Can you believe anything Michael Cohen says? | The Tylt
Can you believe anything Michael Cohen says?
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote a two-page memo describing the topics on which Cohen would be questioned. The New York Times reports Cummings said Cohen's testimony was an important part of the House investigation into potential wrongdoing by the Trump Organization.
“Congress has an obligation under the Constitution to conduct independent and robust oversight of the executive branch, and this hearing is one step in that process,” the chairman, Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, said in a statement announcing the rescheduled hearing.
In a two-page memo released late Wednesday, Mr. Cummings outlined 10 topics that he said would be addressed, including “the president’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election” and his compliance with federal tax and campaign finance laws. Other topics were more open-ended, including Mr. Trump’s business practices and possible conflicts of interest, as well as the “accuracy of the president’s public statements.”
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made clear the White House's opinion on the veracity of Cohen's statements in a statement before the beginning of his testimony in which she referred to him as a "disgraced felon" and "convicted liar."
The official GOP party line mirrors that of the White House, saying Cohen is now lying about the president in hopes of lessening his prison sentence.
Members of Congress agree, including Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, have many issues with taking Cohen at his word. Per NPR:
"I have serious process concerns with this hearing," Jordan said. "I will not stand by quietly while an admitted liar comes before the committee. Our members intend to question Mr. Cohen about the crimes he pleaded guilty to, other criminal activity he participated in but refused to disclose, his international financial dealings, and a long list of other probative activities."
NPR reports Cohen's team, including his lawyer Lanny Davis, on the other hand, claim his interest in protecting his family and country guarantees his honesty.
"Michael Cohen took this step today so that his family can move on to the next chapter," Davis said in a statement. "This is Michael fulfilling his promise made on July 2nd to put his family and country first and tell the truth about Donald Trump. Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election."
Despite all the skepticism, many believe Cohen could be an invaluable resource for the investigation. Per Vanity Fair:
Cohen’s lawyer and public spokesperson, Lanny Davis, has said that Cohen could be a modern-day John Dean, the former White House counsel whose testimony before Congress helped take down Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal. Dean himself was sentenced in August 1974 to one-to-four years in a minimum-security prison, part of which he served at a safe house near Baltimore. Decades later, he is better remembered for the lies he exposed than his own crimes. Cohen, as he prepares to speak his truth before the world, might be hoping for the same.