Friday 22 March 2019

President and family may be forced to testify before Congress

Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee Elijah Cummings. Photo: Reuters
Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee Elijah Cummings. Photo: Reuters

Chris Riotta

Donald Trump and several of his family members could soon find themselves testifying before Congress about the US president's alleged lies and criminal conduct, if the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee gets its way.

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the committee tasked with investigating Mr Trump's financial dealings, ties to Russia and a slate of other scandals plaguing the White House since his 2016 election, warned the first family and others close to the president they "can expect" to hear from Congress about details revealed in Michael Cohen's explosive public testimony this week.

The chairman's comments to reporters arrived after Mr Cohen told the House Oversight Committee that Mr Trump had committed crimes throughout his entire career as a real-estate developer in New York and even after he assumed the Oval Office.

Mr Trump's former attorney supplied lawmakers with a cheque the president signed to reimburse him for hush-money payments sent along the campaign trail to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Mr Trump.

He also detailed specific accusations of criminal conduct by Mr Trump and his associates.

He claimed the Trump Organisation kept documents that would reveal he had inflated the values of his real-estate holdings and other assets, while naming the president's son and other key figures who may have helped him commit those crimes.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Mr Cummings reportedly said "if Michael Cohen mentioned their names in the hearing yesterday, chances are they will be called in to testify, too".

Rachel Bade, of the 'Washington Post', tweeted the statement from Mr Cummings and added: "Heads up [Donald Trump Jr], Allen Weisselberg, maybe Ivanka & Jared."

Mr Cohen claimed that he gave "approximately 10" briefings on a potential Trump-branded property in Moscow to Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump or both, despite the first son previously telling the Senate Intelligence Committee that he was only "peripherally aware" of the project.

The president's children and close associates were named on a multitude of occasions by Mr Cohen. Donald Trump Jr has rebuked Mr Cohen's claims on Twitter. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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