WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – It appears President Donald Trump committed a crime, the chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee said on Wednesday, but he declined to say whether he should be removed from office.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen accused him of breaking the law while in office and said for the first time that Trump knew in advance about a WikiLeaks dump of stolen emails that hurt his 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.
In a dramatic televised hearing in Congress on Wednesday, Cohen said Trump approved hush payments to cover up extra-marital sexual relationships in violation of campaign finance laws, and signed a personal check for $35,000 in 2017 to reimburse Cohen for at least one of those payments.
WATCH: Cohen says Trump told him to say he wasn’t knowledgeable about alleged hush money payments
Cohen, 52, was a close aide of Trump for years and his testimony could increase the legal and political pressure on the Republican president, but he did not appear to disclose a “smoking gun” that could sink his former boss.
Cohen told a House of Representatives committee he had no direct evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Moscow during the election campaign.