Politics

White House: Cohen Testimony Of Alleged Trump Crimes ‘Laughable’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images and Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed former presidential counsel Michael Cohen’s forthcoming appearance before the House Oversight Committee in a Tuesday morning statement.

Cohen will testify Tuesday and describe the president’s direct role in arranging a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels — born Stephanie Clifford — in the latter month of the campaign, people familiar with the testimony told TheWSJ and TheNYT.

Cohen will also describe other alleged attempts by Trump to manipulate his net worth and using racist language.  (RELATED: Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Charge In Mueller Probe)

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney, walks to the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s attorney … (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements. Sadly, he will go before Congress this week, and we can expect more of the same. It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies,” Sanders said in a statement.

Cohen pleaded guilty in the southern district to knowingly working with Trump to circumvent campaign finance law, evading taxes and making false statements to Congress on the nature of a Trump Tower Moscow project. Prosecutors targeting Cohen told the court that the aim of the payments to Daniels and McDougal were made to hide his affairs.

Previous court filings allege that Trump worked with Cohen to circumvent campaign finance law when directing payments to two women, including Daniels, threatening to go public with affair allegations against the then-presidential candidate.

The payments were later disclosed by Trump in a May 2018 financial disclosure form. The president noted that if his payments to the two women were campaign finance violations, it was his Cohen’s error — not his own.

Presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani tweeted after Cohen’s December guilty plea that “the payments to Daniels and McDougall do not violate the law. Congress has spent millions settling sexual harassment claims against members which are not reported as campaign contributions. Why aren’t those Congressmen under investigation.”

Giuliani also issued a statement at the time calling Cohen a “liar” and that he was concocting stories to try and get out of serving time in federal prison.