Rep. Ro Khanna Gets Michael Cohen to Implicate Trump Jr. in ‘Garden Variety Financial Fraud’

Testimony on Wednesday from Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s prison-bound ex-friend and fixer, served up plenty of major revelations about the real estate heir’s rise to the presidency. But some of the most riveting claims came in response to questions from Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna.

Instead of using his allotted five minutes to speechify, Khanna got Cohen to admit Trump and Donald Trump Jr.’s direct involvement in criminal conspiracy by zeroing in on a hush-money check which he called the “smoking gun.”

Though the elder Trump has assiduously denied it, Cohen says he was told to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a 2006 sexual encounter with the future president. Cohen says he fronted the $130,000 and was later reimbursed in installments made to look like he was being paid a legal retainer.

One of those payments was signed by Trump Jr. and Trump Org CFO Allen Weisselberg. Another—a $35,000 check signed in March 2017 by Trump himself—was submitted as an exhibit ahead of Wednesday’s testimony.

Khanna wanted to emphasize the source of those funds: a trust Trump formed before his inauguration to cede control of his business. Together, the payments pretty clearly indicate that Trump was involved in the scheme, which Khanna described as “garden variety financial fraud.” His questioning also prompted Cohen to identify Trump Jr. as the “Executive 2” mentioned in “charging documents” filed by prosecutors last year.

“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?”

Cohen answered affirmatively before divulging another new detail: that federal prosecutors are looking to answer that very question.

Watch the full exchange below.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

34 Comments

  1. > a hush-money check

    You people need to get your heads out of social media and break out of you progressive social isolation.

    “Hush money”, also known as a “non-disclosure agreement”, is NOT illegal and therefore NOT a conspiracy.

    The economy of Silicon Valley is founded on “non-disclosure agreements”.

    Tell Ro Khanna to stop being a drama queen.

    • You beat me to it. Good comment. The goal of the hearing and the goal of this article is the same. To make President Trump look bad. That’s all.

      • Trump doesn’t any help from this article or the hearing “to make him look bad” he’s doing that on his own

        • Criminal Trump isn’t just looking bad, he’s well down the road to getting indicted, him and his whole family. This is a whole lot worse than that made-up stuff that caused the Repub wing nuts to keep shouting “lock her up!”. I mean, what, some email server? Benghazi? Gimme a break.

          The US has never prosecuted a sitting president, but Americans like to say that no man is above the law. It’s time to prove it: Impeach, indict, prosecute, sentence to prison. It’s that easy, break the law, go to jail.

    • Thank you for revealing that you don’t the difference between criminal financial fraud and an NDA. If you actually were employable in Silicon Valley you would’ve known this.

  2. Now do Bill Clinton? Of course not – that would indicate this is something other than an obvious political hit job. Donald Trump may have had relations with any number of women over the course of his lifetime, and whether or not he wants to keep that info out of the public spotlight is meaningless to me.

    Hold my beer while I yawn.

  3. Hush money and an NDA are not the same thing. If Bubble ever had a job in silicon valley, she might have known that.

    All the top heads at the Trump Organization will most likely be implicated, and hopefully they’ll go to jail. Con men, shysters, liars, and rip off artists are good ways to describe them all.

    Lock him up!

    • > All the top heads at the Trump Organization will most likely be implicated, and hopefully they’ll go to jail. . . .

      SCCRezzy;

      A couple of Repubs raised the issue of Cohen violation “attorney-client privilege”. (Nothing to do with “white privilege”. Even people of color have “attorney-client privilege”.)

      Questions:

      1. Do you think “attorney-client privilege” is important?
      2. Did Cohen violate Trump’s attorney-client privilege?
      3. There were many lawyers involved in the Cohen hearing. Why didn’t the heads of all the lawyers in the hearing room explode because of Cohen’s disclosures about Trump?
      4. Does Hillary have attorney-client privilege or can the William Barr’s Justice Department raid her lawyer’s offices and force them to disclose the advice they gave to Hillary?

      • It’s pretty obvious that the current President of the United States is a felon, a racist, financial criminal. Only a matter of time, he’s going to jail. Like some of his buddies already are, including his long time personal lawyer.

        • > It’s pretty obvious that the current President of the United States is a felon, a racist, financial criminal.

          SCCRezzy:

          You’re social isolation seems to be reaching a dangerous level. Can we send you an emotional support dog or some comfort food? Or a tinfoil hat?

          • How about just sending the Trump mafia to prison, where it’s quite obvious that they belong. You’d be doing us a big favor, Bubble, if that’s all the sending you do.

      • attorney-client privilege isnt a law, its more of a Bar Assoc or Court proceeding procedure
        and Cohen has already been punished for this (dis-Barred)

        • > attorney-client privilege isnt a law, its more of a Bar Assoc or Court proceeding procedure
          and Cohen has already been punished for this (dis-Barred)

          I’m not a loy-ya, but I think you are correct.

          The way the system seems to work is that once a lawyer has been disbarred, there is no additional legal consequence to the lawyer for spewing anything and everything he knows about a former client.

          If the information a lawyer can divulge about a former client is worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, the temptations are obvious.

          This is a HORRIFIC state of affairs, and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz suggested that the consequences could be dire, and result in the destruction of the U.S. legal systems.

          Any lawyer in the Cohen hearing room whose head DIDN’T explode, should NEVER be hired for any legal work ever again.

        • In California, lawyer-client privilege certainly is a law — it’s in the Evidence Code. And it isn’t about whether a lawyer can be punished — it’s about who gets to decide whether evidence is admissible in a lawsuit. In general, if the client doesn’t want it admissible, it ain’t. You can read all about it here:
          http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=EVID&division=8.&title=&part=&chapter=4.&article=3.
          There’s also case law, and the California Supreme Court takes lawyer-client privilege very seriously.
          I don’t know much about federal law because I’ve never been in federal court.

  4. > Can we send you an emotional support dog or some comfort food? Or a tinfoil hat?

    SCCRezzy:

    My proposal to send you an emotional support dog triggered some vehement objection from dog lovers for condemning an innocent canine to a life of misery and suffering.

    Would it be OK with you if I modified my offer to substitute an emotional support lemming or an emotional support cockroach?

    • It’s your buddy Mafia Trump that will need the emotional support, once the cage door slams shut behind him. He might even need it now, think about it… his dictator friend in N Korea fell out of love with him… his long-time fixer just ratted him out… his Seven Springs masion isn’t really worth the $290 million he claimed to the banks to get a loan (which is felony bank fraud).
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/07/17/inside-seven-springs-the-lavish-mansion-where-the-trumps-spent-summers/#148b0c034fa1

      • > his Seven Springs masion isn’t really worth the $290 million he claimed to the banks to get a loan (which is felony bank fraud).

        Nonsense. Leave the appraisal or real estate to people who are investing their own money. You wouldn’t know a $290 million property from a $290 million oil painting.

        How much is an oil painting worth anyway?

        Has anyone asked your opinion on how much an oil painting is worth?

        Just mind your own business and take care of your emotional support cockroach. By the way, are you able to tell which cockroach is yours?

        • It doesn’t matter what I think. The thing is, the Trump Mafia stated to the bank that the property was worth $290M, but two years later, on the federal financial filing they are required to do, they said it was worth only $25M to $50M. Which is it? I can answer that… it’s called felony bank fraud.

          Glad to see that at least the House of Representatives, now with adults in charge, are finally doing their job of overseeing the Mafia White House.

          • > It doesn’t matter what I think.

            Correct. Your opinion doesn’t count. You’re not the legal system.

            > I can answer that…

            No. You can’t answer that.

            If you think your can, you’re hallucinating. And /or practicing law without a license.

  5. Cohen who???? For being the guy that’s going to bring down an administration he sure fell off of the front page fast. Maybe a person convicted of lying to congress shouldn’t have been the new congresses first witness. Just sayin, seems like a bad idea…

  6. Fortunately the wonderful Mr. Trump glides through the flames of leftwing malcontent and their fake investigation to continue building the wall and cutting of the supply of undocumented Democrats. Clink!

  7. “A new Hill-HarrisX poll found that just 37% of registered voters found Michael Cohen’s public testimony credible. According to The Hill’s Matthew Sheffield, ‘revelations’ from President Trump’s former personal attorney are unlikely to be a political game-changer. ”

    Good news for SCC Resident:

    37% of registered voters agree with him.

    if this holds up, it might be enough to guarantee his candidate second place in the next election.

  8. Mr. Cohen better hope he gets sent to a minimum security Club Fed. If he goes to a more secure institution with a snitch jacket, he might not last long.

Leave a Reply