When Michael Cohen submitted a check signed by Trump for an illegal payment he provided the evidence Trump’s political foes have been looking for. Trump was already president said Cohen, when he signed that check “to reimburse me,” for the payments to Stormy Daniels. Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, leader of the Oversight Committee, was asked if he thought Trump committed a crime–he answered that based on what he heard, “it appears that he did”.
The Republican members of the committee did not address the issue of the illegal payment which most pundits consider to be the smoking gun. Republicans on the committee dedicated themselves to attacking Cohen’s credibility and reputation. They did not address documents from prosecutors in the Southern District of New York providing ample evidence that Cohen and Trump had committed a crime because the payments to Stormy Daniels were made after Trump became president. Congressman Jim Jordan, the most aggressive of the questioners, mentioned Cohen’s condition as a convicted liar who is going to prison. Political commentator Lawrence O’Brian said on MSNBC that he remembered one criminal, Joe Valacci, a made member of the mafia, a murderer whose testimony helped the government in the fight against organized crime. O’Brian says the even the most hardened criminals who have lied, cheated and killed, sometimes tell the truth.
Cohen in his testimony accused Trump of bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax evasion, suborning perjury, and admitted that he had helped Trump to commit crimes. Cohen said Trump did not directly ordered him to say or do certain things, and that he did so using code language. According to Cohen Trump would say “There is no Collusion with Russia,” after asking him about the progress of his plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Donny Deutsch, a former ad executive who is now a TV personality and a close friend of Michael Cohen said on O’Brian’s show that Cohen’s testimony will dismantle the criminal organization that Trump has run for most of his life. He described it as “a mom and pop operation,” and that it will not take much for the investigators in the Southern District of New York to learn all the sordid details of the business headed by the president. In response to a question about the hearing and the most important thing he learned in that hearing room, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va) said that what the hearing revealed that the Trump organization is “a criminal enterprise”.
Michael Cohen asked Congress to protect his family because he feels threatened by Trump. On Saturday, after the rough week he had with a failed summit and Cohen’s testimony, Trump went on the attack at a rally. He attacked Cohen, the Democrats in Congress, and the media. And then Jerrold Nadler, the Judiciary Committee Chairman, made sure Trump would hear his response. He sent letters to 81 agencies tied to the president, demanding documents. We want Congress to get the facts without giving Trump reason to complain about abuse of power. Let’s not talk impeachment. Perhaps the facts will show so many smoking guns that this president will have no choice but to resign.