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Michael Cohen Show takeaway: Dems and Prosecutors focused on finding a Trump business crime

Michael Cohen Show takeaway: Dems and Prosecutors focused on finding a Trump business crime

Cohen’s testimony revealed little legally damaging, but did suggest the roadmap to taking down Trump runs through his businesses not his campaign.

I watched or listened to most of the Michael Cohen testimony before the House Oversight Committee today, and read his prepared statement.

Between what I heard, and our coverage of the Live hearings, I think I have a pretty good idea what today’s show was about.

I’m not going to try to catalog everything. Here are some of my takeaways.

First, Cohen is a sad, pathetic character. His drama and sanctimony didn’t help him. He’s someone who will be long forgotten when no longer politically useful. In three years when he gets out of prison, the rest of the country will have moved on from him.

Second, barring something unexpected from Robert Mueller, Russia collusion is dead as a means of taking down Trump. Cohen said he had no direct knowledge of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. He was suspicious, in the way a CNN or MSNBC commentator would speculate, but had no direct knowledge.

Third, there were some sideshows, such as whether Roger Stone learned and tipped Trump off to the upcoming Wikileaks email dump, which was widely publicized by Wikileaks and others far in advance and was hardly inside knowledge. Stone and Wikileaks deny it, and there is an objective answer probably known by the FBI, Mueller and the intelligence services. But there wasn’t any hint of criminality by Trump or the campaign in how Wikileaks got or released the documents.

Fourth, the Stormy Daniels payments also are less than meets the eye. It’s a dubious legal basis for asserting a campaign finance crime — the fact that Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance crime does not resolve the issue, he did it as part of a plea deal and had no incentive to fight it as a matter of law.

Fifth, much of the testimony also was directed at Trump’s character, but none of the accusations were new. Is there anything about Trump’s character as described by Cohen that was not litigated during the 2016 election? Orange Man Bad, we get it, but he won the election anyway.

Sixth, some of the testimony was helpful, such as puncturing the Buzzfeed story that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. Cohen said there never was an explicit instruction, he assumed that was what Trump wanted.

So put it all together, and the show was a one-night stand, it started out sexy and ended up sordid.

But there was a there, there, and it was the roadmap House Democrats and prosecutors are likely to be following. That roadmap is to put Trump’s businesses under a microscope. Insurance, bank loans, real estate taxes, it’s all on the table for investigation and prosecution sooner or later.

Having found the man, Donald Trump, they will find the crime. That’s the big takeaway from the Michael Cohen show today.


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FWIW, I think that Cohen presented a more substantive presentation against Trump than Christine Blase-Ford argued against Kavanaugh.

    Arminius in reply to NotKennedy. | February 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    That’s like saying much. It’s like saying that Manuel is the best ice hockey player in Ecuador, much better than Elena.

    But it was still far from substantive. In fact although Cohen clearly bears a grudge, and may be hoping that if he helps mortally wound Trump in the 2020 the winning Democrat will pardon him or commute his sentence, but when you get past the venom he spewed I found his testimony actually exculpatory.

    I like how Rep. Meadows made another criminal referral to the DoJ. I believe Cohen lied again. He certainly kept contradicting himself. I wanted ot ask, “Which is it, soon-to-be federal inmate Cohen? One minute you say Trump always plays to win. The next you say Trump never expected to win either the Republican primary or the general election. It can’t be both.”

    Concise in reply to NotKennedy. | February 27, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Well, he didn’t accuse the President of getting him drunk and trying to rape him, but, now that you mention it, Ford somehow looks more credible to me in comparison with this sludge.

As everybody is pointing out, this was a JOKE.


This is utterly pathetic.

On the other thread, a commenter mentioned that he is trying to keep his wife out of jail. That makes sense to me as to why he is testifying.

    Olinser in reply to willow. | February 27, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    That makes even LESS sense. He has nothing to offer these people, he can’t deliver the smoking gun on Trump.

    What the hell makes him think they would do ANYTHING for him?

    This moron’s only chance was to keep his mouth shut and lobby for a pardon from Trump once Mueller finally gets kicked out.

    All he’s done is ensure that he and his wife will NEVER get a pardon from Trump.

    tom_swift in reply to willow. | February 27, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    “What many of you may not be aware of is the fact that I can personally confirm that the ONLY reason Michael Cohen “turned on” the President of the United States is because Mueller threatened to throw his wife in jail for up to 30 years. Period. She is the co-guarantor of a $20M personal loan that Mueller discovered Michael secured back in 2015 by falsely inflating the value of his taxi medallions – effectively making her part & parcel to the federal charge of “Making False Statements to a Financial Institution,” to which Cohen ultimately plead guilty.”

Great. We have the Bolshevik standard of justice, as expressed by wartime NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria. He told Stalin basically the same thing. But instead of saying “You find the man, I’ll find the crime” it was more like “If you want someone convicted I’ll find the evidence. But if you don’t want someone convicted there will be no evidence.”

The latter half of the statement describes the legal standard applied to Hillary Clinton and the obvious, slam-dunk case against her for violating the Espionage Act and committing obstruction of justice, both done with clear intent and not just gross negligence.

But is it actually legal to conduct endless fishing evidence looking for a crime? Rosenstein clearly violated the special counsel law when he appointed Mueller to investigate a potential intelligence matter. That’s not what special counsels are for; they can only investigate a criminal matter, and the appointment letter has to identify what statutes the target is believed to have violated.

Don’t search warrants have to identify probable cause?

    TrickyRicky in reply to Arminius. | February 27, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the Beria context. You hit the nail on the head. Our democrat party has officially gone full Soviet. Never go full Soviet.

Thank you for watching this nothing burger so I didn’t have to.

smalltownoklahoman | February 27, 2019 at 8:10 pm

I listened to part of it on the radio today. What I heard didn’t add anything I thought would really get Trump in trouble. One little thing I did hear that annoyed me was Cohen’s little tale about driving through Chicago and what he alleges Trump said about the people living there. My immediate response to that was “and this can be substantiated HOW?!” We’re just supposed to take the word of a proven, and soon to be in jail, liar on something like this? It’s an embellishment he would have been better off leaving out, an attempt at race baiting that didn’t help him out at all.

regulus arcturus | February 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm

Muller going after Trump’s business dealings is outside of his purview, and expressly illegal.

    That may not be true. We haven’t seen Mueller’s tasking letter from Rosenstein, and the scope apparently was expanded at some point. Also, Mueller will hand over any evidence of financial wrongdoing to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, NY’s attorney general, and the appropriate district attorney in New York. #berialives

      regulus arcturus in reply to zennyfan. | February 27, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      No, it is completely true.

      Trump’s business dealings have nothing to do with collusion in the 2016 election.


    If (and that is a qualifier which is easily passed by an intelligent, or ideological, prosecutor) Mueller’s Merry Band can make a somewhat cogent claim of having found the alleged illegal conduct in the course of their investigation, then it fits a portion of Mueller’s instruction which we have seen thus far.

      regulus arcturus in reply to Edward. | February 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

      Actually, no, because the entire investigation is tainted.

      Muller’s handoff to SDNY is included in this extensive taint, and any evidence gathered (including against Cohen) should be included in dismissal.

      Additionally, there is the unresolved issue of the likely illegal raid on Cohen’s office breaking attorney-client privilege.

I only heard a few moments of Cohen’s testimony while was in an Uber on the way to the airport. He was making a series of “I’m ashamed…” statements. To me, it sounded like a script of self-criticism at a Stalinist show trial. Was so glad to get away from “news feeds” – impossible to hear the ubiquitous TV screens turned to CNN in Terminal A at DCA.

Am I the only one who noticed that Cohen completely screwed the democrat narrative, all the while saying things they want to hear?

The most precious bit was the Wikileaks date screw up. Most of the press corpse is too brain dead to notice that Cohen testified he heard Trump talking about the emails a month AFTER they were public knowledge.

    tom_swift in reply to Petrushka. | February 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Cohen pretty much fell on his own sword with this one, too—

    Cohen said there never was an explicit instruction, he assumed that was what Trump wanted.

    That’s his mistake, not DJT’s.

“Having found the man, Donald Trump, they will find the crime.”

Lots of support for Stalin style law. Including a “lawyer” who comments here.

    Barry in reply to SDN. | February 27, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Butt he’s a “principled” conservative.

    Cohen is a lawyer of the same principle…

      Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | February 28, 2019 at 11:07 am

      I am a principled conservative, just as you are an unprincipled lying Prog.

      I wouldn’t represent T-rump, and he wouldn’t hire me for largely the same reasons; he’s a stinking corrupt-0-crat who needs someone like Cohen, which is why he employed him in several positions for a decade.

      “…that still leaves you with incredibly inconvenient fact that this is someone Trump hired, promoted, and trusted for years. He was a vice-president of the Trump Organization, personal counsel to Trump and a former co-president of Trump Entertainment and a board member of the Eric Trump foundation. He was also deputy finance chair of the RNC from 2017 to 2018. You can insist that Cohen is a horrible, no good, awful specimen of the most coprophagic phylum of humanity but you are still stuck with the problem of reconciling that with Trump’s claims that he is an incredible judge of character and talent and “hires the best people.”

      T-rump and Cohen were made for each other.

        “I am a principled conservative”

        Then so are Pelosi and Schumer.

        In fact, you sound just like them, spouting the same deranged BS.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | March 1, 2019 at 11:28 am

          Another in your series of demented lies, which you tell without stint.

          My only cardinal sin for you is that I won’t strap on your knee-pads for your cult worship of T-rump. I won’t assume your position.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | March 1, 2019 at 6:15 pm

          “I won’t strap on your knee-pads for your cult worship of T-rump.”

          You sure make homosexual fantasy statement often in your comments.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | March 1, 2019 at 7:06 pm

          …and you sure live them out.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | March 1, 2019 at 9:20 pm

          The very small cult, known as NeverTrumpers, a synonym for “deranged” is populated primarily by little men afraid of their own shadow.

          People using homophobic wording are usually covering something up.

    Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | February 28, 2019 at 11:00 am

    If you’re lying about me, have the guts to say so.

    Also, you should link to any comment of mine of the last several days that supports the lie you just told.

Rosenstein didn’t need a wire if he gave Mueller total latitude to find “something”. Considering that the average citizen is guilty of a felony by tossing 3rd class trash mail from their box addressed to someone else.

    PersonofInterests in reply to alaskabob. | February 28, 2019 at 11:34 am

    The guy I want to see held accountable MOST is Rat Rod Rosenstein; he’s the lynchpin to this travesty and the link to the others who are involved. Who was giving him the orders to have a Special Counsel without ever identifying the requried predicate of a “Crime”? Was Barack Obama or the Clintons involved with his decision making and were they part of that scheme and conspiracy to coerce Jeff Sessionszzzz to effectively turn over control of the DoJ as a consequence of his recusal? Rat Rosenstein isn’t smart enough to have concocted all of this on his own. Was John Brennan, James Clapper, and others of the Intel Apparatchik the organizers?


    What was the involvement of Lyin Paul Ryan, Mitch McCommunist, and others of the Republicrat Party that would provide confidence to John Brennan in threatening them publicly as though they were intimately involved?

    When you step back from all that has happened and the concerted effort to damage President Trump, you see how the Socialist Media Complex of Alphabet Networks, Presstitute Tabloids, and Social Media Censors have been working with the DemoncRAT Party and the Establishment Republicrats to destroy his presidentcy at a level that Barack Obola could not have withstood. A weaker man would have likely resigned by now.

    We need to support President Trump who despite the past two years of endless unwarranted attacks and attempted treason, has accomplished more in two years than Barack Obola did not in 8 years.

    We should not permit what has happened and is happening to go unpunished because if we do, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. SOME TRAITORS AND THEIR AGENTS NEED TO GET THE JUSTICE THAT THEY RICHLY DESERVE.


“Having found the man, Donald Trump, they will find the crime. That’s the big takeaway from the Michael Cohen show today.”

Exactly this. The degeneration of our federal law enforcement agencies terrifies me.

Cohen decided his best chance of keeping his prison sentence short was to go after Trump. When Cohen was pocketing millions from his taxi business and paying no tax was that Trump’s fault? When Cohen committed bank fraud, again did Trump make him do it? Cohen shook down companies claiming he could help them with Trump. It was a lie. Cohen stated he got in legal trouble because of Trump. He is either delusional or a liar.
When Trump pardons people after the Mueller report Cohen can cry on Lannie Davis’ shoulder and continue rotting in prison. What a moron.

    Barry in reply to Jackie. | February 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    “He is either delusional or a liar.”

    AND. Embrace the power of and.

    He is delusional and a liar.

    Like a certain “lawyer” that posts deranged lies all the time.

Gambino mob heir predicts Michael Cohen will get WHACKED in prison because ‘inmates love Trump and hate rats’

    CDR D in reply to Neo. | February 28, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I just heard that on the radio a few minutes ago. I hope the little weasel doesn’t get sent to one of those country club prisons. I hope he gets to meet Bubba and Thor up close and personal.

Cohen’s testimony yesterday is the illegal FISA warrant game plan all over again. We’ll coach this well known liar to say he knows Trump did illegal things. But you need to interview the following people because Cohen doesn’t don’t know, but they might.
The beginning of a new fishing trip and the @AOC is all in on being in the swamp.

For what it’s worth the disgusting opening statement read by Cohen was right out of despicable Lanny Davis’ mouth. I have followed his filthy career from the beginning with Klinton.

    If these last 3 days proved anything, it is that there is no sanctuary for a backstabbing coward. He actually perjured himself twice by reading from a script written by Team Clinton hatchet man Lanny Davis. What a fool! He was played!

    The good think is that it backfired.