Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” will give an explosive testimony before Congress today, calling the president a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat.”
The damning testimony, obtained in full by the New York Times, comes as a petition circles in Congress to impeach Donald Trump. Will Cohen’s words add fuel to the fire and lead to a collapse in the presidency?
The truth is… probably not. While explosive, Cohen’s testimony merely confirms what many already suspected. The rap-sheet of accusations is long: tax fraud, racism, cover-ups, and collusion. But Cohen’s testimony will do little damage to Trump’s loyal base.
As for impeachment, it would require a large number of Republican to turn on their president. Those hoping for the impeachment of Donald Trump or the implosion of his presidency will likely be disappointed.
Michael Cohen's opening statement has been obtained by Politico.
"He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat."
Cohen says he'll provide docs that prove Trump's "illicit" acts. He'll say Trump knew Roger Stone was communicating with WikiLeaks.https://t.co/NrkVykyLNw
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 27, 2019
Michael Cohen’s Damning Opening Statement
Trump’s former fixer Cohen will list a reel off a long list of accusations, many backed up with hard evidence and documents. Among the most controversial claims are the following:
1. Trump knew that Wikileaks held damaging Clinton emails
Michael Cohen will say that long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone told Donald Trump about Wikileaks’ possession of damning Clinton emails. Cohen’s testimony explains:
“Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.”
In response, Trump allegedly replied, “Wouldn’t that be nice.”
It’s the first time anyone has confirmed Trump’s prior knowledge of the email dump.
2. Trump paid hush money to porn star “Stormy Daniels”
Trump has long been suspected off paying hush money to Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair quiet during the campaign. For the first time, however, Cohen will produce a copy of a $35,000 check that he claims Trump:
“Personally signed from his personal bank 14 account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up.”
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 17, 2019
3. Trump is Racist
Cohen will say that Donald Trump once asked him if Cohen could:
“Name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘sh*thole’"
Issues of racism and prejudice have plagued Donald Trump’s presidency. He famously questioned Barack Obama’s US nationality and executed a controversial “Muslim ban.” While damning, this Cohen revelation won’t come as a huge shock to anyone.
4. Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower Russia meeting
The infamous Donald Trump Jr meeting with Russian officials has always been a controversial topic for the president. The meeting in Trump Tower was allegedly scheduled to expose damaging information on the Clinton campaign.
President Trump has always denied any prior knowledge of the meeting. In today’s testimony, Cohen will Trump knew exactly what was happening.
“Nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump's knowledge and approval.”
Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019
Trump claims Cohen, who has already been found guilty, is lying in order to reduce his sentence.
5. Trump committed tax fraud
Cohen will also show Congress three years of Trump’s financial statements, which he claims reveal tax fraud.
“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
Will Cohen’s Testimony Lead to Impeachment?
Michael Cohen’s testimony will undoubtedly lead to renewed calls of impeachment from Congress and the public at large.
Just yesterday, two members of Congress signed a pledge to remove the president from office.
The Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has already said Trump would be guilty of “impeachment offenses” if the Stormy Daniels cover-up is true. Cohen’s evidence today could be enough to kickstart the impeachment process.
However, it’s unlikely to get far. The Democrat-held House could initiate impeachment proceedings, but the Senate needs to vote with two-thirds majority to remove the president. At least 20 Republicans would have to vote against their own president. It’s not going to happen.
As for public pressure, Cohen’s testimony probably won’t change people’s minds. As Trump’s former chief strategy said recently, political challenges only strengthen the president’s base.
No doubt, Michael Cohen’s testimony today is a damning blow to Trump. But don’t expect it to topple the president.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.