There’s little argument in saying that Michael Cohen’s testimony on Wednesday was a major disaster for the Republican Party – not just for Donald Trump and the lackeys in his administration, but also for House Republicans who tried taking shots at Cohen, who only further revealed how hopelessly out of touch with reality their side is.
Aside from Mark Meadows’ embarrassing failure to disprove Michael Cohen’s allegation that Donald Trump is a racist, Trump’s lackeys didn’t have a whole lot to say about the substance of the testimony, because most or all of it was true, and consistent with headlines we’ve been seeing for the last two years. The best they could hope for was to discredit Cohen’s credibility as a witness – to muddy the waters and hope Trump supporters tuning in would follow suit.
That’s not exactly the brightest strategy for several reasons. GOP Congressman Jody Hice took a shot at Cohen, hailing the hearing as the first time a person convicted for lying to Congress came back to testify to Congress. The problem is that it wasn’t the first time. It happened just last month when Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress during the Iran Contra scandal, testified to Republican applause and was made special envoy to Venezuela. The other problem is that Congress isn’t quite finished with Cohen, as he appeared again before the House Intel Committee behind closed doors. There’s not a whole lot that leaked to the public, and therefore not a whole lot that Republicans can spin on Fox News. Whatever Cohen revealed on Thursday, it was significant enough that he was asked to return on March 6.
One interesting detail that leaked is that Devin Nunes, Donald Trump’s reliable toadie who may as well have taken Michael Cohen’s old gig as fixer, was the first person seen leaving the hearing, only staying for the first half hour (the hearing lasted another seven hours). Five days is now a lifetime in the Trump White House, and already Cohen’s testimony may have implicated Don Jr. and given Democrats the legal justification to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in Manhattan are preparing to release search warrants of the FBI raid on Cohen’s office last year. We could be looking at a different landscape by March 6, as Trump and Republicans try digging themselves out of the avalanche, only to get buried deeper.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making