Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, will tell Congress on Wednesday that Trump knew that his longtime adviser Roger Stone was communicating with WikiLeaks about publishing stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, according to the text of his prepared opening statement.
In the prepared remarks, Cohen calls Trump a "racist," a "conman" and a "cheat" and also levels accusations that the president personally signed a check to cover "hush money payments" to keep quiet an affair with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Cohen plans to testify that he previously lied to Congress about when Trump abandoned a business project in Moscow, although he will deny that Trump personally told him to lie.
A person familiar with the testimony said the document, which was first published by Politico, reflects what Cohen submitted as his prepared remarks, though they could change somewhat when he delivers them Wednesday.
"He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat," the remarks say, referring to Trump. "He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails."
Cohen will claim that in July 2016, he personally overheard Trump and Stone discussing Assange's plans. Stone was indicted last month for lying, obstruction and witness tampering in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"Days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump's office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign," the testimony notes. "Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of 'wouldn't that be great.'"
The person familiar with the testimony said Cohen does not have other evidence, such as contemporaneous memos, to support his recollection of the call he claims to have overheard between Stone and the president.
Cohen does plan to introduce other evidence with his testimony, including a cheque he says Trump filled out from his personal bank account after becoming president to cover payments made to Daniels. Cohen also plans to include Trump's financial statements with Deutsche Bank from 2011 to 2013 and evidence he says implicates Trump in using nonprofit charitable foundation money to buy a portrait.
In the testimony, Cohen paints Trump as a virulent racist in private.
"He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn't a 'shithole.' This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States," Cohen's testimony notes. "While we were once driving through a struggling neighbourhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid. And yet I continued to work for him."
Cohen says Trump personally directed him to pay off Daniels to avoid the embarrassment of his affair becoming public. Cohen claims Trump also commanded him to lie to Melania Trump about the relationship.
"He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that," his remarks say.
When he speaks to Congress, Cohen will portray himself as a loyal follower horrified that Donald Trump actually won the presidential election.
"Never in a million years did I imagine, when I accepted a job in 2007 to work for Donald Trump, that he would one day run for President, launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance, and actually win," the remarks say. "I regret the day I said 'yes' to Mr. Trump. I regret all the help and support I gave him along the way."