MICHAEL COHEN'S CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY - TOP TO BOTTOM
What follows is an amalgam of posts, news items, graphics, video clips and original commentary presented in rough chronological order to depict a top-to-bottom account of the congressional testimony from disgraced and former personal attorney to the president, Michael Cohen.
COHEN RESCHEDULED FOR HOUSE TESTIMONY
Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings released a statement later in the day yesterday announcing that President Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, will testify on the House floor at 10 a.m. on February 27th.
In his statement, Mr. Cummings stated that, "“I am pleased to announce that Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the Oversight Committee is back on, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing. 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." Of course, Mr. Cummings did not miss an opportunity to sling mud at the president.
Mr. Cummings outlined the scope of Mr. Cohen's hearing to cover the following topics (sourced from PDF linked in article):
• the President’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election;
• the President’s compliance with financial disclosure requirements;
• the President’s compliance with campaign finance laws;
• the President’s compliance with tax laws;
• the President’s potential and actual conflicts of interest;
• the President’s business practices;
• the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.;
• the accuracy of the President’s public statements;
• potentially fraudulent or inappropriate practices by the Trump Foundation; and
• public efforts by the President and his attorney to intimidate Mr. Cohen or others not to testify.
Mr. Cummings also reflected on coordinating his efforts with those of the DOJ and HPSCI Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff. As a long-tenured and stalwart Democratic legislator who is absolutely beholden to the Democratic agenda, Mr. Cummings' words and the outlined scope of Mr. Cohen's testimony suggest that this effort is aligning with the obstruct, interfere and bog-down agenda that Speaker Pelosi has put in front of this Democratically controlled House.
The timing of this press release relative to Attorney General William Barr's announcement that the Mueller investigation is ending is peculiar; especially since the two will all but coincide. Nonetheless, the 27th ought to make for an interesting day.
PREVIEW OF COHEN'S HOUSE TESTIMONY - Information likely damaging to the president
Almost a week ago, Chairman Elijah Cummings of the House Oversight Committee issued a statement (https://gab.com/Statecraft_Discerned/posts/4932604... ) that the president's former attorney Michael Cohen, had been rescheduled to testify on February 27th. Cohen's second and third days of testimony to intelligence committees will be behind closed doors.
Rueter's previews the testimony in the item below suggesting that damaging information about the president will be revealed. In all likelihood, the nature of the information will be along the lines of, "show me the man and I'll show you the crime." Aside from the actual efforts to remove the president from office, that's precisely what much of the Deep State's undermining of this administration has been - a state-authorized opposition research effort to benefit the Democrats, erode the critical swing vote, damage the president and flip 2020 blue; all by means of using federal mechanisms to generate campaign fodder for legacy media.
Somehow, Congress chose not to care when the president's predecessor, among a litany of other unconstitutional and felonious acts, shipped off billions in cash and coin to the single largest state sponsor of terrorism on the planet - Iran. Somehow, Congress decided to abdicate its oversight responsibilities when Obama was caught on a hot microphone telling a Russian diplomat to let Putin know that he'll, "have more flexibility" after the election. Apparently, what's really important to Congress, is who slept with whom; a man who builds buildings for a living being concerned about a possible building his international corporation was considering, etc.
Beneath this opaque veneer of fidelity to governing, it becomes clearer by the day that the body of Congress is an international criminal enterprise with an agenda antithetical to that of the common American.
We sit upon a precipice between self-government and autocratic rule. If the Deep State's efforts are successful in these endeavors, we can take what remains of this once proud Constitutional Republic and flush it down loo.
As for timing, it's interesting that the president is out of the country as this all unfolds at home. From the standpoint of the news cycle, it will be interesting where the MSM goes with two coinciding events - this one and Trump's visit to Vietnam to meet with Kim Jong Un.
PREDICTION - aside from FOX, legacy media will downplay the Korean Peninsula denuclearizing and peace efforts while ramping-up Cohen's testimony. Why would we expect anything different from this MSM? Well, actually, we wouldn't.
COHEN AGREES TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE AFTER MUELLER THREATENS HIS WIFE - MUELLER'S TRUE NATURE BEING EXPOSED
The interpretations of the duo of Rosenstein and Mueller has been enigmatic at best and down right swampy at worst. As time passes and we've had opportunities to examine Mueller's actions as compared to words or other measures. His targets are all Trump affiliates (Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn.) The 'crimes' have nothing to do with Russia or the fabricated and concocted tale of Russian collusion once controlled for meetings arranged by the likes of Halper, Downer, Misfud, etc.
In fact, the 'crimes' are all essentially one of two variations - process crimes such as lying to Congress or the FBI, which would not have even occurred if not for the fictitious Russian collusion allegations, or crimes that occurred before Trump even decided to run; much less become president, and are in no way affiliated with Trump or his presidency.
As we suspected, the Mueller team is operating in a capacity previously outlined and specifically, to absorb criminal evidence and shield Deep State operatives working counter to the Trump administration and before that, his campaign. The other obvious angle - targeting a sitting president for unseating - of the Mueller investigation is now becoming clearer.
As Fox news is reporting, the president's former and disgraced personal attorney only decided to flip on the president and testify in front of the House after Mueller threatened to imprison his wife for improprieties in securing a $20 million dollar loan. Moreover, it was learned that the opposition and specifically, the Clintons' former fixer and attorney Lanny Davis as well as Rep. Elijah Cummings and likely others worked to prepare Cohen for his House testimony.
This tells us everything we need to know and at this point, it's a safe bet to put all of your chips on Mueller being exactly what we thought he was - a swampy, ratty, disingenuous and duplicitous Deep State operative beholden to the powers that be and working to damage and/or unseat a duly elected president. Period.
How do we know this? Simple - how is any of this within the original mandate of investigating Russian interference in our election process? It isn't. That evidence doesn't exist and the narrative serves as a guise justify the entirety of their work. End of story. You don't leverage the wife of the president's personal attorney and threaten to haul her off to jail over a 2015 loan application if you're giving due diligence to the original mandate. You do; however, pursue that course of action if your modus operandi is to target the president's inner circle and those identified as subjects of FISA warrants and the subsequent surveillance of Trump and his entire campaign and presidency.
Mueller - dirty. Rosentstein - dirty. Until something factual emerges to change this tune, it shouldn't be changed at all.
HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE RESOURCES
OPENING STATEMENT - CHAIRMAN ELIJAH CUMMINGS
Chairman Cummings' opening remarks as sourced directly from the linked item below,
"Washington, DC (Feb. 27, 2019)—Below is Chairman Elijah E. Cummings’ opening statement for today’s full Committee hearing with Michael Cohen, former attorney to President Donald Trump.
Today, the Committee will hear the testimony of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney and one of his closest and most trusted advisors over the last decade.
On August 21, Mr. Cohen appeared in federal court and admitted to arranging secret payoffs of hundreds of thousands of dollars on the eve of the election to silence women alleging affairs with Donald Trump. Mr. Cohen admitted to violating campaign finance laws and other laws. He admitted to committing these felonies “in coordination with, and at the direction of” President Trump. And he admitted, he admitted, to lying about his actions to protect the President.
Some will certainly ask, if Mr. Cohen was lying then, why should we believe him now? This is a legitimate question. As a trial lawyer for many years, I’ve faced this situation over and over again. And I asked the same question. Here is how I view our role. Every one of us in this room has a duty to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in search of the truth. The President has made many statements of his own, and now the American people have a right to hear the other side. They can watch Mr. Cohen’s testimony and make their own judgment.
We received a copy of Mr. Cohen’s written statement late last night. It includes not only personal eyewitness accounts of meetings with Donald Trump as President inside the Oval Office, but it also includes documents and other corroborating evidence for some of Mr. Cohen’s statements.
For example, Mr. Cohen has provided a copy of a check sent while President Trump was in office—with Donald Trump’s signature on it—to reimburse Mr. Cohen for the hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.
This is new…this new evidence raises a host of troubling legal and ethical concerns about the President’s actions in the White House and before.
This check is dated August 1, 2017. Six months later, in April of 2018, the President denied anything about it. In April 2018, President Trump was flying on Air Force One when a reporter asked him the question: “Did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?” The answer was: “No.”
A month after that, the President admitted making payments to Mr. Cohen, but claimed they were part of “a monthly retainer” for legal services. This claim fell apart in August when federal prosecutors concluded, and I quote: “In truth and in fact, there was no such retainer agreement.”
Today we will also hear Mr. Cohen’s account of a meeting in 2016 in Donald Trump’s office during which Roger Stone said, over a speakerphone, that he had just spoken with Julian Assange, who said there would be a “massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” According to Cohen, Mr. Trump replied, “wouldn’t that be great.”
The testimony that Michael Cohen will provide today—ladies and gentlemen—is deeply disturbling…disturbing. And it should be troubling to all Americans. We will all have to make our own evaluation of the evidence and Mr. Cohen’s credibility. As he admits, he has repeatedly lied in the past. I agree with Ranking Member Jordan that this is an important factor we need to weigh. But we must weigh it, and we must hear from him.
But where I disagree fundamentally with the Ranking Member involves his efforts to prevent the American people from hearing from Mr. Cohen.
Mr. Cohen’s testimony raises grave questions about the legality of Donald Trump’s—President Donald Trump’s—conduct and the truthfulness of statements while he was President. We need to assess and investigate this new evidence as we uphold our constitutional, our oversight responsibilities. And we will continue after today to gather more documents and testimony in our search for the truth.
I had made it abundantly clear to Mr. Cohen, that if he comes here today and he does not tell him the truth…tell us the truth, I will be the first one to refer that…those untruthful statements to DOJ. So, when people say that he doesn’t have anything to lose, he does have a lot to lose if he lies
And, the American people, by the way, voted for accountability in November. They have a right to hear Mr. Cohen in public so they can make their own judgments. Mr. Cohen’s testimony is the beginning of the process—not the end. Ladies and gentlemen, the days of this Committee protecting the President at all costs are over—they’re over!
Before I close, I want to comment about the scope of today’s hearing. At the request of the House Intelligence Committee—my very good friend Adam Schiff, Congressman Adam Schiff is the Chairman—I’d intended—over the objections of the Ranking Member of our Committee—to limit the scope of today’s hearing to avoid questions about Russia.
However, Mr. Cohen’s written testimony, in his written testimony, he’s made statements relating to Russia, and these are topics that we understand do not raise concern from the Department of Justice. So in fairness to the Ranking Member and all Committee Members, we will not restrict questions relating to the witness’ testimony or related questions he is willing to answer.
Finally, I remind Members that we will need to remain mindful of those areas where there are ongoing Department of Justice investigations. Those scoping limitations have not changed
Finally, and to Mr. Cohen, Martin Luther King—Mr. Cohen—said the words that I leave with you today before you testify. He said “faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that truly matter. In the end, he says, “we will remember not the words of our enemies, but by the silence of our friends.”
OPENING REMARKS - RANKING MEMBER JIM JORDAN
A full transcript of Rep. Jordan's remarks was not available at the time of this writing so CTH's linked item below serves as our source and contains video links to Rep. Jordan's comments.
"Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) outlines the fraudulent basis of the testimony from convicted liar Michael Cohen.
In his opening statement during the hearing Jim Jordan outlines how political operative Lanny Davis, a Clinton loyalist, worked with House Democrats and Chairman Elijah Cummings to politicize the use of Michael Cohen’s testimony with specific intention to target President Donald Trump.
In his opening statement Jim Jordan brilliantly outlines the democrat playbook, and exposes the entire purpose of the hearing. In his second round of questioning (below) Jordan goes deeper into the Michael Cohen and Lanny Davis fraud."
Subsequent to Cohen's testimony, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform released its findings sourced directly from the linked page below:
Mr. Cohen also produced a check from the Trump Trust signed by Donald Trump, Jr. and Alan Wiesselberg on March 17, 2017. This check was written after President Trump held a press conference announcing that he was no longer exercising control over the Trump businesses. Mr. Cohen testified that President Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Mr. Weisselberg were all active participants in this financial conspiracy.
Mr. Cohen confirmed the inaccuracy of the information provided by the President’s lawyer about these payments to federal officials at the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). The President’s lawyer indicated to OGE that the payments were made pursuant to a retainer agreement, but Mr. Cohen testified that no such agreement existed—testimony confirmed by federal prosecutors.
Mr. Cohen testified that President Trump “knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it.” According to Mr. Cohen, he personally discussed the issue with President Trump “at least a half-dozen times” during the campaign. Mr. Cohen also briefed Ivanka and Donald, Jr. about the project “in the regular course.”
Mr. Cohen said that President Trump met with Mr. Cohen at the White House to discuss his upcoming testimony before the Intelligence Committees in 2017. He testified that the President reinforced the message he expected Mr. Cohen to follow. The existence of this meeting, which also included the President’s personal lawyer, was corroborated by an internal White House email on May 16, 2017, which was reviewed by the Committee in camera. The email stated: “POTUS requested a meeting on Thursday with Michael Cohen and Jay Sekulow.”
Mr. Cohen testified that President Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited a draft of his false written statements to Congress on efforts to build Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 campaign. Mr. Cohen testified that these lawyers wanted him to stay “on message” by minimizing the extent of negotiations and the involvement of President Trump.
Mr. Cohen told the Committee that President Trump “knew from Roger Stone in advance about the Wikileaks drop of emails.” According to Mr. Cohen, he witnessed Roger Stone tell President Trump that he had just spoken with Julian Assange, and that there would be a “massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” Mr. Cohen said President Trump replied, “wouldn’t that be great.”
Mr. Cohen stated that President Trump provided inflated financial statements to Deutsche Bank while seeking a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills. Mr. Cohen also produced the President’s financial statements that reportedly were falsely inflated. Those statements show President Trump claimed to have boosted his net worth by more than $3 billion over just nine months. Mr. Cohen told the Committee that President Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.”
Mr. Cohen disputed President Trump’s claim that he cannot release his tax returns because he is under audit. Mr. Cohen said that President Trump told him the real reason he has refused to release his tax returns is because he is afraid that “tax experts” will “run through his tax return and start ripping it to pieces” and that the President would then be audited and forced to pay additional taxes and penalties.
It should be noted that even though Cummings intentionally restricted Cohen's testimony in the way of matters related to Russia and so as not to interfere with Cohen's subsequent closed-door testimony to intelligence committees, no evidence was put forth germane to the original mandate of 'Russian collusion.'
CUMMINGS ALSO INDICATES NEXT STEPS
Chairman Cummings indicated next steps in his investigation,
On February 15, the Committee released new documents showing that both attorneys were involved in a call in which Ms. Dillon appeared to provide inaccurate information to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) relating to the President’s hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.
CONSERVATIVE TREE HOUSE FURTHER DELINEATES NEXT STEPSChairman Cummings also sent a letter today to Ranking Member Jim Jordan in response to his letters last week objecting to the Committee’s efforts to investigate the Cohen payments.
The article is valuable to the extent that it warrants full reproduction here:
PREDICTABLE - ADAM SCHIFF and ELIJAH CUMMINGS ANNOUNCE NEXT SET OF WITNESSES...
February 28, 2019
Following the transparently predictable, pre-planned and organized schedule toward Pelosi’s insufferable impeachment scheme, Chairmen Adam Schiff (HPSCI) and Elijah Cummings (WH Oversight) announce they will be calling additional Trump officials and family members for testimony.
(The Hill) The House Intelligence Committee plans to question Felix Sater, the longtime business associate of President Trump involved in efforts to build a Trump property in Moscow, in a public hearing in March, committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday.
Schiff said the open hearing with Sater is scheduled for March 14 and would focus on the Trump Moscow discussions. (read more)
(VIA CNN) House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings on Thursday outlined plans for his committee to seek interviews with close Trump associates and family members following a blockbuster public hearing featuring President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.
Cummings told CNN that five or six House committees will investigate all the allegations that emerged from Cohen’s testimony.
Asked if his committee would focus on Trump’s role in the hush-money scandal, the Maryland Democrat said: “Probably.”
Cummings told reporters that his committee will reach out to individuals named repeatedly during Wednesday’s hearing for interviews, saying his panel will comb through the transcript of the hours-long hearing to “figure out who we want to talk to and we’ll bring them in.” (read more)
Remember also that Pelosi changed the rules and responsibilities of House committees specifically to target the White House. The former “House Government Oversight and Reform Committee” was even structurally changed to narrow oversight. Now it ONLY looks at the White House; the rest of government oversight has been entirely abandoned.
Obviously this approach is unprecedented. However, as with everything that has happened thus far, this level of resistance continues to raise political confrontation into uncharted territory.
Yes, you read that correctly… Chairman Elijah Cummings is now in charge of ‘White House Oversight Committee’ with responsibility for: “Oversight Over the Executive Office of the President”. This sets up the system for Cummings to target President Trump, his family, and all members of the executive branch as they relate to specific White House functions.
These people are bananas.
They are predictable, but they’re still bananas.
The way to defeat the Pelosi/Schumer impeachment scheme is to expose the cornerstone of the political fraud the scheme relies upon.
All of this is carefully designed. None of this is organic. All of the participants have networked contacts acting as intermediaries (like Lawfare) to provide arms-length plausible deniability to the larger political scheme. These plans and schemes are all professional Democrats spend time thinking and talking about. This is what they do. This is all they do. This is their purpose in life; nothing else matters.
Additionally within the new House Rules Pelosi unveiled last December, HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff has until April 15th, 2019, to organize his summer hearing schedule for attacks against the White House. Speaker Pelosi hasn’t tried to hide the plan; heck, she’s published it for all to see.
The structural impeachment schedule will ultimately lead to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler. Professional political Democrats would not be using “impeachment” in the constitutional sense of the process (high crimes and misdemeanors); but rather weaponizing the process –as a tool itself– to: target the executive office; diminish the presidency (“isolate”/”marginalize”, Alinsky rules); and position themselves for 2020.
Chairman Nadler will begin specifically focused hearings sometime in late April or May 2019. If they stay committed to the timeline, and so far they are right on cue, the House impeachment vote will be scheduled for sometime in the early/mid fall of this year.
Following their plan, this gives Democrats and the media around six months +/- to build an overwhelming political argument against President Trump; and, with the help of media, create such political controversy that Senate Republicans (Decepticon Caucus) will be showcasing pearl-clutching anxiety into the senate impeachment trial.
Fortunately there are signals beginning to surface that indicate at least some members of congress are aware of the insufferable scheme and beginning to get out in front of it. Representative Jim Jordan leads the charge:
The best defense is a good offense.
The republicans might be in the minority position but they have a distinct advantage. We have the opposition’s playbook in front of us…. we know what they are going to do; we know what the sequence of plays is; and we know generally the timeline they will be using… That’s valuable information. So use it !
COHEN ADMITS TO WORKING WITH CUMMINGS, SCHIFF, DAVIS, ET AL TO SHAPE HIS CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY
During Cohen's testimony, it was learned that he collaborated with HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings and longtime Clinton fixer and personal attorney Lanny Davis prior to the hearing to shape his testimony before the House. In other words, the president's political opponents worked with the president's former personal attorney to determine what he would say and how he would say it; apparently disregarding the original mandate of 'Russian collusion.'
NO INSTRUCTIONS TO LIE, NO RUSSIAN COLLUSION, FAKE DOSSIER
As we already knew, the lion's share if not the totality of the Democrats assertions that the president instructed Cohen to lie for him; that the president colluded with the Russians; and that the allegations in the Steele dossier are all fruitless and without merit.
A MEAGER 37% OF REGISTERED VOTERS FIND COHEN CREDIBLE
It seems the Democrats' propagandized grip on increasingly better informed Americans is slipping. Recently, it was found that only 37% of registered voters find Cohen credible.
PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETS ENCOURAGEMENT TO VIEW CARLSON'S OPENING MONOLOGUE
Here is the president's tweet followed by the Fox News Tucker Carlson segment. In it, Carlson thoroughly dismantles the entirety of the Democrats' Russian collusion witch hunt narrative by juxtaposing the their own words against Cohen's testimony.
PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETS THAT IT'S TIME TO END THE WITCH HUNT AND BEGIN EXAMINING THE DEMOCRATS' CRIMINALITY
Oh’ I see! Now that the 2 year Russian Collusion case has fallen apart, there was no Collusion except bye Crooked Hillary and the Democrats, they say, “gee, I have an idea, let’s look at Trump’s finances and every deal he has ever done. Let’s follow discredited Michael Cohen.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2019
STANDING UPON THE PRECIPICE - What's next?...and the fraudulent and dishonest statements he made on Wednesday. No way, it’s time to stop this corrupt and illegally brought Witch Hunt. Time to start looking at the other side where real crimes were committed. Republicans have been abused long enough. Must end now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2019
The next several weeks will be highlighted with the forthcoming Mueller investigation report; AG William Barr's expected summary statement on that report; the Democrats' fight to make Mueller's report public thus rendering it a de facto state-sponsored, taxpayer funded political opposition effort to fuel the 2020 Democratic campaign; and various OIG reports germane to the president, FBI, DOJ and others.
By means of their legislative agenda and the expressed intentions of House committee chairs, the Democrats are all-in on enveloping the Trump administration, business and family in a web of fraudulently based and interconnecting investigations designed to undermine, damage and potentially remove a duly elected president. Meanwhile, President Trump retains the entirety of the declassification play, whereby he could shine light on the previously cited fraud and criminality. This appears to be imminent given the president's recent tweets threatening to yank the veil of the Democrats' criminality and expose their entirely fabricated 'Russian collusion' ploy.
It is reasonable to think that for the short-term and given the president's mastery of trolling Democrats to the end of their own duplicity and criminality, he'll continue to allow the them to self-destruct in full view of the public eye; hitting back primarily with his Twitter account until a precise moment of maximum political value. If that's the case, we should expect to see Mueller's report, Barr's summary findings of it and the OIG reports to all be released to the extent they can, before President Trump throws the first haymaker to knock the Left off their feet and begin to bring down this disgraceful house of cards.