Trump accuses ex-lawyer Michael Cohen of perjury, citing unpublished book

New York, NY, USAUpdated: Mar 02, 2019, 01:17 PM IST

File photo of Michael Cohen (L) and Donald Trump (R). Photograph:(AFP)

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'Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote a 'love letter to Trump' manuscript for a new book that he was pushing,' Trump tweeted Friday.

Donald Trump accused his former lawyer of perjury on Friday, saying Michael Cohen's scathing testimony to Congress this week contradicted a manuscript he wrote last year that complimented the US president.

"Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote a 'love letter to Trump' manuscript for a new book that he was pushing," Trump tweeted Friday.

"Book is the exact opposite of his fake testimony, which now is a lie!"

The president called on Congress to demand the transcript, given to publishers a short time ago and yet to go on sale.

"Michael Cohen's book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before," Trump added.

Cohen, who worked for the president for a decade as his top "fixer" at the Trump Organization, assailed his ex-boss as "a racist... a conman... a cheat" in testimony Wednesday to the House Oversight Committee.

In a book proposal, Cohen sent to publishers in early 2018 -- before he was sentenced to three years in prison, partly for crimes related to his work for Trump -- the attorney promised a glowing picture of the real estate billionaire.

The manuscript was entitled "Trump Revolution: From the Tower to the White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump" -- and according to the Daily Beast, it was aimed at offsetting books deeply critical of the president.

The proposal was pulled back after FBI agents raided Cohen's home and offices in April 2018 in an investigation probing the attorney's taxes and hush payments he arranged for women who claimed affairs with the president.

"Sometime in early 2018, Mr Cohen was offered a substantial advance for a proposal regarding a book on understanding Donald Trump," Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis said.

"Mr Cohen ultimately elected not to proceed."

In the months after the raids, Cohen went from being a close ally of Trump to a foe, providing testimony in a plea deal with prosecutors that the president ordered him to make one hush payment and reimbursed him.

Trump scorned him as "a rat."

Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to felony charges of misuse of campaign funds in the hush payment, tax evasion and lying to Congress.

In five hours of testimony Wednesday, he compared employment with Trump to working for a "mobster." 

Republican lawmakers however attacked Cohen as an unreliable witness, citing his earlier false testimony, and accused him of trying to cash in on his work for Trump with book and film deals.

Cohen said there were no deals in the works, but confirmed he had been approached and was open to the idea.