Michael Cohen Set To Deliver Potentially Blockbuster Evidence Against Trump

Michael Cohen, the President's former lawyer and "fixer," is set to deliver several bombshells in his testimony before Congress today.

Michael Cohen, who testified yesterday behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee, is set to testify publicly today, and it appears he’ll be delivering several bombshells even as Republicans seek to defend the President:

WASHINGTON — Michael D. Cohen plans to tell Congress on Wednesday that President Trump is a “con man” and a “cheat” who knew a longtime adviser was communicating with WikiLeaks — and who implicitly instructed Mr. Cohen to lie about a Trump Tower project in Moscow that was underway during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The extraordinary testimony will take place when Mr. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, publicly appears before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. An advance copy of Mr. Cohen’s testimony was obtained Tuesday night by reporters at multiple news organizations, including The New York Times, just as Mr. Trump began meetings in Vietnam before convening with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

Mr. Cohen and his lawyer and adviser, Lanny J. Davis, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

In a statement earlier Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, condemned Mr. Cohen as a “disgraced felon.”

“It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies,” she said.

In vivid and at times tortured language, Mr. Cohen plans to use his opening remarks to unspool a narrative laced with regret of his decade working alongside Mr. Trump, including episodes during the 2016 campaign that are believed to be at the center of investigations by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and federal prosecutors in New York.

The testimony underscores many of the unsavory themes and stories that have recurred in public reporting about Mr. Trump — he inflates his wealth, makes racist remarks, threatens his enemies and tries to bend the law to his favor — but puts them on the record, under oath, in the voice of a man who was one of Mr. Trump’s closest aides.

“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience,” Mr. Cohen plans to say. “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat.”

But there are also more perilous claims that could further highlight Mr. Trump’s potential legal exposure in the investigations that have already ensnared Mr. Cohen and other Trump associates. Mr. Cohen’s testimony before the Oversight Committee will be his first in public, before Congress, but he has already spent more than 70 hours with Mr. Mueller’s investigators and with federal prosecutors in New York investigating a scheme hatched in the run-up to the 2016 election to make hush money payments to a pornographic film actress who claimed to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen and his account will be subjected to deep scrutiny by Republicans, who have already begun to hammer away with questions about his past business dealings and credibility. They plan to use Wednesday’s hearing to paint Mr. Cohen as self-centered and untrustworthy — a man who ran afoul of the law, including by lying to Congress once before, and then once he was caught, sought to spin lies about his former boss to reduce his time in prison.

Mr. Cohen will address his own past lies head-on and plans to use documents to try to bolster certain claims. He plans to draw a picture of Mr. Trump using the type of nonspecific directives more often associated with organized crime bosses than with American presidents.

“In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing,” Mr. Cohen plans to say. “In his way, he was telling me to lie.”

He will add: “Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.”

Mr. Cohen also plans to say that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers approved his testimony, suggesting that they signed off on him telling a false version of events to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Mr. Cohen is meeting with both committees again in private this week in part to correct those earlier false statements.

“Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it,” Mr. Cohen will say. “He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.”

What Mr. Trump said to Mr. Cohen has emerged as a central question, after the website BuzzFeed reported last month that Mr. Mueller had evidence that the president had “personally directed” his former lawyer to lie about the project when he testified before Congress in 2017. Mr. Mueller’s office called the report “inaccurate.”

Mr. Cohen’s account under oath will state that something took place, but not that Mr. Trump made an overt directive.

(…)

Mr. Cohen will also tell Congress that Mr. Trump had advance knowledge through his longtime adviser Roger J. Stone Jr. that WikiLeaks would publish hacked emails that would damage his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone,” his written remarks say. “Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great.'”

Mr. Stone, who was recently indicted on charges that include witness tampering and false statements to Congress, has denied to reporters that such a conversation took place. The recent indictment against him made no mention of such a conversation, but it did state that a senior campaign official was directed to contact Mr. Stone around that period of time about what material WikiLeaks had.

And Mr. Cohen will reference a conversation he claims to have observed between the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and his father, which he believes happened around the time of a planned meeting with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

He does not claim to have heard a direct reference to the meeting. Instead, Mr. Cohen will say, he recalled this event after The Times revealed the June 2016 meeting had taken place.

“I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying, ‘The meeting is all set.’ I remember Mr. Trump saying, “O.K. good … let me know,'” Mr. Cohen will say.

(…)

Mr. Cohen will chronicle less legally dubious but unflattering encounters, as well, according to the prepared remarks. He plans to say that as a candidate, Mr. Trump directed him to write letters to his high school, college and other entities threatening them not to release transcripts of his standardized test scores.

He will claim that Mr. Trump asked him to put off reporters asking about his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft, telling Mr. Cohen privately that there were no medical records of the bone spurs that he has said affected his heel.

“You think I’m stupid? I wasn’t going to Vietnam,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Cohen.

And he will assert that “it was my experience” that Mr. Trump inflated his wealth to garner attention, and deflated his assets to lower his tax bills.

Mr. Cohen plans to describe his former boss as a jumble of conflicts, but one who is ultimately a dishonorable person.

“Mr. Trump is an enigma,” Mr. Cohen will say. “He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself.”

Just hours before the beginning of meetings in Hanoi with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the President was tweeting obsessively about Cohen and his upcoming public testimony:

As I said yesterday, the fact that Cohen has already pled guilty to lying to a Congressional Committee obviously calls his credibility into question, and it’s likely to be a topic that the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee will return to several times over the course of the day in an effort to undermine Cohen’s testimony and distract from what Cohen is saying. Given Cohen’s admitted lying, it is appropriate that his credibility is considered in evaluating his testimony, of course, but in this case, there are likely to be several reasons to believe what Cohen has to say regarding his former boss.

First, according to early reports Cohen will be bringing with him documentary evidence to support what he will be saying about the President today. According to one report, this will include items such as a personal check from the President to Cohen for $35,000, which Cohen will testify was intended to be reimbursement for the payment engineered to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her silent about the affair she claims to have had with Trump in 2006. There are also tapes on which Cohen and Trump can be heard discussing the Daniels payment and the separate payment being made at the same time in October 2016 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who received $130,000 in exchange for her silence. This personal check is apparently dated August 2017, eight months after Trump became President. Cohen will also reportedly provide checks also intended as reimbursement for those payments that are written on an account in the name of Trump’s company and signed off on by Donald Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of Trump’s companies who has entered into a cooperation agreement with Federal prosecutors. Corroborating evidence of this kind will go a long way toward rehabilitating Cohen’s testimony notwithstanding his admitted lying. Finally, it’s worth noting that Cohen met with investigators working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller for more than 70 hours and that they likely have their own cache of documents that corroborate what Cohen said to them and what he will say today.

Another reason to be inclined to believe Cohen at this point is the fact that he has a lot to lose if he lies under oath now. Cohen’s plea agreement is limiting his criminal liability to some degree given the fact that has been sentenced to just three years for all of the crimes that he has been charged with both in connection with the Russia investigation and the matters being investigated by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As a result, he was sentenced to three years in offenses in a situation where he theoretically could be sentenced to a far longer period. If he commits any crimes after the plea agreement, then he risks having that agreement being revoked and the full hammer of Federal law being brought down upon him. Additionally, Cohen could have his sentence reduced in the future if he continues to be a helpful witness for the government, something that can only happen if he is truthful. As a lawyer, Cohen is no doubt aware of this and, just in case he isn’t the fate of Paul Manafort, who recently had his plea agreement nullified and faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison, so this suggests strongly that he has the incentive be truthful.

The hearing today will bring what it will bring, but the prepared statement that Cohen will read at the start of the hearing which was released last night and is embedded below indicates that there will be quite a few blockbuster claims that, if true, could be a serious problem for the President going forward. For example, Cohen will reportedly testify that he was present in Trump’s office during the 2016 campaign when Roger Stone called to tell Trump that he had just spoken to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who told him that emails that could prove to be problematic for the Clinton campaign will become public in the coming days. It was shortly after this that those emails, mostly from the Democratic National Committee, were released to the public. As noted above, he will also testify about an incident in June 2016 when Donald Trump Jr. came into his father’s office while Cohen was there and, in whispered tones, that “the meeting” was set. This was allegedly just before the now infamous Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner on one side and nd a Russian lawyer named Natalia  Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney who had previously been linked to the Russian government and who has since admitted to being an informant for the Russian Government. As we now know, that meeting was initially sold to the Trump campaign as being one at which “dirt” about Hillary Clinton would be revealed. When this meeting was made public a year later, the Trump Administration and Donald Trump Jr. would initially claim that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the state of the law regarding adoption of Russian babies by American couples. It soon became apparent, though, that this claim was false. This is significant because we learned soon after news of the meeting broke that the President himself participated in drafting that initial false statement on the way home from a trip to Europe on Air Force One.

In any case, this hearing appears to be one of the more significant of the Trump Administration and we could be in a very different world once it’s over and the smoke has cleared. Stay tuned.

Note: I’ll post a wrap-up thread regarding Cohen’s testimony either late today or tomorrow morning. In the meantime, feel free to use the comment thread to this post as an open thread to discuss Cohen’s testimony throughout the day, which will be broadcast by all three cable news networks, C-Span and, I believe, the three broadcast networks as well. 

Update (2/28/2019): I’ve posted a wrap-up post on yesterday’s testimony.


Here is a copy of Cohen’s prepared opening remarks:

Michael Cohen Opening State… by on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Congress, Crime, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Russia Investigation, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    Wow. This article over at The Daily Beast isn’t pulling any punches.

    Expect fireworks!

  2. Kylopod says:

    My name is Michael Dean Cohen.

    I wonder if he saw fit to mention his middle name in order to remind people of that other Dean who famously turned on his boss.

  3. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Oh, Rick Wilson is great. He’s been doing a slo-mo demolition of Trump since 2016.

    @Kylopod:

    Maybe.

  4. CSK says:

    I’ve been saying it all along, and now Cohen confirms it. Trump never expected or intended to win. The campaign was just, in his words, “the greatest infomercial in political history.”

  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I read the opening statement; I bet Dennison is apoplectic.
    Could this be the beginning of the downfall?
    I’m betting a large number of persuadable voters are going to run away from Individual-1 after hearing all this stuff in one place, and said out loud.
    This is a small thing but I think illustrates the kind of man Dennison is; he had Cohen strong arm his schools not to release his grades…all while haranguing Obama about releasing his grades.
    What a piece of shit.

  6. Kathy says:

    The Republican tactic to question Cohen’s credibility is rather hollow, considering Cohen was accused of lying in support of Trump.

  7. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m betting a large number of persuadable voters are going to run away from Individual-1 after hearing all this stuff in one place, and said out loud.

    *snort*

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  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    “For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.”

    The POTUS has just been identified as the un-named. un-indicted, co-conspirator in a felony campaign finance violation, for which Cohen has pled guilty.

    The sad thing is that no red hat is going to care.

  9. CSK says:

    The Trumpkins have already prepared their explanation for the documents Cohen will be presenting as corroboration: They’re fakes fabricated by the Deep State.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Given Cohen’s admitted lying, it is appropriate that his credibility is considered in evaluating his testimony,

    The main difference between Cohen and everyone inhabiting trumpworld is that he has in fact admitted lying, a thing trump is constitutionally incapable of doing, no matter how obvious the lies he has told. That alone gives Cohen more credibility than trump and co. which sadly isn’t saying much because they have no credibility.

  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kylopod:
    I guess I should have said “to the extent there are pursuadable voters”.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    This proves Trump didn’t use campaign money to pay off the bimbos. So he knew Wikileaks was going to leak, he didn’t pay for it. The liar Cohen claims Trump “implied” he should lie. Trump Tower was just a routine business deal.

    The GOPs have moved the goalpost out of the end zone, across the running track, through the stands, out the gates, and into the parking lot. None of this will change anyone’s mind.

  13. Moosebreath says:

    Nothing on the GOP POS who attempted to witness tamper Cohen in the run up to the hearing? If even someone as determined to play the “but both sides” game as Chris Cillizza finds this to be “thuggery”, one can hope there will be consequences.

  14. Teve says:

    There’s enough irony to destroy the whole universe when Trump supporters defend him against Cohen by calling Cohen a liar. “You can’t trust what he says, he’s a liar.” Boy, do I have news for you…

    -dispatches from the culture wars

  15. Kylopod says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I continue to think that unless there’s an economic collapse, 2020 will be a close and competitive election. I have this fear of waking up next year to discover he’s eked out a narrow win–again–against Crazy Joe or Pocahontas or Kamala the Slut, and the Democratic spin will be “He should have won comfortably given the economy.” I doubt the Cohen testimony will have staying power. It’ll just be another for the endless garbage heap of Why Trump is Awful, which isn’t likely to make much of a difference because it was clear all along. People who already support Trump are either in denial about the fact that he’s a crook or don’t care, and even those who might temporarily gag at this development can easily be brought back by the 2020 version of “But her emails.”

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  16. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    None of this will change anyone’s mind.

    Probably a few of the more moderate Republicans and some independents.

    But with these accusations, and some hard evidence, on record, it becomes impossible for law enforcement not to investigate and prosecute Dennison.

    Would that be a good thing?

  17. James Pearce says:

    Watching it but not listening to it. Sounds like a bunch of tabloid stuff–paying off pornstars, stuff about Trump’s grades, racist comments, stuff about his Vietnam deferment.

    It’s embarrassing, but not fatal. Still going to have to beat him on policy. There’s no other way.

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  18. Modulo Myself says:

    Still can’t believe Trump paid Cohen out of his personal checking…while he was Prez…

    @James Pearce:

    Right, man–enlighten us on the policy they have to beat. A wall, yelling about young women, trying to gin up a war in Venezuela, major amounts of racism. God, listen to this hearing–Michael Cohen comes off looking better than you and your ilk.

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  19. Joe says:

    @Kathy:
    After reading the opening statement this morning, I think the only substantial item in Cohen’s testimony with some significant documentary corroboration is about paying off Clifford in a manner that could not (Trump believed) be traced back to Trump. Unless there is some contrary credible information, I don’t know how nobody says that’s not criminal activity that needs to be addressed either through an indictment or an article of impeachment (albeit likely unsuccessful).

    The rest is either pretty thin evidence (I believe when Don Jr. whispered about “some meeting” it must have been the Russia meeting) or same ole same ole about Trump being a racist or having low intentions and being a con man. I find it entertaining to get some confirmation that Trump never expected to win and was just building his brand, but really nothing new there.

    I will be curious to see the media reaction to his actual testimony.

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @James Pearce:

    Still going to have to beat him on policy. There’s no other way

    People don’t vote on policy.

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  21. Teve says:

    I don’t know how nobody says that’s not

    >>>SYNTAX ERROR

  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Still going to have to beat him on policy.

    Wait…what?!?!?!
    He ran on a tax cut for the middle class and instead gave one to the wealthy.
    He ran on big beautiful health care for everyone and instead millions have been tossed off their insurance.
    He ran on a 35′ high concrete wall from sea to shining sea that Mexico was going to pay for.
    Now you are saying Dennison is all about policy?
    He won because he is a racist, Comey sent a letter, and Russia duped a bunch of idiots on FB….not because of policy.
    He doesn’t know jack shit about policy.
    Your sycophancy is pathetic.

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  23. Neil J Hudelson says:

    It would be nice if the thread about Michael Cohen’s testimony doesn’t become yet another exercise of feeding the trolls.

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  24. James Pearce says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    A wall, yelling about young women, trying to gin up a war in Venezuela, major amounts of racism.

    Versus the Green New Deal? If this country had a socialist bone in its body, then I’d say that’s some winning policy.

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  25. Teve says:

    the funniest thing to come out so far is that while Trump was maligning Obama’s unknown grades, he was having Cohen threaten all of his previous schools with the highest legal penalties if they released his grades or SAT scores.

    That certainly matches what professor Kelley said about him 😛

  26. Modulo Myself says:

    @James Pearce:

    Great, glad we cleared that up—misogyny, racism, a dumb wall, and a dumber war really speak to you.

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  27. CSK says:

    @Teve:

    I believe Professor Kelley’s exact words were: “Dumbest goddamn student I ever had.”

  28. Teve says:

    the SAT thing is weirdly specific. Based on what we’ve heard about his difficulty reading briefing materials, and his struggle to fluently read speeches, I’m guessing the English portion puts him in learning disability territory, and he’s embarrassed about that.

  29. James Pearce says:

    @gVOR08:

    People don’t vote on policy.

    Partisan Democrats don’t, it’s true. But it’s the only thing that matters to swing voters and the right.

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    doesn’t become yet another exercise of feeding the trolls.

    With all due respect, I get trolled. You don’t.

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    He won because he is a racist, Comey sent a letter, and Russia duped a bunch of idiots on FB….not because of policy.

    Because Comey sent a letter….

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  30. Teve says:

    I do love how the GOP idiots’ defense of Trump typically boils down to “You can’t believe Trump’s friends, associates, lawyers, and business partners, they’re all crooks and liars!”

  31. Teve says:

    Preet Bharara Retweeted

    Shane Harris
    @shaneharris
    ·
    1h
    GOP members are trying to shame Cohen, which seems futile at this rock-bottom point in his life, and impugn his credibility, which gains little, since Cohen has already admitted he lied about some things. What no member has done: Try to show that Cohen’s testimony today is false.

  32. Teve says:

    Chicago Tribune:

    . “While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way,” Cohen said in prepared remarks he read before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

    “And he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid,” Cohen added.

    “He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole,’” Cohen said. “This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States.”

  33. Jen says:

    @Teve: He’s driven a few casinos into bankruptcy. I wouldn’t hold out hope that the math scores are that great either.

  34. Kathy says:

    I’ve been reading about Watergate lately. there are some notable differences.

    For one thing, there’s no equivalent to the Pentagon Papers to unsettle the national mood and/or cause massive distrust in government.

    But most important, Watergate involved a criminal conspiracy to gain an electoral advantage which was run by the Nixon campaign.

    The 2016 election also involved a criminal conspiracy for electoral gain, but this was run by Putin, not the Cheeto campaign.

    The similarities don’t end there. Both men were corrupt, secretive, and engaged in cover ups. The thing is that proving Dennison or his campaign aided the Russians can be hard to ascertain, never mind proving it in a court of law.

    Watergate involved laundered money from a slush fund, too. I doubt Dennison paid as much as a dime to the Russians. Following money helps a great deal in uncovering wrongdoing. If there is no money, this is harder to do.

    The real crucial difference is that the GOP is either too partisan now, or too scared of Dennison’s base, that they end up tolerating not just bad policies and highly questionable ethics, but also outright corruption and crimes.

  35. Neil J Hudelson says:

    Rep Speier: How many times has Pres. Trump asked you to threaten someone? 50 times?
    Cohen: More
    Speier: 100?
    Cohen: More
    Speier: 200?
    Cohen: More
    Speier: 500?
    Cohen: About that, over 10 years.

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  36. Teve says:

    @Jen: somebody on Twitter was giving odds at English 440/Math 450 😀

    So far I expect the Dimwit Trumper takeaway to be “Cohen is a liar and you can’t believe anything he says and also he said he never went to Prague so Case Closed!”

  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’ve been telling people from early days that Trump was too stupid to get into, let alone graduate from, Wharton. He had help: his rich daddy’s money. Somewhere out there are people who were paid to cheat for Trump, fellow students or school administrators or more likely both.

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  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:
    Significant difference between Nixon and Tiny, Nixon was a competent (and yes corrupt) political leader. And in many ways ahead of his time policy wise, in his toying with the idea of a universal basic income and offered a national health insurance plan that a decade or so later, Ted Kennedy admitted that the Democrats should have taken up Nixon’s proposal.

  39. An Interested Party says:

    With all due respect, I get trolled.

    Awww, you poor victim…by the way, anyone who writes something like…

    Partisan Democrats don’t, it’s true. But it’s the only thing that matters to swing voters and the right.

    …is definitely engaging in trollish behavior…the fact that so many people vote against their own interests when they vote for Republucans proves how wrong you are with the above statement…

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  40. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Somewhere out there are people who were paid to cheat for Trump, fellow students or school administrators or more likely both

    I’m pretty sure that I’m Trump’s era there was no need to cheat. I understand there was a set of courses for “legacies” that was essentially equivalent to the programs for our “student” athletes. Trump wasn’t a legacy but I’m sure his fathers money allowed him access to that path.

  41. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Trust me on this: So-called “full-pay” students often receive special accommodations. And Jared Kushner would not have been admitted to Harvard as an undergrad if his father hadn’t promised them 2 million up front, in addition to full room, board, and tuition. I don’t know what Fred Trump paid Wharton to accept his dimwitted spawn as a transfer.

  42. Tony W says:

    My favorite moment from today was when Cohen warned Republicans on the committee (who were clearly defending Trump) to not continue to make the same mistake he did for 10 years.

  43. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hey… I had to work today…

    Anything happen?

  44. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party: It’s a strange experience, realizing in the age of Trump that the Democrats don’t really represent my interests. Stranger still to get mocked and derided by people who you thought were your allies, but are, in fact, just a different kind of awful.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    I agree there was little we didn’t know, and the other Trump lies he exposed, well, they were not a surprise.

    I’d say that in a rational world, the pummeling Dennison took today would absolutely kill him politically. but, then, in a rational world this clown would have been laughed out of the primaries in the first place.

  46. Kathy says:

    BTW, did anyone even hear how Trump made out with his date? All I heard was he wouldn’t let some reporters in for the second photo-op.

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  47. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “It’s a strange experience, realizing in the age of Trump that the Democrats don’t really represent my interests.”

    Considering you despise everything they do, I’m not surprised and don’t know why you are. I’m not sure what your interests are, besides making sure that white men are hailed by everyone as superior creatures, but I hope you find a party that fits them.

    My guess it’s the one that likes to take small children away from their parents and then sexually assault them in the name of national security, but maybe you’ll find a Third Way out there somewhere.

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    I checked my surprise meter: nothing. Not a flicker.

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  49. Modulo Myself says:

    Interesting how nobody asked the most obvious of all questions to Cohen. If Trump was paying off lowly porn stars who he had leverage over, what happened to him when he went to Russia? Because there’s no leverage if you’re rich, famous, and having sex with a 16 year-old in Moscow. You can’t pay them off with 100K and David Pecker. I’m guessing this a question they couldn’t ask.

  50. Teve says:
  51. Joe says:

    I did not watch the hearings today, but did anything come of Gaetz’s big tweet about the Cohen affairs he was going to expose? That threat was a POS move at so many levels, but to make it and not follow through: Wow! Bluff called. A even bigger POS move now blown back more in Gaetz’s face.

    I would have liked some Democratic committee member to note the collected Republican descriptions of what a villain and a scoundrel Cohen is and say: “yeah, you know who brought him into the picture? Your boy, Trump. Sitting here in front of you is one of ‘all the best people,’ from the same guy who brought you Omarosa and Scaramucci. Have a nice day.”

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Enough of the contrarian posturing already! We already know that whatever policy Democrats will offer will get dismissed as SJW posturing and also that there isn’t any policy that you will support because you have no idea what you want other than “not this.” You’re just like 7-Up in the old commercial…

    Never had it, and never will.

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  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: As the Nicaraguan taxi driver told my grad school professor (on a Fulbright Teacher exchange) about the difference in corruption between the US and Nicaragua in 1988–Do you really believe that if anyone could actually run for President that you’d be choosing between Bush and Dukakis?

  54. Mister Bluster says:

    Real news from Reuters

    “I was really being tough – and so was he. And we would go back and forth,” Trump told a rally in West Virginia.
    And then we fell in love, okay? No, really – he wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters,” he said.

    Trump and Kim sitting in a tree
    kay-eye-ess-ess-eye-en-gee!
    First comes love, then comes marriage
    Then comes concerned citizen in a baby carriage!

  55. Eric Florack says:

    I think the most entertaining thing about the whole hearing yesterday was Debbie Wasserman Schultz who rigged the Democratic Party primary in 2016 so that only Hillary Clinton could win it, and ended up having to resign over it, questioning Michael Cohen who lied to Congress and is going to jail over it, about whether or not Trump rigged the election..

    But perhaps the most informative part of the whole thing was Cohen’s admission that the whole thing had been set up by Clinton stooge Lanny Davis along with George Soros’ son-in-law Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings.

    You know if this was all a fantasy of some novelist someplace, his publisher would tell him to tone it down a little.

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  56. Jen says:

    @Joe: The Florida Bar has opened an investigation into Gaetz’s tweet. He could lose his law license over that few seconds of stupidity and horrible judgment.

  57. Teve says:

    @Jen: he went on Twitter last night and apologized in a really scared tone, like somebody explained to him how badly he screwed up.

  58. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Considering you despise everything they do

    I was fine with them a few years ago. But that was like a dozen gun massacres and three Supreme Court picks ago. I’ve watched them stumble over their own feet, pick themselves up, and then blame the nearest white man for making them wear clown shoes.

    If you’re such stout watchmen, how did Donald Trump (of all people) smash through the gates?

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I checked my surprise meter

    If it’s like all your other meters, what you should check is the batteries.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    We already know that whatever policy Democrats will offer will get dismissed as SJW posturing

    By me and about half the country. It was cute a few years ago to focus on such juvenalia. But times have changed. It’s time to put the adults back in charge.

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  59. Eric Florack says:

    @James Pearce: past it, rather.

  60. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “But that was like a dozen gun massacres and three Supreme Court picks ago. I’ve watched them stumble over their own feet, pick themselves up, and then blame the nearest white man for making them wear clown shoes.”

    That’s odd. You were just saying that you didn’t think the Democrats stood for any policy issues you agreed with, and when called on it you started whining about optics and politics. It’s almost as if the policy you keep insisting they run on doesn’t actually matter to you at all…

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