Even though it’s 9:30 AM ET, you may want to get that popcorn going because Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Committee On Oversight and Reform will likely be a day for the history books. We’ve got the video streaming after the jump. I’ll be leaving my thoughts in the comments section and I look forward to yours.
There has already been a lot of drama before the hearing has begun. Politico reported yesterday that Cohen intends to “offer up a document to lawmakers that he claims will show the president engaged in criminal conduct related to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to a person familiar with his planned congressional testimony.” (My emphases added.)
Politico also reported that Cohen will address that infamous BuzzFeed report, disputed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, that Donald Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress about a Trump Tower in Moscow project. Spoiler alert: Cohen will say Trump indirectly told him to lie.
More broadly, Cohen will go into personal and character accusations against Trump, saying the president made racist remarks in front of him such as questioning the intelligence of African-Americans, according to the person.
Later in the day, there was Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) goonish threat that could amount to witness intimidation, as per The New York Times:
“Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot,” Mr. Gaetz said on Twitter.
That tweet has now been deleted.
Even later in the day, i.e. shortly before midnight, as I was writing this up for the morning, The Times published Cohen’s explosive opening statement. Rather than summarize it, I suggest you read it for yourself.
Then get that popcorn going!
Watch the testimony below, via The Washington Post:
The entire future of America is now in the balance. It is not a game, and any false or uncalculated move could give Trump and his fellow traitors a remote chance of consolidating their coup. To start with, the good guys have to manage the flow of information in such a way that the armed-to-the-teeth magamorons are defanged with as little armed conflict as possible.
There must be so many factors we are not aware of, from ensuring the armed forces and police remain loyal to the Constitution to keeping the ‘cone of silence’ perfectly sealed. From what I have seen, the mission is in the best possible hands.
1. Fox News and Right Wing media were desperately trying to spin attention toward the Vietnam Summit, as they were hoping that the Pence White House would secure an incredible diplomatic breakthrough there. Instead, Trump stomped out, and it became obvious that nothing had been achieved there other than Trump completely embarrassing himself on the world stage yet again.
2. Mark Meadows’ tokening move was blatantly racist. His frantic attempt to hide behind “some of my family members are people of color” was shameful. That doesn’t change that he used a staffer as a prop for his nonsensical “gotcha” attempt at Cohen. Meadows has made racist comments before, one of which really making the rounds yesterday – his vicious public statement in 2012 that a proper election result would send President Obama “back to Kenya or wherever he comes from”. If Meadows does not wish to be called out for his bigotry, he might consider not engaging in it.
3. Cohen could not discuss a lot of the really serious stuff in public yesterday, because it’s under investigation at the moment and classified. He said in public what he could, which was bad enough for the Pence White House.
4. Watching the angry House GOP members scream at Cohen was interesting – we were seeing them literally eating their own. It wasn’t that long ago that they were celebrating him and defending him. Now they’re all turning on him in public so they can defend the Pence White House and its childish spokesman. This doesn’t make Cohen any better of a person, but it does speak volumes about who these people are.
5. Ellen makes a crucial point – if Cohen is not to be believed based on his past perjuries, then why should anyone listen to the Pence White House or its spokesman? When it comes to lying, Cohen is an amateur by comparison – and a bunch of his lies were at the direction of the Pence White House.
6. In a single hearing, Elijah Cummings has made clear what a sham the GOP made out of these committees over the past few years.
The juicy parts of Cohen’s testimony is his taped conversations of his clients. And the masses know one particular man who is good friends with Cohen. We will drop a hint: He’s an aging media hack.
They’re still going back and forth but in the middle of it, Elijah Cummings said Cover-Up Meadows is one of his best friends on the Committee.
“Mr. Cohen seems to have a much more effective anti-perspirant……..”
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, if, by chance, Michael Cohen played football in high school or college, it would be rather fitting if he used
RIGHT GUARD ANTI-PERSPIRANT!