Paul Ryan USA Today oped:
On Wednesday, in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen for the first time provided details to the American people of precisely how Trump directed and coordinated these hush payments in violation of federal law. Cohen also identified a witness to Trump’s seemingly illegal actions.
Cohen testified, for example, that after each of his conversations with Stormy Daniels’ lawyer at the time before the hush payment, he went “straight into Mr. Trump’s office” to “discuss the issue with him.” Cohen explained that when it was ultimately determined “days before the election that Mr. Trump was going to pay the $130,000″ to Daniels, with Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg in the room, Trump directed Cohen and Weisselberg to “figure out how to do it.”
Cohen also offered important details about the electoral purpose of the payment to Daniels — this is what makes the payment a campaign finance crime. Cohen was asked whether he was concerned that the Daniels story might be in the news right after the “Access Hollywood” story, in terms of impact on the election. Cohen replied, “I was concerned about it, but more importantly, Mr. Trump was concerned about it.” Specifically, Trump was concerned about the effect the Daniels story would have on how women were seeing him.