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)的宣誓证词中，他将自己曾经尊敬的特朗普总统描绘成骗子、作弊者和种族主义者。
His words were blunt, salacious and outlined a vivid bill of particulars against the president of the United States.Mr. Cohen offered new details into Trump World, namely that Mr. Trump directed him to lie about a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and he implicated the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and the chief financial officer of Mr. Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, in the arrangement of those payments. Mr. Cohen also said that people around the president were involved in persuading Mr. Cohen to change the date he gave about when the discussions for a Moscow-based Trump Tower project ended during the 2016 presidential campaign, an assertion that one of the president’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, denounced as “completely false.”
他用直白、猥亵的言辞概述了一份针对美国总统的详情诉状，内容活色生香。科恩提供了关于特朗普世界大厦(Trump World)的新细节，即特朗普指示他在对艳星“风暴丹尼尔斯”(Stormy Daniels)的封口费一事上撒谎；他还暗示，特朗普的长子小唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump Jr.)以及特朗普公司首席财务官艾伦·魏塞尔贝格(Allen Weisselberg)参与了款项的安排。科恩还称，总统身边的人参与劝说科恩更改他给出的有关2016年总统大选期间，在莫斯科建特朗普大厦项目的谈判结束日期，这一声明被特朗普的律师之一杰伊·塞库洛(Jay Sekulow)谴责为“子虚乌有”。
“I have fixed things, but I am no longer your ‘fixer,’ Mr. Trump,” Mr. Cohen said.
Here are some key takeaways from Mr. Cohen’s testimony.
The president faces peril having nothing to do with Russia.
Mr. Cohen’s testimony did not provide conclusive proof that incriminates the president on possible collusion with Russia. On another matter, though — one that is the province of federal prosecutors in New York and not that of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III — Mr. Cohen’s testimony and documents could prove far more damaging.
科恩的证词未提供确凿证据，显示总统在涉嫌与俄罗斯勾结一事上有罪。但在另一件事上，科恩的证词和文件可能会造成更大的损害，尽管那属于纽约联邦检察官，而不是特别检察官罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III)的职权范围。
Mr. Cohen said the president had firsthand knowledge of the payment made to Ms. Daniels, just before Election Day in 2016, that were part of an effort to silence her from talking about a sexual encounter she said she had with Mr. Trump. Acting at the president’s direction, he said he procured a home-equity loan to pay Ms. Daniels $130,000. But Mr. Cohen also gave the committee documentary evidence: a copy of a check dated Aug. 1, 2017, for $35,000 from Mr. Trump’s personal bank account that bore Mr. Trump’s signature. Mr. Cohen said the check was one of 11 installments that the president made to reimburse him.
Perhaps more important, Mr. Cohen said that the president directed him to lie about Mr. Trump’s knowledge of the payment to Ms. Daniels.
Possible conspiracy with Russians remains on the table.
Mr. Cohen testified that Mr. Trump, on at least a half-dozen occasions in 2016, asked questions about negotiations over building a Trump Tower in Moscow. “Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Mr. Cohen said in his opening statement.
But Mr. Cohen said that Mr. Trump did not explicitly instruct him to lie about the matter. Rather, as one who worked for Mr. Trump for nearly a decade, Mr. Cohen said he understood the president’s directions without specific words, saying Mr. Trump spoke in “code,” and he understood “the code.” He added that the president’s lawyers reviewed Mr. Cohen’s false statements to Congress about the Moscow project.
Mr. Cohen offered just enough strands of information, though, to keep the Russia issue very much alive, and to invite additional scrutiny from congressional Democrats, possibly even involving the president’s children. “To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations through the campaign and lied about it,” Mr. Cohen said.
He cited a meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower in Manhattan with Russians who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. At the meeting, he said, were Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman. Mr. Cohen also suggested that Mr. Trump knew about the meeting, something that the president has denied.
他提起2016年6月在曼哈顿特朗普大厦与俄罗斯人的会面，后者声称掌握了希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)的“污点”。他说，参加会议的有小唐纳德·特朗普、总统的女婿贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)，还有特朗普竞选团队主席保罗·马纳福特(Paul Manafort)。科恩表示，特朗普知道这次会面，但总统否认了这一点。
He added that Mr. Trump knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to divulge thousands of emails stolen from Democrats. He said that Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime Trump adviser, told Mr. Trump that he had talked with the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who said there would be a “massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
他还说，特朗普事先知道，维基解密将泄露从民主党那里窃取的数千封电子邮件。他说，特朗普的长期顾问小罗杰·J·斯通(Roger J. Stone Jr.)告诉特朗普，他已经和维基解密的创始人朱利安·阿桑奇(Julian Assange)谈过，阿桑奇说，届时会有“大量损害希拉里·克林顿竞选活动的电子邮件”。
According to Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump responded, “Wouldn’t that be great.”
Mr. Cohen explains the role of “a fixer.”
The term “fixer” evokes movies or novels about organized crime, men in dark coats and heavy beards who make problems go away. Mr. Cohen provided a nonfiction account of that role, which he played for Mr. Trump, a man for whom Mr. Cohen once said he would take a bullet.
Mr. Cohen explained to members of Congress the concept of “catch and kill,” a method of stopping a negative article before it is published, in this case by working with the company that owns The National Enquirer. Other duties, he said, included writing threatening letters to schools, warning them against the release of Mr. Trump’s academic records, and paying off a woman with compromising information about a presidential candidate.
科恩向国会议员解释了“捕杀”(catch and kill)的概念，这是一种在负面文章发表之前就阻止它的方法， 具体方式是与拥有《国民问询》(National Enquirer)的公司合作。他说，其他工作还包括给学校写恐吓信，警告他们不要公布特朗普的学业成绩，以及向一名可能提供总统候选人不利信息的女性行贿。
“That was my job,” Mr. Cohen said. “Always stay on message. Always defend. It monopolized my life.”
Cohen savaged Trump’s character.
Not content to talk only about a possible conspiracy and payoffs to Ms. Daniels, Mr. Cohen also offered a damnable assessment of Mr. Trump’s character. He said that he made bigoted remarks about African-Americans in the United States and about predominantly black nations.
He said Mr. Trump boasted about inflating assets when it served him, and about understating values when it helped to lower his taxes. He also carried out orders from Mr. Trump to tell contractors that Mr. Trump was refusing to pay them the money owed “for their services.”
About avoiding Vietnam through a medical deferment, Mr. Cohen said Mr. Trump told him, “You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”
Mr. Cohen did offer one important piece of exculpatory information for the president. He said that despite many rumors, he knew of no tape from an elevator that showed Mr. Trump hitting his wife, Melania.
A retreat to tribal corners.
Mr. Cohen’s testimony will reinforce the partisan divide over the president. Whether it will be regarded as seminal in the investigation is an open question.
The performance of the members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, are unlikely to leave a mark. Mr. Cohen tried to warn Republicans that they, today, were just like he once was: a supplicant to Mr. Trump. They responded by questioning why they should listen to a man convicted of lying.
The questions fell along party lines. Few members seemed to have done deep research to elicit new information, and the polarization of the era was on vivid display.