A Glossary of References in Michael Cohen’s Congressional Testimony

Michael Cohen testifies before the House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee is full of references that may go over the heads of those who haven’t been following this story closely for the last 18 months. Here are some terms you need to know:

Buffalo Bills — A notoriously hapless NFL team from Western New York that Trump once tried, and failed, to buy. Cohen said in his testimony that Trump lied on financial statements that he gave to Deutsche Bank in an attempt to get a loan to buy the team.

Catch and Kill — The process of buying the rights to a story and then burying it. Cohen says he worked with AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, to execute “several” catch and kill operations on Trump’s behalf.

Job in the White House — Asked in Wednesday’s hearing if he wanted a job in the White House, Cohen said he did not. That conflicts with reporting from, well, just about everybody. That means that the man who is going to jail for lying to Congress appears to have once again lied to Congress.

Karen McDougal — The former Playboy Playmate who claims to have had an affair with Trump.

Lanny DavisCohen’s lawyer and, according to Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the committee, the man who orchestrated the Cohen hearing. Davis, a former lawyer and spokesman for Bill Clinton, is also, according to Jordan, “the Clintons’ best friend, loyalist, operative.”

Lynne Patton — An event planner, former Trump Organization employee, and HUD official. Patton, who is black, provided a statement to lawmakers saying that she doesn’t think Trump is a racist.

Mark Meadows — The North Carolina congressman and Freedom Caucus chair has had trouble controlling his emotions during Wednesday’s hearing.

Novartis — A Swiss pharmaceutical company that paid $1.2 million to have Cohen on retainer. The agreement was supposed to give the company access to Trump administration officials, but Cohen failed to deliver.

Paul Gosar — A hard-right, conspiracy-theory-friendly Republican who lit into Cohen for being a “pathological liar.” During last year’s campaign, six of Gosar’s siblings made an ad for his opponent denouncing their brother.

Pee tape — The most salacious allegation in Christopher Steele’s dossier is that Trump was secretly recorded watching prostitutes urinate on a bed that President Obama had once slept in. Cohen threw cold water on the existence of such a tape in Wednesday’s testimony, saying, “I have no reason to believe that tape exists.”

ShouldTrumpRun.com — A website Cohen created in 2011 to gauge interest in a potential presidential run by Trump.

Stormy Daniels — The former porn star who says she slept with Trump in 2006 and recieved a $130,000 payment to keep quiet about it. Cohen says Trump ordered him to make that payment and has presented checks to Congress that he claims are reimbursement.

Tom Steyer — The billionaire environmentalist who has launched a campaign to impeach Donald Trump and, according to Jordan, one of the choreographers of today’s hearing. In a tweet, Steyer denied that he’s paying Cohen.

Trump Tower Moscow — A proposed Trump Organization development in the Russian capital that Donald Trump dreamed of building for decades. One of the reasons Cohen is going to prison is because he lied to Congress about when discussions regarding the project ended. He told lawmakers the discussion ended in January of 2016, but later admitted they continued at least until June of that year.

@WomenForCohen — A Twitter account set up to send horny tweets about Cohen, who reportedly wanted it to “elevate his profile.” At Wednesday’s hearing Cohen said, “It was for fun.”

A Glossary of References in Michael Cohen’s Testimony