Fact Check: Does The Cohen Hearing Suggest Russia Collusion?

Fact Check: Does The Cohen Hearing Suggest Russia Collusion?
Fact Check: Does The Cohen Hearing Suggest Russia Collusion?

Democrats who want to push President Trump from his elected office – and there are a lot of them – have been pinning their hopes on the testimony of the president’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last December, and since then he’s been accused of making up stories about the president in an attempt to win himself early release. Nevertheless, many Dems were hoping Cohen’s testimony to the Mueller inquiry would provide the evidence of collusion with Russia they think will unseat the president. Good for them, but what really happened?

Highlights

  • On January 20, disgraced former attorney Michael Cohen agreed to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee about the work he’d done while he was President Trump’s personal attorney. His appearance was originally scheduled for February 7, but was pushed back to February 27 after Cohen alleged he had been threatened by Trump and his new attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
  • Cohen used his testimony in front of the committee to attack Trump. He called the president a racist, a con man and a cheat, among other insults.
  • However, what he didn’t do was accuse Trump of having colluded with Russian agents during and after his election campaign. That’s what the president’s political opponents were waiting for – but they didn’t get it.
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  • As the president’s personal attorney Cohen would have been uniquely familiar with what Trump was doing. It’s hard to imagine someone operating at that level being able to collude with agents of a hostile foreign power without a key member of their personal staff being aware of it.
  • Probably to the disappointment of many on the left, though, Cohen refused to make that allegation.
  • “Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia,” Cohen said. “I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.” It’s worth noting that you can’t be prosecuted for having suspicions – but if you claim evidence of collusion during a sworn statement, and it turns out you lied, you can look forward to another couple of years in a federal pen.
  • President Trump was scathing about most of Cohen’s testimony, describing it as “a terrible display of dishonesty.” However he did acknowledge Cohen’s honesty on the collusion point.
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  • The president’s detractors aren’t going to stop trying to remove him from office, but it looks like they’re going to have to find a new angle to attack. They’ve tried their best on the Russia theory, and it hasn’t worked. Cohen’s testimony just reinforces that fact.