Exposing the OM’s modus operandi as con man, racist and as a pathological liar and cheat, Michael Cohen also offered credible testimony of several crimes that the president has committed while in office, not to mention more than a few committed beforehand. Adding insult to injury, he provided documents including signed checks made out to Michael Cohen in repayment for the hidden illegal hush money payments Cohen made on the president’s behalf.
Even the Republican members on the committee did not make one attempt to defend their president’s indefensible and illegal behavior; rather, they chose to focus again and again on the fact that Cohen was previously convicted of lying to Congress. But this very fact only underscores the fact that Cohen had no upside for coming clean in this session before Congress, only the downside of risking a substantial increase in his time in prison if he were caught in any way lying again. Cohen, instead, came to Congress this time with the truth and with the goods corroborating his testimony, as he told all about the heinous behavior of the criminally inclined boss he served and knew intimately for over a decade. He came with the receipts. He came with documents. He came loaded for bear.
While the Republicans had no interest in finding out what their president may have done before and after the election of 2016 to break the law, Democratic members used their allotted time to ask good questions, helping to expose the president’s potential high crimes and misdemeanors, which are adding up by the day.
It is clear that the resident in the Oval Office is a criminal. It was proven both by the corroborating evidence and the testimony that Cohen supplied today. And there were clear indications as Cohen answered questions, that this is not the end but rather just the beginning of the president’s legal, financial and political troubles. Clearly, there are many more investigations being conducted both by the SDNY and Muller’s investigation looking into the potential crimes committed by the president both before and after 2016. Why do we know this? Because Cohen indicated that there were several matters he could not discuss publicly as they are part of ongoing investigations looking into the OM.
This was such a barnstorming, history shaking and history making testimony before a congressional committee, it will probably be discussed in 200 years from now as the official first step toward the OM’s removal from office, as Chairman Elijah Cummings later indicated in his brief press conference after the hearing.
In truth, Chairman Cummings heartfelt summation at the end of the hearing will go down as one of the most powerful speeches ever given by any chairman at any committee hearing in the nation’s history. Speaking extemporaneously and from the heart, Chairman Elijah Cummings spoke truth to power and called on the nation to return to sanity, saying that we must find a way “back to normal.”
Nothing about this president of ours has ever been normal, and nothing about it ever will be. Nothing about his lies, his crimes, his demeaning of all of our institutions, norms and all that Americans should hold dear has been normal or will ever be normal. But Congress took its first step today toward holding the current president accountable for his crimes and for his lies and incessant deceit. For the OM, this is the beginning of the end.
But way off in the distance I can see a new America rising from the Orange Monster’s swath of destruction. I see it in the removal of a cancer on the presidency, to use John Dean’s testimony in another congressional hearing many decades ago as reference. I can see it in a new commitment in Washington to a new and true code of ethics and in new laws designed to protect America from any president who ever again attempts to abuse his power as 45 has done almost every day of his presidency.
Given the courageous and heroic efforts that Michael Cohen made today on behalf of the nation’s healing, along with the patriotic and all-American way in which Chairman Elijah Cummings and the Democratic members of his committee conducted themselves today in their first step toward protecting the nation against a rogue president, I felt new hope today for our country. We can only hope that, in time, the repugnant ones who have attempted to subvert our nation and our democracy will be brought to justice, and that the truth and majesty of our democracy will one day soon be fully restored.