With the start of his prison term delayed, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, after numerous delays is finally scheduled to testify before congressional committees next week. Hs testimony was postponed because of his concerns over President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani making “threats against [Cohen’s] family.”
Cohen’s legal advisor, Lanny Davis, says: “Remember John Dean? It’s just the beginning.” Video. Oooh, do tell! I watched every minute of John Dean’s testimony, and it was riveting “Must see TV.”
UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reported that a source close to Cohen said that he will “tell the story of what it’s like to work for a madman, and why he did it for so long,” adding that he’s “going to say things that will give you chills.”
Cohen will testify in a closed door session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Cohen previously testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and lied, for which he was charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and to which he plead guilty. So there’s that to discuss.
Cohen will appear before the House Oversight Committee in open session on Wednesday. Stock up on your favorite TV snacks and take the day off. It will begin at 10 a.m. ET.
No-nonsense House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings released a memo laying out the scope of his committee’s questions for Cohen:
“After consulting with the Department of Justice and with Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Cummings has set the scope for the Oversight Committee’s hearing with Mr. Cohen to address the following issues”:
- the President’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election;
- the President’s compliance with financial disclosure requirements;
- the President’s compliance with campaign finance laws;
- the President’s compliance with tax laws;
- the President’s potential and actual conflicts of interest;
- the President’s business practices;
- the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.;
- the accuracy of the President’s public statements;
- potentially fraudulent or inappropriate practices by the Trump Foundation; and
- public efforts by the President and his attorney to intimidate Mr. Cohen or others not to testify.
“Mr. Cohen has agreed to testify voluntarily and in public before the Oversight Committee. He will not be under subpoena.”
“The scope of the Oversight Committee’s open public hearing will not include questions relating to the Intelligence Committee’s investigation of efforts by Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election, and the counterintelligence threat arising from any links or coordination between U.S. persons and the Russian government, including any financial or other compromise or leverage foreign actors may possess over Donald Trump, his family, his business interests, or his associates.”
Members of the misnamed GOP House Freedom Caucus — they don’t believe in freedom, they are authoritarians in thrall to the authoritarian personality cult of Donald Trump — will do their best to disrupt the hearing and turn it into a mockery of their congressional duty of oversight. They will attack Michael Cohen’s credibility and defend their “Dear Leader.” President Trump made 8,158 false or misleading claims in his first two years. Trump has easily added another 1,000 since January, so do you losers really want to talk about credibility? Bring it on! Democrats on the committee will stay laser-focused on questions to develop information and leads on the topics above.
On Thursday, Cohen will testify in a closed door session of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. This hearing will encompass “the Intelligence Committee’s investigation of efforts by Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election, and the counterintelligence threat arising from any links or coordination between U.S. persons and the Russian government, including any financial or other compromise or leverage foreign actors may possess over Donald Trump, his family, his business interests, or his associates.”
By the end of the week, Michael Cohen could leave the Trump presidency as devastated as John Dean left Richard Nixon’s presidency.
Of course, it took the release of the Nixon tapes to finally convince the dead-enders that John Dean told the truth, and Nixon lied. Michael Cohen has recorded conversations with Donald Trump as well, and he has documentary evidence to corroborate his testimony. He brings receipts.
And whatever Michael Cohen has not already disclosed to investigators, Trump’s long-time accountant, Allen Weisselberg, the Man Who Knows Donald Trump’s Financial Secrets, is a Coöperating Witness. Only DOJ investigators know what secrets he has disclosed.
Donald Trump likes to behave like mafia boss Al Capone. It was the testimony of Al Capone’s bookkeeper, Leslie Shumway, that sent Capone to prison. The Bean Counter Who Put Al Capone in the Slammer.
This is not the end of the investigation, but only the beginning of the end of the investigation.