Michael Cohen Agrees to Testify to Congress About Work for Trump

samcraig

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Grabbing the popcorn.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/us/politics/michael-cohen-testify-trump-congress.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer who implicated him in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month and give “a full and credible account” of his work for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen’s decision to appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 7 sets the stage for a blockbuster public hearing that threatens to further damage the president’s image and could clarify the depth of his legal woes. Mr. Cohen, a consigliere to Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer and presidential candidate as well as informally as president, was privy to the machinations of Mr. Trump’s inner circle and key moments under scrutiny by both the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and federal prosecutors in New York.

He could soon share them on national television under oath.
 
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ericgtr12

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He would be liable for perjury. And I would put his word (as much as I loathe him) up against Trump's any day of the week.
They're going to keep using that line until they're blue in the face so I've just been ignoring it. Hyperbole aside, Mueller and his team will corroborate the testimony they're after to back it up, as any good attorney would do. No amount of screaming "he's a liar and isn't credible!" from the top of their lungs on an internet message board is going to change that.
 

ericgtr12

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Not at all. But once again, you're trying to make this about liberals and lefties. There are many people in this country to the right and independent who do not like Trump.

He's not liberals new best friend. He's one of Trump's worst enemies.[/QUOTE]
^ Exactly.
 
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BoxerGT2.5

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They're going to keep using that line until they're blue in the face so I've just been ignoring it. Hyperbole aside, Mueller and his team will corroborate the testimony they're after to back it up, as any good attorney would do. No amount of screaming "he's a liar and isn't credible!" from the top of their lungs on an internet message board is going to change that.
I know this fact sucks for those who are foaming at the mouth about this, but there is such a thing as a bad witness. One where their credibility, because they've already lied to authorities, is in question. Unless the FBI can corroborate every single one of his statements, and I'm not just talking about regurgitating the same statements he told the FBI, but things the FBI investigated and found to be true, his testimony will be questioned.
 

VulchR

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As long as this does not damage the ongoing investigations, this is fine. However, if this obvious political stunt does actually hurt any legal cases against people who have committed crimes, then it would be a bad mistake. Also, since the point of Congress is making laws, how is this relevant to proposed legislation? Are there proposals about making candidates reveal their financial dealings?
 
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samcraig

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I know this fact sucks for those who are foaming at the mouth about this, but there is such a thing as a bad witness. One where their credibility, because they've already lied to authorities, is in question. Unless the FBI can corroborate every single one of his statements, and I'm not just talking about regurgitating the same statements he told the FBI, but things the FBI investigated and found to be true, his testimony will be questioned.
What makes you think that any testimony - Cohen's or others - wouldn't be questioned or corroborated?
 

jeyf

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Cohen should get used to watching Opera on the prison day room TV. He's obsolete; as trump has hired a hundred new lawyers to make America great again
 
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BoxerGT2.5

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What makes you think that any testimony - Cohen's or others - wouldn't be questioned or corroborated?
Well it's going to be questioned, whether it's corroborated or not is up to what the FBI gives congress and if they can even testify on an ongoing investigation. It's not out of the realm of possibility some in congress could care less about corroboration, they want to put on a show and they know CNN will run every headline they feed them. It's also not out of the question some of the right would welcome such show because Trump has literally become the turd floating in their pool.
 

samcraig

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Well it's going to be questioned, whether it's corroborated or not is up to what the FBI gives congress and if they can even testify on an ongoing investigation. It's not out of the realm of possibility some in congress could care less about corroboration, they want to put on a show and they know CNN will run every headline they feed them. It's also not out of the question some of the right would welcome such show because Trump has literally become the turd floating in their pool.
It's possible. But I tend to think - anything of value Cohen might offer would be validated. This isn't a conversation happening at a bar ;)
 
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LizKat

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It's possible. But I tend to think - anything of value Cohen might offer would be validated. This isn't a conversation happening at a bar ;)
Could end up sounding like it though. Ain't gonna be pretty for whoever's exposed for whatever... and Cohen's not likely to perjure himself, he's a record-keeping kinda guy...

EatingAtTheBar-NewYorker20080608.jpg
 
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vrDrew

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I'll admit I'm a little troubled by this.

For better or worse, Michael Cohen was Donald Trump's lawyer. A job which has, at its core, the principle of Attorney-Client Privilege. Anything you say to your attorney, in theory, cannot be devolved to outside parties without your express consent. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. You cannot explain your plans to commit crimes and/or frauds to your attorney and expect him to keep quiet about it.

Now, you can ask your lawyer: "If I do XYZ, would that be legal?" you are covered by Attorney-Client. Your attorney can't tell prosecutors that you asked the question. But you cannot ask your lawyer for specific advice about how to commit fraud ("Which records should I shred?"), nor can you ask your lawyer to participate in ongoing criminal or fraudulent activity on your behalf.

The point is this: In attorney-client disclosure cases, extreme care and discretion needs to exercised as to which client communications are privileged, and which are not. I'm not at all sure that such care can reasonably be exercised in the free-wheeling atmosphere of a public Congressional investigation.
 
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LizKat

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I'll admit I'm a little troubled by this.

For better or worse, Michael Cohen was Donald Trump's lawyer. A job which has, at its core, the principle of Attorney-Client Privilege. Anything you say to your attorney, in theory, cannot be devolved to outside parties without your express consent. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. You cannot explain your plans to commit crimes and/or frauds to your attorney and expect him to keep quiet about it.

Now, you can ask your lawyer: "If I do XYZ, would that be legal?" you are covered by Attorney-Client. Your attorney can't tell prosecutors that you asked the question. But you cannot ask your lawyer for specific advice about how to commit fraud ("Which records should I shred?"), nor can you ask your lawyer to participate in ongoing criminal or fraudulent activity on your behalf.

The point is this: In attorney-client disclosure cases, extreme care and discretion needs to exercised as to which client communications are privileged, and which are not. I'm not at all sure that such care can reasonably be exercised in the free-wheeling atmosphere of a public Congressional investigation.
It's a valid concern but it's probably only some Republicans might be likely to take it into consideration in framing (or objecting to Dems') questions.. and not sure what more legal sanctions anyone including Trump can bring to bear on Cohen anyway, if the latter unintentionally or otherwise reveals privileged communications at this point.

Under NY law Cohen was disbarred automatically in 2018 upon his plea that resulted in felony convictions. He's already been sentenced to three years in the slam and three more on parole.

Maybe Trump will pardon him.. and maybe Trump won't. That possibility wouldn't be enough to prevent Cohen going ahead and testifying properly to Congress as best he can at this point, I'd think. Maybe Cohen would hope he could appeal for reduction of his federal sentence, pointing to the extra cooperation. In NY a disbarred lawyer can appeal for reinstatement after seven years so he might figure he could try to relaunch, maybe as a public defender? and so perhaps attempt to repair his reputation.

I agree it's probably a bad idea even to call Cohen before Congress, but mostly because some on the committee and certainly in the public will dismiss anything Cohen says as fabrication even if there's corroborating evidence.

That's not enough reason not to call him before Congress, but... sigh... in a contest at Supreme Court level between who's the bigger liar, Trump or Cohen.... do they have a coin tosser up there?
 

Night Spring

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That's not enough reason not to call him before Congress, but... sigh... in a contest at Supreme Court level between who's the bigger liar, Trump or Cohen.... do they have a coin tosser up there?
Are you saying you think Cohen is as much of a liar as Trump? How so?

At least, Cohen's lies are normal. They are rational, insofar as it's someone trying to hide something that is detrimental to himself or someone he cares for / works for. Trump lies about things that are obviously untrue, like saying he had a larger crowd at his inauguration than Obama. It's obviously and provably false, and there's no rational reason for telling such a lie, yet he does it.
 

samcraig

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Are you saying you think Cohen is as much of a liar as Trump? How so?

At least, Cohen's lies are normal. They are rational, insofar as it's someone trying to hide something that is detrimental to himself or someone he cares for / works for. Trump lies about things that are obviously untrue, like saying he had a larger crowd at his inauguration than Obama. It's obviously and provably false, and there's no rational reason for telling such a lie, yet he does it.
It's the difference between being pathological and not
 
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mudslag

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I don't think there is any dispute that Cohen has lied, is a liar but clearly him being lawyer is par for the course. He lies for his client, again par for the course. Trump essentially lies to lie and as POTUS he lies to not just the American people but to his base that put him there to begin with. Cohen is screwed, he knows it the difference is, he at least has the chance to distance himself from Trump, given it's a sinking ship. He's doing that by speaking to Congress and investigators. At this point he has no reason to continue lying. If anyone still believes he won't tell the truth and doesn't have dirt on Trump, let me tell you about this great house for sale in the middle of DC. Ill sell it to you for a steal. It's one of those historic homes you buy on the cheap and have to fix it up yourself but can't tear down. The problem is you have to wait for the current resident to leave and you'll be responsible for clearing out the rats and sewage he brought in with him.