Cohen testimony interesting but not enough, says forensic accountant

Steve Tawa
February 28, 2019 - 12:13 pm
A copy of a check paid to Michael Cohen by President Trump's trust is displayed as Michael Cohen, former lawyer for President Donald Trump, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 2019

Erin Scott/Sipa USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A local accountant found Trump organization lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony interesting, but he thinks Congress will need much more documentation to support claims that the president "lied" about his personal finances. 

While Trump fixer Cohen laid out a roadmap of alleged misdeeds, Westmont-based forensic accountant Howard Silverstone said, "There's still a lot of documentation that needs to be seen to really back up what he's saying."

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Cohen zoomed in on copies of Mr. Trump's financial statements given to members of the congressional committee. Two of them had attached accountants' reports, but not the third one, from 2013. That one is notable for including Mr. Trump's "brand value" of $4 billion.

"It does not appear as though an accountant had prepared it or looked at it," he said.

According to Cohen, it was used to demonstrate Trump's net worth to Forbes magazine as well as to bankers and insurers.

The 30-year veteran of forensic accounting also noted the sharply different views and questions launched by Democratic versus Republican members of the committee.

"I don't think it's any different to a regular court of law when you have someone representing a plaintiff and someone representing a defendant," Silverstone said.

READ: Cohen returns to Capitol Hill after slamming Trump as liar

Cohen revealed an alleged reimbursement check for the Stormy Daniels hush money payment, signed by Trump while in office.

"I would ask Mr. Cohen to produce the wire transfer request that shows he actually showed the bank to wire $130,000 on the date that he says it was wired," he said.
And Silverstone would want Cohen to produce the other checks that he claims he was repaid by Trump or members of the Trump organization.