In his testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted to helping the president allegedly commit various bad acts, including some things he referred to as crimes.
Among other things, Cohen admitted, as he previously had in court, to paying hush money payments to multiple women with whom the president had alleged affairs, including “an adult film star.” Cohen also provided a check to the committee showing that the president had given Cohen funds from his personal bank account to reimburse him for those hush payments.
When he appeared in court to plead guilty last year, Cohen told a judge that he had been directed by the president to make those payments, which may very well constitute an illegal violation of campaign finance laws.
Now, following the testimony, that adult film actress, Stormy Daniels, issued a statement.
“Michael, I’m proud of you for finally beginning to tell the truth about what you did, and trying to repair some of the harm that you have caused,” Daniels said in the statement, issued via Twitter by MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake. “I can hear the pain and regret you feel for betraying your family and your country.”
Daniels goes on in the statement to note that Cohen has now been vilified by the president and his surrogates just the way Daniels has been.
“Do you believe now that when you and the president called me a liar, when you were his attorney and you insulted me, threatend [sic] to bankrupt me and worse, that you put me and my family in danger?”
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was paid $130,000 in late 2016 after threatening to come forward with the story about her 2006 affair with the president in the waning days of that year’s presidential campaign. Cohen, while still representing Trump, first said that he had made the payment to Daniels out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by the Trump Organization or campaign.
ANOTHER WAY COHEN HURT TRUMP: The former fixer's testimony provided evidence for the claim that TRUMP, in omitting the @StormyDaniels hush $ reimbursement arrangement, knowingly falsified his 2017 financial disclosure statement, which would be a felony. https://t.co/fOjQ90MqmA— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) February 27, 2019
The explanations of the payment and reimbursement from Trump and his representatives soon began shifting, and after Cohen began cooperating with authorities, he admitted that he made the payments at the direction of Trump, something that he reiterated in his testimony before Congress Wednesday.
Cohen was asked in the hearing by Rep. Ro Khanna of California if the president, his son Donald Trump Jr., and the Trump Organization directed a criminal conspiracy in connection with the hush payments. Cohen answered “yes” (per Twitter video). When asked if the Southern District of New York prosecutors are investigating the matter, Cohen replied, “I’d rather not say.”
“Thank you for having the courage, at long last, to begin to tell the truth,” Daniels’ statement concluded. “I hope that someday soon your family and mine can both leave this nightmare behind.”