Daily Check-In 02/27/2019

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Yes, stuff happened that wasn’t Michael Cohen.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Michael Cohen’s Testified Before the House Oversight Committee

Just with how much there is to parse through this, I’m not going to break the articles down by groups, but I want to go through what happened.  I watched the first 6 hours of the hearing, then listened to the last hour on the radio.

So, where to begin?  How about at the beginning.

Michael Cohen, former attorney as of yesterday Daily Check-In 02/26/2019, convicted felon, cooperating witness, and former personal attorney and fixer for President Donald J. Trump, testified before the House Oversight Committee on a range of topics covering Trump’s role in the hush money bribes to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, Cohen’s work on other Catch & Kill stories with the National Enquirer, Trump’s financial fraud, his racist actions, threatening his schools if they released his grades, and Trump’s ties to Russia.

At least, as much as he could talk about that isn’t under investigation by the Special Counselor, SDNY, the State of New York, State of Florida, the militant wing of the Salvation Army, and whoever else is looking to them.

Cohen’s opening statement brought straight fire.  He entered into evidence two checks that Trump used to reimburse him for paying off Stormy Daniels from his HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit).  He also talked about Trump inflating or deflating his assets when it pleased him or suited his needs.  To support this claim, Cohen included financial documents from 2011 to 2013.

He also included information about the abuses at Trump Foundation. One main example was using a straw bidder to pump up the price of a painting of Trump at an auction, then reimbursed him with money from the charity.

Cohen also talked about some of Trump’s racist actions.  While not illegal, they certainly speak to this lack of character.

As far as Russia goes, Cohen described two events that he had some knowledge of: Wikileaks and the June 9th meeting.

Cohen says that he was in the room when Roger called a couple days before the Wikileaks DNC email drop and told him that it was coming soon.  Trump said “Wouldn’t that be great.”

As far as the June 9th meeting, Michael says he didn’t know about it at the time, but does recall a meeting a few days earlier where Donnie Jr. walked behind Daddy’s desk and told him “The meeting is set.”  Trump Sr. responded with “Let me know.”  Michael thought it was odd because Jr. has, according to Trump “The worst judgement in the world” and nothing happens in Trump Org without his knowledge or consent.

As far as the hearing goes, it started off exactly as I thought it would: a shitshow.  The Republicans tried to cancel the hearing with some timing technicality bullshit, then spent the entire time attacking Cohen’s character.  Jim Jordan, the Ranking Member and congressman from the Ohio State Men’s Locker Room where he ignored institutionalized sexual assault, spent every second he could attacking Cohen as a liar, a cheat, a swindler, and a bad lawyer.  Most of the Republicans kept this up, even throwing in constant questions about a potential book deal or movie deal when he gets out of prison, as if he’s going on vacation and not heading to PMITA Prison.  (That’s Pound Me In The Ass Prison for those that didn’t watch Office Space).

The most fucked up moment for the Republicans was when Mark Meadows decided to refute Cohen’s claims of Trump’s racism by bringing one of Trump’s black aides to the stand and using her as a prop.  Mark’s argument was literally “how can Trump be racist when he employs her?”  Rashida Tlaib called his ass out at the end of the hearing, saying that was racist.  Mark became extremely upset, saying that he’s not a racist and his nieces and nephews are people of color, and that he was very upset with that.  Chairman Elijah Cummings came to Mark’s defense, and eventually things got cleared up.  Turns out that yes, you can do something racist without being a racist.  Especially if you don’t stop to think about it first.

While the Republicans went out of their way to attack Cohen, they didn’t defend Trump.  The only thing they could pretend to defend Trump on were the claims in which Cohen didn’t have hard evidence.  Not one person defended Trump for paying bribes to Stormy Daniels or defended using a charity as a slush fund or cooking the books to get a loan or commit insurance fraud.

Yes, insurance fraud. Cohen didn’t go into too much detail on this topic since it’s under investigation by SDNY.  This is part of their ongoing investigation into Donald Trump.

Oh, by the way, Cohen said that SDNY was investigating Donald Trump.

We also got a lot of names of people to follow up with, like Mark Calamari, Allen Weisselberg, and Ronna Graf.

We also got an explanation as to why the Stormy Daniels payment was done the way it was done: Cohen didn’t want his wife to find out.  Trump Org didn’t want to get caught making this payment during the campaign, and since they didn’t have another source, Cohen used his HELOC to keep his wife from seeing it.  If he withdrew the money from the checking account, he’d have a lot of questions to answer.

What do I think?  It’s complicated.  Cohen is a bad guy who did a lot of bad things, but he came off as remorseful and honest, in a shady way.  He admitted his guilt, owned it, and is trying to make amends.  The attacks from the Republicans made him pitiable.

As far as what’s next, look for more hearings coming up, and a lot of interest in Allen Weisselberg.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

North Korea

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

 

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

EMERGENCIES, SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

THE ULTIMATE COCKFIGHT: BEZOS’S PECKER VS. DAVID PECKER

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

ELECTIONS

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  I’ve got to agree with Tea Pain.  This might be the beginning of the end.  Michael Cohen isn’t exactly the most trustworthy person, but he’s got receipts and provided evidence of multiple crimes for Trump, the family, and the organization.  Insurance fraud, self-dealing, local tax evasion, state and federal tax evasion, bribery, extortion, lying to Congress, fraud, money laundering, and a few other things.  We can’t base an impeachment off of Michael Cohen, but his info can lead to more and more evidence.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

 

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