Michael Cohen vs. Trump

A look into the latest White House scandal

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Michael Cohen vs. Trump

wikimediacommons.org

wikimediacommons.org

wikimediacommons.org

wikimediacommons.org

Grace Walker, Staff Writer

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Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer recently had a congressional hearing to discuss his and President Trump’s wrongdoings. During the hearing, he accused the president of an extensive history of lying and criminality, giving the American people insight into the White House and the secret life of Donald Trump. The following is the list of times Donald Trump has been dishonest with  the American people according to Mr. Cohen:

  • Trump has lied about having business interest and dealings in Russia.
  • Trump gave reporters false information regarding stolen democratic emails.
  • Trump directed Cohen to lie about hush money payments used to cover up sexual misconduct, such as the scandal involving Stormy Daniels.

Mr. Cohen also made bold statements about the kind of person he knows Donald Trump to be while he is not in front of the public eye. “He is a racist. He is a con man. And he is a cheat,” Cohen said in front of the Oversight and Reform Committee. This hearing is said to have been the first time a close associate to a president has revolted so dramatically in front of Congress since John Dean’s testimony against Richard Nixon during Watergate in 1973. Michael Cohen already has a three year prison sentence to look forward to this spring, on account of crimes he claims he committed on behalf of the president. “I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore,” he stated.

Trump’s republican supporters were quick to denounce the words said in the hearing, arguing Michael Cohen cannot be trusted because of his history with altering the truth. The meeting took place while the president was in Vietnam for a meeting with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. The hearing was televised nationally across many platforms on many channels, giving this case full attention and a plethora of media coverage. Mr. Cohen described his years dealing with Mr. Trump as a trip into the world of deceit, claiming that he was drawn in and blinded by the powerful figure. He said in private business dealings, the president’s dishonesty is trivial, yet as the leader of a major nation, it is significantly more dangerous.

Michael Cohen was denounced as a liar by the Republican party, yet he had documents to back up his statements. One of the most significant pieces of evidence he provided congress with was copies of checks the president wrote to Stormy Daniels to cover up their alleged relationship, in the amount of $130,000. He also brought evidence that tied Mr. Trump to the crimes Cohen has already been convicted of. Before he was president, he orchestrated the hush money scheme to keep Stormy Daniels at bay, and while he was president he supposedly arranged for 11 reimbursements for Michael Cohen as part of a criminal scheme violating campaign finance laws. Mr. Trump has said continually that he was never involved in campaign finance violations and did not reimburse his lawyer for any such thing. However, his signature on a $35,000 check written out to Cohen contradicts those statements. He also provided evidence of letters he wrote to Trump’s high school demanding they not release his transcript or SAT scores, as directed by the then candidate.

Mr. Cohen was very straight forward with Congress, offering information on topics they did not ask about for the sole purpose of exposing Donald Trump as the man he personally knew him to be. He claimed that Mr. Trump was fully aware of and was even directing plans for Trump Moscow negotiations during the campaign. Michael Cohen also stated that the reason behind the majority of President Trump’s risky business dealings, besides the faults in his character, had a lot to do with the fact that he never expected to win. It was also said that he did not put a stop to his business dealings during the campaign because it had the potential to bring him hundreds of millions of dollars. Cohen also stated that he had no direct evidence that the president colluded with Russia, yet he has his suspicions.

While Michael Cohen openly turned his back on Trump and exposed him for being dishonest and partaking in criminal activity, he also took down some other members of the Trump cabinet and even the Trump family. He told Congress that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, Jared Kushner, his son in law, and Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, had a meeting with Russia after officials claimed they had dirt on Hillary Clinton that would help them take her down.

Close to the end of the hearing, Cohen left some questions unanswered. However, this was not an effort to dodge questions asked by Congress, but rather a legal obligation. When asked about his last conversation with the president, he answered that he was not legally able to speak on it because it was being actively investigated. When asked if he knew of any wrongdoings on the president’s behalf, he answered the same way. Cohen’s overall view of the president was clearly not what is used to be. He described Trump as a mobster who inflated his net worth, yet understated it when reporting to the authorities to increase his own income.

Michael Cohen ended his hearing in a powerful and shocking way. After being accused of lying by a Republican representative from Arizona, Cohen saw that the people he was speaking to were doing something similar to him: they were falling into the trap that is Donald Trump. “I did the same thing that you’re doing now for 10 years,” he said. “I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years.”

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