Michael Cohen began his testimony in front of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, and the first words out of his mouth addressed Republican criticism that a known liar, and one who lied to Congress at that, can't be trusted. "I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the committee's questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump," he said. He noted he would bolster his words by sharing "documents that are irrefutable and demonstrate that the information you are about to hear is accurate and truthful." And then he went right at his former boss:
- "I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him. I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump's illicit acts, rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist, he is a conman, and he is a cheat."
- "Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal."
- The remainder of his opening statement, which was released in advance, touched on what Cohen said was Trump's efforts to conceal his SAT and college scores, explained that Trump knew in advance about the Wikileaks drop of emails, and discussed hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. Read highlights here.