Michael Cohen seen clutching pillow with arm in sling as reports say Trump ordered him to lie to Congress

President's former fixer undergoes surgery as White House brands him a liar in midst of explosive Russia revelations

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 18 January 2019 23:17 GMT
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Donald Trump: 'Even if Michael Cohen was right it doesn't matter, because I was allowed to do whatever I wanted during the campaign'

Michael Cohen has said he is prepared to reveal the truth about Donald Trump during a televised hearing next month — but first, the president’s former personal lawyer required surgery.

Cohen was spotted returning home from a pre-scheduled hospital visit on Friday afternoon after receiving surgery on his shoulder, his adviser Lanny Davis confirmed.

Photos showed the president’s former fixer clutching a full-size pillow that was held in front of his left arm, which was in a sling. He appeared to have bandages covering an incision from intravenous therapy (IV) and was quickly assisted into the residence by a doorman.

The surgery arrived the same day an explosive report in BuzzFeed News suggested Mr Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress — an illegal and arguably impeachable offence — about a Trump Tower project in Moscow he was supposedly working on throughout the 2016 presidential election.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani have both called the report “categorically false,” though a spokesperson for the White House stopped short of denying the assertion that Mr Trump coerced Cohen into committing perjury.

“The premise is ridiculous,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said on Friday. “We're also talking about a person, in Michael Cohen, who quite frankly has now been proven to be a liar. He self-admits that he's a felon.”

Cohen is not one of the anonymous sources included in the report, according to the outlet.

Mr Trump shared quotes from Fox News attacking his longtime confidant on Friday morning, quoting Kevin Corke with a tweet that read, “Don’t forget, Michael Cohen has already been convicted of perjury and fraud, and as recently as this week, the Wall Street Journal has suggested that he may have stolen tens of thousands of dollars.”

“Lying to reduce his jail time!” The president added.

Michael Cohen arrives at his home in New York with his left arm in a sling supported by a pillow Friday
Michael Cohen arrives at his home in New York with his left arm in a sling supported by a pillow Friday (AP)

Cohen will speak to the House Oversight Committee on 7 February to discuss his tenure serving as one of Mr Trump’s closest aides.

“In furtherance of my commitment to cooperate and provide the American people with answers, I have accepted the invitation by Chairman Elijah Cummings to appear publicly,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

He pled guilty to campaign finance violations, as well as tax evasion and bank fraud, before later also pleasing guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline surrounding the Trump Tower proposal in Moscow.

“I look forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired,” he added in his statement.

Cohen’s testimony will arrive before he begins serving his three-year prison sentence.

The president responded to questions about the upcoming testimony last week, telling reporters, “I’m not worried about it at all.”

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