It’s a jump off point for several Democratic led US House hearings…
It has given things we knew already a human feel of wrong doing….
It has shown that Republicans are NOT disputing wrong doing by Donald Trump and others…
Last but not least?
It has given Trump investigation stories in the media a shot of life….
“The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump,” Cohen said.
And yet, at the same time, the obviously tired, haggard shell of the once-boastful lawyer appeared eminently credible start to finish. Utterly broken but oddly confident, Cohen gave answers both crisp and precise. He often corrected basic facts from his congressional questioners and clarified specifically both answers and questions. He laid out reasons for seeking redemption that seemed relatable and understandable. In the process, he gave the most sensible narrative to date of Donald Trump’s unsavory journey to the White House.
The day did not reflect well on Congress as a fact-gathering body providing oversight: After the blockbusters in his prepared morning remarks, Cohen made little news, as both Democrats and Republicans seemed to fumble their way through questioning the decade-long fixer for Donald Trump. GOP members like representative Clay Higgins (R-Louisiana) seemed to lack even a basic understanding of the investigation swirling around Trump. And many lawmakers, presented with an opportunity to elicit real, new information in a public setting, instead opted for partisan sniping.
Cohen parried most questions easily. The GOP’s line of attack focused on Cohen’s credibility generally, while stopping short of attacking the credibility of any of his claims about Trump specifically. They decried the idea of Democrats hosting a man convicted of lying to Congress as if it were some sort of unprecedented watershed. (It wasn’t—Cohen wasn’t even the first witness so convicted this month. That was Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying to Congress in Iran-Contra, who testified on Venezuela).
By the afternoon, Cohen himself even noted the puzzling absence of “Trump” from the GOP’s questions.
Still, Cohen’s testimony, if you watched carefully, advanced minor parts of the public’s knowledge of the now 18 investigations swirling around Trump’s orbit: At one point he stated that Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were the two Trump executives briefed on the Trump Tower Moscow project. At another, he asserted that his most recent interactions with the Trump White House, which appear to have occurred last summer, are under investigation by the Southern District of New York, meaning that they likely focus on either the Trump business world or the inauguration, rather than special counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction probe…..