Here Are the Key Moments From Michael Cohen's Opening Statement

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Michael Cohen is testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Committee today, and after some squabbling between Republican Rep. Mark Meadows and Democratic chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, he delivered an explosive opening statement where he labeled President Trump a “racist,” a “conman,” and a “cheat.”

Among other allegations, Cohen said that Trump arranged for a bidder to buy a portrait of himself for $60,000, and then reimbursed the bidder from his own charitable foundation. He also alleged that Trump had him threaten his high school and college to not release his grades or SAT scores. “Lying for Mr. Trump was normalized, and no one around him questioned it,” Cohen said.

Cohen also recalled a conversation with Trump which bears a striking similarity to his alleged comments about “shithole countries” in Africa and Central America. “He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a shithole,” Cohen said. “This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States.”


Rather hilariously, Cohen also said that Trump told him his son, Donald Trump Jr., “had the worst judgment of anyone in the world.”

Since his opening statement, Cohen has come under a barrage of attacks from House Republicans, particularly Meadows and ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan. The hearing is expected to continue well into this afternoon.

Video courtesy of C-SPAN and Deadspin’s Dan McQuade.