Michael Cohen’s testimony isn’t exactly the bombshell Democrats professed it to be.
It is filled with speculation. The testimony he is providing the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday reads like a jilted lover whose been damaged by a past relationship and one in which the other party, that being President Donald Trump, never fully respected or considered as important.
For Cohen, who was hired by Trump in 2007, this appears to be too much to take. His working relationship with Trump dragged him into the bowels of Washington D.C.’s most brutal investigations into a President and his campaign that Americans have ever witnessed.
Senior officials within the Obama Administration launched an investigation that targeted Trump and everyone around him nearly three years ago. And for the past two years with the appointment of a Special Counsel it has consumed U.S. politics and national media.
Cohen became one of Mueller’s targets. Why? Because he is a flawed man. He had a past history of lying and took shortcuts in his business dealings that may have never been discovered if he didn’t work for Trump.
Cohen is an extremely flawed witness.
The Special Counsel’s office knew this and took advantage of this situation.
This is what Robert Mueller wanted. It was a strategy. Mueller and his team, like all government prosecutors, want to shake the vines all around Trump. They want to make Trump’s life and those around him as uncomfortable as possible. That means anyone who worked on the Trump campaign was a target and Mueller picked the best targets.
The Special Counsel did this hoping to find the smoking gun. They did this to prove that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election. And it is an allegation that has yet to be supported by one shred of evidence.
Virginia Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III’s said it perfectly last May with regard to the trial on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was indicted on tax evasion and fraud:
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” said Ellis to prosecutors. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”
Ellis added, that they wanted Manafort “to sing.” He also said Mueller’s team wanted to “turn the screws and get the information you really want.”
A Prosecution in Search of A Crime
It is a prosecution in search of a crime. It is a Special Counsel that is desperate to validate its own existence. There is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or conspired in the 2016 election but Mueller’s team is desperate and have dragged in those close to Trump hoping to find the smoking gun and isolating the president.
Cohen is an extremely flawed witness. He is desperately trying to find the smoking gun that he knows does not exist. In fact, Republican lawmakers discovered that Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, a long time friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, ‘pushed’ him to testify before the committee.
He believes his “speculation” about his former boss will be enough to save him.
Under Mueller’s investigation Cohen has become a broken man. The Special Counsel’s office shook Cohen’s weak vines with a vengeance. What dropped from those branches did not reveal a conspiracy with Russia during the campaign but Cohen’s own personal criminal misconduct.
Cohen’s Past Haunts Him
Cohen couldn’t hide his past and Mueller went through everything.
What did Mueller discover? He discovered Cohen had lied to financial institutions to receive large loans and is convicted of five counts of tax evasion.
So Cohen has been desperately fishing. He is one of Mueller’s fishermen. However, he has only caught small fish of speculation. He is not a victim but a cunning businessman who broke the law and has been caught. He has found himself in the mess of a lifetime and desperation has sunk in.
He blames Trump, like a child blaming other children around them for their own transgressions.
Can we believe a man who has been known to lie to save himself from his own criminal misconduct with the hope of reducing his sentence?
In his testimony Cohen admits he has no smoking gun but “suspicions.”
“Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen says in his written testimony. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.”
Suspicions? That’s not enough.
Cohen is jilted. Why? Because it appears — based on his 20 page testimony — that he blames Trump for everything Mueller has done to him.
Cohen says in his testimony regarding the infamous Trump Tower meeting that “sometime in the summer of 2017…Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. 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, ‘Ok good…let me know.’
This is Cohen’s speculation that Trump was talking to Don Jr. about the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. She is also tied to the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid for by a the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump during the campaign. Veselnitskaya had met with the research firm’s founder Glen Simpson before and after the meeting.
Simpson said he and the Russian lawyer never discussed the Don Jr. meeting but anyone with common sense knows that this is highly questionable.
Further Cohen then speculates and spreads rumors about Trump’s relationship with his son Don Jr. Again, why? This testimony is not based on facts. It sounds like the rantings of broken man caught in his own misdeeds and deflecting.
“What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world,” said Cohen. “And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.”
“I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval,” added Cohen.
This is all speculation and bad mouthing a family that he worked for in confidence for decades. Cohen says himself that it is speculation. His testimony is based on hypotheticals, information already known and his own feelings about Trump.
No New Bombshell
There is no new bombshell in Cohen’s testimony. He calls Trump a cheat, a racist and a conman.
Cohen is throwing a temper tantrum. He is hoping to damage the man he worked for with the hope that the Mueller team will throw him a lifeline.
But the hearings won’t save Cohen. He made his own bad business decisions throughout his life and it appears he doesn’t stop making them.
His testimony against Trump is one of them.
Cohen is a proven conman and a liar.
There is nothing he can say to Congress that will change who he is or was.