Representatives of Fordham University on Wednesday confirmed the congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of President Donald Trump, who said he had sent letters to the president's former schools warning them against sharing his grades or other academic scores, MarketWatch reports.
Cohen himself had provided a copy of the letter to Fordham in advance of his testimony, which was dated just before the beginning of the Trump presidential campaign in 2015. Fordham officials confirmed that they received the letter and indicated that they had also been called on the phone by Cohen personally.
As The Inquisitr reported previously, Cohen in his testimony claimed to have sent such letters to not only Fordham, but also the high school Trump attended and additional schools he went to, as well as the College Board, who manages the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Trump also attended Roman Catholic University in New York City for two years and ultimately graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Neither of those schools have yet commented on the matter.
"When I say conman, I'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores," Cohen said in sworn testimony.In the letters, Cohen on behalf of Trump claimed that media outlets had been pursuing the then-candidate's academic records and forcefully reminded the schools that student records were protected by federal law. Cohen threatened to hold schools liable "to the fullest extent of the law" if the information was released.
Any violation of Trump's academic confidentiality could result in "criminal and civil liability and damages including, among other things, substantial fines, penalties and even the potential loss of government aid and other funding. This criminality will lead to jail time," Cohen wrote at the time.
Fordham spokesman Bob Howe confirmed Cohen's characterization of the letter and the phone call and indicated that the school officials confirmed at the time that they would not share or otherwise disclose the records, pursuant to existing school policy, not to mention the law.
According to Howe, Fordham received the phone call first, followed by a letter "summarizing the call and reminding us that they would take action against the university if we did, in fact, release Mr. Trump's records."
In the wake of Cohen's testimony, many have noted that Trump's insistence on privacy around his academic record carries some irony, considering the scrutiny he in the past had placed on then-president Barack Obama.
"How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it," Trump was quoted in an Associated Press story submitted to the congressional committee by Cohen. "Let him show his records."