“The last time I appeared before the Congress, I am here to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I am here to tell the truth about him.” After a first hearing in closed session before the Senate, Michael Cohen, the former lawyer of the u.s. president was interviewed Wednesday by the House of representatives on the links of Donald Trump with Russia and the management of his real estate empire. In its statement broadcast on television and by the american newspapers, the guardian of the secrets of the president of the United States portrays his former employer as a “liar”, “racist” and “crook”.

Under oath, the lawyer has accused the us president of having embezzled money from his foundation caricative for example to buy a portrait of him, signed William Quigley, it was then displayed in one of its clubs. To support his remarks, Michael Cohen presented at the Congress “a copy of a handwritten note of Mr. Trump” on the auction.

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“Mr. Trump told me to find a bidder to purchase a portrait of him which has been sold or auctioned at some sort of event in Hampton. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was to be sold last, is the portrait the more expensive of the afternoon, ” explains Michael Cohen. The portrait was bought by a fake bidder for $ 60,000. Mr. Trump has asked the Foundation Trump, who is supposed to be a non-profit organization, to repay it, even if it wished to retain the works for himself.” “All this just for his ego”, he added addressing an elected official who asked him why the billionaire had developed such a scheme. The american president had then boasted on Twitter of the sale of his portrait.

The purchase price of the portrait of Donald Trump has surpassed that of other property of the auction. Handout ./REUTERS

“He’s lying to reduce his prison sentence”, tweeted Donald Trump Wednesday before the opening of the hearing. The lawyer for 52-year-old was sentenced in December to three years in prison for tax fraud, perjury, and violations to the electoral code. His incarceration is scheduled for may 6.

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This is not the first time that the billionaire is accused of using money from his foundation for personal use. In full electoral campaign in 2016, David Fahrenthold, a reporter for the Washington Post , revealed two similar cases. According to his investigation, which earned him the Pulitzer prize, the national reporting, the charity had paid $ 20,000 in 2007 and $ 10,000 in 2014 for two portraits of the future president.

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Hillary Clinton, during the last national debate for the presidential election, has even addressed this matter. She wondered about this Foundation Trump “who takes the money and buys a portrait of two meters of Donald.” “Who does that? It is completely mind-boggling”, she added. The justice of the State of New York has quickly seized of the matter and ordered the foundation to “cease to call for donations or any other fundraising activity in New York,” on the grounds of non-compliance with the laws of the State.

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In 2018, the attorney general of the State of New York has begun a legal action to obtain the dissolution of the foundation for “illegal conduct recurring”. “As shown in the survey, the Foundation Trump was little more than a checkbook to pay for expenses of Trump and his companies to non-profit organizations, regardless of their reason for being and their legality,” said Barbara Underwood, the attorney general, in a press release. The us president reacted on social networks, denouncing a “witch-hunt”.

After a first deposition behind closed doors before the Senate, and the revelations in the House of representatives, Michael Cohen must be heard by the Congress. Remains to know what the special prosecutor Mueller will retain these revelations on the legal front and on potential procedures for the removal of the president conducted by the democrats.

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