Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET on February 27
In written testimony ahead of a hearing conducted by the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen delivered a series of bombshells that could transform the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Cohen’s testimony, at less than 4,000 words, doesn’t change the fundamental picture so much as fill in essential gaps. Cohen said that Trump was informed of conversations with WikiLeaks about releasing emails related to Hillary Clinton—something the president has denied. Cohen presented a copy of a check reimbursing him for hush money, dated August 2017. While Cohen has already implicated Trump in a violation of campaign-finance law in court pleadings, that check places the crime during Trump’s presidency. Cohen alleged that he lied to Congress at Trump’s direction, though by his own account the direction was implicit. Finally, Cohen claimed that Trump was aware of a meeting at Trump Tower between campaign officials, including his son and son-in-law, and Russians in June 2016.
And those are only the most legally consequential claims. Cohen also said that Trump has made flagrantly racist comments about black people. He provided documentation backing up reporting in the press that Trump used money from his charitable foundation to purchase an oil painting of himself. Of all the news, the thing that might personally enrage Trump the most is that Cohen produced documents showing that Trump’s net worth a few years ago was much smaller than he said publicly—a topic that infuriates the president.