Recent developments following Michael Cohen’s guilty plea in Manhattan Federal Court to eight counts, including Criminal Tax Evasion and Campaign Finance Violations, have made it possible for Democrats in Congress to finally hold Donald Trump accountable for his lies regarding payments made to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels and others.
This morning, Democratic Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II and the Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization George Sorial, requesting documents relating to Donald Trump’s lies about his financial dealings with Michael Cohen over the Stormy payments.
This was made possible because recently on August 21st, Cohen admitted in federal court that Trump paid him back $420,000 in monthly installments of $35,000 over the course of 2017, making Cohen’s payment to Stormy on behalf of Trump a debt that Trump lied about on his disclosure forms.
Cohen confirmed in court that the payments were reimbursements for the payment he made to Stormy and others, “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump. Cohen’s testimony in court has provided the official legal basis of going after Trump over his lies. The following is from Cummings request that he officially submitted to the White House today;
“Mr. Cohen’s testimony—and documents obtained by the Department of Justice—reveal that these payments were far greater than previously reported and far higher than President Trump listed in his financial disclosure forms pursuant to federal law,” Cummings wrote. “These payments include a number of increases, bonuses, and anomalies that raise even more questions about the nature and scope of the services President Trump obtained from Mr. Cohen.”
Cummings also explained in his letter that he is seeking documents from the White House and the Trump Organization because Chairman Trey Gowdy has refused to investigate this issue. Cummings has carefully exhausted all other methods of holding Trump accountable before arriving at this request, making it hard for Trump to deny it. This is the first step in finally holding Trump accountable for his lies.