Tag Archives: Michael Cohen

Impeachment due? Maybe, but not just yet

The talk around D.C. is heating up, that Donald J. Trump’s impeachment is becoming more of a fait accompli with each revelation.

Allow me this plea just one more time: The U.S. House of Representatives must wait for Robert Mueller’s report to be finished, for it to be released, and for Congress and the public to have enough time to digest its contents.

The special counsel reportedly is in the final stages of his exhaustive investigation into whether the president’s campaign “colluded” with Russians who attacked our electoral system.

But now comes this, from Buzzfeed News. It is that Trump’s former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen has said that the president instructed him to lie to Congress about a meeting involving the development of a Trump Tower complex in Moscow. If the president issued such an order, critics suggest, that right there constitutes an obstruction of justice — which happened to be one of the charges leveled against President Clinton when the House impeached him in 1999.

Mueller’s office has issued a denial of part of what Buzzfeed reported, which is that Mueller had compiled corroborating evidence to back up what Buzzfeed reported.

The word now is that House Democrats might be feeling pressure to launch impeachment proceedings now instead of waiting for the special counsel to finish his work.

They would be mistaken . . . bigly!

Mueller’s report is going to tell Americans far more than they know about the probe and about what Donald Trump might or might not have done while being elected president of the United States in 2016.

I happen to be willing to wait for Mueller to let us know what he has before urging anyone to impeach the president.

Americans have invested a lot in this investigation already. It has cost many millions of dollars in public money. Accordingly, I want it released as fully as possible to the public. If it is released, we’ll get to know the truth.

If the truth suggests an impeachment is inevitable, then fire up the machinery. Not before we know the truth.

The power of education shows itself in this man

Elijah Cummings is the new chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee. He is a Maryland Democrat who’s represented the Baltimore area for more than 25 years in Congress.

“60 Minutes” interviewed Cummings tonight, exploring how he intends to run the committee that on Feb. 7 is going to question Michael Cohen, the convicted felon who once was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and his so-called “fixer.”

The interview covered a lot of ground, including Cummings’ background as the son of Pentecostal ministers; both Mom and Dad were preachers.

He talked about how his father instilled in young Elijah the value of education.

His father told him that “if you miss any school that means you died the previous night.” Cummings told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft that he “never missed a day of school.”

That’s what I call discipline. Pay attention, Michael Cohen. You are going to be facing a tiger.

What do the networks have in mind for Cohen testimony?

You’re a TV network boss. You run a multibillion-dollar enterprise that relies on viewer interest in the programming  you present.

Then you hear that the U.S. House Oversight Committee is going to summon Donald Trump’s former lawyer/fixer to testify about the role he played in the president’s myriad activities relating to (a) the Russian government, (b) his alleged relationships with an adult film actress and a Playboy model and (c) other matters that have dogged his presidency.

What do you do? The Feb. 7 hearing might be a ratings blockbuster. Or, it might be a dud. Do you preempt your regular programming to show this testimony live? If I were in that place, I’d go with televising the hearing.

Michael Cohen is facing a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to campaign violations and assorted other felonies. He says he’s done lying to protect the president. He has been working with special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team as it investigates alleged “collusion” with Russian operatives who interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Cohen might want to spill every bean in the bag in order to get a sentence reduction.

This hearing has the potential of turning the presidency of Donald Trump on its head. A lot of Americans have a keen interest in the future of this man’s presidency. His supporters want him to shake off the questions once and for all. The president’s detractors want, well, a vastly different outcome.

Michael Cohen’s testimony might be the proverbial game-changer. Or, it might not change a single thing.

If you are a network TV exec, you ought to gamble on the former.

I intend to clear the decks on Feb. 7.

This hearing ought to be an attention-getter

When was the last time you waited with bated breath for a congressional hearing? Oh, maybe . . . never? I get that. I suppose you can consider me to be a weirdo, as I have actually looked forward to these kinds of events.

Let’s look ahead now to Feb. 7. That’s when Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer/fixer for Donald Trump, will testify before the House Oversight Committee.

What does it mean? A couple of things.

First, it means that Democrats who have just taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives are going to start flexing their muscles in their search for facts surrounding the president’s conduct.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings is a Maryland Democrat who’s no one’s fool. He’s a smart man. An experienced member of Congress.

He wants Cohen — who faces a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to campaign-related crimes — to talk publicly about what he knew about the Trump campaign’s behavior in 2016.

Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels a six-figure sum for her to stay quiet about a sexual encounter she had with the future president; Trump denies the encounter occurred, but he paid her anyway. Go figure.

That is just the beginning.

The rest of it is likely to wander far afield undoubtedly. Why did Cohen lie to federal authorities? On whose instruction did he lie? To what extent did he lie? What does Cohen know about those mysterious meetings between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives who were working to interfere with the 2016 election?

Cohen already has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller, who sought leniency for Cohen from the federal judge who sentenced him. Instead, Cohen got a three-year prison sentence.

Cohen is no prince. He lied in search of personal gain. He once stood foursquare behind Donald Trump. Now he’s trying to atone for that, which now seems a bit late in the game to receive any sort of absolution. The sentencing judge scolded him harshly while handing down the sentence.

However, he well might have plenty to say in public to House committee members and their investigators.

If you’re a political junkie, as I am, you are going to await this drama.

I might even have some popcorn ready.

Feel sorry for The Fixer? Nope, can’t go there

Try as I tend to do, I cannot muster up sympathy for Donald Trump’s former friend, former confidant, former lawyer, former “fixer” — Michael Cohen.

A judge gave him a three-year prison sentence for lying to everyone under the sun about the payments he made to shut women up who allegedly had sexual encounters with the future president of the United States.

Cohen is now trying to atone for his greed by saying he was duped into blind fealty to Donald Trump. No, he wasn’t duped. He wasn’t fooled. He had his eyes and ears open. He knew with whom he was dealing. Trump’s reputation has been well-known ever since he got into the real estate and skyscraper building business.

Cohen’s latest admission came in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

See the story here

Cohen was motivated by the same self-serving goal that fueled Trump’s entire professional existence prior to his shocking election to the presidency in 2016.

He well might parlay his guilt into an even lighter sentence eventually by spilling even more beans about what he did for Trump. That will be up to the prosecutors and to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who has benefited from Cohen’s turning on Trump.

However, Michael Cohen doesn’t deserve pity from the public that also is paying a grievous price for the election of a charlatan, a phony, a disgrace. Cohen was a party to that egregious mistake.

Can all these observers be so totally wrong?

Social media are exploding at this moment. They are swarming with comments, predictions, speculation, conjecture and assorted opinions that seem to run along the same line.

Donald John Trump is in seriously deep doo-doo. Three of his former close aides and friends — Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort — are convicted felons. Cohen today received a three-year prison sentence. The president’s former “fixer” and friend is now getting ready to wear a prison jump suit.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Flynn, the former Army general and national security adviser and Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman.

The social media chatter, though, is alive and abuzz with belief that Donald Trump might be among the next tall tree to fall.

Can they all be wrong? Can they all be mistaken?

The odds are against that notion. It looks to me as though the odds are lengthening about whether Donald Trump is going to finish his term as president of the United States.

This drama needs to play itself out.

Trump’s delusion is accelerating

Donald J. Trump either really doesn’t read anything or has become increasingly delusional.

I’ll go with, um, both possibilities.

The Southern District of New York U.S. attorney’s office has said former Trump friend/Mr. Fixer Michael Cohen should serve prison time for his pattern of lies to federal authorities. Cohen might get four to five years in the slammer for his greed-driven felonies.

Trump responded immediately via Twitter — of course: Totally clears the President. Thank you!

Hmm. Let me think about that. OK, Mr. President. It doesn’t clear you in the least.

Nothing has cleared the president, certainly not his hysterical yammering about there being “no collusion” between his campaign and the Russian operatives to interfered in our 2016 election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller issued a separate memo regarding Cohen, saying he has provided “substantial help” to the special counsel team that is investigating the allegations of collusion.

Does any of that imply — even tangentially — any “clearing” of the president? No. It doesn’t.

It tells me that Mueller is still at work, although I am among those Americans who hopes he is getting close to the conclusion of his exhaustive, meticulous and comprehensive investigation.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated this week that Trump refuses to read anything, that he acts impulsively, that he sought to commit illegal acts. Tillerson said he sought to advise the president of the illegality of what he wanted done; that was when the men’s relationship turned frosty.

Tillerson’s assertion about the president’s refusal to read anything rings even more true today as he comments in the wake of the sentencing memo regarding Michael Cohen “totally clears the president.”

Pay attention, Mr. President. Your delusions are getting the better of you. You are in deepening trouble, sir.

Deal or no deal with Russians?

Michael Cohen, the one-time fixer for Donald Trump, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a whole host of issues relating to whether his former friend had dealings with Russians.

He took an oath to tell the truth. He lied. He has admitted to doing it.

As nearly as I can tell from a distance, I perceive that members of Congress take truth-telling to them quite seriously, especially when it involves witnesses they summon to speak to them.

Thus, Cohen’s admission of lying to Congress opens up the question of impeachment. I am not exactly pushing for an impeachment of the president of the United States.

However, the possibility now seems a bit more likely in light of what the one-time Trump pal has admitted to doing. Cohen now has revealed that he lied to Congress, he contradicts the very point that Trump has made to Congress, that he had “no deals” in Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

All of this opens up the gigantic door for House members — led by the new Democratic majority — to start asking some probing questions. Oh, yes . . . it also sends some clear signals to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is piecing all of this together while developing his final report on his probe into “The Russia Thing.”

One lies to Congress at his or her own peril. Even if you’re a member of the same party of those who run the show on Capitol Hill.

‘The Fixer’ on the verge of inflicting serious damage

Michael Cohen is no longer Donald Trump’s “Fixer.” He’s now seemingly ready to inflict some serious, possibly fatal, damage to Trump’s tenure as president of the United States.

I’m still trying to figure all this out. It’s complicated, folks.

Cohen, the president’s former confidant and lawyer, has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia. They appear to be far more extensive than he told Congress. He spent 70 hours talking to special counsel Robert Mueller about all of this.

Trump’s response has bordered on hysterical. He calls Cohen a “weak man” and a liar. He says he was entitled to do business with Russia as a candidate for president, but said he didn’t do it . . . but that he wouldn’t have broken the law had he done so.

Meanwhile, the president is continuing his all-out assault on Mueller and his legal team that is examining alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Trump in trouble?

This is getting even messier than before, ladies and gents, if that is at all possible. It’s getting so messy that I am seeing some commentary from longtime Washington journalists and political operatives who suggest that “for the first time” they are wondering whether Trump will finish his term as president.

I won’t go there. I keep thinking about all the times Trump has avoided potentially mortal injury to his candidacy and then his presidency. He has wiggled free, largely owing to the devotion he still commands from his political “base” of voters and his Republican allies in Congress.

I guess we now might see just how devoted they all are if the evidence continues to pile up.

I have this sense that Robert Mueller has compiled a tremendous amount of evidence that is going to make the president’s life extremely uncomfortable.

So . . . the drama continues.

Waiting for a more ‘presidential’ president

There you go, Mr. President. Donald Trump has vowed to be “more presidential” during his time in office.

Then he does this: He fires off a Twitter tirade that includes this gem about a woman who had sued him for defamation related to a payment his one-time lawyer made to the woman.

Trump wrote:  “Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit verses Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees. @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con.”

You need to parse through the mangled syntax, shoddy punctuation and, oh yes, the epithet he hurled at woman he mentions by her(misspelled) name in the tweet.

Yes, he calls Stormy Daniels “Horseface.”

Daniels alleges she and the future president had a one-night tryst in a hotel. Trump later ordered his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay her $130,000 to keep quiet about the event … while denying it ever happened. Go … figure.

I won’t get into what we all know to be the obvious, which is that we won’t ever see the president of the United States on a GQ magazine cover. Oh, well. I guess I just did.

Still, the president’s oft-stated vow to be “more presidential” has yet to be kept.