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Summary

  1. Michael Cohen, the president's ex-lawyer, brands Donald Trump a "racist", "conman" and "cheat" in a congressional hearing
  2. He testifies to Congress that President Trump knew of a Wikileaks hack of Democratic emails and directed hush payments to mistresses
  3. Cohen also says federal prosecutors in New York are investigating some unspecified illegal act involving Trump
  4. Trump and Republicans assail Cohen's credibility, painting him as a liar who will do anything to reduce his prison time

Live Reporting

By Ritu Prasad and Max Matza

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us

    After more than seven hours, Cohen's public testimony has drawn to a close. Here are the highlights:

    • Cohen has accused the president of being a "racist", "conman" and a "cheat"
    • He claimed Trump wanted him to lie about a Trump Tower project in Moscow during his election campaign
    • Cohen alleged Trump knew about a leak of hacked emails from top Democratic figures
    • He revealed a copy of a $130,000 cheque he said was signed by Trump to repay him the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels
    • Cohen indicated federal prosecutors in New York are investigating "other" illegal acts regarding Mr Trump

    We are wrapping up our live coverage but for more details about today's hearing, check out our news story here.

  2. Cummings closes hearing

    Chairman Elijah Cummings delivers a passionate closing address that appears to leave Cohen quite moved.

    "We are better than this," says Mr Cummings.

    Michael Cohen
  3. 'My loyalty to Trump has cost me everything'

    Cohen delivers a searing statement, telling the committee his loyalty the president has "cost me everything", including his family's happiness, friendships, his law licence, his reputation and soon his freedom.

  4. 'If Trump loses 2020, there will be no peaceful transition'

    Cohen says that if Mr Trump loses the election in 2020, he does not believe there will be a peaceful transition of power - which is one of the reasons he agreed to testify.

  5. Cohen speaks directly to Trump

    Trump's former lawyer used his final remarks to speak directly to his former client with a wider list of grievances.

    "We honour our veterans even in the rain, you tell the truth even when it doesn't aggrandise you," he says.

    He lambasts Trump for not taking responsibility for his "dirty deeds", for disparaging Gold Star families, for attacking the media and for "cuddling up to adversaries" at the expense of allies.

  6. 'Using black woman as a prop is racist'

    Democratic Congresswoman Tlaib is slamming Congressman Mark Meadow's decision to bring a black Trump official into the chamber to prove that Trump is not racist.

    She appears to be referring to Lynne Patton, an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who was invited by Mr Meadows to attend the hearing.

    "Just because someone has a person of colour" on their payroll does not mean they are not racist, Ms Tlaib says.

    "To use a black woman as a prop to prove it otherwise" is racist, she continued, prompting an angry reaction from the North Carolina Republican.

    "Mr Meadows, I am the chair. I will clear this up!" says Democratic Chairman Elijah Cummings, as the chamber descends into an argument over who called who "a racist".

  7. 'Bribe payments' not 'hush payments'

    Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib says the payments made to a Playboy model and a porn star should be called "bribe payments" rather than "hush payments".

    The money that Cohen gave Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal was part of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure the women did not go public with their stories of sex with the president.

    "Do you think the president of the United States is making a decision in the best interest of the American people?"

    "No, I don't," he responded.

  8. 'Let there be light'

    "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectant," says Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

    "Well let there be light."

    The Massachusetts congresswoman asked why Trump inflated the cost of a painting of himself during an auction.

    "It's all about ego," Cohen explains.

    "He tasked me to find the straw buyer to ensure that his painting, which was was going last in the auction, was the highest on the auction block of the day."

    Cohen says that Trump's charity ultimately footed the bill for the painting.

  9. Trump 'did not want a tax audit'

    Cohen was asked if Trump's taxes were really under audit in 2016, as Trump claimed for why he did not release his returns during the campaign.

    "I don't know the answer. I asked for a copy of the audit so that I could use it in terms of my statements to the press, and I was never able to obtain one," Cohen said.

    He said that he does not know any details of Mr Trump's taxes, but did give a reason for why he thought Trump did not want them released.

    "Statements that he has said to me is that what he didn't want was to have an entire group of think tanks that are tax experts run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces and then he'll end up in an audit and he'll ultimately have taxable consequences, penalties and so on."

  10. Is the Trump family also being investigated?

    Cohen refused to answer if Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, and the Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg conspired to make an illegal payment to an adult film star.

    He refuses to answer.

    Earlier in his testimony, he said he would not answer questions that related to ongoing investigations.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. 'Not a good day for the president'

    Dershowitz

    Harvard law professor and Trump defender Alan Dershowitz tells ABC News that today is "not a good day for the president".

    He said that it was harmful to Trump "to have his lawyer and intimate disclose so many things about him that don’t belong in the public domain".

    "Whether [Cohen] wants to get a reduction in sentence or he wants to do the right thing, people can judge that for themselves," he said, adding that he may have "weakened" Trump's ability to claim attorney-client privilege.

  12. Cohen's back in the seat

    Testimony is set to resume.

    At least five Democrats still have yet to ask questions.

  13. Pelosi's not watching the hearing

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she didn't see "one word" of Cohen's testimony.

    She says she's been busy at Howard University and in meetings with European Parliament members.

    Pelosi says she cares more about Trump's "bad policies" than his "bad personality".

    View more on twitter
  14. Wikileaks timeline

    Here's what we know so far about the chronology around the 2016 Wikileaks email dump that's been a key point of Cohen's testimony.

    The details have emerged from court documents in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian meddling.

    JULY 14: Russian intelligence officials under the alias Guccifer 2.0 sent Wikileaks instructions for accessing an archive of stolen Democratic documents, according to the special counsel

    JULY 18: Wikileaks tells Guccifer they have the emails and will release them later that week. This is around the time when Cohen says he remembers being with Trump when Roger Stone called and said he'd been in touch with Julian Assange about "a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign".

    JULY 21: Trump becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

    JULY 22: Wikileaks starts releasing the stolen emails. A "senior campaign official" is reportedly told to reach out to Stone to learn if more will be released.

    JULY 25: Mueller's team alleges Stone told an associate to contact Assange about acquiring the emails.

    JULY 27: At a news conference in Florida, Trump says: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens. That'll be next."

    If Cohen's recollection of the phone call can be trusted, then the next question is: How did Stone learn about the information in late July?

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has repeatedly denied speaking with Stone, and so far, we only know Stone was tweeting at the Guccifer account in August.

    Read more about what the special counsel's uncovered here.

  15. Inquiry launched over congressman's 'threat'

    Gaetz
    Image caption: Gaetz has been seen the committee room, despite now being a member of the congressional panel

    Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who came under fire for a tweet directed at Cohen threatening to reveal sensitive information about him, is under investigation for the post, US media report.

    The Florida Bar Association, which is responsible for overseeing lawyers in the state such as Gaetz, said they had opened an inquiry after complaints from the public.

    According to the organisations' code of conduct, members "should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs" and "should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others".

    In a now deleted tweet, Gaetz wrote to Cohen: "Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot..."

  16. Trump campaign hits back

    Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for the Trump campaign, released a statement on Cohen's testimony calling him a "felon, a disbarred lawyer and a convicted perjurer" who lied in a "deliberate and premeditated" way.

    "Now he offers what he says is evidence, but the only support for that is his own testimony, which has proven before to be worthless," the statement reads.

    "As noted by the Southern District of New York, Cohen’s wide array of crimes were ‘marked by a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life’ and his ‘instinct to blame others is strong.’

    "Prosecutors said his actions were to ensure that he would ‘profit personally, build his own power, and enhance his level of influence.’

    "This is the same Michael Cohen who has admitted that he lied to Congress previously. Why did they even bother to swear him in this time?”

  17. Lawmakers break for lunch

    After more than four hours of grilling Cohen, lawmakers are taking a recess while committee members return to the House floor to vote on a bill requiring background checks on all firearm sales in the country.

    The recess is expected to last about an hour.

  18. Stormy Daniels 'proud' of Cohen

    Stormy Daniels

    "Michael, I'm proud of you..."

    Not words one might have expected to hear from Stormy Daniels as recently as last year.

    Her statement: "Michael, I'm proud of you for finally beginning to tell the truth about what you did, and trying to repair some of the harm you have caused. I can hear the pain and regret you feel for betraying your family and your country. My heart goes out to you and your family."

    She also says: "You spoke about how the president and his attorney put you and your family in danger by calling you a liar and a rat and disparaging you in public.

    "I understand your fear, Michael. I have a family too. Do you believe now that when you and the president called me a liar, when you were his attorney and you insulted me, threatened to bankrupt me and worse, that you put me and my family in danger? I remember the fear you feel. I still feel it. Thank you for having the courage, at long last, to begin to tell the truth. I hope that someday soon your family and mine can both leave this nightmare behind."

  19. Cohen victim of 'vile, disgusting statements'

    "They are the most vile, disgusting statements," Cohen says of "threats" he has received after being attacked by members of Trump's legal team.

    This hearing was initially postponed earlier this month after Cohen cited threats against his family from Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.