Why did Congress call on Michael Cohen to testify this week? Depending on political persuasion it was grandstanding, or an attempt to get to the truth about President Trump; whatever that truth may be.
Given the fact that Cohen is a convicted liar, and given the fact that liars lie about lying, there has been no reason to believe that new, unvarnished, revelations would surface, but we were led to believe that might happen. Looking back over the turn of events it appears that nothing substantive happened. Depending on which headline you follow Trump has been totally vindicated (because Cohen said he had no evidence of collusion with Russia), or we have one liar’s statements about lying in conflict with another liar’s statements about lying.
Can we ever use a liar’s testimony to get to the truth? I would say yes, but any apparent new revelations have to be corroborated by another source since liars lie without provocation at times, and because the witness has proven himself/herself unreliable. Cohen has looked like a ‘sadsack’ since he was first called to testify to Congress and through his cooperation with the Mueller investigation. I’m sure that his face reflects his actual mood. Cohen went from the President’s personal lawyer and “fixer” to a future felon in a very short period of time, and criminals have a unifying trait: they don’t think that they will ever be caught in their illegal activities. They seem to think that they will always be able to carry off their scam by doing the things that made it successful in the beginning.
For Cohen that appears to have been a practice of lying about everything, swearing undying allegiance to the “Boss” (Remember that he said in the beginning that he would take a bullet for Trump. That allegiance proved transitory as it became obvious that Trump would not take a bullet for Cohen.) Cohen, now feeling abandoned by his former boss has seemed to spin in ever tighter circles trying to shore up some sort of defense and provide protection for his family against loss of income and debt.
As much as I would like to get into the weeds on this topic and attempt to make some sense of Cohen’s testimony, I feel that I would rapidly be over my head, become disoriented and wander aimlessly trying to find my way back to some recognizable terrain. So, good luck on figuring out what, if anything, is the truth coming from Cohen’s mouth. It is certain that assertions by the President about Cohen’s testimony are suspect and probably all intended to mislead. It is interesting that Trump’s evaluation of everything is focused on whether or not there is evidence that he or his campaign colluded with Russia in 2016. Sometimes the discussion is extremely disorienting. Recently, Trump excoriated Cohen for some of his testimony and then praised him for stating that he had no evidence of collusion.
For those looking for some doctrinaire theme in this piece, I’m sorry. You won’t find a conclusion followed by references backing up that conclusion. That is not the way the minds of liberals and progressives work. It is the way that some conservatives think and write. To quote Mr. Trump about many issues, “So sad.”
Two years into the Trump presidency I’m still looking for a discussion that is longer than a tweet on any subject. Only in this presidency have tweets become substitutes for inter-office memos. There is beauty in a well written memo or opinion piece. El Presidente is not interested in beauty; he is interested in manipulating everyone to do his will.