“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today.”
Michael Cohen said this as part of his concluding statement before Congress. If this does not chill your blood, nothing else will. These words point to the authoritarian nature of the President. It’s a good bookend to his opening statement. The president, according to Cohen, did not wish to prevail in the general election. He saw this as a way to promote the Trump brand. But now, President Donald Trump has become drunk with power.
In my mind, there were several important moments. They range from knowledge of Roger Stone’s statements with WikiLeaks, as well as the Trump Tower meeting with Russians. Cohen also states that the president “is racist, a conman and he is a cheat.”
This would be the heart of the matter. It would prove that the president was aware of the e-mail dump before it happened. He was also aware of hush payments to Stormy Daniels and. he added. “Not only did I lie to the American people, I lied to the First Lady.”
This points to campaign finance violations.
In some ways, this hearing is extremely significant. Cohen revealed that the lawyers for the president also reviewed his testimony for the Trump Tower Moscow project. This points to knowledge by the president.
This hearing is likely as significant as John Dean’s testimony during the Watergate scandal. Yet, there are significant differences. The inter-party fight during Watergate did not occur in front of cameras. We live in a far more partisan era. This is the beginning of the end, and to paraphrase Dean, there is cancer on the presidency.
This scandal has grown legs and implicates not just the president, but his son Don Junior. It felt as if I was listening to the testimony of somebody who flipped on a crime boss. Which reminds me, the president has alleged that he did not release his taxes because he was under audit. Cohen said that Trump never gave him any evidence. The IRS always informs targets through the US Mail.
But going full circle. Not only is Cohen feeling under threat, but he has told us the president is willing to cause violence, a civil war, to remain in power. This is as serious as it gets.
As the walls close in, Trump May try to activate his rabid base. He is an authoritarian and admires those who do not have to face accountability. Trump has avoided it all his life. He likely is getting increasingly nervous that there will be consequences. And significantly, Chairman Elijah Cummings was careful. He used legal language, but there may be evidence the president committed crimes while in office.
Oh, and Cohen brought evidence to prove some of his allegations. He had receipts.