Cohen Says He Believes He Was a Good Lawyer to Trump

By Susan Jones | February 28, 2019 | 5:33 AM EST

President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, now disbarred, testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - In his testimony Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee, Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney, said he did what he thought President Trump wanted him to do.

"I don't know if I would call it intuition as much as I would just say my knowledge of what he wanted," Cohen said. "And I knew what he had wanted."

"Does a lawyer have a duty to provide his client with good legal advice?" Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) asked Cohen.

"Yes," Cohen replied.

"Were you a good lawyer to Mr. Trump?" Massie asked.

"I believe so," Cohen said.

Massie continued: "When you arranged a payment to Miss Clifford, you say in your testimony -- I'm going to quote from your testimony -- that you did so, quote, 'without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do.' You said that.

That's your testimony today. You said you didn't even consider whether it was legal. How could you give your client legal advice when you are not even considering whether it's legal?" Massie asked.

"I did what I knew Mr. Trump wanted," Cohen said.

Massie interrupted the rest of Cohen's explanation: "I didn't ask whether you were a good fixer. I asked whether you’re a good lawyer."

"Sometimes you have to meld both together," Cohen said. "I needed to, at that time, ensure and protect Mr. Trump -- which I'm clearly, clearly suffering the penalty of -- I clearly erred on the side of wrong."

“So, you feel like, without bothering to consider whether it was proper, much less whether it was the right thing to do -- by ignoring any conscience, if you have one -- that you were protecting Mr. Trump?" Massie asked.

"I'm sorry, Sir, I don't understand," Cohen said.

"As his lawyer, you feel that you did a good job. You said you were a good lawyer, right? Is that being a good lawyer? To not even consider whether it's legal or not?"

"I was working, and I was trying to protect Mr. Trump," Cohen said, making the point that the Stormy Daniels saga dated back to 2011. "My point is, this was an ongoing situation. It didn't just start."

"When were you disbarred?" Massie asked Cohen

"Yesterday, from what I read in the paper," Cohen said.

"Yesterday. When should you have been disbarred based on the legal counsel you were giving your client?" Massie asked him.

"I don't have an answer for your question," Cohen replied.

Cohen said he served as Trump's personal attorney starting in 2007.

"When is the first time you gave him bad legal advice or failed to inform him of his legal obligations as you testified today that you did in the case of the payment to Miss Clifford? When was the first time you did that? Would that qualify for disbarment?" Massie asked.

"I don't know, Sir. I'm not the Bar Association," Cohen retorted.

"I think you should consult with them maybe, occasionally, on some of these things," Massie said.

"Well, there's no point now. I lost my law license," Cohen said.

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