Michael Cohen testifies he's aware of another illegal act by Trump

Cohen's testimony was his first public accounting before Congress.

Cohen also repeated what he said in a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by ABC News, claiming that Trump, as a candidate, knew his longtime confidant Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about WikiLeaks' possibly revealing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee.

In a statement to ABC News on Wednesday morning, Stone denied Cohen's allegation. Julian Assange attorney Barry Pollack, in a statement, said, “Roger Stone did not have the telephone call Michael Cohen described."

Here is how the hearing unfolded:

5:20 p.m. – Committee chairman in closing remarks: ‘We are better than this’

In a fiery and impassioned speech to close out Wednesday’s blockbuster hearing after more than seven hours, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., called on members of his committee to “be better” as he sympathized with Cohen’s position.

“We are better than this. We are so much—we really are. We are so much better than this,” Cummings said, adding, “when we are dancing with the angels, the question will be asked: in 2019 what did we do?”

Cummings’ sentiment drew an emotional response from Cohen, who appeared to be holding back tears when the chairman invoked the harm Cohen’s actions has caused his family.

When he finished, Cummings pounded his gavel and adjourned the hearing more than seven hours after gaveling it in.

5:05 p.m. – Cohen: If Trump loses 2020 election, 'I fear' there won’t be a peaceful transition of power

In a dramatic statement at the conclusion of Wednesday’s hearing, Michael Cohen made a startling prediction: If President Trump fails to win a reelection bid in 2020, he may not give up his grip on power.

“Given my experience working for President Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen said. “This is why I agreed to appear before you today.”

Cohen then called on President Trump to cease attacks on the media, Gold Star families, and others.

“You don't vilify people based on the god they pray to and you don't cuddle up to our adversaries at the expense of our allies,” Cohen said. “You don't shut down to appease your base. This behavior the office of the president and it simply is un-American.”

4:55 p.m. – Democrat accuses GOP committee member of 'racist act'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., accused a Republican colleague of using a “black woman as a prop” during Wednesday’s testimony, sparking uproar from Republicans on the committee and calls for her comments to be stricken from the record.

Tlaib’s statement came in response to Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., inviting Lynne Patton, a current Department of Housing and Urban Development official and former longtime Trump Organization employee, to Wednesday’s hearing. Meadows asked to include Patton’s statement defending Trump against accusations that he is “a racist” into the record. Patton is a black woman.

Meadows took issue with Tlaib’s remarks, offering an emotional rebuttal and defending his record of advocating civil rights for racial minorities.

Tlaib clarified that she does not believe Meadows is a racist but accused him of “a racist act.”

4:45 p.m. – Rep. Ocasio-Cortez questions Cohen over Trump golf courses

In a line of questioning by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Michael Cohen described how he said Donald Trump sought to garner tax deductions by reducing the value of his golf properties.

Asked how the president did so, Cohen said, “you deflate the value of the asset and put in a request to the tax department for a deduction.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez cited a lengthy New York Times article published in October describing “dubious tax schemes” Trump engaged in during the 1990s.

4:27 p.m. – Hearing resumes after lengthy recess

After a nearly two hour break -- an hour longer than stated -- members of the committee and Michael Cohen have returned to their seats for the final leg of questioning. Overall, Cohen seems to have fended off most Republican attacks on him so far by taking a non-combative approach and repeatedly asserting that while he's lied previously, he's telling the truth now.

2:30 p.m. – Stormy Daniels weighs in: ‘Michael, I’m proud of you’

Shortly before the committee took what was expected to about an hour break for lunch, the adult film actress at the heart of president’s hush money payments controversy released a statement during Cohen’s testimony, saying she’s “proud” of Cohen for “finally beginning to tell the truth about what you did.”

Stormy Daniels, whose name has been repeatedly invoked over the course of Wednesday’s hearing for her role as the recipient of a hush money payment, appeared moved by Cohen’s testimony.

“I can hear the pain and regret you feel for betraying your family and your country,” she said. “Thank you for having the courage, at long last, to begin to tell the truth.”

Cohen executed the $130,000 payment to Daniels prior to the 2016 election. President Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

2:10 p.m. – Cohen describes plans to have Trump visit Russia during campaign

Michael Cohen described negotiations he said he conducted with Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski “early on in the campaign” to have Trump visit Russia to “take a look” at the Trump Tower in Moscow project.

Cohen and Lewandowski discussed the “possibility of which dates that Mr. Trump would have availability if, in fact, that we were going to go over to Russia to take a look at the project.”

In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about whether Trump and his company had pursued the Moscow real estate project while Trump was securing the GOP nomination in 2016.

Cohen said the visit “never came to fruition because we were never successful in getting … ownership or control over a piece of property.”

1:45 p.m. – Cohen contradicts Steele dossier, says he has never been to Prague

Michael Cohen insisted under oath on Wednesday that he has never been to Prague or the Czech Republic, a central allegation in the dossier former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele compiled as opposition research.

The dossier describes an incident in August 2016 in which Cohen allegedly traveled to Prague to meet with Russians. Buzzfeed News posted the dossier in January 2017.

Cohen has denied this claim in the past, including during an interview with ABC News.

“I’ve never actually walked the land in Prague,” Cohen told ABC News. “And last August I was not in Prague.”

1:25 p.m. – Cohen says Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s attorney ‘reviewed’ his letter to Congress, too

Abbe Lowell, the attorney who represents the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, also reviewed Michael Cohen’s letter to Congress in 2017 that ultimately became the basis for charges Cohen lied to Congress, Cohen said Wednesday.

They were not immediately available for comment.

Cohen said earlier that Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump’s lawyers, made changes and additions to Cohen's statement, and mentioned that others may have, too.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Sekulow issued a statement saying, “Today’s testimony by Michael Cohen that attorneys for the President edited or changed his statement to Congress to alter the duration of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is completely false."

In his opening statement on Wednesday, Cohen said one of “Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.”

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about whether Trump and his company had pursued the Moscow real estate project while Trump was securing the GOP nomination in 2016.

1:20 p.m. – Cohen says Trump called him to coordinate messaging -- effectively lie -- about whether he knew about hush money payments

Michael Cohen said during testimony on Wednesday that President Trump sought to coordinate public messaging about hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal in February 2018. The women claim to have had affairs with Trump that he has denied.

Trump instructed Cohen to say “he was not knowledgeable of the reimbursements and he wasn't knowledgeable of my actions,” Cohen said, referring to the hush money payments.

Trump publicly denied knowledge of the payments before his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed later – in May 2018 – that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels.

1:00 p.m. – Cohen says Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow made changes to his false statement to Congress

Michael Cohen said one of President Trump’s lawyers, Jay Sekulow, made changes and additions to Cohen's statement to Congress in 2017 that ultimately became the basis for charges Cohen lied to Congress.

In his opening statement on Wednesday, Cohen said one of “Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.”

He later identified that lawyer as Sekulow, who he said made “several changes … including how we were going to handle that message which was … the message, of course, being the length of time that the Trump Tower Moscow project stayed and remained alive.”

Sekulow has not addressed Cohen's claim.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about whether Trump and his company had pursued the Moscow real estate project while Trump was securing the GOP nomination in 2016.

12:40 p.m. – Cohen: Aware of another 'illegal act' Trump has committed, says SDNY investigating

Michael Cohen teased another “wrongdoing or illegal act” he claimed President Trump has committed, but said he could not give details because of an ongoing investigation headed by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

Asked by Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., whether there is “any other wrongdoing or illegal act that you are aware of regarding Donald Trump that we haven't yet discussed today,” Cohen replied he was aware.

“Yes,” he said, “and again, those are part of the investigation that's currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York.”

Cohen added that he is in “constant contact with the Southern District of New York regarding ongoing investigations.”

Outside the hearing room, SDNY had no comment.

12:30 p.m. – Cohen to GOP: ‘Not one question so far has been about Mr. Trump’

In response to questions from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Cohen called out Republicans on the panel for asking only about him and not President Trump.

“I just find it interesting, sir, that between yourself and your colleagues, not one question so far since I'm here has been asked about President Trump,” Cohen said. “That's actually why I thought I was coming today – not to confess the mistakes that I've made. I've already done that.

“The American people don't care about my taxes,” Cohen said. “They want to know what it is that I know about Mr. Trump, and not one question so far has been asked about Mr. Trump."

12:10 p.m. – Cohen describes 'several factors' that led him to turn on Trump

Asked what caused him to turn on his longtime boss and effectively testify against him, Michael Cohen dramatically ticked off a list of Trump's actions and statements that led him to speak out.

“Helsinki, Charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another, putting up with silly things like this,” Cohen said. “It’s really unbecoming of Congress.”

Cohen said he used to protect Trump the way Republican members of the House Oversight Committee are protecting the president at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I'm responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you're doing now for ten years,” Cohen said. “I protected Mr. Trump for ten years … I can only warn people the more people that follow Mr. Trump, as I did blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I'm suffering.”

12:02 p.m. – Cohen rejects accusation he’s trying to get a reduction in sentence

Michael Cohen denied a claim that his appearance is part of an effort to earn a reduction in his prison sentence.

Asked by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., whether his testimony could result in a reduction in his three-year sentence, Cohen said “it’s a possibility,” but rejected the notion that it is his purpose for testifying publicly before the House Oversight Committee.

“I'm not sure how my appearance here today is providing substantial information that the Southern District can use for the creation of a case,” Cohen said, before joking, “Now if there is something that this group can do for me, I would gladly welcome it.”

Cohen is scheduled to report to prison on May 6.

12:00 p.m. – Cohen describes Trump’s involvement in Trump Tower Moscow project

Shortly before Michael Cohen asked for a break, he described what he said was the extent of Trump’s involvement in the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations during the campaign.

“After each communication that I had [about the Trump Tower Moscow project], I would report back to [Trump] and our goal was to get this project,” Cohen said. “We were interested in building what would have been the largest building in all of Europe.”

In his opening statement, Cohen said Trump remained directly involved in negotiations and often asked Cohen, “How’s it going in Russia?”

In November, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about whether Trump and his company had pursued a Moscow real estate project while he was securing the GOP nomination in 2016.

11:45 a.m. – Cohen pressed on his claim Trump is 'a racist'

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., invited a guest to appear during his questioning of Cohen.

Lynne Patton, a current Department of Housing and Urban Development official and former longtime Trump Organization employee, stood behind Meadows as he questioned Cohen about his allegation that Trump is “a racist.”

Meadows put a statement from Patton defending Trump into the record and asked Cohen to reconcile his claim with her defense of Trump as an African-American woman and the daughter of a man who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.

Cohen shot back by pointing out that he stands by his testimony as the son of a Holocaust survivor, prompting audible "oohs" from onlookers inside the hearing room.

11:30 a.m. – Cohen hits back: 'Shame on you, Mr. Jordan'

Cohen, who once called himself Donald Trump’s “attack dog,” unleashed a heated rebuke of the ranking Republican on the committee, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, during a debate over whether Cohen accepted his guilt.

Jordan read a quote the December indictment of Cohen written by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. It said Cohen’s “consciousness of wrongdoing is fleeting, his instinct to blame others is strong,” and accused Cohen of failing to appropriately show remorse for his actions.

Cohen took issue with that characterization.

“Shame on you, Mr. Jordan,” Cohen said. “That's not what I said. What I said is, I took responsibility and I take responsibility … I am remorseful and I am going to prison."

Cohen is scheduled to report to prison on May 6 to serve a three-year sentence.

11:12 a.m. – Cohen says Trump and his children were ‘compromised’ by Russia

During a line of questioning about WikiLeaks’ release of internal Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails, Cohen said he believes President Trump and his children may have been “conflicted or compromised” by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He stopped short of characterizing the campaign’s alleged knowledge of the impending release of hacked Democrats’ emails as “collusion,” but said there was “something odd.”

"As I stated in my testimony, I wouldn't use the word colluding," Cohen said. Was there something odd about the back and forth praise with President Putin? Yes. But I'm not really sure that I can answer that question in terms of collusion."

In his opening statement, Cohen claimed that Trump, as a candidate, knew his longtime political confidant Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about WikiLeaks' revealing of emails from prominent Democrats.

11:05 a.m. – Cohen denies any desire to work in the White House

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the committee and first to question Cohen, accused Cohen of acting in defiance of President Trump because he was upset at not getting a position in the White House after Trump’s election.

Cohen categorically denied the allegation.

“Mr. Jordan, all I wanted was what I got, to be personal attorney to the president,” Cohen said.

Cohen described an incident in which Trump "reamed out" former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus because Cohen hadn't gotten a job in the White House Counsel's office.

10:55 a.m. – Questioning begins with an inquiry into hush money payments

After Cohen’s 30-minute opening statement, the questioning portion of Wednesday’s hearing is underway.

Rep. Cummings, as committee chairman, began with a line of questioning about the hush money payments Cohen made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and his reimbursement by Trump.

“The president said he knew nothing of these favors,” Cummings said. “Based on your conversations with him, is there any doubt in your mind that President Trump knew exactly what he was paying for?”

“There is no doubt in my mind and I truly believe there is no doubt in the people of the United States of America,” Cohen said.

Cohen presented a copy of a check Trump allegedly wrote, after taking office, to reimburse Cohen for the hush-money payment.

Outside the hearing room, the Trump Organization responded that Donald Trump Jr. had "no concept/idea" that he was signing a check to reimburse Cohen for the Stormy Daniels hush money payment. Donald Trump Jr. signed the $35,000 check as a trustee of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.

President Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

10:42 a.m. – Michael Cohen shares regrets, shame for a decade of work for Trump

“And yet I continued working for him.”

That’s the refrain Michael Cohen is repeating after each damning anecdote he offers about President Trump. Cohen’s opening statement included repeated mentions of how "ashamed" he feels now about his work for Trump.

“I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is,” Cohen said.

Cohen described with remorse the threatening letters he wrote on Trump’s behalf and the bidding he did for a man he called “a racist,” “a conman,” and “a cheat.”

“I am not a perfect man,” Cohen said. “I have done things I am not proud of, and I will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life.”

10:30 a.m. – Cohen paints damning picture of Trump in opening statement

Michael Cohen tore into President Trump’s character and business acumen in a scathing opening statement, calling him "a racist," "a con man" and "a cheat."

ABC News reported details of Cohen’s intended testimony earlier on Wednesday.

Cohen divulged that Trump, as a candidate, knew Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about WikiLeaks' revealing of emails from the Democratic National Committee.

10:25 a.m. – Cohen sworn in, gives opening statement

Michael Cohen began his opening statement after rising, raising his right hand, and being sworn in.

"Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today,” Cohen said. “I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the Committee’s questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump.”

10:18 a.m. – Ranking Republican slams Cohen, Democrats in opening statement

The ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee launched an early attack on Michael Cohen’s credibility and Democrats’ willingness to hear the former fixer’s testimony on Wednesday.

“The first announced witness for the 116th Congress is a guy who is going to prison in two months for lying to Congress,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in his opening comments.

Jordan criticized Cummings for offering “a convicted felon a forum to tell stories and lie about the president of the United States so they can all start their impeachment process.”

“They just want to use you, Mr. Cohen,” Jordan said. “You're their patsy today.”

10:12 a.m. – Chairman Rep. Cummings warns Cohen not to lie

In his opening statement, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, warned Cohen against lying to his panel.

“I have made it abundantly clear to Mr. Cohen that if he comes here today and he does not tell us the truth, I will be the first one to refer those untruthful statements to DOJ (the Department of Justice),” Cummings said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in December – charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Cummings added that its hearing today and moving forward reflect a new era of Democratic oversight.

“The days of this committee protecting the president at all costs are over,” he said.

10:07 a.m. – Republicans move to postpone Cohen’s hearing

A top Republican leveled an early effort to stop Cohen’s testimony, demanding the hearing be delayed.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., raised a procedural tactic to delay the hearing, citing the short notice of the committee’s receipt of Cohen’s testimony and evidence he plans to present.

The committee voted down Rep. Meadows’ point of order and the hearing continued.

10 a.m. Cohen takes witness chair, hearing begins

Michael Cohen entered the committee at 10 a.m on the dot and took the witness chair for what promised to be dramatic testimony about his former boss Donald Trump before the House Oversight Committee. The panel's chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., gaveled in the hearing shortly thereafter.

The man who once said he would take a bullet for Donald Trump is poised to excoriate his longtime former boss with more than a decade of anecdotes.

In his opening statement, Cohen is expected to characterize Trump as a “racist” and a “conman.”

9:55 a.m. Committee members gathering inside hearing room

Members of the House Oversight Committee are gathering in the committee’s hearing room with just minutes until Michael Cohen is expected to take his seat.

Democrats met this morning in committee chambers before congregating in the hearing room. Republicans on the panel have set up large posters with Cohen’s past comments flattering the president.

Cohen had no comment as he arrived on Capitol Hill. As he left his hotel Wednesday morning, staff and hotel guests greeted and wished him well, some hugging him and people saying “God bless you.”

“I’m going to do the right thing,” Cohen said. He also called it “the craziest day” of his life.

Cohen is scheduled to begin a three-year prison sentence in May and has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress as well as financial crimes including bank and tax fraud. Cohen also pleaded guilty to campaign finance violation for payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The White House, along with Republicans on Capitol Hill, sought to discredit Cohen ahead of his appearance.

"Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday in a statement. "Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a staunch Trump ally, also tweeted Tuesday that the hearing could reveal alleged details about Cohen's romantic life, prompting outrage from Democrats and ethics experts.

The stakes were also high for Democrats in the House, who have vowed to investigate the president and conduct oversight of the administration amid accusations of overreach from Republicans.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., suggested the hearing "may very well be a turning point in our country's history."

"He's the only person that I know of who has accused this president of a crime," he told reporters on Monday.

Cohen was prepared to provide lawmakers with documents to support his claims that Trump allegedly inflated and deflated his net worth for personal and professional gain, and to avoid paying property taxes, according to a source familiar with his intended testimony.

The president's former fixer was also expected to explain why he lied to Congress in 2017 about discussions he had during the presidential campaign about the proposed Trump Tower Moscow.

His specific allegation of criminal wrongdoing relates to Trump's reimbursement to Cohen for the payment to adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels, who alleged an affair with Trump, according to the source familiar with Cohen's planned testimony.

Trump has denied the affair alleged by Daniels and another accusation from former Playboy model Karen McDougal and has previously said the payment amounted to nothing more than a "simple private transaction," and that they do not qualify as campaign finance violations.

Cohen appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee after postponing an initial hearing date, citing "threats" to his family by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

On Tuesday he spent hours behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee and will meet with the House Intelligence Committee in private on Thursday.

"Two years ago when this investigation started, I said it may be the most important thing I'm involved in my public life in the Senate," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the panel, told reporters after the panel questioned Cohen. "Nothing I have heard today dissuades me from that view."

"We will call out the Democrats' charade for what it is -- a partisan circus meant to destroy President Trump," Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a USA Today editorial.

At Cohen's sentencing hearing in December, special counsel Robert Mueller's team said Cohen had cooperated with their investigation.

Ahead of the House hearing, during his day with the Senate Intelligence Committee, Cohen was officially disbarred as a lawyer in New York, according to a decision from the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court expected after his November guilty plea.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky, Mary Bruce and Eliana Larramendia contributed to this report.