Cohen: fears no 'peaceful transition' if Trump loses in 2020

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, is flanked by his attorneys Lanny Davis (L) and Michael Monico (R) as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen said at the end of congressional testimony on Wednesday that he fears Trump will not allow his successor to peacefully take control of the White House if he loses the 2020 presidential election.

“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” Cohen said during his closing remarks before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

The remark from Cohen, who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump but has since turned on his former boss, came in his closing comments. He said his concern about the 2020 transition was “why I agreed to appear before you today.”

He added, “I have acknowledged I have made my own mistakes and I have owned up to them publicly and under oath, but silence and complicity in the face of the daily destruction of our basic norms and civility to one another will not be one of them.

“I did things and I acted improperly, at times at Mr. Trump’s behest. I blindly followed his demands. My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family’s happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and soon my freedom. And I will not sit back, say nothing, and allow him to do the same to the country.”

Reporting by Ginger Gibson, Doina Chiacu and Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Grant McCool and Lisa Shumaker