Four Things We Learned From Michael Cohen Today
Four Things We Learned From Michael Cohen Today
For those who weren’t glued to Twitter or your TV today, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, testified to the House Oversight Committee. Remember, Michael Cohen was CONVICTED of lying to Congress, and yet here he was testifying under oath.
The Democrats on the committee were ready for Cohen to spill his guts and “begin the impeachment process.” No, really.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 27, 2019
Forget it, Jake, it’s the media.
However, we didn’t get those promised bombshells today. What we got was totally predictable: a mixed bag of lies and probable truths, with no promise of which was which. But here are four things we did learn from Michael Cohen’s testimony today.
1) Michael Cohen did not go to Prague for Trump.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of the “Russian collusion” narrative, sprung from the Steele dossier, imploding in the heads of every Democrat watching.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) asks Michael Cohen: "Have you ever been to Prague?"
Cohen: "I've never been to Prague"
Norman: "Never have?"
Cohen: "I've never been to the Czech Republic" pic.twitter.com/CpNvsfJmqp
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 27, 2019
Remember, this was the Democrats’ STAR WITNESS, and he just undermined their entire narrative storyline.
2) Cohen lied TODAY about wanting a White House job.
When both Donald Trump, Jr. and CNN agree about something, well…
I told you that #cohen lobbied dozens for the job and was totally dejected when he didn’t get it.
That he could once again lie under oath is almost as sad as him thinking he would ever actually get the job. https://t.co/ftTnxaLsjV
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 28, 2019
CNN: Cohen isn't telling the truth when he said under questioning by Jim Jordan that he didn't want a job in the White House.
Dana Bash: "He very much wanted a job in the White House." pic.twitter.com/DK9VevYqIS
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) February 27, 2019
Cohen, later in his testimony, told Congress that he saw with Trump and an attorney to discuss staying on as Trump’s personal attorney following the inauguration.
“I did not want to go to the White House,” Cohen reasserted. “I retained, I brought an attorney in, and I sat with Mr. Trump, with him for well over an hour, explaining the importance of having a personal attorney, that every president has had one in order to handle matters like the matters I was dealing with.”
However, over the last year, sources have told CNN that Cohen wanted a job at the White House but was edged out by Trump’s family.
Cohen was named personal attorney to the President in a bid to mollify him after he was not offered a position at the White House, sources familiar with the matter said. But there is no indication he performed any legal work for Trump after he was inaugurated and he was not a member of the legal team representing him in the special counsel’s investigation.
It certainly sounds like Michael Cohen could get slapped for perjury AGAIN. Not a good look for the Democrats’ star witness.
3) Cohen was in contact with top Democrats regarding today’s testimony.
Republican Rep. Jody Hice: "Did you or anyone else on your team cooperate with the Democrat Party in preparing for this hearing?"
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 27, 2019
In a testy exchange between Cohen and Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., the president’s former lawyer said that his legal team has spoken to members of the Democratic Party ahead of Wednesday’s hearing on Capitol Hill.
“We’ve spoken to the party,” Cohen said, adding that he has also spoken with Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “and his people” but added that he only consulted with his lawyers to prepare for the hearing. Cummings is chairman of the House oversight committee that held Wednesday’s hearing.
While it is standard practice for witnesses testifying before Congress – and their lawyers – to talk beforehand with the heads of committees holding the hearings, Republicans already had complained about Cohen’s interactions with the panel, including that he didn’t turn over testimony and evidence until hours before the hearing’s start.
And the media got Cohen’s opening statement before the Republicans did. Funny, that.
Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also argued that the evidence and exhibits were not given to the minority staff at a reasonable time.
“CNN had it before we did—they had the exhibits before we did,” Jordan said, later adding that “this is the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness in a hearing.”
Cohen provided his prepared opening statement late Tuesday night to the committee’s majority staff, according to Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who said he shared it with the committee Republicans.
4) Michael Cohen intends to profit off his relationship with Donald Trump.
It might be a book, it might be a made-for-TV Lifetime movie. But Michael Cohen is going to ride this train until the money dries up.
“I have spoken to people who have sought me out regarding a movie deal,” he revealed in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.
When Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., asked if he would commit to forgo those sorts of deals, Cohen refused. She asked if he would refuse movie, TV, or book deals, and each time, Cohen said, “No.”
“So you don’t commit to changing your ways, basically? Because you want to continue to use your background as a liar, a cheater, a convicted liar, to make money?” Foxx said.
Well, the guy has to make a living somehow – he’ll never be hired as a lawyer ever again for his massive breaches of attorney-client privilege.
This is something I’ve never understood about Donald Trump. For someone who bragged that he only hired “the best,” he sure has had a load of backstabbing, crappy people around him. There is a lot to be inferred from that, but that is a whole different post for a different day.
This was hardly the earth-shattering testimony that the Democrats were hoping for. They wanted Watergate, they got a broken narrative and a sleazy convicted liar instead. Not exactly a day for the history books. If this is all Democrats have – and if they had anything else, we would have seen it by now – then they don’t have enough of anything.
Featured image: Michael Cohen testifying to the House Oversight Committee, February 27, 2019; screenshot via CSPAN YouTube channel