Michael Cohen Testimony Open Thread

President Trump and former personal attorney Michael Cohen

President Trump’s longtime (former) personal attorney Michael Cohen is testifying in Congress today. Check out live updates via the Washington PostCNN.com, and Colorado Public Radio.

The Washington Post summarizes what Cohen is expected to discuss:

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer and personal lawyer, returns to Capitol Hill Wednesday for public testimony before the House Oversight Committee in what is expected to be a compelling appearance.

Cohen will allege — amid a stream of potentially damaging revelations about the president — that Trump knew in advance that the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks planned to publish hacked Democratic National Committee emails, and he will describe the president as a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat,” according to a copy of his written testimony.

The WikiLeaks allegation is perhaps the most explosive in the written testimony, speaking to the core of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the election. Mueller already has alleged that Russian military officials hacked the emails before they were published online by groups including WikiLeaks.

We’ll update this post as news develops.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gilpin Guy says:

    Convenient that Trump is out of the country this week.  Cohen's testimony is going to force him to come up with something creative for his summit to top it.

    • MADCO says:

      India and Pakistan in a shooting war.
      China trade war.
      US involved in wars in Yemen, Syria and Venzuela.
      Impending debt ceiling limit.
      Brexit.

      But you meant something media worthy like a royal pregnancy or celebrity divorce or even a naked celebrity or a combination of any or all, right?

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        He is going to sign anything Kim puts in front of him so he can say he has reached a deal.  Details or a review by the State Department be damned.  Kim has grabbed him by his balls and is going to make him sing like a canary in a vain effort to drown out Cohen's testimony.  There will be a lot of pomp and pageantry to go with it.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Cohen should remind the attack GOPers at the hearing that he is but a cautinary tale of what eventually happens to everyone that cozies up to, and fecklessly performs the bidding of, the Orange Enima . . . 

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    I noticed that Podestaemails a/k/a ColoradoOverreach f/k/a Moderatus is all riled up over the Michael Cohen testimony and posting on other threads.

    But not on here. I wonder why…..

  4. Short summary:

    * Republicans want the world to know that Cohen is a liar. Nothing else really matters.

    * Rep. Justin Amash is not a Republican for purposes of this conversation (or, really, on anything having to do with the President's lunacy).

    * Cohen had the documents and a clear recollection sufficient to throw The Donald, Junior, and others under the bus, where they should be permanently attached to assorted indictment papers. (But Trump won't be unless NYS steps in, or some DoJ prosecutor finds the guidance memo against indicting sitting Presidents intolerable.)

    * Trump knew: about the Moscow project, the Stone/WikiLeaks/Russia document dump, the Trump Tower meeting, the payoffs to his mistresses, the repayment structuring for those payoffs…

    * Trump is a con-artist, and a regular criminal in pursuit of the con. He's committed bank fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud…

    * Trump was afraid that his tax returns would expose his fraud and lead to an effective tax audit. It doesn't sound like he was actually under an audit at all.

    * There are many, many followup hearings based on Cohen's testimony.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Excellent short summary. Two other items worth mention:

      * "Cohen suggested federal prosecutors in New York are investigating some unspecified crime involving Trump, declining to answer questions about his last conversation with the president because of a request that he not discuss an ongoing inquiry."

      * Republicans are trying to suggest Cohen has something to gain from his testimony — apparently outraged he could be writing a book or his testimony could be a part of a plea for further reduction of his prison sentence.

      • In addition to the mysterious last conversation with Trump, Cohen sidestepped on a number of pending investigation issues. But what he did reveal was damning, and much of it went toward the SDNY investigation – or at least the one Cohen has already pled guilty to.

        Trump is Individual-1 in the SDNY investigation, and he directed the Stormy payoff and Cohen's reimbursement. He even signed at least one but not all of the checks.

        CFO Allen Weisselberg is Executive-1. He agreed on the repayment schedule, and co-signed at least one check from a Donald J. Ttump Trust account in repayment. (Open question: it that thenot-so-blind trust, or the Trump Org main account, or something else?)

        Donald Trump Jr. is Executive-2. He's the other co-signer on the trust check repaying Cohen.

        Rep. Ro Khanna asked a very pointed question of Cohen: is this conspiracy to commit financial fraud? Answer: yes.

        So we know SDNY has clear-cut evidence against these three already.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Reading your synopsis reminds me of Lance Armstrong and his decade of chicanery that all came down around him.  Trump is the Lance Armstrong of American politics.  You have to wonder how long his supporters will choose to be deceived by this man.

  5. notaskinnycook says:

    Yes, it's late. I had a minor household catastrophe to deal with today; as well as watching as much of the hearing as possible and then the evening shows on MSNBC.

    Something I don't remember: what "shocking revelations" were contained in Sec. Clinton's purloined email that supposedly sunk her campaign?

  6. mamajama55 says:

    Smoking gun? Lawrence O'Donnell thinks so. The check $rump signed to reimburse Cohen for buying Stormy Daniels' silence , was the first time a President has been caught committing an illegal act while in office.

    But O'Donnell's guest Donny Deutsch, a friend of Michael Cohen's, thinks that the  Russian influence will be "a sidebar" to the eventual indictment of members of the Trump family on racketeering charges through the RICO act. It's the crime, not the treason.

    Deutsch speaks at 9:21 in this video:

     

    • The payoff and reimbusement scheme is IMHO a slam dunk for a prosecutor. They show just how petty and everyday are the crimes that Trump and his inner circle are willing to commit.

      There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that Trump and his close associates are guilty of a massive array of mundane crimes, that they all tie together under RICO, and that the closest prosecutors have to get to Russia in SDNY is a bit of money laundering. 90% of these crimes happened before Trump assumed the Presidency. New York State could go after a number of those crimes if the Feds were afraid of pardons.

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