Here comes the Michael Cohen show

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Back when this trial started off with David Pecker absolutely burying Donald Trump, it became clear that the prosecution’s case wasn’t going to rest on any one witness. There were going to be several star witnesses who each corroborated each other, which meant none of them had to be perfect.

By the time Hope Hicks gave smoking gun testimony against Trump, it was clear that the rest of the witnesses were merely going to be piling on. Trump’s conviction wasn’t going to be dependent upon whether the remaining witnesses were perfect in their testimony. Even the political media, which likes to pretend there’s suspense in everything, largely admitted that Trump had been sunk by Hicks.

But at the time I cynically said that once we were coming up on Michael Cohen’s testimony, the media would suddenly forget that it had said this, and would instead pretend that the entire case was coming down to Cohen’s testimony. Further, I predicted that the media would try to scare everyone into believing that Cohen was going to blow it on the stand.

Now the prosecution says it only has two witnesses left. One of them hasn’t been named, and may be merely transactional. The other is Michael Cohen, who will testify on Monday. Sure enough, as soon as this news came out, MSBNC launched into a lengthy narrative about how Cohen is supposedly a loose cannon who can’t be controlled, and you’d all better keep staring at your screens in fear that Cohen is going to screw up the entire trial on Monday.

Spoiler alert: no he won’t. Michael Cohen has already testified to the grand jury in this criminal case. He’s already testified to Congress. He’s testified in civil trials. And he’s consistently shown that he understands the role he needs to play when he’s testifying against Trump. Why would that suddenly change now? It wouldn’t. Cohen isn’t going to take the stand as if he were on a podcast. He’s going to take the stand like he always takes the stand.

Trump’s attorneys will go at Cohen very hard on cross examination. But again, this isn’t Cohen’s first rodeo. And he’s surely spent a lot of time doing prep with prosecutors, who have surely hurled all the crazy things at Cohen that Trump’s attorneys are going to throw at him. None of it is going to catch Cohen off guard. He’ll be fine.

More to the point, because all of these other witnesses have already buried Trump, Michael Cohen doesn’t have to be perfect on the stand. All that Cohen has to do is leave Trump looking more guilty by the time he’s done testifying than when the day began. This trial does not center solely around Cohen and never has. All he has to do is pile on โ€“ and he knows it โ€“ and he will. So let’s not spend the weekend sitting around fretting over Cohen’s testimony. Let’s just get ready to enjoy the show on Monday.

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