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Cohen hearing: Republicans unite in attempt to discredit him; few blockbusters surface

Michael Cohen
REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Michael Cohen testifying before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Not one Republican asked one question of Michael Cohen that was intended to find out whether Donald Trump has done a single thing illegal or even unwise, let alone impeachable. They didn’t even pretend to care.

Instead, the Republican members of the House Oversight Committee seemed anxious to demonstrate their obedience and loyalty to Trump, oft-times seeming like blind partisan loyalty. (There was one exception, Justin Amash, R-Michigan, whose questioning was strangely sweet and nonpartisan. Amash asked Cohen to talk about the principles he has chosen to follow in his life.)

But as for the rest, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. I expected the Republicans to be skeptical of Michael Cohen’s testimony (and, oh, boy were they ever) and I expected them to point out that his current version of events contradicts many lies he told during his past as a loyal Trump henchman. I expected them to be rough on him, and thought they might argue that a ratfink who previously profited off his relationship with Trump deserves that.

But as I watched the whole daylong interrogation of Cohen, I confess I thought some of the Republicans would show some interest — at least fake but maybe even some real interest by the best of them — about whether the current occupant of the Oval is guilty or even mildly implicated in any of the wrongdoing that allegedly helped Trump get elected.


I mean, c’mon. Be loyal to your party within reason. Be skeptical of the various accusations. But at least pretend you care about the teensy possibility that the president’s accusers and disbelievers are not just making up all evidence behind those accusations.

With that said, I should also say that Cohen day at the committee produced relatively little in the way of new blockbusters, although it did produce a fair bit of important leads and some new documentation that will help those trying to understand how low our president is capable of sinking.

My mind went back to Watergate. Yes, there were Republicans in both the House and Senate inquiries of alleged wrongdoing by President Richard Nixon who thought their job was to defend their guy. And there were Democrats who thought their job was to convict.

But there were members of both parties in both houses who recognized a higher loyalty to truth and the law and importance of having a president who was not a crook. Sen. Howard Baker, the leader of the Republicans on the Senate special committee in Watergate days, and Rep. Bill Cohen, R-Maine, who was on the House Judiciary Committee, come to mind.) Baker was famous for demanding of witness after witness a version of his refrain: “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” And he didn’t let his partisan identity prevent him from pursuing that question, which ultimately helped get to the truth.

There was essentially none of that yesterday. Republican members seemed interested only in discrediting Cohen, who, when the final story comes in, may be an unlikely hero, in the literary anti-hero mode. I don’t claim to know whether he will — nor, certainly, how this ends. I’ve long since discovered that I don’t and perhaps can’t truly understand the depth of Donald Trump’s appeal to and hold on his admirers.

I swore I wouldn’t write too much or get into the details, of which few were blockbusters but some of which may, upon deeper examination, turn out to be case-breakers. I don’t claim to know. Cohen will go to prison, which he deserves, and get some leniency for turning state’s evidence, which he also deserves.

The New York Times noted in its summary of Cohen’s testimony that Trump paid him back for the $130,000 Cohen had paid porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about their sexual liaison. The reimbursement from Trump to Cohen came in several pieces from different sources, but one part was a check signed by Trump himself, Cohen said, and he produced the check with Trump’s signature on it.

But the Times story said its “experts cautioned that nothing Mr. Cohen said drastically altered what was known about any legal case against the president.” 

CNN’s Chris Cillizza claimed to have learned eight things from Cohen, which he enumerates here, but confesses that they contain no silver bullet. He led with Cohen’s assertion that he listened over the speakerphone in Trump’s office as Roger Stone tipped Trump off to the timing of Julian Assange’s big dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.


One last thing. This was no more than Cohen’s speculation, and there were no follow-up questions on it. But I don’t think anyone can dispute that Cohen is one of the world’s major experts on Donald Trump, which perhaps qualifies him to speculate on what Trump might be capable of, to hold on to power.

But, in passing, and without being asked a question that elicited it, Cohen said that if, perchance Trump makes it to the end of his term, and loses the 2020 election, he, Cohen, does not think Trump would allow a peaceful transfer of the power of the American presidency to the person who might beat him in that election. Again, this is not a fact, and no one asked Cohen to explain on what he based that statement, but it was a majorly creepy moment that perhaps merits some contingency planning.

Comments (66)

  1. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 02/28/2019 - 10:07 am.

    It is obvious that Trump was a fool -(and remains so in many ways)” to ever hire this guy and the Democrats were foolish to bring him before the committee.

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 02/28/2019 - 11:34 am.

      Con men don’t (intentionally) hire Eagle Scouts and Eagle Scouts don’t (intentionally) work for con men.

      The very premise that a liar would work for a liar is not only plausible, it’s predictable.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/28/2019 - 05:46 pm.

      People who regularly behave unethically and illegally hire people who are willing to behave unethically and illegally.

      Shocked ?

      You shouldn’t be. It’s how every criminal enterprise operates.

      And they are brought down not by the innocent angels who couldn’t even conceive of the intricacies of the illegality, but by those on the inside who turn evidence for the state.

      Shocked ?

      You shouldn’t be. It’s how many criminal enterprises are brought down.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/28/2019 - 05:54 pm.

      And while you my believe that the entire investigation rests on Cohen, you miss the point that the other players were named to be brought forward.

      In the old adage–follow the money.

      (Ahem, Weisselberg)

      You know, all of this protestations of a “witch-hunt” become pretty hollow when an entire coven is found stirring the pot.

      But hey, continue on the Trump path–it only drives another nail into “conservatism” and the GOP’s coffin.

      .

    • Submitted by ian wade on 02/28/2019 - 11:11 pm.

      You were spot on until you continued to post after the word ‘fool.’

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 03/01/2019 - 11:35 am.

      “Who’s more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

      Or, to expand upon Mr. Kenobi’s question, “Who’s more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows the fool who follows him?

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 02/28/2019 - 10:40 am.

    Eric, your contrasting today’s Republicans with those of the Nixon era was spot on. It’s pitiful how that party has chosen power over patriotism. We can only hope the younger generation rediscovers character and ethics. These are democracy’s darkest days in the last century.

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 02/28/2019 - 12:13 pm.

      Mr. Cage:

      I couldn’t agree more. Excellent piece, Eric, as usual. I was thinking yesterday and today that President Trump is like a snake-oil salesman in the old traveling carnival days, with a mob boss attitude and characteristics (especially to those he doesn’t like, and there are MANY!) Why anyone would believe President Trump over people like James Comey and Andrew McCabe, and yes, even Michael Cohen is BEYOND me!!!! I can’t help but remember a political cartoon which depicted Satan taking off a Donald Trump “mask” and stating: “What I am most proud of is how I have gotten the evangelicals’ support.” Or something like that. It bears pondering at the very least. And MUCH prayer for our nation.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/28/2019 - 10:53 am.

    “…he, Cohen, does not think Trump would allow a peaceful transfer of the power of the American presidency to the person who might beat him in that election.” I agree – a VERY creepy moment.

    I also agree with the first part of Mr. Gotzman’s statement: “…Trump was a fool -(and remains so in many ways).” Nothing at all foolish about bringing Cohen before the committee in public.

  4. Submitted by JUDITH MONSON on 02/28/2019 - 10:56 am.

    Thanks for your article. I watched the entire hearing. I too was shocked by the anger — and even hatred — expressed by the Republican committee members. I expected pushback but not in such a vitriolic and out of control manner. It was scary to see how threatened and desperate and in lock step most of them seemed in their attacks on Cohen, with nary a mention or curious inquiry about Trump.

    I found Cohen credible. Hearing the summer of his history with Trump was powerful in its entirety, especially in appreciating how intimately involved Trump was (and is) in even the most inconsequential business events affecting him — including a seeming paranoia and distrust, especially for his son but toward others as well. It felt like an historical moment to me, as if a page had been turned in solidifying the portrait of this man, our President.

    Yet Cohen spoke also of Trump’s charm, his charisma. The enigma of this duality — Jekyll and Hyde — in such a complex figure was disturbing. How we got here, how Trump got this far, was for me the most compelling question implied in Cohen’s testimony. My question, as further events unfold — ever more cornered, how will Trump, this wounded man, strike out?

    If you didn’t hear Cohen’s testimony, I urge you to find and read or listen to his approximately half hour opening summary statement of his 10 years serving Trump. It’s riveting!

  5. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 02/28/2019 - 11:06 am.

    The bias here is pretty substantial. Why is the focus on the Republicans? This was just an extension of the circus act that Democrats want to have as Trump is in office. The Democrats were the ones that paraded this proven liar and save his own hide lawyer for this hearing. The Democrats got nothing out of this. They basically invited Cohen to be shot up, and with mere facts not just conjecture.

    Mr Black, why not actually report what really happened…that yesterday’s show was a flop by the Dems because of their continued hatred of the president and that hatred is leading them to poor decisions in front of the electorate. But for you to actually write up something negative on Dems will probably never happen.

    In fact, the only big thing learned from yesterday is Rep. Tlaib’s desire to turn every little thing into fake racism and that the Dems playbook is still in identity politics, no matter how bad it is. But according to the usual media playbook, that is not going to be reported on because it puts Dems in a bad light.

    • Submitted by Gene Nelson on 02/28/2019 - 11:25 am.

      I find it disappointing how willing the repubs are to believe this president, despite his over 8,700 recorded lies, his Russian connections and so many issues of corruption.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/28/2019 - 11:31 am.

      “The Democrats were the ones that paraded this proven liar and save his own hide lawyer for this hearing.”

      The lies that were proven were lies that said Trump was innocent. Heckuva defense, there.

      The “save his own hide” man is going away to federal prison for three years. I understand that the N.Y. Court of Appeals has just acted to disbar him.

      But he turned on the Great Person Born of Heaven, so he must be evil, right? Snitches get stitches.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 02:11 pm.

        Cohen lied to save his own skin and it failed. He didn’t even have enough to cut any kind of plea deal. Calling a convicted liar to testify is nothing more than a circus act. Nothing Cohen says can be considered credible.

        • Submitted by Eric House on 02/28/2019 - 02:39 pm.

          The man is going to jail for proven perjury to Congress. His testimony yesterday was primarily the opposite of his prior lies, and this time he brought receipts (bank records, checks, etc…)

          As as known liar, his words should be taken with a grain of salt- but when he repudiates his prior lies and comes with evidence to back his current testimony he becomes credible. In addition, as you point out- he gains nothing by this testimony since he’s going to jail anyhow.

          The testimony yesterday was in line with previously known facts, and previously suspected criminal activity. High Crimes and Misdemeanors have been committed by this president- and they should be punished, not protected by partisan word games.

          • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 10:07 pm.

            There were no previous known facts. Cohen has nothing on Trump. So far this entire charade has yielded only one thing, Trump didn’t collude with the Russians. A convicted liar (one who lied to Congress) cannot be taken with any credibility, period. He even lied about the birth of his own kid. The man will lie about anything and everything.

        • Submitted by Marc Post on 02/28/2019 - 02:41 pm.

          You can’t trust anything the Liar-in-Chief says either. They’re all a pack of crooks. Lock the ALL up!

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/28/2019 - 04:02 pm.

          So was he lying when he tried to exonerate Trump?

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 03:10 pm.

      If there was an upvote button you’d get one for they comment. Couldn’t agree more esp your first line.

  6. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/28/2019 - 11:11 am.

    Once upon a time, it was thought that personal loyalties should take second place to the loyalty to the republic. Early Americans admired the Roman Brutus for his willingness to participate in taking down Julius Caesar, even though Caesar had granted him amnesty for his role in the Civil War against the First Triumvirate. In fact, the phrase attributed to Brutus after he killed Caesar is the official motto of Virginia (“Sic Semper Tyrannis”).

    It looks like that loyalty to the republic is gone. Rather than asking if it isn’t possible that Trump is guilty. they are attacking the whole process, and attacking one of the witnesses against him. Cohen (who is no moral exemplar, even on his best days) is reviled by the right in terms mob bosses would employ before having someone whacked. The only condemnation of Trump is that he shouldn’t have hired him in the first place (along with incomprehensible derision for the Democrats who called him to testify).

    Yesterday’s hearing was nothing more than confirmation that, for all their pieties about the rule of law and fealty to the Constitution, the Republicans really don’t care. When one of their own is on the line, it’s pull out all the stops to save him. If the one on the line is Our Beloved Leader, the urgency is even greater.

    As a not unrelated aside, no one on the Republican side is really acting as if Trump is innocent, are they?

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 02:16 pm.

      First off, Cohen has no credibility. Calling him to testify was a waste of time. He’s a convicted liar.

      Secondly, Congress already knows what Cohen told Mueller. There is nothing more to ask of Cohen.

      Third, there has not been even 1 piece of evidence that Trump broke any laws. Not even Mueller can find any. His report is expected to show no wrongdoing. The US Senate found no wrongdoing. The US House found n wrongdoing. At some point you people need to accept reality that Hillary lost fair and square and that Trump hasn’t broken any laws. You don’t have to like him but step into reality for once.

      • Submitted by Marc Post on 02/28/2019 - 02:44 pm.

        Well, there was that check Cohen brought as evidence. Wait for Mueller to finish his work. Then we’ll see.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/28/2019 - 04:10 pm.

        “Third, there has not been even 1 piece of evidence that Trump broke any laws.”

        You need to brush up on the Rules of Evidence. Cohen’s testimony is evidence, even if you choose not to believe it.

        “Not even Mueller can find any.”

        How do you know?

        “His report is expected to show no wrongdoing.”

        Expected by whom? A staff member who was talking kind of vaguely a couple of weeks ago?

        “The US Senate found no wrongdoing.”

        May I fix it for you? “The US Senate, composed largely of Republicans who are shameless in their fealty to Donald Trump, found no wrongdoing.”

        “The US House found n wrongdoing.”

        This is the first House investigation not dominated by the loonier brand of Republican. I wouldn’t put too much store in what the Bedlam Boys did or didn’t conclude.

        The larger point is that the possibility of presidential wrongdoing does not seem to concern Republicans. They have made up their mind, and will not accept any effort to find out what is true.

        As I said before, that’s not how innocent people behave.

  7. Submitted by Pat Berg on 02/28/2019 - 11:15 am.

    Keep in mind there was also “behind closed doors” testimony. What significant insights may have been offered there that are not available for the public eye?

    • Submitted by Noel Martinson on 02/28/2019 - 12:47 pm.

      You raise a good point, Pat. When the cameras are on, it’s time to play to your base. Much of what we saw yesterday was simply that. I found it refreshing that some of the freshman Democrats apparently haven’t caught on yet and asked some of the most insightful questions.

  8. Submitted by Gene Nelson on 02/28/2019 - 11:21 am.

    We have a repub president with over 8,700 recorded lies and instead of trusting Cohen who claimed he did these at the presidents request…they attack the messenger and believe the president with so many recorded lies.
    We all know that if this info came out about a Dem, the reaction by the conservatives and their outlets would be screaming.
    Their massive hypocrisy is disappointing.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 02/28/2019 - 01:12 pm.

      Their massive hypocrisy is unsurprising.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/28/2019 - 01:13 pm.

      How can it be disappointing? It’s just how things happen.

      It’s like breaking a leg after a bad fall. You didn’t want it to happen, but you can’t be disappointed, because you had to figure it would.

  9. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 02/28/2019 - 12:25 pm.

    Cohen was very clear what he did for Trump – protected his lies and threats with additional lies and threats. The $75,000 check was all the proof I need to know when Trump denies everything he is charged with – and there is a lot of everything – he is lying. Bank statements are not opinion – they are fact. How played fabulously rich man alternating with poor man for tax purpose was another moment of truth revealing his total lack of respect for the law.

  10. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 02/28/2019 - 12:49 pm.

    Trump’s victory in 2016 meant that the Republican Party would control the judicial branch for decades to come. We will have Trump courts for generations after he leaves office.

    Isn’t that worth a little temporary humiliation?

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 02/28/2019 - 01:14 pm.

      And that’s why they keep protecting him – he’ll sign their bills and install their judges.

      The length of time this damage will last is just heartbreaking.

  11. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 02/28/2019 - 01:12 pm.

    Given the GOP’s reaction to the Kavanaugh hearings, I was surprised to see how shrill and out of control they were yesterday.

  12. Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 02:20 pm.

    A convicted liar (who already lied to Congress) has no credibility. There is no point to asking him questions because you can’t take any of his answers as credible. This was nothing more than a circus put on by the Democrats. They will keep this up until 2020 and it will only hurt them.

    • Submitted by Eric House on 02/28/2019 - 02:40 pm.

      Which replies are not credible? The proven lies from before- or the new words that line up with previously known and suspected facts?

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 10:14 pm.

        All of them. There is no way to know which answers are true , if any. He has lied about everything his entire adult life. There are no proven facts… Trump has never been charged with any crimes (since his announcement to run for office in 2015). You keep making claims that are not true and then basing your comments off of them. Cohen can have all the bank records and checks he wants… they prove nothing. You people have him guilty without a single shred of evidence. The DOJ will not accuse him of any crime, the FBI found no crimes, the US Senate and House found no crimes… Mueller has not found any crimes either (Alan Dershowitz would be a pretty reliable source on that and he says the same thing).

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 09:53 am.

          “All of them. There is no way to know which answers are true , if any.”

          Cohen testified that he doesn’t think that Trump has a “love child,” or that he has physically harmed Melania Trump. Were those lies, too?

        • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 03/02/2019 - 03:42 pm.

          Trump is already an unindicted co-conspirator in the Southern District of New York on two federal felonies for violations of campaign laws; Truj[ is named in Cohen’s court documents. Cohen brought a signed check by President Trump (signed while President) for reimbursement to Cohen for his work on the latter.

          Where’ve you been, Mr. Barnes? Trump is getting indicted for federal crimes and that will continue as more independent prosecutors and investigators reveal their digging. The man is deeply corrupt. The GOP has struggled to keep that a secret.

    • Submitted by David Lundeen on 02/28/2019 - 07:27 pm.

      Great insight, and I suppose Kim Jong Un always tells the truth. Afterall, he had nothing to do with Otto Warmbier’s death, because he hold Trump he didn’t. That you’re an apologist for a President who debases our country by coddling dictators and thugs in front of the eyes of the world. He murdered an American citizen and Trump doesn’t think it’s a problem. Cohen is a liar, and I’m glad he’s going to jail. But I guess it makes so much sense to you that he would perjure himself again in front of Congress before he goes to jail.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 09:24 am.

        “Afterall, he had nothing to do with Otto Warmbier’s death, because he hold Trump he didn’t. ”

        I’d give even money that he never said any such thing, because Trump never asked him. It was an afterthought when a reporter’s question reminded Trump that the subject of Otto Warmbier never came up.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/01/2019 - 09:25 am.

        Kim must be telling the truth.
        After all, Putin said he did.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 02/28/2019 - 11:16 pm.

      You seem like you’re trying to convince yourself rather than any of us. Face facts…Republicans are rattled and Trump is just plain scared.

  13. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 02/28/2019 - 02:49 pm.

    The people who are saying “Nothing much new in the Cohen testimony,” I suggest that they may be the kind of Trump-Watch obsessive–like me, actually–who has been following every last news outlet for glimpses inside the Trump [Un]Truth.

    The folks who might have been a bit surprised, if they watched, are the die-hard Trumpites. Trying to get them to realize what Trump is, and from an insider like Cohen, has to be one of the goals of all who want to save our democracy from The Donald.

    You don’t just listen closely to Michael Cohen; you put together this dot and that dot, tying them all together like any good prosecutor. Get corroborating documents and other testimony (A. Ocasio-C. was great yesterday asking what else do you recommend we see or hear?).

    The value of having Cohen testify in a public hearing is in the possibility of reaching even a few fervent, and blind, Trump followers with truths they don’t hear on Fox News or Breitbart.

    If they listen, they might just understand that they, like Cohen, have been “mesmerized” by the charismatic con man Trump who goes around saying everything is the greatest and the best and there’s no collusion, so they’ll ll just blindly repeat his code, his false narratives.

    There is s chance that the guy who just explained for us Trump’s coded way of speaking will enable Trumpites to break free.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/28/2019 - 10:20 pm.

      The person we needed to save our democracy from was Obama (and Hillary) for weaponizing the DOJ and FBI against a political opponent. I would think if you honestly cared about our democratic elections that would really be upsetting for you…. using the govt’s top criminal justice agencies to not only spy on an opposing candidate but to also try to overthrow a duly elected President? What would you have said if Bush43 did the same things to Obama’s campaign in 2008???? You would have been so up in arms you’d have been rioting in the streets and marching on DC by the millions.

      The sad part is that since you refuse to hold those people accountable (when there is a mountain of verified evidence, a good portion of which the public has seen such as the fbi texts) now a precedent will be set so that Trump can use those same tactics against any opponents in 2020 or 2024 if he wants. The spying and corruption continues to grow because you refused to hold your own politicians accountable for their actions.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 09:54 am.

        “The spying and corruption continues to grow because you refused to hold your own politicians accountable for their actions.”

        So it’s okay not to hold Trump accountable for his actions?

        Accountability has to start somewhere, Mr. Barnes.

    • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 03/01/2019 - 12:15 pm.

      Connie, I agree with you that to those such as the average MinnPost reader who pay some civic attention, there were not “bombshells,” nor did we expect them. Nor is a House committee hearing the place where we expect the precision, substantiation and corroboration of evidence sufficient to prove illegal acts or their consequences. That is for law enforcement investigation and judicial process.

      But I don’t agree that the target audience of such a hearing is the Trump base. These people have been cultivated to be authoritarian cult followers, and will not change. Maybe one or two, but that does not a target audience make.

      The target audience, I would suggest, is the mainstream media and the portion of the population that pays almost no civic attention whatsoever.
      In the propaganda ecology of our society, the chief task of the mainstream media is to maintain the illusion of democracy in the form of two competing parties. To do this, the media most of all need to normalize Trump, sustain the legitimacy of the Republican party, and maintain the realm of permitted discussion firmly in a mythical “middle” where it is not disrupted by the critique from the left. The result of these efforts is that those who don’t pay civic attention at more than a local level remain in a labile “Both Sides” state of mind, where they can be swayed based on events of the day, or superficial news and manipulative narratives appearing at any point in time, or considerations such as which candidate one might enjoy drinking a beer with.

      The chief purpose of hearings such as the public Cohen hearing, then, is to try to break down, and break thru, the media’s carefully maintained Both Siderist wall. It is to try to move the mainstream media away from its operating principle that the two parties are qualitatively the same and situated on both sides of a middle. It is to try to cause this unengaged, uncommitted part of the citizenry – a sizable element – to realize (consciously or otherwise) that there is not a symmetry, but rather one party that at least continues to endorse democratic values and work toward them, however haltingly, and another that has conclusively abandoned democracy in the interest of power.

  14. Submitted by Howard Miller on 02/28/2019 - 03:12 pm.

    I hear much about liar liar liar …. can’t believe him period sort of thinking.

    Trump lied more than 8000 times according to press documentation. Do the same people dismiss everything he says as a result?

    Mitch McConnell lied on the Senate floor just recently about Democrats being responsible for election fraud actually committed by Republicans in the North Carolina 9th Congressional District. Do we write his every word off as consequence? It’s not his first lie, after all.

    With someone like Cohen, it’s the corroborating evidence that highlights what can be believed. That got little mention, but much exists. Not all hinges on his veracity. Trump IS a liar, con, and racist

    And much happened involving Trump and his campaign that did not swirl around Mr. Cohen. We have yet to dive into that in public. I believe Mr. Mueller has a sense of urgency, is moving with haste. House Democrats share that haste. It will be lively if horrifying to learn how extensive corruption is in our federal level, still unchecked today

  15. Submitted by Eric House on 02/28/2019 - 03:18 pm.

    Maybe someone can explain to me why we can’t trust anything that Michael Cohen says, even when his words corroborate known facts, because he is a proven liar. But yet we are supposed to believe the words of the proven liar, Donald Trump, even when his words directly contradict known facts.

  16. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 02/28/2019 - 05:35 pm.

    I didnt watch a minute of the “hearing”, but given the comments I’ve seen from leftists here, and elsewhere, it sounds like it lived up to be the debacle it was promised to be.

    Personally, I endorse the Democrat majority to spend as much time amusing their base with this kind of stuff as possible; it’ll keep them out of our hair.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 03/01/2019 - 01:11 pm.

      Well, it didn’t compare with the schadenfreude that came from watching Clinton reduce Trey Gowdy to flop sweat after 11 hours of grilling, but it was interesting to see how absolutely morally bankrupt GOP lawmakers have become. Rather sad, actually.

  17. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2019 - 07:10 pm.

    “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell”

    ― Carl Sandburg (describing congressional Republicans?)

  18. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2019 - 07:13 pm.

    The most significant thing that Cohen said may have been at the end — the Federal prosecutors in NY are not bound by the tight restrictions that Mueller is — they can pursue any evidence of any crime that they come across. And clearly Cohen knows what they’ve got.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 03/01/2019 - 10:29 am.

      Sure he does. Why *wouldn’t* prosecutors lay all their cards on the table with a convicted felon on his way to the federal pen?

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/01/2019 - 02:19 pm.

        ??It’s called a ‘plea deal’ — a type of negotiation that’s common in law enforcement, and one which Trump will soon become familiar with (then we’ll see what kind of negotiator he really is).

  19. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2019 - 07:18 pm.

    And if Trump ordering a security clearance for Kushner endangers the United States or its interests, it would constitute grounds for impeachment.

  20. Submitted by Tim Smith on 02/28/2019 - 08:20 pm.

    Same ol same ol.. its always the other guy while completely ignoring your own personal uber fave party who you never ever disagree with doing the same thing for years. These hearings were a sham funded by good American taxpayers, hugs a perjurerr,, sham.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 09:25 am.

      Kind of reminds you of the Benghazi hearings, doesn’t it?

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 03/01/2019 - 10:31 am.

        Not so much. Most of the witnesses from Benghazi didn’t survive to belch invective before a House committee.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 10:50 am.

          Which didn’t stop Republicans from holding multiple investigations of the issue. It also doesn’t stop the ignorant from continuing to chant “Lock her up!”

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/01/2019 - 09:27 am.

      yeah … hearing about Trumpian lies is getting boring after the sixth thousandth (at least those are the documented ones).

  21. Submitted by david hanners on 03/01/2019 - 04:17 am.

    The GOP handwringing/faux outrage over Cohen’s previous false statements to Congress — for which he is being held to account — would be entertaining were it not for the fact these same folks cheer Elliot Abrams (convicted of withholding information from Congress) as he gets approved for a diplomatic post in the Trump administration.

    I do not recall the GOP outrage when Jeff Sessions lied to them about not having any contacts with Russians. Then there’s Betsy DeVos, who said during her confirmation hearings that she wasn’ involved in her family’s foundation. She was listed as a board member at the time — and had been for 17 years.

    Then we have Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who told Congress his bank had not used “robo-signing” to (improperly) foreclose on home loans. Uh, the bank did. No GOP outrage.

    I’m seeing a pattern here….

  22. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/01/2019 - 08:44 am.

    The thing that struck me was the infantile nature of the Republican attempt at a response. It was somewhat startling and reassuring at the same time.

    Starling because the infantile position of standing behind an historically dishonest POTUS while literally holding a sign saying: “liar liar pants on fire” was breathtakingly ridiculous.

    Reassuring because standing behind an historically dishonest POTUS while literally holding a sign saying: “liar liar pants on fire” was breathtakingly ridiculous.

    Republicans literally provided a spectacle of an infantile temper tantrum on par with some of Trump’s more notable temper tantrums. This will play well with their small base, but it will likely harden the impression of Trump as con-man running a criminal organization for everyone else.

    Cohen is more believable than Trump simply because he reveals what we already know about Trump, and he refutes what we know to be false claims made by Trump. We have one known liar that is now telling the truth, and another known liar… that is still lying. Cohen basically describes a criminal enterprise run by a wannabe mafioso. Trump’s problem is that this description fits soooooo well with the behavior we’ve been watching since he got into the White House.

  23. Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/01/2019 - 10:32 am.

    You should add to the headline:”Dems unite to suddenly give credibility to compulsive Liar. Facts and reson be damned”

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/01/2019 - 11:07 am.

      That addition would be inaccurate. You see, Democrats oppose Trump. Why would they try to give him any credibility?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/01/2019 - 12:36 pm.

      Dude, 75 out of a 100 Americans reading your comment KNOW that Trump is the biggest liar in the room. You can’t stand behind Trump and complain about Cohen with any credibility. And you can’t claim to be reality or fact based while standing behind Trump of all people, and you can’t launch factless attacks on Cohen (Can you actually disprove his testimony) and claim to be the fact guys in the room. Well, correction: you CAN do all of these things, but you just end up looking comical.

      And if any Democrat threatened the family of a witness scheduled to come before a committee, you guys would be denouncing that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But after two years of Trump, it’s just another day at the office for you guys.

  24. Submitted by Joe Musich on 03/01/2019 - 07:12 pm.

    I must say a couple of the democratic questioners will take the House and hopefully the Senate down a path for more very incriminating evidence. It is time and maybe past it to get those tax returns. I suspect that could be in motion the week after next. I also suspect some people will be coming to different conclusions regarding what they think happened and should now happen rather rapidly. But like Nixon the dam will suddenly break. Some posters have their heels dug in but I actually hope not so deeply that they will be able to reconsider. It’s still not too late. As to the hearings I found them both disturbing and enjoyable.

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