Yorbing Staff Thursday February 28, 2019
WNYC The Takeaway Feb 28, 2019
Michael Cohen testified for nearly eight hours before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Today, he goes behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee.
A lot of ground was covered on Wednesday, everything from Trump’s operations of his business while in office, to what was known about the WikiLeaks dump.
But President Trump’s personal finances were also a point of conversation.
“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes,” Michael Cohen told House committee members in his opening statements on Wednesday.
In his opening remarks, Michael Cohen presented Exhibits 1a, 1b and 1c:
Cohen described them as, “Copies of financial statements from 2011, 2012 and 2013 that he [Trump] gave to such institutions such as Deutsche Bank.”
The documents are a summary of Trump’s net worth, categorizing assets, including cash and properties, and liabilities. In 2013, the documents show Trump’s net worth nearly doubling thanks to a new $billion line item attributed to “brand value.”
Under questioning from Representative Lacy Clay of Missouri, Michael Cohen alleged that those financial documents were inflated and used for the purpose of obtaining a loan.
“Did the President ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan?” Congressman Clay asked Cohen.
“These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank, in one occasion when I was with them, to attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills,” Cohen responded.
But this is not the first time Deutsche Bank’s involvement in lending to Donald Trump has come to the attention of Congress.
Just last month a formal investigation was launched by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees into the president’s dealings with Deutsche Bank.
So what is the House looking for? And what does Michael Cohen’s testimony reveal about the lender’s relationship with the President?
Jenny Strasburg is a senior correspondent for European Finance for the Wall Street Journal. David Enrichis the finance editor The New York Times and is writing a book on Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump.