When Michael Cohen testified in open session to Congress last week, his allegations of abhorrent conduct by his former client President Donald Trump and evidence of his potential crimes clearly rattled the White House and its allies.
One particularly damning moment came when, on the topic of Cohen’s own campaign finance crime, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) asked, “Are you telling us, Mr. Cohen, that the president directed transactions in conspiracy with Allen Weisselberg and his son Donald Trump Jr. as part of a criminal conspiracy of financial fraud?” Khanna asked. “Is that your testimony today?”
“Yes,” Cohen said.
And Cohen has continued to testify to multiple congressional committees behind closed doors, and according to Democrats who have been in those hearings, the worst might be yet to come for the president — and potentially, his family.
“Once the transcript becomes public and the other documents become public, there’s going to be new revelations that will be, frankly, as explosive if not more so than what we heard in the open hearing,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on CNN Thursday.
She said that the transcript will be released within a month or so. She indicated that the additional testimony may cast light on to what extent Trump’s lawyers had a hand in crafting Cohen’s false testimony about the Trump Tower Moscow deal, a crime for which he has pleaded guilty.
Speaking MSNBC, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) was even more explicit about what Cohen’s sealed testimony could mean.
“From what I heard, I believe that there will still be more indictments to come,” he said. “I think that the information I heard leads me to believe members of the President’s family could be in legal jeopardy. So I think there’s still a good bit of investigation to do. And I also think that we’ll probably see more prosecutions.”
There also continue to be questions and conflicting reports about whether Trump dangled a pardon to Cohen or if Cohen asked for a pardon. Cohen testified to Congress under penalty of perjury that he never asked Trump for a pardon, but his lawyer Lanny Davis later clarified that Cohen did direct his attorneys to discuss the matter with Trump’s legal team. Because of this apparent discrepancy, some have suggested Cohen might have perjured himself.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), though, said Thursday on MSNBC that Cohen cleared up these statements in the closed-door testimony, and that once the transcript will be released, observers should be satisfied with his answers.