Accusations from Michael Cohen
Between 2006 and 2018, Michael Cohen became Donald Trump’s lawyer, vice-president of The Trump Organization, Co-President of Trump Entertainment, and deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. Now in 2019, he is being sentenced to three years in prison and is testifying against the man who he claimed to Vanity Fair he would “take a bullet for.”
Mr. Cohen made many bold statements throughout his hearing, including how President Trump instructed him to lie about paying off Stormy Daniels, and how the President knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to release thousands of emails taken from the Democratic Party. While this information seemed very compelling, especially to the left, the right had a different opinion: why should we believe someone who is already convicted of lying? But on the other hand, once someone is sentenced to time in prison, sometimes they have nothing to lose by telling the truth.
Yes, Michael Cohen was working with President Trump for an immense period of time, and as his lawyer, he must have been aware of many secrets and political cleanups. However, the Republicans do have a point; if one lies so flagrantly once, what is keeping them from doing it again? The Hill, a political newspaper/website published in Washington D.C., took a poll of registered voters concerning Cohen’s testimony. Only 37 percent found his testimony credible. Not surprisingly, Democrats were found more likely to believe Michael Cohen’s testimony than Republicans.
It is hard for many to believe Cohen, including Sarah Sanders, the current White House Press Secretary. “It’s laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word and pathetic to see him given another opportunity to spread his lies,” Sanders said. There have also been instances where Michael Cohen acted unethically independent of President Trump. FOX News states that Cohen, “secretly recorded phone calls with Trump,” which completely goes against the ethical practices of any lawyer. But by Cohen’s own admission while on the stand, Trump never directly told him to lie. In fact, Cohen testifies that Trump had his own personal way of speaking, allegedly in a code. Michael Cohen explains that, “He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders, he speaks in a code, and I understand the code because I’ve been around him for a decade.”
There have also been a slew of claims flying around, that also chipped away at the validity of Michael Cohen’s statements. On Jan. 24,2018, Michael Cohen had a book proposal in the works. This proposal depicted the president in a positive light, and Cohen was working through strings of publishers to snag a deal. Just weeks later, his apartment was raided by the FBI, who were looking into his personal dealings—where this whole saga begins. The book proposal completely contradicts everything that Cohen is testifying to now, which sure does bring his remarks into question. Another claim that makes this case even more questionable was from Lynne Patton, an official for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She claimed that Michael Cohen’s wife was threatened with jail time unless he testified against Donald Trump. Patton posted on the department's official Facebook page, “What many of you may not be aware of is the fact that I can personally confirm that the only reason Michael Cohen ‘turned on’ the President of the United States is because Mueller threatened to throw his wife in jail for up to 30 years. Period.” Robert Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel to the Russia Probe, came across a loan containing Cohen’s wife's name. The Cohens falsely represented their finances, which resulted in Michael Cohen being charged with making false statements to a financial institution. Ultimately, Cohen’s wife was implicated as well because her name was also featured on the loan. The alleged threat by Mueller could have prompted Cohen to turn against Donald Trump and testify against him in front of congress.
So really, how you view the importance and the validity of Cohen’s latest testimony probably depends on which side of the aisle you sit on.