On February 27th, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified against the President to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in the bluntest and most personal statements against this administration to date. After pleading guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance law violations, and providing false statements in August 2018, Cohen now seeks to expose Trump and end the era of his life that he describes himself as being “Trump’s fixer.”
Cohen started his testimony with three short, yet decisive, declarations: Donald Trump is “a con man, a cheat, and a racist.” After establishing his disgust with the current President, he went on to explain the immoral, manipulative, and often criminal actions Trump allegedly directed him to complete, leading to the following conclusions:
The Possibility of Russian Collusion Persists
Contrary to his previous statements, Donald Trump, according to Cohen,“knew of and directed the Trump-Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it.” On at least six occasions to at least June 2016 (after Trump became the Republican nominee), Cohen testified to Trump inquiring about the possibility of constructing a Trump Tower in Moscow, violating moral precedents of avoiding conflicts of interests in personal business as a politician.
Mr. Cohen additionally referred to a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a group of Russians who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. While Trump has denied knowledge of such an encounter, Cohen has discredited such claims, labeling them as one of Trump’s numerous lies to the American public. To further end suspicions of his lack of credibility, Cohen noted that Trump was aware of the WikiLeaks release of Democratic emails to the extent that when he was informed of such an occurrence, he responded, “Wouldn’t that be great.”
Conspiracies Go Beyond Russia
While Cohen did not present enough concrete evidence to incriminate Trump of Russian collison, other components of his testimony, specifically documents he presented, could do equal damage. Mr. Cohen stated that Mr. Trump had direct knowledge of the hush money payment of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, with whom he had an affair, clarifying to prosecutors that Trump was placed at the center of these events, rather than merely being aware of them.
As the premise of his arrest was the handling of this payment, Cohen worked under, as he testifies, Trump’s direction and was presented with 11 installments of $35,000 as a repayment for the hush money from Mr. Trump. To describe the obsession Trump had with covering his wrongdoings, Cohen explained his visit “in the Oval Office for the first time, and it’s truly awe-inspiring. [Trump’s] showing me all around and pointing to different paintings. And he says to me something to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, Michael, your January and February reimbursement checks are coming.’” Cohen then solidified these claims by providing one of the reimbursements checks Trump gave him, handing prosecutors evidence to pursue further investigations against Mr. Trump.
The Extent of Trump’s Flawed Character
Cohen additionally testified to Trump’s character, which he considers unacceptable for a President and Leader of the Free World. Aside from inappropriate public statements Mr. Trump has made regarding various minority groups, war heroes, and other sovereign nations, according to Cohen his private comments are far worse than one could imagine. Mr. Cohen explained how Trump once told him that “black people would never vote for me because they’re too ‘stupid’” and “while we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, [Trump] commented that only black people could live that way.”
Certain political leaders have been wary of trusting Mr. Cohen’s sentiments, as he has admitted to lying to Congress in Trump’s defense in the past. However, he assured Congress that he has broken all ties with Mr. Trump and claimed, “I have fixed things, but I am no longer your ‘fixer,’ Mr. Trump.” Thus, even though Cohen’s testimony still leaves unanswered questions about his experiences in the Trump sphere, his statements will create an undeniable impact in the remainder of Trump’s term.