Impeach Trump? Defend Him? Cohen Hearing Shows Perils for Both Parties

Feb 27, 2019 · 469 comments
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
If Trump were smart (I know, that's kind of an oxymoron), he would stretch it out until it looks like someone might actually file charges against him, then resign with a full pardon from Pence. He may have to cut a deal with the State of New York, but that is probably possible if he were to resign. He can't wait until someone actually files charges however or all his leverage goes away.
Richard B (United States)
Nobody seems to be talking about the most important aspect of the "how can we trust a liar?" defense: The thing Cohen got caught lying about was illegal hush money payments to porn stars and a Moscow Trump Tower. He first said those didn't happen: that's the lie. So by calling him a liar one admits by default that those things did happen. If they didn't happen, how could Cohen have been a liar for saying that they didn't happen? This whole "liar" charade is just an attempt to distract from Trump's malfeasance.
GMooG (LA)
@Richard B You're missing the point. Nobody is saying that those things (paying hush money, lying about Trump Tower Moscow) didn't happen. Rather, the point is that, while it was illegal for Cohen to lie to Congress about them, it was not illegal for Trump to tell those lies in the first place because he was not under oath.
In deed (Lower 48)
Each side Into its corner. Completely utterly shameless gossip trolling. On planet earth there are facts. It is a surprise to the gossipmongers but there are facts. Independent of “each side” fictions. Independent of “its corner.” The disdain for the United States of America and its three hundred million plus humans who do not have “each side” and “it’s corner” in their lives beggars belief.
Douglas (Greenville, Maine)
Cohen torpedoed the Steele dossier and added nothing to what's been public knowledge about Trump's character and ethics since the 2016 election.
Bill Wolfe (Bordentown, NJ)
The most significant thing Cohen said was that he feared that there would not be a peaceful transition, i.e. that Trump would not voluntarily relinquish power if he loses in 2020. Why is that getting virtually NO media coverage or comment here?
G (California)
“The more you do this, it just fires up the base that thinks that each day he stays in office it endangers the republic,” said a former Republican congressman. So the answer is to ignore the numerous signs of corruption, election tampering and obstruction of justice by Trump? Signs that even Republicans cannot defend (witness Republican committee members' assault on Michael Cohen's character but not his facts yesterday)? Signs that are being added to every day? Ignoring his malfeasance would place us on a glide path to a failed nation-state.
Thomas Payne (Blue North Carolina)
Democratic Party goals for 2020: Win back the White House Add more seats in the House. Win enough seats in the Senate to impeach Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
Elinor (Seattle)
I understand that political cynicism exists and that might lead people to pretend that they don't see the bigger picture of Trump's behavior. However, I just don't understand how politicians like Meadows and Jordan operate. They've really debased themselves with this performance and have helped play a role in reducing the Republican party to a rubble heap of contradictions. How can they be proud of this legacy? Did they go into politics for the sole purpose of advancing the interests of Donald J. Trump?
Christopher Mcclintick (Baltimore)
To the extent that history remembers them at all, it will not be kind to the likes of Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Lindsey Graham, et al. It will, though, certainly record that the Trump presidency was given oxygen by an unprincipled and destructive Republican party whose congressional members either sat on their hands or actively aided a corrupt and vulgar President as he did everything in his power to undermine the rule of law and the very bases of democracy.
adhd (new york)
Here's something to chew on... National Enquirer has "treasure trove" of Trump dirt, and Saudi Arabia bought the National Enquirer. I think I found your missing elevator tape, Michael Cohen, and I for one would not put the alleged contents past Individual 1.
Ghost Dansing (New York)
The corner where Republicans are lying to enable Trump in much the same way Cohen did for 10 years may end up being the corner of a prison cell. The Republican Party has been remarkably complicit in enabling all Trump vulgarities and assaults on the American democracy. This includes that which was rooted in Russian largess. Look for Russian money in the coffers of these sycophants.
-APR (Palo Alto, California)
Michael Cohen is THE poster boy demonstrating what happens to those who drink Trump's kool-aid. Alan Weisselberg, Trump Organization CFO, should take heed. He may be the next "Rat" to save himself. Looking forward to SDNY indictments along with Mueller Report.
Jörg (Germany)
History will ask you in the future: Did you bear the shame? Did you resist?
Four Oaks (Battle Creek, MI)
This demonstrates exactly the sort of mealymouthed 'artificial balance" that the press fell into to get us into this mess. This is NOT an ordinary political conflict where an neutral media can treat both sides equally. To read this, you would never know that Trump is an actual existential threat to american democracy. This is the exact equivalent of unbiased presentation of the political positions of the gop and all others about climate change. The gop willfully lies and misrepresents the danger we are in. All others do not; that is, Democrats and non-Democrats actually speak in honest terms about the extinction event we humans foment. In short, Mr Shear, to quote Michael Cohen, "Shame on you." The gop performance in Wednesdays hearings was despicable. Not a one of them evinced any, ANY concern for the corruption and villainy of this administration. They neither denied or rejected it, merely pointing out that the messenger was dirty.
Angel (NYC)
It's pretty clear Trump is the most corrupt president ever. Get rid of him one way or another. He's making America weak and dumb. He's an embarrassment to the country.
Chicago Paul (Chicago)
Republicans are in fact the House Lannister of the 21st century
CA Meyer (Montclair NJ)
In the wake of the Cohen testimony, there indeed are perils for both parties, but the degree of danger is greater for the Republicans. There are some in the Democratic base who would say damn the torpedoes and impeach Trump irrespective of the risks or the likelihood of conviction, but most would agree on the importance of methodical investigations that could expose and establish wrongdoing. Short of impeachment, this could erode support, at least among those who aren’t rabid Trump fans, restrict his freedom of self-dealing action, and even expose Trump and his inner circle to risk of criminal indictment. In a year, the 2020 campaign will be underway, with the undisputed GOP nominee popular with the party’s base but damaged goods in the eyes of the general electorate. Republicans, as they continue in their uniform hostility to any investigation of Trump and their unquestioning support of him, commit themselves to him as their 2020 candidate and the face of the GOP brand, regardless of any revelations. As we draw closer to the election, more Democrats will favor letting Trump twist in the wind rather than engaging in a process that if successful could allow the GOP to “reform” and regroup under Mike Pence.
Carol B. Russell (Shelter Island, NY)
Eyes....wide -opened - up the exposure of the menace of what Trump has done to the GOP...these gargoyles who tried to eviscerate a downed man....Michael Cohen... behaved like the sewer devils that they are...utterly despicable worse than Richard Nixon...the worst lemmings of the .02 percent who keep them as trolls in the swamp of GOP D>C\ Yes the new name for the McConnell gargoyles is the Sewer Trolls of McConnell's GOP DC. Disgusting performance by all those GOP DC creatures who vilified Cohen...Rotten Stinking Cowards.
paul (VA)
Here we go again! I am sick and tired of the NYTs trying to take both sides of an issue and advocate false equivalency in order to appear "fair &balanced". The Liar-in-Chief and the Repugnants should be the ONLY ones afraid of the outcome of these long overdue investigations!
John Gilday (Nevada)
What searing portrait? Your coverage is actually becoming quite laughable But it sells!!
Buzz D (NYC)
SDNY should indict Trump regardless of a flawed Justice Department policy (not law) that states you can't indict a sitting president... Either way, SDNY leadership become heroes for indicting President and letting a jury decide on trump's guilt or innocence. No one in America should be above the law, no one. There is a President and Vice President currently in office. If trump has to spend too much time away from the WH (besides playing golf), the Vice President can fill in for trump while he's in Court or huddling with lawyers.
David Y.S. (South-Central USA)
And so, we must impeach Trump because.....why?
D.j.j.k. (south Delaware)
@David Y.S. corruption and collusion . We need to see his off shore Russian bank accounts. No more hiding behind the IRS. He could shoot someone and you would need proof. Very sad.
dre (NYC)
If Cohen is going to jail for lying, and he did so to protect tump from tump's lies and corruption, it seems self-evident both should go to jail. And it is self-evident the repubs are the biggest frauds and unprincipled hypocrites of all time. They keep defending this sociopath. If this was happening to some democrat president they'd be enraged, ballistic, rabid and wrathful. And voting to impeach as soon as possible. But since it's one of theirs, it's fine. How can we get rid of them all. And tump's base is beyond comprehension. They're fine with all this. Will our nation survive. Those of us who care have to do something.
Dave (St. Louis Mo)
I hope you (the Times, its core readers, and Left in general, with their dog tail of House Dems) try and impeach him. You will lose on the facts, set a terrible precedent (and incentive) that the next Dem President WILL reap, and guarantee this one's re-election. Go for it!
Susan (San diego, Ca)
@Dave Is this just wishful thinking on your part? If not, then maybe you should go before some committee and tell us the "facts" about what Trump has been up to.
Don P. (New Hampshire)
There is no question...we need to impeach Trump and rid our nation of the cesspool that is Trump.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
"Lies are not lies unless you're convicted of them!", says the modern GOP
Steve (California)
Whatever your thoughts on the proceedings, surely we can all agree that Paul Gosar's large poster "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire", set on an easel behind the committee, was asinine and childish. As an American with friends and family around the world, I was embarrassed and ashamed. The Chair should have disallowed this poster and the others. We, the people, deserve better than this.
p meaney (palmyra indiana)
OK. Cohen's going to jail and probably wouldn't be lying. He makes trump and his cronies look like criminals, because he was inside and would probably know. So, what does the writer of the article come up with? Peril for BOTH SIDES. Is this some kind of disease? trump and his criminal lawyer are outed, so BOTH SIDES are really in trouble now. BOYH SIDES, my …..!
Clive Kandel (New York City)
If Michael Cohen were not Jewish I am sure the aggressive Republicans would have asked him if he had spoken to his pastor and asked the Good Lord for forgiveness.
Dry Socket (Illinois)
I'm thinking now that it is impossible to have a President or Administration in Washington which is not all or one of the following: criminals disgustingly bigoted consummate thieves embarrassingly ill mannered sociopathic dumb destructive anti-democratic / anti-government immoral corrupt scandalous unimpeachable plutocratic pathologically ideologic ignorant untruthful perilous
Indy1 (California)
No matter how you look at it we need a regime change. Hope it’s a peaceful one.
M. Winchester (United States)
Unfortunately, nothing presented by Cohen in his testimony approaches that required to convince our Kool-Aid saturated Republicans in Congress to join with the Democrats in a move toward impeachment. I doubt anything contained in Cohen's document submittals will gain much traction beyond a slap on the hand either. Regarding Trump's financials, most real estate developers maintain unaudited financial statements which provide at the very least a wide berth for the ability--inadvertent or otherwise--to make misstatements of value here and there without severe accountability repercussions. I assume nothing going on here any different with Trump. Otherwise, I doubt his mishandling of monies for hookers and artwork will suffice to get him kicked out of office. If anything, what Trump himself spoke is true: Nothing Cohen said--and this is a man that would know--indicated that Trump colluded with the Russians. And so we patiently await Mueller.
Laura (Southern US)
I am a Democrat and think that Trump is awful for this country. But. Hearing Cohen's testimony was a bit galling. The things that he did helped put Trump into office. To hear him play contrite (because it is the best strategic move at this point) was just a little.... rich. Did the Republicans overplay the "liar" card? Maybe, maybe not... but it's not irrelevant. Just because things ring true to us doesn't make them so.
Truth Is True. (PA)
Newsflash. This imbroglio is much bigger than anyone of us could ever imagine. That much is clear. Waiting for Muller seems like the wisest thing we can do. Give the Lady with the Scales of Justice as much time as She needs to take care of it.
Mathias (NORCAL)
Trump supporters and republicans just don’t care. They are believers like a cult in their following each other. Trump could kill someone and get away with it. They would justify it away. They say things such as: All politicians are corrupt. (So Trumps actions are okay) Ocacio Cortez is crazy, socialist, doesn’t know anything (She’s leading the democrats). If you are against Trump you support Ocacio Cortez. Socialism always fails. (No clarification of what this is though) Democrats are socialists. (No exception) Socialists want the state to own everything. Capitalism works everything else fails. (No context) Democrats do the same thing as republicans. (So republican actions are okay.) I never hear them ever say the actions of republicans and the president is wrong. There is no dialog. If you even any way even talk about these ideas or look at then you are an enemy to the republicans. There is no discussion of issues or in depth analysis. It’s the republican way, Trumps way. Or the highway for them. America is choosing its future in the next decade one way or the other. We seem to be moving towards authoritarian capitalism in the sense that those that have wealth can own things and do whatever they want without consequence. It just works to them so get out of the way. Our day will come when the US loses the reserve currency. At that point our greedy society will fall to its knees.
Thomas Payne (Blue North Carolina)
Trump's failures are starting to build on themselves, the number of voters "strongly opposed" keeps rising and reports are coming in that say his base is "softening." It's pathetically obvious that those in congress who are defending him are becoming weaker as Gowdy and Chaffetz fade into the past and the Meadows and Jordans of the party can't even reach the low bar that was set in the Benghazi inquisitions. So no, don't even begin to think of impeaching Trump. He's taking the entire party down with him. 2020 we start all over with a Democrat in the White House, an overwhelming majority in the House and a solidly Democratic Senate, maybe even enough to ferret out those who lied to get on the Supreme Court. Save impeachment for them.
N. Smith (New York City)
In all honesty you didn't need the testimony of Michael Cohen yesterday to get a sterling portrait of this president, because he has revealed himself for what he is since the very beginning. So the lying, the cheating, the greed and the graft is nothing new. What is new however is that finally the lines are being connected to the dots, and it doesn't paint a very flattering picture -- And the hysterical response of the seated Republicans was indication enough that. In fact, at times it was hard to tell if this was a hearing or a trial with a predetermined death sentence. But whatever Mr. Cohen's motivation might have been, whether a limited prison sentence, a book deal or sainthood, there's no way of denying that Mr. Trump is not the innocent victim he likes to portray himself as being. And not to be forgotten is the evidence that he'll be giving behind closed doors, the findings of the Southern District Court of New York and the long awaited Mueller Investigation report. At this point, especially under the reins of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, I tend to think the majority of Democrats would prefer to let justice take its course, instead of demanding the instant gratification of a Trump impeachment. However if justice is compromised or denied by a nepotistic Republican Senate and Supreme court, the trap door should suddenly swing quite open. Especially since there's no doubt that if he were to lose the 2020 election, Donald Trump would not go quietly into the night.
Connor Dougherty (Denver, CO)
I'd love to see Trump drummed out of the Oval Office, but cringe at the implications of Pence dragging his weirdness into that vacuum. We're probably better off shining a very bright, unblinking light on Trump into the 2020 election. Get a majority of Dems in the Senate as well as the House and fumigate the White House. Oh, and make sure those Trump appointees don't manage to get themselves embedded into permanent positions throughout the Executive Branch, like Reagan's and Bush I and II's did. This country has a lot of rebuilding and healing to do. We can't do that with Republicans gumming up the works and obstructing progress.
KomaGawa (Saitama Japan)
I will harmonize with the same tune. How many evangelicals made the comments leading up to the election that, "we know he is a flawed man, but he is our man"? This kind of religious support defies logic and science and justice. Such beliefs will give wings to pigs. The first two comments on the "Editor picks" can't say it any better. Besides, any effect is just going to take its own time until the election. Personally I place higher value on the President's tax returns to see where the money trail goes.
Misplaced Modifier (Former United States of America)
You know... I'm pretty tired of this focus on what's best for this political party or that one; I'm tired of Oh, the perils of this or that issue for this or that political party. We are NOT The United States of Politics. We are The United States of America. Politics are games that wealthy men play. Politics is a game of sociopaths. Government, on the other hand, government as representative democracy, is a necessary function of a healthy society and nation of people. Politics is holding our government hostage. I'd like to see news media start focusing on what's best for We The People. At this point what is best for America is to start removing the billionaire men who are playing games with our lives.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Until Trump loses the support of half of his base, Trump would at most be impeached by the House but he would not be convicted by the Senate. Better to not waste time and resources on impeachment. It won’t accomplish anything meaningful.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Casual Observer In reality, Trump's "base" makes no real difference because they don't even represent half of the American electorate. But you're right, it would ultimately come down to the Republican Senate to act -- which up until now, they have failed to do.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Trump enjoys the support of up to 90% of Republican voters. No Republican candidate can survive a primary election if they alienate Trump’s base. However, if Trump can only expect less than half of Republican voters, candidates can win primary elections if they challenge Trump. Then Senators and members of the House can vote for Trump’s impeachment without risk of losing the next election.
Sam (California)
Enough from both sides. It’s time for the radical moderates to step in.
Bobaloobob (New York)
"They did so repeatedly, each lawmaker returning to the same accusation each time the chance arose: Why should we believe someone who is going to jail for lying to us before?" Cohen's message to Republicans is quite simple, hear me now or hear me later.
MyThreeCents (San Francisco)
A commenter insists that "a formal abuse of power article of impeachment" should be filed against Trump. I give up: What in the world is "a formal abuse of power article of impeachment." Where, exactly, should I look for that in the Constitution? I didn't vote for Trump in 2016, and I haven't decided whether I'll vote for Trump in 2020 (I'll wait to see what the choices are). But I sure don't see that Trump has committed any "high crimes or misdemeanors." Whether or not he should be President is up to the voters in an election, not up to the House and the Senate in an impeachment proceeding. Maybe the Democrats will think harder about this in 2020 than they thought about it in 2016.
GWB (San Antonio)
@MyThreeCents My understanding is any Representative may file an Article of Impeachment. The filing is then referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. If they vote the article out of committee, the House then votes for or against impeachment. Prior to the mid-term elections there were at least five articles of impeachment filed against Trump. Now that Democrats control the Judiciary Committee I imagine an article or articles of impeachment might be voted out of committee. The whole process is murky at best. Only Presidents Andrew Johnson and William Clinton were impeached and both were acquitted in the Senate. Rules for the Clinton impeachment were made up pretty much as the process unfolded.
GWB (San Antonio)
@MyThreeCents I found a much better, more detailed explanation of the impeachment process at The steps are a bit more intricate than I described. See:
Marika (Pine Brook)
Even if the entire testimony of mr Cohan was true,so what? Trump Is not a nice person. Is that criminal? Roosevelt and Eisenhower and Kennedy and LBJ all cheated on their spouses. They all tried to hide it. Actually Mrs Clinton covered up her husband’s infidelity just prior to his election. Do you think he would have lost otherwise? If yes should she be punished for fixing elections?
Bernie H (Portland, Maine)
@Marika. Yeah, well, filing false financial statements is a serious crime; so is bank fraud; so is filing false tax returns. If you don’t think so, I invite you to give it a try yourself! And then there is stealing from your own so-called charity, and violating campaign finance laws right and left, and perjury, and do I really need to go on? I mean, really?
Mark Miller (WI)
Republicans made much of the "Why should we believe a liar" angle. I'm surprised that Comey's response didn't include; "You don't have to believe me, there are many investigators who will look into these matters." (He might even have added "I've been surprised by how good those investigators are.") Nobody, Trump included, can be charged with anything based only on someone-said-so. The purpose of this testimony was not to charge Trump or to try him, only to get more information from an insider as to what Congress should be looking at. It's odd that many Republicans focused on attacking the informant. Perhaps they believe that Trump has done many of these things, and the only defense they see is to attack the accuser. This is similar to Trump attacking FBI, Sessions, reporters, Comey; anything that might lead to the truth. This is similar to Nixon & associates going after those who were investigating them. The only valid position for these Republicans (and for most of the rest of us too) is to see what evidence is found and what it proves. The prevailing Republican response shows that they believe the President is guilty.
Wes (St. Paul, MN)
Impeach Trump? Better to stretch out the investigations and hearings, bring out every sordid detail of Trump and Friends, and let the Republicans wallow in self-inflicted pain and misery until the 2020 elections, when - if there is justice in this world - they're suffer another "yuge" loss. The alternative, impeachment and the ascension of Pence to the presidency, is a far worse fate to our sanity and democracy.
tom (boston)
"...what some would call his character flaws." The power of understatement.
Red Rat (Sammamish, WA)
OK, let distinguish here that there are "comments for public consumption" and then there are "behind closed doors comments". What I think is happening with the Democrats is that behind closed doors, they do not want Trump impeached. That is why Pelosi took impeachment off the table when she was elected Speaker of the House. Right now, Trump is really running a campaign to elect Democrats. All a Democratic candidate needs to do is point at a picture of Trump and say "I am not him and I think he is a bad President" and he/she will get a positive return on that investment. Trump, and his ridiculous behavior, is a walking, talking, tweeting, advertisement FOR Democrats.
MyThreeCents (San Francisco)
There's a presumption here that's invalid: "...when Mueller releases his report..." The presumption is actually two-fold: 1. That Mueller will in fact release his report. 2. That Mueller's report will state evidence of collusion. We've been hearing for well over a year that Mueller would be releasing his "report" any day now, and that Trump would hang when that happens. Just "stay tuned," we were told. Well, we "stayed tuned" (Did we really have a choice?), and there has been chatter lately that Mueller will indeed release his report fairly soon. The "Trump will hang" part seems to be getting "walked back" lately, but I suppose we'll see -- assuming, of course, that Mueller does in fact release his "report" during the lifetime of anyone presently alive. So far, he's indicted lots of Russians and Ukrainians (whose planned family trips to Disney World have since been put on long-term hold), and several Americans (e.g. Manafort and Gates) for things they did long before they ever met Trump. True, Mueller has indicted a few others, such as Papadopolous, Flynn and Cohen, but I've been most impressed with how LITTLE each of them has had to tell Mueller about "collusion." Bottom line: Maybe there was collusion; maybe there wasn't. In either case, we haven't seen evidence of it. Maybe Mueller HAS evidence but he's "playing his cards close to his chest," as is often said. Maybe. I hear we'll soon find out. Maybe.
omartraore (Heppner, OR)
Perils for parties pales in comparison with perils for the country of having a crime boss in the Oval Office. The republicans who have supported this and denied all along will, in a just world anyway, pay a dear price for their brazen complicity in eroding democratic checks and enabling a predatory sociopath. Cummings hit the right note: it's about returning this country to some sense of normalcy, before we woke up to tweetstorms and bullyfests and witness intimidation and a president who seems to like: watching himself on TV, and; doing campaign rallies in front of uncritical audiences where he can intimidate and terrify the press. If Obama had done in one day what Trump does every day before breakfast, these hyperpartisan sycophants would be howling about democracy. We won't get anywhere as long as this is viewed through a partisan prism, which seems to be the only set of lenses available these days.
Arch Macy (Washington DC)
Too many people are making this too hard and driving up unnecessary risk. The most effective solution with the greatest gain both near and long term: Block him on the Hill in 2019. Defeat him in the 2020 election. Indict him after he's out of office.
Stephen Reichard (Portland)
The case for impeaching Trump is far stronger than it ever was for impeaching Nixon. But the Republicans decision to go after Clinton twenty years ago for lying about an affair - which is what, certainly at the time, you were supposed to do - has, ironically, created a bar too high. Trump is not simply a boor, he is a sociopath with a lengthy history of criminal activity. And he's our president. And apparently, because of the Clinton impeachment debacle, the costs of impeaching this mobster are too high. We so very desperately need a return to normalcy in this country.
David (California)
I see almost no downside to the house voting to impeach. Even if it doesn't succeed in removing the Pres from office it keeps the focus on Trump's illegal and unethical behavior. The Republicans know this - they aggressively pursued the ridiculous charges against Clinton and the ridiculous Benghazi investigation. Both of these hurt Hillary's election bid.
N. Smith (New York City)
@David And don't forget the Russians and Wikileaks...
Ann Lenhardt (Pittsboro North Carolina)
The Republicans, especially Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, behaved atrociously during the Cohen hearing. Who were they playing to? Trump? The infamous “base”? Or Fox News, who we should all remember are the creators of both Trump and the base? Hannity, Carlson, Pirro, Coulter, Limbaugh, and Jones, all great buds of Roger Stone, Donald Trump and Paul Manafort are the key to this mess we find ourselves in. As long as the Murdoch family is content to further their own self-enrichment by allowing these characters to spew poisonous disinformation into our body politic nothing will get better. They have built an empire on the systematic destruction of the minds and hearts of their followers. Like other historical despots, their ruthless pursuit of money and power is powered thru a program of chaos and hate of those fellow citizens useful in their relentless demonizing of the other. And all too predictably, it is resulting in the destruction of our democracy and a functioning government. How do we rid ourselves of the pestilence that is Fox News?
MyThreeCents (San Francisco)
It's often hard to distinguish between "facts" and "opinions" when Cohen testifies. I'm quite interested in any facts Cohen may report, and I'm inclined to believe he's now telling the truth. For example, when he says he was in Trump's office when Roger Stone came on the speaker phone to tell Trump that he (Stone) had talked with Julian Assange. Cohen didn't say that Stone in fact talked with Assange -- just that Stone claimed he had. Stone now insists he never did, of course -- that he lied to Trump to exaggerate his importance. But Cohen never claimed that Stone in fact talked to Assange. Cohen claimed only that Stone said he had. (By the way, it shouldn't be all that difficult to figure out, independently, whether Stone did or did not talk with Assange, simply by checking the visitor register at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, and phone records.) But when Cohen says he finds it "odd" that Putin and Trump say good things about one another, my reaction is: "Who cares whether Michael Cohen consider that 'odd?' Indeed, who cares what Michael Cohen's opinion is on anything at all?"
Paul Wortman (Providence)
The Democrats have not mentioned the "I" word, and are wise to follow Speaker Nancy Pelosi's advice to wait for the report from the Special Counsel. Meanwhile the American public needs to digest the testimony of Michael Cohen and others who can educate them about the corruption and criminality they observed and committed in the service of Donald Trump. The Cohen hearings should be viewed as just the opening statement by the "prosecution" (aka Congressional oversight) of the case against Donald Trump. It's an essential step in what is after all a political process for the nation to see and hear from those who witnessed and participated Trump's illicit activities.
Dave (Nc)
I’m guessing that nothing Cohen said was not previously cleared by Mueller. He’s not going to get caught lying again which means the key substantive points are true and are backed up by either documents or other witnesses. In lieu of impeachment, it makes sense for the Dems to just keep the pressure up and force a massive 2020 turnout regaining total control and sending the Republican Party into oblivion. Then, assuming Trump broke the law, prosecute him.
C White (Boston)
Let's take a step back for a moment. We've never had such a brazenly corrupt unqualified and unfit person as President. If any President deserves impeachment, this one does. It's not just lies and transgressions about his personal life, or thefts and a cover up. Every person on the street can see his full blown corruption, deep and abiding criminality, lowest rung character traits, possible mental illness and cognitive decline, utter lack of professional qualifications and moral and ethical leadership needed for the job - and most importantly likely treasonous intent and actions betraying our safety and sovereignty. He will have no qualms about inflaming us to the point of civil war and may refuse to concede loss in an election and relinquish power. If ever there was a time for impeachment, this is it. C'mon, let's all take a step back.
Areader (Huntsville)
I would really be surprised if the southern district of New York did not find something to indict Trump on. If that is the case it would be wrong to grant him a pardon.
Stv-o (Baltimore MD)
Good luck with the impeachment, Trump-haters ! Facts are these: Nothing illegal about Non-Disclosure Agmt, two former Chairmen of the Federal Elections Commission agree. And not illegal to talk about building a hotel in Moscow before becoming President. How does that even make sense -- that it would be a crime? Trump-haters have lost the use of left-sides of brains.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Stv-o No offense. But if you think it's wrong to investigate a sitting president who has way too many people around him being indicted for criminal acts, simply because they're "haters" or using the "left-sides of their brains"... it just might be time for you to start using yours.
Kbu (california)
Only Republicans brought up Impeachment at the Cohen Hearing. Democrats stayed away from the word intentionally. So where was the petrol for Democrats yesterday?
N. Smith (New York City)
@Kbu I'd say the "petrol" came in the form of both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, who kept their eye on the ball and remained on point.
David Jacobson (San Francisco, Ca.)
It's simple. If Trump committed felonies or conspired with the Kremlin to win the election he should be impeached and tried. If you don't impeach for that what can you impeach for?
Pete (Seattle)
“The more that they polarize this and present it as a political exercise, the more everyone runs to the red corner and blue corner. And Trump sits there very popular with the base.” There lies the heart of the problem: Americans who gladly trade their common sense and loyalty to this country for the illusion of superiority, and the feeling of entitlement. Their continued, blind support for this dirty administration will be a stain on America's reputation for a long time to come.
sjstreet25 (Pasadena)
This isn't 1974. There are not enough decent Republicans in either chamber to pursue a truly bipartisan impeachment and removal process. And that is not going to change. Even if somebody had a tape of Trump engaging in illegal conduct, like Nixon, it won't matter. As Trump himself said, he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight and most of the GOP flock would still vote for him. No -- The only way to do this is the old-fashioned way, at the polls. Let the investigators and prosecutors do their job. Let the people whose lives Trump has ruined (Cohen, Gates, etc.) repent and tell the truth if they want. But don't grandstand and force-feed us soundbites. Meanwhile, the Dems should actually try to do something. Force Trump to act like a real president for once. We know that's the last thing he wants to do. And when he hasn't delivered anything--because he is fundamentally lazy and incompetent and doesn't actually care about anybody else--then people will take notice and demand somebody competent and who does care.
Dan (Sandy, Ut)
Mr. Cohen's testimony does question his motives and his truthfulness given his history of "fixing" for President Trump. However, I am disturbed by the "circling of wagons" around Trump by discrediting Cohen rather than looking to see what may lie beneath. But, this is our form of politics these days-slash and burn-and never look at the needs of the country. I hope in time the Republicans will remove their blinders and see what the majority of voters, not the gerrymandered electoral college, in not voting for a known grifter. Many of us knew the history of Trump, his continual self-promotion, and his blatant lies. Trump once said basically state the lie over and over and soon it will be believed. So, who is the bigger liar and what does the biggest liar stand to gain?
dennis (new providence nj)
Impeaching President Trump is pointless unless you know you have the vote to remove him from office. It would just be more grandstanding at the tax payers expense.
JoeJohn (Chapel Hill)
Impeachment is probably a mistake in this polarized society. The Republicans are corrupt and they are crafty. It seems likely that they would make a martyr out of Trump, he would be reelected by an energized base (and base is good word for them), and democracy would be ended in America.
K Henderson (NYC)
Impeaching wont even get one centimeter off the ground, sorry to say it. BOTH parties decided that it was better for their own personal elections and own parties to let the next presidential race decide who gets to be president next. MUCH Safer for all current elected politicians. How do you know? None of our elected lawmakers are saying "impeach" to the press even during yesterdays hearing.
Charity Eleson (Oregon, WI)
As opposed to highlighting the "conflict" between the liberals and moderates amongst the Democrats, as this article does, it would have been better to delve into the words of Congressman Elijah Cummings, in particular into his closing statements. He shared compassion for Cohen, a man who appears to wish to repair grievous wrongs with this testimony, and words of caution for those of us who live in this country: we are at a reckoning. But Mr. Cummings did not offer a simple choice of impeach or not. He offered a complex view of where we find ourselves, to what extent our institutions are at risk, and his commitment to figuring out the best path to take. This will take time, and it should. In the meantime, thoughtful coverage of the sorts of comments that Chair Cummings made would be so welcome.
Maureen (philadelphia)
Impeachment proceedings should be a matter of last resort, not political gamesmanship. May I suggest everyone revisit Rep Barbara Jordan's 25th July 1974 statement delivered before the House Judiciary Committee, one of the most eloquent and concise House speeches on the Constitution and role of impeachment .
K Henderson (NYC)
M, what should happen instead? You dont offer anything.
Chickpea (California)
@Maureen Last resort? The man is actively destroying the country. Today, a lobbyist for the dirtiest source of energy was put in charge of the very air you breathe. What do you think is going to happen? And this was just today. Multiply these effects by each of the 769 days this man has been in office. What is the last resort? Wait until the apocalypse?
Democrat (Roanoke, VA)
i am a scientist, so I am constantly surprised when generally acceptable results or "lessons" are not taken into account in developing strategies and decisions for the future in politics. It is known that Republican turn out is usually/always better than Democratic turn out, especially for young or non-white democratic voters. So, a path that will increase turn out will benefit democrats more, especially if the increase in turn out is in proportion to the original turn out of the two voter segments. Fact no 2 is that Democrats win elections when the turn out among Democratic voters is higher than average even when the turn out among Republicans is also higher than average for a specific class of elections (e.g., mid terms). Given these two facts, an impeachment debate in the House will definitely be a promising course of action, since it will increase turn out among both Trump supporters and Democratic voters, while perhaps keeping turn out the same among moderate republican voters. Given the prospect that a divisive campaign run by Trump will motivate Trump supporters and keep their turn out at the level of 2016 elections anyway (whether or not impeachment hearings are initiated), why not have extended impeachment hearings that will help Democrats compete with Trump in airtime, and increase their turn out at the election. It will be best if a House resolution calling for impeachment is passed and sent to the Senate around June -September 2022.
R. Zeyen (Surprise, AZ)
The Cohen public hearing was exactly what the Democrats needed to do to break open the media gates and prepare the public for what will follow in the courts. Cohen connected many of the 'dots' and laid a foundation for understanding of what's yet to come. He stripped bare any pretense that the Republicans are in any sense seeking the truth about Trump. It was brutal but effective as a Congressional oversight investigation.
C.L.S. (MA)
Next up: The Senate vote on voiding the national emergency declaration, followed by Trump's veto, followed by a formal abuse of power article of impeachment. Not to mention the forthcoming Mueller report, which is likely to contain a lot of un-indicted co-conspirator charges and evidence for Congress to produce many more articles of impeachment. Etc., etc. I think he's toast and he resigns this calendar year.
dudley thompson (maryland)
There was a pale cloud of smugness in Mr. Cohen as a representative of the class of the 1%. He will be fine because he has rich friends that are helping him richly. He will get that book/movie deal and after 2 years or less in a hotel/prison, he will resume his previous lifestyle. He is a fixer that is fixing the rest of his life, however believable he might seem. It's really two con men, Trump and Cohen, still doing what they do best.
petey tonei (Ma)
@dudley thompson, as a country we have to do better than allowing the 1% to make the rules.
burf (boulder co)
The most interesting thing about the hearings was the contrast between serious young democrats and old white unprepared republicans offering nothing at all but fox news attacks on cohen. They weren't even prepared for that. Fumbling papers, restating questions already answered, and misunderstanding the entire situation. The hearings helped the next blue wave.
C.L.S. (MA)
Next up: The Senate vote on voiding the national emergency declaration, followed by Trump's veto, followed by formal an abuse of power article of impeachment. Not to mention the forthcoming Mueller report, which are likely to contain a lot of un-indicted co-conspirator charges and produce many more articles of impeachment. Etc., etc. I think he's toast and he resigns this calendar year.
richard wiesner (oregon)
"People accept him regardless of what some would call character flaws," said Mr Davis. That would imply that the President had character to flaw.
dog lover (boston)
I keep thinking of Henry II asking- "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" No matter how - impeach, indict, whatever - we need to rid this country of Donald Trump. After him, his cronies. Our house must be cleaned.
Dr. Girl (Midwest)
I am still waiting to see an analysis of the Trump family's exposer here. If Don and Ivanka are being investigated, then this will become major leverage against Trump SR. Experts are so busy asking the question of "the constitutional crisis" of indicting Trump that they have not assessed a more clever option, which is an obvious weakness of criminals like Trump: The woes of Nepotism. Crime, for the Trumps is a family business and hence all members are involved. This leverage can result in a plea deal for one of the Trump family members. The first to own up will be the luckiest. Trump SR's truest character and his loyalty to his clan will be tested. I do not think congress should get involved.
AutumnLeaf (Manhattan)
Do it. Remove him from power. President Pence has a nice ring. If you think you have issue now, just wait until he is the president for the next 9+ years. Can't wait to see a hard liner GOP in power, the Democrats will not know what to do. So keep going, I want to see this.
DR (New England)
@AutumnLeaf - Pence is complicit in much of Trump's wrong doing, he'll go down with Trump. Pence also has all the personality of dryer lint. He could never win an election.
Mathias (NORCAL)
So do I! I think that’s a great idea to reveal that Republicans are hard liners in a lockstep agenda!
L (Connecticut)
Democrats shouldn't fear providing oversight of the crime family that currently occupies our White House. The American people made it clear in the 2018 midterms that they want to restore checks and balances in Congress. And it's certain that Trump has already surpassed the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors". Carry on, Democrats. The majority of Americans are behind you.
jhanzel (Glenview)
At this point, I think it would be better to not pursue an impeachment, especially since it is unlikely to pass in the Senate. The Democrats should continue hearings as appropriate, but the candidates really should focus on what they will do or undo for our country as a whole, not spend time accusing or demeaning Trump. Much better to win at the polls, and the Electoral College, and step above the mud slinging that Trump and his lemmings engaged in last time.
Cindy L (Modesto, CA)
It is the deeply personal nature of Mr. Cohen's remarks that I found most compelling. Cohen made it clear that he felt he had sold his soul to Trump and that he deeply regretted having done so and expected to do penance in prison and by forfeiting his career.
I am not a fan of Michael Cohen but I tend to believe him. By lying what he is going to gain or loose? Most of the things we knew from the news.
GMooG (LA)
what he has to gain is a sentence reduction
Bernie H (Portland, Maine)
@ASHRAF CHOWDHURY. Of course it’s just more idiocy from the Idiot in Chief, iDJiT, but I would love to see one of those Republican morons try to explain the mechanism whereby lying under oath could shorten Cohen’s prison sentence... In fact the tiniest lie at this point would queer his plea deal and send him to jail for the rest of his life instead of just three years. Viz Paul Manafort. Who on earth could have less motive to lie now than Michael Cohen!?
GraceNeeded (Albany, NY)
David Axelrod, I always appreciate your analysis but I think and hope you are wrong. The personal narrative is the only thing that will change the minds of Trump supporters. When they see how one like themselves was treated by Trump, they will begin to see who Trump really is and it ain't pretty. Not only was Cohen's narrative cathartic for him, but it may have been cathartic for his base, as up to this point Trump has been their catharsis for ALL they are angry and fear from our government. Where is now they have to recognize there are things that they need to be angry about and fear from Trump too! It is ALSO different coming from someone who was loyal to him for 10 years and he thought he could trust, just like them. It is obvious, Trump conned Cohen and many, so there is more a likelihood they can see where they may have been conned, maybe for the first time. We are praying that those poor souls may see the light soon. Some day, Trump will be gone and held accountable for his many dirty and illegal deeds, probably for the first time. Some day soon, the Republicans in leadership who aided and abetted Trump will be gone too, as they won't get reelected. The hope is that the third of the country who still supports the likes of Trump will see him for who he truly is, which is a snake oil salesman propped up by Russia to steal the election and steal from them - healthcare, national parks, clean air, water and land, and our tax money for his own benefit and his donors.
Pat (Ireland)
As a conservative, I found parts of Cohen's testimony compelling but his credibility shredded by his obvious attempts to lap up to his new leash holders. His platitudes about serving the USA were his worse delivered lines. He sounded like he was doing his first reading of a script. So we get the account of an obvious liar with no ethics trying to portray himself as a moral authority. He only works for those who have already convicted Trump. Recap. 1) Trump paid off Stormy. Politicians do this all the time. Disgusting personal ethics but it doesn't rise to level of impeachment. 2) Trump wanted colluded with the Russians. Trump went on camera asking for their help. But the Russians were as dumb as everyone else. They expected Hillary to win and they were not going to place a big bet on a perceived loser. 3) FBI obstruction of Justice - again technically possible but hardly going to hold the water necessary to bring down Trump. 4) NYC casino or construction legalities. Best chance to bring Trump down. But the Dems will probably need to wait till after 2020. Do they have the patience? I doubt it after watching the hearings yesterday.
K Henderson (NYC)
correction: "Trump paid off Stormy" Add: using election funds which is illegal. Cohen provides a check supporting this signed by Trump. Did you actually watch the hearing or just the FoxNews recap.
GladF7 (Nashville TN)
Most thinking folks now know Trump is bad news. As Cohen said(more or less) he as always operated like a gangster. He is not that bright but he is brazen and cunning, we might get some hard evidence on Trump or we might not. I think the way to get Trump senior is by putting his kids away. If Rep. Cumming forces Don Jr or Ivanka to testify Trump will go crazy. If SDNY indicts any of Trump's children or close associates Trump will flip out completely. When Trump goes crazy he will make bad mistakes that all but the most hardcore will find criminal.
It might be best to let all the facts come out about TRump and let the voters decide in 2020 if they want him to serve another term. Some voters are with Trump no matter what he is found to be guilty of and impeachment would just divide the country further ,a democrat candidate who can sell the country on what he or she can do to advance the country on issues such as health care and income inequality along with having solid character. An amateur tv showman who is an ignorant blowhard dividing the country with nasty tweets is colorful but unseemly for the president of the most powerful democracy in the world.
Charles Michener (Palm Beach, FL)
A key subject in the Trump/Cohen relationship - the extent of the Trump Organization's business dealings with Russians - was off-limits in the public hearing apparently because of ongoing investigations. According to a lengthy report in Rolling Stone, Trump owed his comeback after his series of bankruptcies in large part to the lucrative support of Russian buyers of Trump condos in Florida and New York - many of whom had ties to Russian organized crime. For years, their main conduit in this money laundering scheme was none other than Michael Cohen, whom Trump at the time praised as a "very smart man." What we heard yesterday was only the tip of a very polluted iceberg.
Bernie H (Portland, Maine)
@Charles Michener. This!
mkm (nyc)
Trump is going to leave the White house on January 20, 2021 or four years from then if re elected. This impeachment fantasy gets sillier every day.
William Case (United States)
Michael Cohen did not implicate Trump in crimes. He testified that he knew of no unlawful collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Coen testified that Trump did not instruct him to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project. He testified that Trump continued attempts to negotiate the Trump Tower Moscow while campaign for president. That was not illegal. Coeh testified that Trump directed him to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels and then reimbursed him for it. That was not illegal because campaign funds were not use to make the payment. He testified that Trump knew about the Trump Tower Meeting in advance. That was not illegal because rthe Trump Tower meeting was not unlawful. Cohen testified that Roger Stone told Trump that Julian Assange told him that WikiLeaks planned to dump emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. Hearing this was not illegal.
Chickpea (California)
@William Case Second time here for exactly the same misrepresentation of Cohen’s testimony. Everyone who actually watched the hearing knows exactly what was said. You would too if you didn’t rely on untrustworthy secondary sources.
William Case (United States)
@Chickpea What is your version of the crimes Cohen said Trump committed? No including crimes Cohen speculated Trump may have committed.
DR (New England)
@William Case - How did you miss all the talk of Trump's tax fraud? You might want to pay attention before you parrot right wing talking points.
Cyclist (San Jose, Calif.)
Yesterday, the country was transfixed as a witness testified on the Hill, asserting malfeasance at the highest levels of government, implicating the chief executive himself. At one point, the witness brought up President Nixon’s so-called “Saturday night massacre,” a low point for that Administration. Though members of his party rushed to defend their leader, his critics have redoubled their efforts to remove him from office, in the next election or, if it’s politically feasible, by a vote of their fellow lawmakers. Following the hearing, one prominent legislator demanded the chief executive be investigated by federal authorities for obstruction of justice. The country is Canada, the accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
m. m. (ca.)
Perhaps we need to change our view of this train wreck of a presidency. This Senate will NEVER impeach. The Orange Blimp's supporters will NEVER see this aberration for who he is. The only hope I see will come from The Southern District of New York. Instead of worrying about indicting a sitting president, their goal needs to be, and perhaps already is, to indict the Head of a Criminal Enterprise under RICO. Our democracy has fallen on its face as we the citizens watch crimes being committed in plain sight on a daily basis. "Enough already" barely begins to describe this untenable time in our country's history.
Justin (North Carolina)
What do you call liars questioning liars about a liar? A congressional investigation. People will see what they want to see and nothing else. Democrats should investigate Trump quietly. I am sure they will find criminal activity. Once they find it they should release it in a way the divides the republican caucus. As a registered Republican, Its hard to see my party and friends so blindly believe in Trump. Worse, I am accused of being liberal when I voice criticism about the president.
Mathias (NORCAL)
If you question the president you are the enemy. That is what the American people need to understand and why he needs to be removed.
Neander (California)
I applaud the Cohen hearings, not because it might lead to impeachment - which would be a grave mistake - but because it helps strip away the reality-TV veneer Trump has been selling, to obscure his sleazy practices and motives. And while Mr. Trump may be a carbuncle on the derriere, the real raging infection is his Party's grip on Congress, and their unlimited willingness to aid and abet the increasingly exposed grifter and the corrupt crew he brought to government with him. The GOP committee yesterday laughingly tried to convince America we're all standing because it's good for us, not because it's too painful to sit down. The GOP would like us to believe Cohen's been despicably criminal, while hoping no one will notice that his boss has been caught (though not yet charged) with doing precisely the same things. Should Democrats impeach? No. That would only throw gasoline on GOP fundraising. The solution, as in the midterms, is to wipe the stain of these toady's out of Congress by election. That is also the only safeguard against a Trump re-election, and the only functional way to undo the damage he's causing on so many fronts. The Democrats should be asking Republicans just one question: is this really the best you can do? Because if it truly is, they should not be left holding any office.
Jay (Cleveland)
Cohen, Trumps self described fixer, says he fielded a couple of sexual accusations, and notified Trump. He says an opposing attorney suggest an amount to keep the allegation quiet. HE tells Trump, and a settlement is discussed, and authorized by Trump to pay the amount. Has anyone suggested that Cohen may have been extorting excessive legal fees? Trump trusted Cohen, and paid for his legal advice. Why would an attorney do something he confessed to be illegal when legal settlements could have been made? Money.
jdawg (austin)
Leave it to nytimes to "both sideism" a completely corrupt sitting president. Who cares about either side, he needs to be gone, he's a threat to democracy.
Hugo Furst (La Paz, TX)
Please, Democrat Party leaders, look at all the shiny impeachment baubles over there, under that propped up cardboard box. You really, really want them, don't you? Imagine the donation bower you could build. I promise, I WILL NOT pull the string attached to the twig that is holding the box open. Go ahead. The goodies are way, way back there, so you will have to crawl all the way in. Go on now. What could go wrong?
TWShe Said (USA)
McClellan Committee or Watergate Committee--More Former than Later. Impeachment so Yesterday...........
Ivan (Memphis, TN)
I being caught in one lie makes you forever untrustworthy. What does having been caught in over 4000 lies do? Those GOP lawmakers who follow, worship and obey the lier in Chief, yet attack the trustworthiness of Cohen has some explaining to do.
Philip Wheelock (Uxbridge, MA)
You don't see Nancy Pelosi running articles of impeachment up the flagpole. The Mueller report has not been delivered, and the legal investigation by Southern District of NY is ongoing. Not enough votes in the Senate. Would Pence as POTUS be any better? Talk of impeachment makes for good headlines, but is strategically premature. Better option: Leave the POTUS twisting in the wind until 2020, and deny the GOP any chance of redemptive action.
Michael (Sugarman)
@Philip Wheelock Mr. Wheelock is dead on. If you can't get a conviction in the Senate, an impeachment is foolish and possibly destructive. Letting Trump sail on into his constantly disruptive chaotic presidency, until either the people, the Senate, or both revolt, is the best course.
Chris (New York)
@Philip Wheelock Arguing to adverse consequences is a logical fallacy. Trump is a criminal and ought to be impeached, no matter how you feel about the consequences.
-APR (Palo Alto, California)
@Philip Wheelock How much more damage IF we wait until 2020? How much pain to try to remove Trump by impeachment and Senate trial? All unknowns.
S Dowler (Colorado)
It's not the hardened base of Mr. Trump's supporters that we hope will change, they will not. It is the soft, fearful Republican Congress and uncertain conservative voter that must awaken to what they constantly acclaim as their "family values" who we hope will stand up and at last be counted.
db2 (Phila)
@S Dowler It’s the Senate, it’s the Senate, it’s the Senate.
Dan Shiells (Natchez, MS)
When will people say, "Enough?" You have a president who is a despicable person -- of that, virtually no one disagrees. Even his supporters concede that you can't believe what he says. And, yet, the very people who swore oaths to protect the Constitution -- not to swear fealty to the head of their party or even to gain re-election-- blindly defend someone who, by his very presence in the White House, erodes the legitimacy of the office and Constitutional separation of powers. If Obama or any Democratic president did even a fraction of what Trump has done, Fox News would be leading mobs with pitchforks to storm the White House. Clearly, all that matters to the GOP is that Trump is the enemy of their enemies. That's it. That's all they care about. The irony is that, the more Trump does to show his unfitness for office (or anything involving common decency) the more they have to defend and spin into a faux attack by their perceived enemies. Someday, there will be a reckoning. How will these people explain to their grand-children why they defended this person? Will it be enough to say, "He hated liberals and so did we, so we had to do it."
R. Koreman (Western Canada)
You can impeach Trump but his portrait will always be hanging in the White House. There will never be an America that is free of the memory of this colossus of lies and debauchery.
Cindy L (Modesto, CA)
We need to do away with the fraud of "presidents day." Reagan, with significant help from Gingrich and Norquist, paved the way for this criminal.
polymath (British Columbia)
"The searing portrait that Michael D. Cohen delivered on Wednesday — of a lying, cheating, racist president who used money and threats to conceal immoral and illegal behavior — will test both parties as they hurtle toward a confrontation over the fate of the presidency." Where would any of us be without the deep insightful commentary of this paper to tell us what we saw with our own eyes yesterday.
Owl (New Hampshire)
Forget impeachment. Just forget it. Unless and until the GOP bankrollers tell their paid-for stooges in congress to turn on Trump, they will continue to defend him. Until then, the Senate will never convict him if the house impeached him. Besides, is Mike Pence in any way, shape or form an improvement over Trump? If anything, he could be far worse. So forget impeachment. Focus on uniting the party, hammering out a winning, progressive platform based on health care, economic justice and climate change, and then go out and win elections. In the meantime, let the DOJ continue their investigations, let people like Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, et al keep punching themselves in the face, and watch Trump impeach himself in the minds of the electorate.
Kingfish52 (Rocky Mountains)
How about we just stop with the political calculus and simply have our leaders do their jobs and uphold their sworn duty? If there is proof that he broke the law(s), then let the impeachment process begin. Force the the Republicans to make a clear stand in violation of their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution and the United States. No doubt their base will love them for it, and most will stand firm in their dereliction, but with the true weight of history bearing down upon them as more details and crimes are revealed, perhaps some will grow a conscience and do the right thing. We can no longer tolerate the continuance of this sham of a Presidency, one which Trump himself would abandon in favor of being anointed "President For Life". Impeach now!
ClayB (Brooklyn)
I don't want Trump impeached. I want him in jail. I have to ask: Why shouldn't we believe Cohen? We must remember whom his ten years of lies protected. Can we blame them for their lies? If there is no integrity in the leadership, then how can we expect integrity from anyone under his thumb? Trump, who has shown us he is all the things Cohen described, demands unquestioning fealty and blind devotion from his minions. However Trump knows no such loyalty to anyone. If this is Cohen's revenge for Trump's betrayal, I can live with that. It is time to come clean about the filth besmirching the White House. No, there wasn't much in the testimony that we didn't already know or at least suspect. What Cohen did was confirm that what we have all suspected is true. What I don't and can't understand is why Republicans still support this man. Trump is not simply flawed in character, he is evil.
marrtyy (manhattan)
The Dems failed with their Dog 'n Pony Show starring MCohen. Most of this info was old news. And considering that he's a convicted liar... who cares. Also the timing was pure politics... the hearing v.s. the Summit. And it still didn't work and may have played against the Dems. Most Americans I bet think that a nuke threat from NoKo was a little more important than a committee meeting starring MCohen. I'm an independent voter. I have to remind the Dems that 30 states elected Trump. What they're doing so far isn't helping. Neither are the Dem/socialist candidates.
Indrid Cold (USA)
The real end to all of this will not necessarily be the Mueller report. I would posit that the Southern District of New York is going to destroy Trump and his "family" using the RICO statute. When that gets going, they will take EVERYTHING. Money, securities, buildings, all of it. Then they will put Trump, and his helpers in prison.
Mike (From VT)
The truly shameful performance yesterday of the GOP members of the House Committee on oversight and reform marked a new low point for the once admirable "Party of Lincoln". The hostile attitude, the defaming and often plain wrong accusations lobbed at Mr. Cohen showed a group of desperate politicians trying to discredit a man who has lost everything and is trying to make a break from his often ugly past. They were truly the ugly in that room. They did nothing to try to defend their President. Rarely even mentioned his name. The order of the day was simply character assination of the witness. I wonder how many of them are former prosecutors who used a convict facing long jail time to "rat out" his old partners in crime? It's a tactic used routinely and very often those kind of witnesses win cases. Those witnesses are very often deamed credible by juries just like Mr Cohen was yesterday. He had nothing to gain by lying to the committee yesterday, except more years in jail if caught. Mr. Manafort can attest to that. May yesterday be the first day of the beginning of the end of the Trump disasterous administration.
Susan Fitzwater (Ambler, PA)
"People accept him regardless of what some would call character flaws." Horrifying! Mr. Trump was installed as President sometime in January, 2017. He will depart that office (if indeed he fails of reelection) sometime in January of 2021. That's four solid years. For not one single nanosecond of those four years, will he CEASE to be President of the United States. Character flaws and all. And what flaws! You have observed, New York Times: none of those Republican Representatives had a word to say about the actual picture (warts and all) presented of our President during those long hours of testimony. Racist--con man--cheat. Is that so? Of course, it's so. Who doubted it? Who on Planet Earth has a shred of doubt? This, ladies and gentlemen, is our President. This is America's face to the world: flushed--ever scowling--crowned by a mop of weird-colored hair. "I think," declared now-retired Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan--"I think he'll be onboard with-- "--our program." Ah, that program! Those delectable morsels of political power to be flung to the extreme right-- --if only we can get him into the White House-- --character flaws and all. A Faustian bargain! I hope--I pray--this abominable man and his administration go down in flames together. And as for his Republican backers--the cynics and time-servers that hitched their star to his wagon-- --I hope they go down with him. They'll deserve it. Richly.
geochandler (Los Alamos NM)
It would be really dumb to impeach Trump. Keep him there, twisting slowly in the wind, and beat him easily in 2020. Remove him and the Dems would face the unsullied Pence, the hardcore christian, who's basically unknown but at least not a psycho and a moral disgrace. He might reassemble the Republican party and be tough to beat.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
“People accept [Trump] regardless of what some would call character flaws.” Or maybe serious personality disorders. Narcissism, misogyny, racism, god complex, dishonesty, greed, ... and a few more: " ... nonstop lies and exaggerations and demagoguery ... a foul stain on the office of the presidency, a moral embarrassment to a majority of Americans ... bigotry, lawlessness, ignorance ... " (Bret Stephens, Conservative Columnist, NYTimes, 26Feb2019) Somehow this seems to go beyond "character flaws".
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
I am an Old Blue. The Democrats in the House should not proceed to Impeachment based solely on the testimony of Mr. Cohen. I believe him and I know what the GOP did to Clinton but the country is on the verge of a breakdown. The Trumpians would treat Impeachment as an attempted Coup d'Etat. They would come out in the streets with guns in their hands. Beat him in 2020.
Christine A. Roux (Ellensburg, WA)
I wonder if Mr. Davis has ever heard of "tragic flaw". I wonder if he remembers how the tragic flaws of kings can lead to the downfall of all those around him. Cohen is a canary in the mine -- the GOP would do well to heed his song.
BettyInToronto (Canada)
The Cohen hearing solidified my opinion of what I will call the Republican Personality. Awful! They were mean, nasty, immoral, all about power and the almighty dollar. I very much hope many many Americans will change parties before 2020. Good luck to your great but currently very sick country.
Northcountry (Maine)
The learnings are not on collusion or or the Moscow hotel project, etc......the big takeaway is that the Trump Org is really a criminal enterprise: Bank & Insurance fraud, Tax evasion / fraud, money laundering. Once the NY AG office and SDNY get Weisselberg, et al the whole enterprise can be prosecuted under RICO and potentially shut down. The GOP are not going to back down on Russia!! RICO will present an entirely different proposition, follow the money.
Bruce1253 (San Diego)
You only get one shot at this. If you can't impeach, convict and remove, don't even start.
Jacquie (Iowa)
Mark Meadows claimed in the Cohen's hearing he wasn't a racist after saying this in 2012 about Mr. Obama: 2012 is the time we are going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is.
johnrs77 (boston)
The take away from yesterday is that Republicans continue to protect Trump with unrepentant vigor, which to me is beginning to signal something more nefarious than Trump himself. A question could have been asked yesterday that would have an obvious answer, is Trump a crook? At this point anyone with any understanding of the situation would have to say yes, we are just waiting for the evidence to be compiled and reviewed and the appropriate investigations to end. But what if the Republicans have moved beyond that? They want Trump's base, not necessarily Trump and they will do anything to hold that, as exhibited yesterday. At some point Trump may be jettisoned by the party for his criminal past, with tens of millions of voters more motivated than ever to again block any Democrat from taking the office and protecting what Trump "stood for". The Republicans are now the party of lies and untruths as long as they continue to use the wedge delivered so perfectly by Trump. Principles and decency have left this group and they have no desire to get back to the middle. This is especially evident in the manipulations of Mr. McConnell, the ultimate chess master in the center of the hive. Our democracy is hanging by a thread with Republicans ready to seize it away from us using whatever means necessary. They hold the sharp objects that a large majority of their voters want to see used. I am still waiting for the Democrat's Kasparov, but I fear the timer at the table is running down.
Bruce Pippin (Monterey, Ca)
Not once did any of the Democrats use the word impeachment, you do a great disservice by suggesting they did. The media loves a conflict and this sort of yellow journalism promotes your intended purpose.
Alan (Queens)
In a true democracy one party doesn’t stand by a leader that on an intellectual level they surely must know is corrupt, willfully ignorant and monumentally vulgar.
Matt (NJ)
All hearings in Congress or pour court system need to begin with truth. Let the truth take us to conclusion. Lanny Davis working for free? Who is paying him? Let's not kid ourselves. Everyone is entitled to a defense. Telling untruths about anything corrupts all testimony. Read NBC's take on Lanny Davis fee origination: You cannot make this up. Who funded the gofundme account?
DSS (Ottawa)
Why are we even talking about this? It is clear that we have an immoral, unqualified, liar, cheat and racist in the White House who has to go.
Etienne (Los Angeles)
It appears the Israeli Prosecutor's Office has more guts and appreciation for the rule of law...and "timeliness" than we have here in the United States.
Jack Strausser (Elysburg, Pa 17824)
Remember the Jones' followers? Blind enough to kill themselves. Remember the Manson followers? Blind enough to kill other people. Trump followers? Blind enough to kill our Republic.
kirk (montana)
The republicans have been so close to this pig president that they have picked up his filth and odor, but they will give him a solid 40 votes in the Senate to keep a successful impeachment and conviction an impossibility. It is best to get on with governing, House investigations, and voter organizing so these dirty, lying republican pigs can be put out of office in 2020.
Pepperman (Philadelphia)
Gee I never knew Trump is a con and has a filthy mouth. Bad bad bad. India and Pakistan are ready to go to war and this is what America obsesses about. Putin is laughing.
Badger (TX)
@Pepperman It is almost as if our leaders should be dignified so we don't have these distractions. I blame tose who voted for an undignified leader.
Benjamin (Mexico City)
Apart from the spotlight thrown on democrats and republicans through Cohen’s testimony there’s this: Melania, have you no dignity? Get up and leave!
GMooG (LA)
Is that what you said to Hillary too?
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Trump is a person whom nearly all Republicans and others up to forty five percent of the electorate want representing them. They believe in him and trust that he will act in their interests. No matter the misrepresentations and his actual decisions and behaviors, they have faith in him. In addition, they have no respect for the other fifty five percent of the electorate. They have no respect for any facts that contradict their wishes. That’s where we are as a nation. With forty five percent of our country able to dominant elections with the Electoral College, the majority who don’t support Trump are stuck with him, indefinitely. Unless Trump’s supporters change their minds about him, he will be screwing with our country and the world, while declaring himself the greatest President, ever, until 2024. Sad but true. People act on emotion before reason.
Maggie (Calif)
We need to get this piece of detriment out of our Whitehouse. He is an insult to the office the country and it’s citizens. I am sick to death of seeing his obnoxious face every morning in the headlines as a representative of this country. PLEASE enough already .
Tracy Rupp (Brookings, Oregon)
Republicansim is the problem. Republicanism can not be defeated in Washington. Republicanism must be defeated at the polls. This is why impeachment is not the best answer. DJT is not the problem. Republicanism is. Thank the living loving Lord that our young are beginning to see. Let the old dogs die. Defeat Republicanism.
MaryP (Pennsylvania)
Oh, I must be missing something. I'm a bit confused as to why anything of what Cohen has said comes as a surprise to anyone. Liar? Yeah, we've seen examples displayed by the current president before. Cheating? The evidence is already there. Racist? Yep, we've seen it displayed before. Immoral and illegal behavior? Ditto on all fronts. A surprise? I think not.
Rob (Vernon, B.C.)
There's an aspect of yesterday's hearing that hasn't been mentioned. Cohen stated that Trump's election campaign was a farce - a PR stunt. That jives with numerous other reports. It also explains the outrageous behaviour of Trump during the campaign. He wasn't trying to win, he was trying to build his brand. He was being outrageous on purpose to draw attention for marketing purposes. Personally, I feel this revelation is incredibly damning for Trump supporters. They took part in the most important duty of a democratic citizen by voting for their choice of leader, and they picked a man who was faking it the entire time. Even more damning, two years into the fake president's term, replete with countless examples of his incompetence, they continue to support him.
John Watlington (Boston)
Blah, blah, blah. Yet another article stating that the Democratic congresspeople would be crazy to impeach Trump. No, they have to impeach Trump, given the evidence we have seen. Yes, the spineless Republicrats in the Senate will probably not vote to convict. But we need proof of that to wave in front of the voters during the next election. Face it, none of Trump's deplorables are going to change their vote. But it needs to be made clear, again and again that the Russian Senators enabled the Orange Disgrace, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence of his criminal acts.
Bernard (NY)
"Impeach him? Defend him?" How about wait him out and actually run a Democrat worth voting for.
Mari (Left Coast)
There is a HUGE difference between the parties, sir! One party, the Republicans are enabling, supporting and colluding with a suspected criminal! The Republicans railed against Cohen for being a liar, and yet, do not say a word against Donald whose a chronic liar, cheat and misogynist! Republican hypocrisy, fear and idiocy was on display yesterday as Michael Cohen attempted to set the record straight! What Republicans do not realize is that We, the People are not so stupid! We know fear when we see it, and they are terrified! Cohen didn’t tell us anything new, those of us who see who the real Donald is have known him to be a crook all along! The Democrats, were poised, their questions poignant and probing. The Democrats, came into office and took control of the House a couple of months ago. Since then, they have been working on discovering the TRUTH, and investigating the FACT that Russia attacked our democracy! Of course .....Cohen didn’t speak about collusion! That is a subject under Mueller’s jurisdiction and ....classified!, both parties are not at issue....ONLY ONE party seems clearly unhinged, clearly corrupt...that’s the Republican Party! Cohen warned them yesterday when he told them that he too had done what they are doing to protect Trump and look at where he is!
Cynical Jack (Washington DC)
It was wrong and foolish to impeach Bill Clinton for perjuring himself about Paula Jones. It would be just as wrong and foolish to impeach Donald Trump for paying hush money to Stormy Daniels. Wait for the Mueller report.
steve (new york)
There can be no doubt to any sentient individual that Trump is all that and more. The real question to ask is how did this country allow itself to get in this situation. Long after the DJT dust settles, maybe after he goes to jail or not, this country needs to take a long hard look at how we got here. And i am not speaking about the base who was persuaded by his nonsense, but about our elected officials who are entrusted to maintain our democracy above all else. What is it about our system of laws that allows this? That is what i hope the real discourse is about?
Phil M (New Jersey)
We are in this mess because our politicians stopped working for the people decades ago to take a paycheck from the corporations of America. When money means more than anything, high crimes occur. The entire public is fed up, but thankfully there seems to be is one party that still believes in reality and sanity. When the ship sinks, it will be much more on the heads of the Republicans than anyone else. I am livid at them and their base for destroying our Democracy. Besides greed and hate, what is in it for them?
Tulane (San Diego)
The hyped up indignation of Republican attackers during the Cohen testimony will certainly appeal to their conservative base but their shrill posturing will alienate the centrists and the independents in this country. That will hurt the Republican party and Trump allies. And as subpoenas and real investigations bring to light more and more corroboration of the Cohen claims, the Republican performance yesterday will be clearly highlighted as no more than a disingenuous distraction from the serious business of investigating political corruption and serious threats to the national security of the United States of America.
citizen vox (san francisco)
Only a partisan hearing? While surely partisan, it is the perilto our nation that Cohen’s testimony spoke to. I was startled to hear, Cohen doubts a defeated Trump on 2020 will leave peacefully. This is plsusible, given what we’ve already seen of Trump’s autocratic behavior and readiness to use the military even for imaginary threats. And elections results would be very real. So this is an argument for indictment and resignation as the safer of goals between now and 2020. As for smearing Cohen’s credibility, I wish the speakers didn’t use the pronouns “he”m so often’ couldn’t tell if the charges of liar referred to Trump or to Cohen. The difference is Cohen is being held accountable for his past lies; Trump has not. Cohen is prepared to back up his statements with evidence; Trump just says trust me. Cohen seems to be callling on a long forgotten sense of ethics and shame; I doubt Trump even knows these values and emotions. Cummings got it right on Cohen; this is a broken, contrite man. But Cummings’ plea to return to normal was too mild; we need a return to the rule of law. But good Cummings allowed this hearing to be televised; it’s public education that largely turned the tide in Watergate. And let’s not keep waiting on Mueller; the Special Council does not and cannot replace the responsibilities of Congress to check Executive power. Thank you Cummings and Schiff.
Harry (New York)
Actually, neutering Trump via House investigations and House-Senate legislation negotiations may be more fun. I see Pence as more dangerous right now. I think we have Trump right where we want him. He must be apoplectic right now after Cohen's devastating testimony.
Albert Ross (Alamosa, CO)
Let me know when we reach an agreement about how much criminality in the presidency is definitely for certain too much and then removal is required. Dubya had his color coded terror threat chart which was meaningful only as political theater but at least there was the notion of thresholds and categorical determination.
Garry Taylor (UK)
Regardless of the content and outcome of the hearing, it baffles me how someone with Trump's background and character could have become President in the first place. His subsequent conduct in office would have seen him removed either by resignation or by being forced out by his party in any European democracy. It is absolutely inconceivable that someone like Trump could become a UK prime minister or, if they did, that they would last longer than a few months.
Kiki Gavilan (Oakland)
Stop with the “both sides” stuff. The peril is to our nation if our lawmakers and leaders can’t find a way to get the criminal out of the Oval Office. If he and they are above the law, I’m sorry, but what good are these laws? Why should we obey them? Why are people in jail or going to jail for the same in fractions? Because they have less money or power? I don’t think so. Something’s gotta give.
Jim (CT USA)
This is oddly simple: trump openly Colluded with the Russians at rallies. He openly asked them to interfere in the election by releasing illegally obtained emails. The open understanding was that he would favor the Russians, after the election. He would not be like Hillary. It’s oddly simple. Congress just needs to act.
michjas (Phoenix)
I was a white collar prosecutor and brought many fraud cases. You indict when you are reasonably certain that there is no tenable defense to the charges. If there is such a defense your target will take advantage of that, even if he has to lie. And conviction is unlikely. If you have prosecuted cases for a lifetime, you know when you reach the promised land. It is not all that ambiguous. You weigh your evidence and you anticipate all possible defenses. When the available defenses are all far-fetched, it is time to bring charges. The House voted 410-4 to begin an impeachment hearing against Nixon. But even if Republicans hold out, Democrats should move forward when they’ve made the case. There are plenty of fraud prosecutors weighing the evidence here. They will know if and when it is time. There is no guarantee of victory. But there is usually a bright line that tells you when there is no turning back. If you’ve been in the business for a lifetime, it’s more of a science than an art. And the evidence is what makes the difference, not intransigent Republicans.
Rich Mondva (Virginia)
I am frequently asked if I think Trump will be impeached. I don't think so but you won't like why. Every time Trump opens his mouth, the Democrats can raise money over what he says... pretty cynical, I know, but reality and cynicism are not the same thing. Cynical is not impeaching Trump to save a cash cow, reality is take the money out of politics. Humankind just seems to have some predilection for malfeasance, however. You must recognize this. It is something that can't seem to be exorcised by religion, no matter how hard or what brand of... tries. But we don't stop praying. Laws don't stop it either, but we don't stop making new ones. Ever read an EULA? It's laughable how it tries to cover every contingency. It's like watching a contortionist. Doesn't stop fraud, though. Ghosting doesn't work, but then neither did ostracizing people, so ghosting is just ostracizing with fewer letters. The death penalty is no more a deterrent to murder than the stocks on the public square in colonial America deterred theft or unfaithfulness, etc., etc. The Brits sent prisoners to Australia. Now Australia's prisons are full. So where does it end? Well, I don't know but not with Trump's impeachment.
petey tonei (Ma)
It is possible Michael Cohen send coded messages to President Trump who is on his way back to the US. Perhaps they were warnings or hints to prepare him for what lies ahead for Trump.
Occupy Government (Oakland)
"For Republicans, Mr. Cohen’s allegations will once again require Mr. Trump’s followers to decide how long they will stand by a president whose actions threaten not only his administration but also the fate of politicians in the party he now leads." This is nonsense. Trump supporters do not believe any of the criticisms against Donald, and they certainly have no attachments to either the constitution and laws of the country or the principles of the Republican party. Trumpepes will go down with the ship and the rest of us must be willing to proceed notwithstanding.
Jim Steinberg (Fresno, Calif.)
We -- our nation -- would do far better without Trump as president -- except that we would find ourselves stuck with Pence and his showy religiosity. So I'm inclined to soldier on against a dramatically weakened president who is befuddled over this mystery: How could a world leader and universal star (his self-appraisal) suffer defeat like this?
Keep on driving those nails into the russpublican coffin - the way is now open to get those taxes - so do it - they will be a treasure trove of fraud.
Jerry S (Chelsea)
I learned from the hearing that Republicans don't care that their President is a criminal. That means there is zero chance he will be impeached, and think there is a better than even chance that process will hurt Democrats. I also believe they are happy that the Russians had a large part in getting him in office and would like them to keep meddling if it helps them win themselves. As awful as Trump is, I think it would be better for everyone to beat him in an election, and hurt whatever other Republicans follow him blindly.
JM (San Francisco)
Not one GOP Senator disputed any statement that Cohen presented at the hearing. So what does Congress do with all this hard evidence of criminal and immoral behavior by this sitting President? They absolutely cannot ignore it and do nothing. They cannot allow a corrupt POTUS the power to inflict more damage on our country. The only recourse Congress has now is to proceed with the impeachment of DJT. If McConnell forbids his Senators to vote for conviction, so be it. McConnell will finally carry the blame for allowing a lying, cheating criminal to endanger our nation. The Democrats need to bite the bullet and address the massive Elephant in the room. They must do their constitutional job to protect the American people from any individual who is a threat against our national security. There is no greater threat than an unhinged criminal in the office of the President of the United States.
Max (New York)
Cohen spoke truth at least once, when he said Trump "didn't expect to win." Which should tell you that the Deep State, not Russia, organized Trump's victory - thru selective voting machine manipulation. Clinton seriously wanted a no-fly zone over Syria, a real precursor to nuclear war, so the people chose instead the used-car salesman hot-head who is now a (cleverly controlled) president. The rest of the nonsense fed to us is just the theater of the absurd that the people are supposed to believe in lieu of us denying our dopamine-phone-addictions and actually working to overthrow the entirely corrupt system. I'm trying to decide which is more boring and a waste of any attempt to follow: Mueller Investigation. Or Brexit.
Sally Coffee Cup (NYC)
We don’t want to impeach him for real; otherwise, we get Pence. But we want to investigate every little nook and cranny and publish every detail. I suppose I have been extremely lucky in life. At 74 years of age, I have never had to deal with a low life like Trump. And as a lawyer, I wonder what the young Michael Cohen was like as he finished law school and passed the bar. He must have had dreams of a good career. Watching this unfold is like watching a Shakespearean tragedy in real time.
Elizabeth Forquer (North Carolina)
Mr. Cohen's description of President Trump as a "racist", "con man", and a "cheat" is not new information. Mr. Trump displayed those characteristics before the election. People who voted for him knew this, but voted for him anyway. Even though I think he's a terrible President (and an even worse person), I don't think this warrants impeachment. Let's all take a deep breath and wait for the various investigations to finish before deciding whether to take the drastic action of impeaching and removing a President.
Jacquie (Iowa)
"“People accept him regardless of what some would call character flaws.” It's way past character flaws, instead a criminal enterprise with Trump as the top rat.
El Lucho (PGH)
What a total waste of time! America knows all it needs about Trump: He is a despicable human being and a cheat. Any news here? If you are part of the 60% (roughly) that oppose him, you already knew that. If you are part of the 40%, then you "know" that I have it completely wrong. Nobody is changing anybody's mind here. The democrats need to focus on policy and build support: 1.- Work on Health Care. You obviously don't have a solution yet, as some of you are proposing scraping the private system that many individuals are happy with, at a huge cost. This is a losing proposition. 2.- Work on solutions to the economic disparity, without going crazy and allowing the other side to invoke the socialist scare. Start talking about the deficit and how everything will look like when we have to pay more in interest rates. This will put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid at risk. 3.- Propose solutions to the immigration and refugee problems. The Democrats current position is to be more humane at the border, what does that mean? Look at increased help for Central America, to improve their economies while eliminating Human Right abuses. You might even find some compromises with Republicans.
James (Canada)
Trump supporters will always support him. When Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose support he was right.
Blunt (NY)
We need to amend our constitution so that we don't need spectacles like yesterday's and a two year inquiry into a man that is clearly a con artist, liar and cheat. A regular person, who gets caught smoking a joint in the wrong state at the wrong part of town is thrown in jail in no time. The law is clear, whatever is required for the prosecutor to make the case has to be provided to him or her. Here we have a person who can refuse to release his tax returns despite all evidence pointing in the direction of his misdemeanors which can be most likely cleared by analyzing those returns. Why should not we have a CLEAR statement in the law/constitution that the President has to release his tax information to the American voters whom he is elected by? Yesterday, we watched a bunch of clowns from the GOP (no exceptions sadly) grandstanding and stonewalling right and left. The man who was testifying, among other things, was the Finance Vice Chair of the RNC! They had no qualms about him at the time he was doing what he was doing to enable the GOP and Trump to establish a quasi-dictatorship serving the oligarchy. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored big with her brilliant, precise and relevant questioning. I am sure she will follow them up and do her fair share to bring this corrupt man and his enablers down. Kudos to the equally brilliant Jamie Raskin, son of a brilliant man Marcus Raskin no less. And of course to the Blunt Ms Tlaib.
Max (New York)
It was a very bad day for Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists. And here we have it: another installment of Ravings, this time, ironically presented just as Michael Cohen confirms under oath that: * He can provide no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, though he "suspects it" (so does my pet basset hound Theodore, who can prove it just as effectively as Cohen) * He never went to Prague (another story up in smoke) * Roger Stone only had publicly available information about Wikileaks dumps. In this latest episode, we learn that ... there is still no evidence of the collusion. Also he said Trump did not direct him to lie to congress (final nail in the coffin).
Steve (Illinois)
The $130,000 was not paid to hide an “affair” with an “actress “. It was to hide a sexual encounter with a high priced prostitute. Are there any of the 10 commandments he has not broken?
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
if Trump steps out of his Tower onto Fifth Avenue and declares himself King, then runs next door to Tiffany's and picks up a crown and charges it to the Treasury, would he lose any of his followers? if Trump has an epiphany and comes out strongly for gun control, would he lose any of his followers? if King Donald can't be removed from office, does he still need to lead the opposition to abortion? if he decides it would be a politically expedient idea to start a war with Iran, claiming the Israelis would pay for it, would that increase his support or would the MAGA crowd start to get the idea? if King Donald is deposed, would Melania still be Queen?
Allen82 (Oxford)
"Peril" of impeachment? We have a person who is the head of an organized crime syndicate with ties to Russian organized crime syndicates. The trump syndicate will be dismantled by the State of New York AG and the US Department of Justice through The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Impeachment is a duty of the Congress rather than a "peril".
PS (Massachusetts)
This might be less about American presidential ethics than it is about American business ethics. None of the wheeling/dealing is a surprise, which is possibly the subtext of the entire situation, that we kind of accept corruption on a daily basis. Trump as a cheater is no news to anyone who has ever partook in anyone's "art of the deal"; Trump as a cheating president is a little more sickening but not truly out of the ordinary, if you are willing to look at history on both sides. But for me, it still goes back to the primaries. Trump as a mocking, p-grabbing nominee who got elected? That still bothers me more than anything Cohen brings to light. Unless Mueller releases truly game-changing news, Democrats need to stop pretending Trump isn't president and get better organized for 2020. I will vote for decency, should it surface, but that doesn't mean pc-versions of socialized democracy.
Michael Tyndall (San Francisco)
Is Michael Cohen a liar or is he telling the real truth only an insider would know? Consistency with prior testimony given to federal authorities is essential, as is substantial corroboration. But if the ultimate question is about impeachment, the most expeditious test is relatively easy. Just subpoena Trump to testify under oath. After all, Bill Clinton was compelled to testify in a civil case about a consensual affair. That’s the precedent. The subsequent impeachment standard set by Republicans, some of whom are still serving congressmen, is lying about ANYTHING. Replay the tapes for all the sanctimonious posturing by the other side about Clinton’s impropriety. If Trump is unwilling to testify, that’s fine. He can resign. No president should be able claim the 5th Amendment and also stay in office. Resignation or impeachment should be the consequence in that case. He can take the 5th as a private citizen. Unfortunately, everyone, including all of Trump’s past and current lawyers, knows Trump can’t help but lie. And yet we seem stuck, wondering how this political impasse will end. It’s not that complicated! The Mueller investigators should subpoena Trump and compel him to testify under oath. He has no reasonable basis for declining short of his right not to incriminate himself. He can’t say he’s too busy. That’s laughable. He’s already acting the taxpayers’ money. He can forego a few golf outings or a trip to Mar-a-Lago or a future photo op with Dictator Kim.
MRose (Looking for options)
"Character flaws?" My dad has a character flaw in that he is supremely impatient -- basically has no patience whatsoever. He is however a brilliant, kind, lawful man. THAT is a character flaw. Trump is a crook...a common thug...a huckster...a clear and present danger to the stability of the Republic. His presidency is an affront to every law abiding, tax-paying, voting citizen of this country.
Julie K (California)
The hypocrisy on full display yesterday was astounding. As this Greek tragedy continues to play out, I'm not sure what yesterday accomplished. Those who think Trump is a vapid horrible man had that confirmed yesterday and those who think Trump is the second coming of Jesus also affirmed their convictions. All of the Republicans, and many of the Democrats seemed less interested in getting to the truth and more interested in blathering to their constituents. I'm still waiting for Congress to be the check on the Executive branch as designed by the framers of our government. BTW, thank you AOC for doing your job, and doing it well.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Julie K This is what you missed. Cohen's testimony gives the committee the ability to subpoena the people that he implicated. That is how you find out if he was lying.
TheRestOfAmerica (Florida)
Didn't they have criminal witnesses in the El Chapo trial? U.S. attorney Goldbarg : "Ladies and gentlemen, these witnesses were criminals. The government is not asking you to like them."
Anthony Jenkins (Canada)
Trump's campaign was self-admittedly, about "branding.' Now that he is President, he is altering the 'brand' of America in the world; disloyal to allies, a buffoon on the international stage, a peril to the environment. A dangerous joke whom America elected.
David (CO)
What a demented place where in where the president's former personal lawyer, VP of the Trump organization, and deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee testifies before Congress with proof of crimes committed by the president while in office and this is a problem for... you guessed it... both sides.
Steve Davies (Tampa, Fl.)
The constitution OBLIGATES Congress to hold the president accountable via impeachment for his many high crimes and misdemeanors. It's not a matter of political fallout or benefit. It's a matter of defending the republic from a grifter, traitor and pathological liar who has been a white collar criminal his entire adult life, and is continuing his criminality by using the power of the presidency to benefit his businesses and the interests of his billionaire owners. Impeachment proceedings should already have started!!!
Lee Harrison (Albany / Kew Gardens)
I'm as sure as can be that Trump will be impeached ... eventually. But it's not time yet. Trump and the Republicans need to be battered with the truth until the Republicans start to appreciate that THEY need to get rid of Trump. Yet getting rid of Trump will be harder than getting rid of Nixon: * Nixon's only crime was Watergate * Ford was not Nixon's toadie; he became VP due to Agnew's resignation. Ford could just barely get away with pardoning Nixon, and that was key to getting Nixon to resign. Pence is not Ford, and the sweep of Trump's criminality is so great that a blanket pardon for all crimes simply will not wash. Nor will it protect Trump or his family from New York State prosecution. It's not clear how Trump could be maneuvered to resign -- as his problems mount (and they will!) he is sure to dig in harder. But people considering the problem had better think about New York State legal liabilities and likely prosecutions coming. Trump & family are in serious jeopardy ... and the only possible pardon would come from Andrew Cuomo. Anybody here think Mr. Cuomo would be eager to pardon any of the Trumps? Really? Trump is too stupid, narcissistic, and truculent to think very far. Earth-to-Jared: you better start trying to assemble a deal that includes Cuomo to get Trump out in exchange for immunity that at least keeps people out of jail ... because all of the directors of the Trump Foundation are vulnerable to New York's Corrupt Organizations Act.
Jeff (Chicago, IL)
While Mr. Cohen's testimony might not have changed many minds in either political party in Congress about Trump, it was still a riveting testimony. We might not have learned anything that we hadn't heard or suspected previously about Donald Trump but it was still shocking to hear his former personal attorney verbalize the many offensively bad shortcomings of Donald Trump's character. Equally jarring but not surprising were the Republican attacks on Mr. Cohen's character and motivation in testifying. Not one single Republican denied or defended Donald Trump's ethical or possible legal lapses outlined by Cohen but instead they were unanimous and unrelenting in their character assassination of Mr. Cohen. I disagree with Mr. Axelrod's assessment of Cohen's statements being less damning or damaging to Trump because they were a little too personal. On the contrary, this lent more credibility to Mr. Cohen. It would probably be prudent for Democrats to downplay impeachment at this stage and wait for the release the of Mueller's report and let the Trump drama unfold naturally. Democrats must continue to investigate Donald Trump, however while simultaneously creating progressive legislative policy. Mr. Cohen might not have changed any minds about support or disapproval of Donald Trump but it surely planted some tiny seeds of doubt among some in Trump's camp that just might begin to germinate as more damning personal accounts of Trump's character and behavior are presented.
michjas (Phoenix)
@Jeff I think a lawyer should have more self control. Clearly, Cohen isn’t much of a lawyer, which is why he has been disbarred. If he were the man on the street his emotion would have been helpful, as you say. But I think he’s an embarrassment to all lawyers and to himself. I haven’t liked the guy since Day 1.
Tom Q (Minneapolis, MN)
In any other court, an overwhelming amount of evidence that someone had committed a crime (in this case both felonies and misdemeanors) would result in a guilty verdict. Why should the White House occupant be treated any differently? And, in this case, if the president (while in office) is paying off a bribe to remain in office, then the DOJ policies must change. That is not a nuance of law. It is common sense.
Emlo37 (UpstateNY)
To me, the point of Cohen's testimony is to lay the groundwork--to make it virtually indisputable--that DJT was and is a lying schemer and conniver and worse, and to give myriad examples of the way DJT operates his business and personally. It is not the payments to Stormy or Karen to cover up his extramarital affairs (i.e., the campaign/ethics violations) that should be the focus (of course, those are political hypocrisies for the Republicans...they were quick to initiate impeachment against Clinton, yet stand by a philanderer). Rather, it is DJT's willing acceptance of help from Russian operatives to meddle with our elections. As Scott McCabe suggested, it very well may be that DJT is a "Russian asset" in highest office in our country. And if Mueller's report bears out this conclusion, impeachment proceedings must be initiated. DJT's advisers and family as well as Pence cannot be excluded from these investigations, as I would find it hard to believe that the VP didn't know about the Russians or other legal/ethical violations by DJT's campaign and DJT. The purpose of Cohen's testimony is to give Congress and the American people a clear picture of the real DJT. It is likely no coincidence that his testimony is occurring before Mueller's report. The real issue is DJT/Russia, Russia' intentional interference in our elections and DJT's collusion with Russia then and now. It is time to drain the swamp. All of it.
craig80st (Columbus,Ohio)
1) Impeachment will happen when enough Republicans in both House and Senate and nation are convinced, like many Democrats in similar places, that high crimes and misdemeanors were committed by 45. 2) Representative Elijah Cummings advice to Michael Cohen advices us too. What does this bad thing happen for us ? It reminds us that we are better than this. It challenges us to restore and respect our democracy. It encourages us to avoid the put downs and be engaged in lifting up American virtues and those in need of a helping hand. 3) Can good things happen from bad people? Michael Cohen's testimony suggests yes. 4) I remember an Abraham Heschel parable. 3 men roped together climb a mountain. At a high place, the lead climber slips and the 3 climbers fall together into a stone walled ledge. Hurt, but not disabled, the 3 examine their plight. The precarious precipice is home to many poisonous snakes. Two of the climbers rapidly grab and pitch the snakes down the mountain. The third climber looks around the stone wall. Asked by the other two why he is not throwing the snakes out, he answers, "I am looking for a way out." Michael Cohen and we are in our particular snake pit. We need to throw the snakes out and look for a way out.
mark (PDX)
Republican representatives defending Trump seemed to be suggesting that impeaching him would "fire up the base" and "be careful what you ask for". Are they not threatening us with insurrection? I find this stunning (if true). To my read, this is a thinly-veiled threat of armed revolt. I do feel a rabid undercurrent of rage and fear that could explode if due process is carried out. And yet we can't not do the right thing for fear of retaliation. This partisanship really does bring us back to the time of Lincoln. We need a champion to step up and defend our republic.
Lee Harrison (Albany / Kew Gardens)
@mark -- an "armed revolt" by fat old white men armed with Glocks and AR-15 clones and led by Commander Bone-Spurs will end very, very badly for them. The gun-nuts completely misunderstand Jefferson's quote about Shay's rebellion: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Jefferson did not support the rebellion (duh), he knew it must be put down. The patriots in this quote are those who rose (not very effectively) as militia to put down the rebellion -- they took some losses. His use of "tyrant" seems odd to the modern reader (where we take it as "cruel dictator") but its classical meaning was "usurper of legitimate authority." Shays and his rebels were the usurpers. In large measure our current constitution was written to strengthen federal powers in the aftermath of Shay's rebellion. And the civil war settled the issue.
DSS (Ottawa)
The statement that Cohen made that scared me the most was at the end, when he said, "If Trump loses the 2020 election, there will not be a peaceful transition of power." Why isn't the NYT's talking about this very real potential? Trumpism is more than just a disruptive reality TV personality becoming president, it's about a threat to democracy as we know it.
Russian Bot (In YR OODA)
@DSS Actually that is the part that made me discount Cohen's entire testimony. Scaremongering Road Apples.
Tom Miller (Seattle)
It would be foolish to think that this one day of testimony would provide the evidence to justify impeachment. Cohen did provide sufficient evidence that will lead various Congressional committees to justifiably open new lines of inquiry, such as Bank Fraud, Tax Fraud and Real Estate Fraud. The forth coming Mueller and SDNY investigations will provide corroborating evidence and possibly indictments of Trumps children and senior Trump business executives. While, in theory, a sitting President cannot be indicted, his children can be, with sufficient ties to indicate the President faces indictment on State and Federal charges as soon as he leaves office. A negotiated resignation, (Agnew), can then force him from office. That will leave the Republican sycophants scrambling headed into 2020 rather than the Dem's mounting an Impeachment process they cannot win. Or, the lying liars in Congress will recognize their vulnerability and finally abandon him, hoping to salvage their own election in 2020; claiming the redemption they denied Michael Cohen.
josie8 (MA)
Your headline about the Cohen testimony showing perils for both parties is a symptom of the peril to our Constitution. Forget the parties. We are in a terrible situation for our country and no one seems to understand that or to take that seriously. Every day that passes with no one standing up for the United States of America, but merely worrying about the foolish parties is another day closer to the bottom of a downhill slide. Wake up, members of Congress. When a president is trying to upset the balance of power, one of the key pillars of our form of government, by extorting billions of taxpayer's money for a pet project of a wall, anyone with an 8th grade civics class background knows that is unconstitutional and wrong. Is there anyone in Washington with a conscience or an understanding of what's going on? Millions of citizens are waiting for members to speak up for the Constitution.
Elle Kaye (Mid USA)
I do not believe Trump will be impeached, unless he is caught red-handed. The Democrats want undisputed proof before trying. And the Trump robots in the Senate always stop any action against him.
Corbin (Minneapolis)
Every day he sits in power, the survival of humanity is threatened. Someone like Trump should not have the nuclear codes. It’s an actual threat to nature security! Unlike asylum seekers.
TripleJRanch (Central Coast, CA)
More noise and a flitter of divisive political positioning. But regardless of what one thinks of the timing of Cohen's testimony, for anyone to disregard it is very dangerous, especially those who think Trump just has a couple of 'character flaws.' Please step back and rethink this. Trump has put this country on a course that unless both parties join together to stop, then we're doomed. The graft and corruptness that has been going on in the corporate and private world has now effectively crossed over to the public and so far, if Cohen's testimony and Mueller's report doesn't wake people up, it seems to have all but won. I'm not talking about impeachment here. I'm talking about staying on point with the criminal acts of the mob family in the WH. Then let the people decide in 2020.
Frank (San Francisco)
Why is trying to pursue impeachment against a fraudulent lying con man a risky strategy? Shouldn't we always pursue such a strategy? Democrats need to worry more about their base than Trump's or they will face a guaranteed peril. Do the right thing Democrats and go after this President without holding back. History will be on your side.
Max (New York)
Thankfully, Rep. Massie corrects the record and notes that Assange's announcement of impending emails on Hillary was public as early as June 2016, so the Trump/Stone discussion of emails sometime in late July 2016 reflected no privileged or "advanced" knowledge . If Trump "knew in advance" about the pending publication of hacked DNC emails, so did everyone who followed the WikiLeaks Twitter account. It was public information! That's what's so maddening about this ridiculous narrative We are witnessing what economists call the "sunk cost fallacy". The more you invest in time and effort into something, the harder it is to abandon it. So many journalists have gone so far down the rabbit hole into this New Cold War neo-Mccarthyite hysteria that they are psychologically incapable of admitting their error and pulling back on the narrative. It's irrelevant how many facts pile up that contradict this story.
Anna (NY)
@Max: Massie confused the record. There were two sets of emails: the ones on Clintons server and the ones hacked from the DNC server. Cohen’s testimony was on the latter set, whose impending leaking was not made public before it actually happened, but Stone knew and he told Trump in a phone call on speakerphone that Cohen witnessed.
Deborah (Bellvue, Colorado)
One of the most disturbing things Cohen said was that if Trump loses the election in 2020, he doubted there would be a peaceful transition of power. I know it is opinion, but it is informed opinion. Republicans support him despite everything, as evidenced at the hearing. I have wondered the same.
TRA (Wisconsin)
One thing to keep in mind regarding these various Congressional hearings is the difference between the present hearings and the Watergate hearings of the past. The Senate Watergate hearings set in motion Nixon's eventual removal from office. It was the prime mover that alerted the country to Nixon's crimes, and was fiercely contested by Republicans on that committee, as well as the later House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings. That GOP opposition remained steadfast up until the SCOTUS, in a 9-0 vote, forced Nixon to release the Oval Office tapes. Doubt of Nixon's guilt became a certainty. The vote to impeach Nixon had already been taken, and even though the impeachment measure passed, it was nearly a party-line vote. Some Republicans on the House committee actually asked if they could change their vote, following the release of the tapes. Sorry, but history doesn't do do-overs. This time the Mueller investigation is the prime mover, and I anticipate the revelations to be similarly devastating. If so, the only question remaining is, which side of history were you on when the Mueller findings became public? A cautionary tale to the GOP.
Talbot (New York)
As I understand it, everything Cohen said yesterday was already covered in the Mueller hearings. I thought Cohen was very convincing. But if it was already covered by Mueller, and nothing comes out of that re Trump, does that mean they didn't believe him? Can we safely assume that if Mueller had found Trump committed crimes, he'd take action about them? If so, is what we saw yesterday just wheel spinning?
Kristinn (Bloomfield)
There have been no “Mueller hearings”
Talbot (New York)
@Kristinn Mueller investigation.
RLW (Chicago)
The fact that Mr Cohen is going to jail for lying and Mr Trump has not yet been convicted and sentenced to jail for his lying, does not mean that Michael Cohen is any more guilty of lying than Donald J. Trump. The Republican defense of President Trump now may come back to haunt them, even in their formerly Trump leaning districts.
Djt (Norcal)
There is absolute, dead zero peril for Republicans. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer still seem to be operating as if it were the 1980’s and there is comity in congress. That is long gone. There is a fight to the death now. This writer doesn’t recognize it either. The 42% of the population that support Trump can dismiss Cohen’s comments as lies and the GOP in Congress is happy to have their message all figured out by their constituents already. Absolute, dead zero peril for the GOP here. The NYT needs some analysts that are steeped in modern politics politics.
Lisa (Canada)
The whole trump issue was just popcorn side-dish... But this statement by Cummings made me dumb struck... I just wish we had more Elijah Eugene Cummings in governments of the world... this is not about American politics this is about Humanity. Trump would never take blame like Cohen did. God Bless Cohen and his family! Redemption and Transformation. The tension at the end of these hours of hearing and the emotion was unbelievable, Cummings was awesome, Cohen could hardly stop his tears and 'this' was the most amazing moment I have seen in a long time which gave me faith again in America.
MCV207 (San Francisco)
Unless there is overwhelming evidence of truly serious felonies, a documented conspiracy or a solid RICO case, Democrats should not impeach Trump. Absent something grave, the Republicans proved once again yesterday that they will stand by this criminal grifter to the end to ensure their agenda survives, even if the head of their party is little more than a mob boss. Let the voters speak in 2020 to rid us of this corrupt man and his enablers — assuming he doesn't declare a national emergency the day before the election, cancels the vote, and then hunkers down in his bunker for an epic fight. Trump is dangerous and desperate, and this imperils our country's very future.
Ha! In their attempts to defend the failing Trump administration, the Republican committee members, an apopletic lot now that they have lost the house, flailed about for effective ways to discredit Michael Cohen. The thing is, documentation is a hard thing to dispute. It seems Cohen isn’t so dumb as to have not kept records of his work on behalf of DJT. I thought they really topped themselves with the comment about the cost of these hearings, which have only originated from the suspicions Mr. Trump and company have caused to arise. Benghazi anyone?
Victor (Yokohama)
"News Analysis"? Sorry NY Times this a high school essay, shallow and obvious. "Peril for both Parties"? No, the ramifications are far greater. The entire world learned that the President of the United States operates a crime syndicate. This places the entire country in jeopardy. The only good that can come out of this is the Republican Party somehow brings itself to repudiate Donald Trump. Failing that, we can only hope that the damage is limited to the destruction of the Republican Party.
Charles S (Denver, Colorado)
The House Oversight Committee should not have held this public hearing while the president was on foreign soil engaged in important negotiations. You don't undermine any president in this way. This was a shameful act --- regardless of what you may think of this president.
@Charles S In a normal world, there’d be no argument with your thinking, and you raise a good point. An argument can also be made that this president discredits himself on a daily basis by speaking or tweeting absurdly and indulging in fantasies about his achievements and ability. He is uniquely incapable of statesmanship and merely seeks constant validation, which he will do or say anything to get. This enables guys like Kim Jong Un and Vladamir Putin to take advantage of him and imperil the rest of us. There is no good alternative to giving him the benefit of the doubt here in the USA.
Corbin (Minneapolis)
@Charles S It was shameful for Trump to go “play summit” with a brutal dictator, wasting untold millions, purely as an attempted distraction tactic.
Badger (TX)
@Charles S Is that a river I see being cried? Fox news didn't cover the hearing so it didn't happen. Fake news. And Cohen never lied becaue Trump only hires the best people.
Horatio (NY NY)
Trump will not be impeached over these crimes. Impeachment is only possible if Trumps voters are defecting in large numbers, and they aren't going anywhere over any of this. If and when it is proven Trump participated in working directly with a foreign government to win his election he will be impeached but even then, without the defection of Trump voters, the senate will not vote to throw him out.
BTO (Somerset, MA)
There is only one thing that needs to done here, check out the accusations made by Cohen and see if there is any truth to them. If they turn out to be true the the rule of law needs to apply and if they turn out to be false then Cohen needs to spend more time in jail thinking about them.
Dabney L (Brooklyn)
While Cohen laid out at least four compelling arguments that, if true, warrant Trump’s impeachment, Mueller should be allowed to finish and file his report before impeachment proceedings begin. In the meantime, Congress must continue to hold hearings and investigate every dark corner of the President, his administration and his campaign committee. Several times during his testimony yesterday, Cohen also referenced the ongoing investigation by the SDNY, perhaps the most powerful district court in our United States. One way or another, Trump will finally be held accountable for a lifetime of corruption and criminality. May our democracy be stronger for it.
Marianna (Houston, TX)
I think the moment is very ripe for a third party that could unite moderate, patriotic Republicans and maybe some conservative centrists from the left. They should dare and do it. It was so painful to see the utter obsequiousness and contempt for the Constitution on the part of the current GOP which was on full, glaring display at this Cohen hearing.
Corbin (Minneapolis)
@ Marrianna Since 80% or more of Republicans back Trump, a third party would be too small to do anything but insure that Trump becomes dictator-for-life by weakening the Democratic opposition.
Marianna (Houston, TX)
@Corbin Could it be that they are backing him because there's no third way for them?
Silvio M (San Jose, CA)
Right now the GOP is in a very difficult position. They have a "Party Leader" who will feel increasingly threatened by revelations, accusations and lawsuits throughout 2019. Many GOP incumbents and candidates in 2020 will need to distance themselves from the president in many key "purple" states if they want to maintain control of the Senate. The Dems, on the other hand, may well be in the position to simply ignore Trump (which will frustrate the president), stick to the "bread & butter" issues, focus on the future, and let the president (and the GOP) get stuck in their own quagmire.
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
with friends like this, who needs enemies? but then, can you trust someone who is your "friend" only because you pay him? perhaps in Republican world friendship is just another financial transaction, but in real life, not so much. how much, and in what currency, is Trump paying his Congressional defenders?
Anon (California)
I felt like I was watching the Clarence Thomas and Bret Kavanaugh hearings over again. Very credible accusations attacked, debunked, and ignored by Republicans. Consequence: two supreme court justices and one president who legally hold office, but shouldn't be there.
petey tonei (Ma)
@Anon, it’s almost as though the universe wants the drama to extend...its as though this, all this, is entertainment for the universe who does not want to get bored and needs to be entertained, at our cost. So strange.
Glenn (New Jersey)
@petey tonei Or, the universe wants done with us ASAP.
Aaron (Orange County, CA)
Cohen testified that Trump once mentioned to him that Don Jr. had the worst [business] judgement. Why wasn't Trump up in arms over that? The least he could have done was protect the honor of his own son! Perhaps if Cohen used Ivanka instead of Don Jr. as part of his "lies" .. One can bet Trump would have gone ballistic.
An argument against impeachment (Oregon)
The Dems have the votes in the House to impeach. But they do not have control of the Senate. Thus, the Senate would acquit. Trump would say I told you so and rub Dems faces in it. That would be the inevitable outcome. By not impeaching now, there is a chance he could lose in 2020 rendering it unnecessary. If he won, Dems could impeach if they control the House. Without the Senate majority, result is the same: acquittal. Should he lose in 2020, problem over and he will be indicted by the state of NY and end up in prison.
Corbin (Minneapolis)
@ An argument against impeachment So...what do we do when Trump declares “fake news” and refuses to step down in 2020?
Lee Harrison (Albany / Kew Gardens)
@An argument against impeachment -- nothing stops New York or any other state from indicting a president.
I think the media over states the backlash that would come about if non-hysterical, legally impeccable impeachment hearings were held against Trump. The disdain, fear, and outright hate in some cases, of this man is only growing.
Diana (Centennial)
I am still of the opinion that the Democrats should have waited for Mr. Mueller to issue his report before indulging in bringing Mr. Cohen in to testify before Congress. Is this going to descend into Benghazi part II? With endless investigations that just spin and spin accomplishing nothing? What the Democrats need is verifiable evidence that the President broke the law. What worries me is that neither Kushner nor the President's sons have faced any criminal charges so far, this could change when Mueller releases his report of course. It is one thing to know without a doubt that someone has committed a crime, and another to have verifiable proof of the person's guilt. A lot of what Mr. Cohen said is undoubtedly true, but some of it is he said -he said. Maybe there are recordings, but until the Mueller report we don't know that. Michael Cohen had a choice when asked to do something he knew as a lawyer was illegal. Blinded by loyalty to a man with no morals and even less compassion or not, he made the wrong choice. It seems to me Mr. Trump puts just enough distance between himself and any transactions that are questionable to escape blame. No matter if that blame falls on those closest to him. Even if there is proof of the president's having broken the law, it will not affect his supporters. They knew he was an amoral man when they elected him. Why should any of this make a difference to them? It could cause a backlash against the Democratic Party I am afraid.
C (Colorado)
@Diana If Cohen had a "smoking gun" or any serious information which implicates Trump in a crime, Mueller would have never let him testify before congress. Notice how the narrative is shifting away from Russia collusion and back to campaign finance, tax evasion, and other issues. There was no collusion. Mueller's report will be anticlimactic. The dems know this. They are focused now on other issues which could possibly justify impeachment proceedings, as that is and has always been the endgame.
DB (Central Coast, CA)
@Diana, The hearings focused on Cohen's oral testimony, but he also brought documents. If Trump inflated his asset values for bank loans and deflated the values for tax purposes, there will be evidence of that. Just like there is already evidence of all the corrupt and illegal dealing of Trump's father in how he valued assets as he channeled income and assets to his kids (one of whom is a judge!) in ways to avoid paying taxes. This is nothing at all like Benghazi, which really WAS a witch hunt. People have been indicted, convicted and/or are cooperating with the Feds. The hearings help set the stage for what is coming next. Stay tuned!
clint (istanbul)
@Diana Backlash against the Democratic Party is an eventuality that definitely needs to be considered seriously and strategically. However, we're not living under the same Independent Counsel statutes that, most notably, Ken Starr operated under. Mueller doesn't have the authority to finish up on a Monday and send "The Mueller Report" to the printer on Tuesday. The Attorney General may have the power to bury the report or at least to quash it in practice by only releasing an anemic summary prepared by dutiful Trump appointees. And even such a summary may not even be made public. It seems reasonable to fear that the Trump administration will go to almost only lengths to prevent it from seeing the light of day. For that reason, I think it's crucial that the Democrats get as much damning material on the public's radar as they can. It may be the only way to ensure that voters demand the release of the full report or, if denied that, to ensure that voters just assume that it says the worst, which may be functionally just as effective an electoral strategy on the way to 2020.
David (California)
A large part of Trump's base sincerely want a more democratic, more conservative humane immigration policy, more similar to that of Canada and Denmark than that of the USA. The persistence of Trump's support probably stems in very large part from immigration policies of the Democratic Party that many people perceive as being more liberal than many people sincerely want. That insight helps explain Trump's victory in the electoral college in the 2016 election and the persistence of his base, despite Trump's faults. Many voters feel that they have no choice but to support Trump because of immigration issues.
Badger (TX)
@David You nailed it David. Many on the left chalk up much of Trump's support to racism. That is not even an unnuanced ibterpretation. It is flat out wrong. They support Trump becauese he is steadfast in his anti-immgration policies and steadfast about attempting to deliver his campaign promises. Whether these policies and promises have any merit is completely beside the point. Democrats should learn from this situation. If Trump's immigration policy has no ill-effect on American citizens and adopting those policies could only grow the party, why fight it? Why fight so hard for foreigners when it doesn't help Americans and only hurts you at the polls? I understand the answer to this question far less than I understand why Trump's base remains so loyal.
John (Hartford)
The Democrats have NO intention of impeaching Trump. He's their greatest electoral asset.
njglea (Seattle)
I pray to the universe, with all my heart, that you are wrong, John.
Badger (TX)
@John Impeahing Trump would be nothing more than a self destrictive display of protest. A better outcome would be his ousting at the ballot box.
Ted (Rural New York State)
Dear Mr. Axelrod, "character flaws" are not crimes. Nor does that phrase begin to describe the depths of Mr. Trump's many, many "other flaws".
Nirmal (Ahmedabad)
Mr Trump has shown that he is willing to put up with a lot of heat and negative press and even losing positions to get America or American military to do its business with despots, of further arming a militant state, rather than actually focusing on any denuclearisation policy. The almost quiet 20 billion dollar deal with Kim, is proof of that. I am not an expert on diplomacy matters, but it seems Britain's policy of instigating positions of 'conflicts of interest' between countries or within a country, and then fueling the same thru media and diplomatic channels, may have found its match in Trump's new level of diplomacy of directly dealing with the man in charge on the other side, and selling him arms to fortify his militant policies.
Amie Schantz (Arlington, MA)
It is striking to me that Cohen testimony shows that Trump is the same man he has ever been and the Republicans in Congress seem to be suffering from some form of group amnesia. Perhaps they were all fans of Tump’s tv show, and believed what was portrayed as an astute, successful businessman. There has been no magic transformation of Mr. Trump. It is very likely that the damage he has caused in his own life will be visited upon our country, just another bankrupt enterprise owned by the Russians. Were the tax breaks the Republicans obtained from this enough payment for them?
avrds (montana)
I have not been one to jump on the impeachment bandwagon, thinking it to be a political act. But at what point do we see legal action? Too much has been placed on a "rule" that prohibits indicting a sitting president. If Trump, as he was fond of saying, shot someone on 5th Avenue, is the Justice Department telling the American people there is nothing they can do about it? That they must wait for Congress to impeach? Impeachment may be a political process, but right now the American people deserve a legal process. If laws have been broken, someone needs to act on our behalf before even more damage is done.
Observor (Backwoods California)
@avrds If Trump shot someone on Fifth Avenue, no 'rule' of the US Dept. Of Justice could protect him from arrest by the NYPD or prosecution by the New York DA. It would not be a 'federal matter.' The State of New York can proceed against DJT for any state crimes it thinks he has committed in New York.
avrds (montana)
@Observor I hope you are right, but that's not the way it has been presented so far. It appears that Trump has already broken some laws in New York. Michael Cohen has just pleaded guilty for his part in them. Are these laws less important? Or can a sitting president break state laws but only be impeached for breaking federal ones? I guess my point is where do you draw the line on illegal activities? Can any president break some laws and not pay the price while in office, particularly if he's doing a "terrific job" as Trump has claimed? I wish the NY Times would tackle this question head on.
Mike (From VT)
@Observor Then let the NY State Income tax evasion investigations begin for starters. Let trump beg Cuomo for a pardon..... now that would be rich.
Yakker (California)
Step back and realize that we are debating partisanship while the one we are responsible for elevating to the most powerful position on earth breaks the law in plain sight with impunity. This crisis is not a partisan issue, it's an insult to our Constitution. It's a matter of national security, and perhaps most of all, it's a matter of decency and how we want the world to see us as. The republican diversionary tactics are shameful and unpatriotic. Their hypocrisy worn on their shoulders, like proud epaulets earned in hard fought campaigns of obstructionism. The slavish adoration of Trump by those who tug at their cocoon of ignorance, shuts out all light and truth, shatters families, and destroys relationships. As Elisha Cummings most aptly commented; "We are better than this!"
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
the rich are not like you and me. look at the Buchanans, the Trumps, they're birds of a feather, selfish beyond anyone's wildest dreams of carelessness and avarice.
Maureen Steffek (Memphis, TN)
The Republican Party will ride the lying, cheating, stealing, immoral Trump train to the next election or over the cliff. It is totally up to the American people to choose democracy and morality or dictatorship and corruption. Democrats and candidates need to focus on policy, not personality. Quit reacting to the tweets and diatribes and they will lose their punch. You wouldn't listen and react to a 5 year old's tantrum, don't react to Trump, the noisy gong and the clanging cymbal.
Steve (Minnesota)
So impeach Trump and are left with Mike Pence in the Oval Office and the non-zero possibility of an armed insurrection by some of the president's more rabid followers. Or we leave him in office the remainder of his term and try to minimize the damage he's doing to the planet and the very idea of America. Do we prefer execution by hanging or firing squad? I can't help but feel this is the position the country is in. Personally, I think he belongs in an orange jumpsuit and a tiny room with a toilet and slit window but that's not going to happen. Nor is he going to leave office peacefully. There simply is no good outcome for all of this.
Tom (San Francisco, California)
Methinks Cohen doth protest too much. He did not tell us anything we did not already know. Trump signed a check. So? Trump burned vendors. What else is new? The guy who said he'd take a bullet for Trump is now going to prison for Trump. Same old same old. Cohen is hoping that investigators hang on his every word, because he's got nothing but generalizations and baloney. Warning us that Trump will not go quietly should he lose the 2020 election is only one step removed from threatening vendors, colleges, journalists, anyone who opposes him or has the goods . . .
Mike (From VT)
@Tom Well for just baloney and generalizations the GOP members of the House Oversight and Reform committee sure got worked up. If turning over evidence backing his charges up is more of the same old thing, then bring it on. My Cohen, while a convicted liar was dropping the dime on a serial liar who has been recorded as having uttered over 8000 lies since taking office just over 2 years ago. So, who you going to believe, the guy with the evidence or the guy with just the bluster. I, like the SDNY and Mueller will take the guy with he hard evidence. BTW, using a guy like Cohen is a technique that prosecuters have used for decades now to successfully break up crime families just like the Trumps. Just think, Joe Valachi.
bonku (Madison)
Trump must not be impeached only to save him from American justice. He must be allowed to complete his term while facing all the criminal and civil charges against him. It's up to Republicans if they like to start the impeachment process- to save the party from further disgrace. Then he needs to be defeated in 2020 election. Main trail of Trump and his accomplices would start after that. That guy need to face exemplary punishment so that in future such criminals and corrupt businessmen don't dare to hold public office with accountability and constant scrutiny of his actions.
GCM (Laguna Niguel, CA)
Dirty Don, that will become Trump's lasting moniker. Can't wait for a Dem candidate to hang that one on him. Goes in the halls of infamy with Tricky Dick. The sleeper yesterday as AOC, whose questions seemed innocuous, but I suspect had a sharp focus: NY insurance law. She asked where there was evidence of a crime there, that can be prosecuted by the state, for which there is no US constitutional protection for Mr. Trump (and his children). If I were an investigative reporter, I'd be following that lead right now. Don't think for a minute that NY Dems won't be.
Just Saying (New York)
There is nothing new in this. If anything he provided a testimony that the ladies hush money was for personal reasons, not political, or at least “also” for personal reasons. That takes the Election Finance Laws already weak rap off the table. Rest we heard is totally baked into the cake. And amounts to less than what was alleged repeatedly over last 24 month. (presuming treasons trumps amorality in gravitas) So where are we? Are the Dems forcing themselves to start impeachment proceedings? If yes, is it a net plus or net minus for them? If I had an answer to that I would be highly overcompensated political consultant in a townhouse in DC. Not a lot I would wish on anybody.
David (California)
The case for removal from office is very strong and should be pursued without agonizing over political fallout. There must be consequences for unlawful and unethical behavior.
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
there are consequences: you get to be President. this will remain the rule until we get rid of our unfair voting practices and the obsolete Electoral College.
LazyPoster (San Jose, CA)
Trump should not be impeached. The Mueller investigation should be made public. Democrats should focus on governing, passing sensible and common-good legislations while holding back GOP's scorched earth policies (EPA, FDA, Voting Rights, etc) and checking Trump by power of Congress. In 2020, let the people decide. If we the people really care about our country, then vote out the GOP from the Presidency, from Congress and from state houses and governorship by a significant margin. If we do not care, then reelect Trump or worse, and put the GOP back into control of everything from cities to Presidency. In the end, it is the people who must and will decide.
njglea (Seattle)
INDITE THE CON DON. He's a crook and he's running a ciminal enterprise from OUR white house. Get him out of there NOW.
SAL (Illinois)
What exactly did we learn here that is new - even if this convicted liar is now telling the truth? Nothing. Further, why is this guy getting the benefit of the doubt? He is a convicted liar, he’s going to jail and likely nobody ever will hire him again as an attorney. His only hope is to shill a book. So take this all with a grain of salt - that is not Abe Lincoln in the well.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
Republicans were exposed as Trumps enablers. They didn’t even try to defend him yesterday. They didn’t ask any questions- it was the first time the house did their job in two years and it was quite a juxtaposition to see.
Morgan (USA)
@SAL First, we did learn some things. It may not have sounded "new" to you, but many things have just been speculation and Cohen confirmed them. Second, he's getting the benefit of the doubt because he's been cooperating with law enforcement, lost his law license, and is going to jail. He has nothing to lose. Trump lies everyday with millions dumb enough to believe him, why should this be a problem for you?
Owen (CA)
@Deirdre I completely agree - one of the most important things we learned with this hearing was just how much republicans will give up their duty to the country to defend an out-of-control leader. More hearings like this one, in which the republicans repeatedly show their true side, will help the situation in 2020, I believe.
Amelia (Durham)
It is so important to remember that the lies Mr. Cohen is accused of and admitted to, where lies that benefited Trump. He is going to jail because he did not originally state that Trump committed and/or engaged in the acts that he lied about. So for the Republicans to call Cohen to task, as harshly as they did (may be not unfairly) follows the accusation that they are acknowledging that Trump committed the acts that Cohen originally lied about.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Amelia Yes, and Trump hired Cohen as VP of his organization, and kept him there for ten years. Every bad thing Republicans say about Cohen is a reflection on Trump.
-APR (Palo Alto, California)
@Amelia Congressman Raskin from Maryland said the Republican objections stem from the fact that Michael Cohen has NOT continued to lie for Trump.
cheryl (yorktown)
WAIT for the release of the intensely researched Mueller Report. That's the main thing Democrat should do right now, since they will otherwise be treading in the same waters.
Amicus Publio (Virginia)
As an attorney who handles a fair amount of real estate and insurance matters, I was especially interested in Cohen's testimony that the President had inflated the value of assets for insurance purposes and minimized the value of assets for the purpose of paying real estate taxes. My first question is, how would he know that? He was the President's "fixer". Trump, and more the point, his fairly large real estate organization, will have attorneys, a risk management department (handling all insurance matters) and real estate appraisers in-house to handle those highly specialized areas of expertise. I doubt very seriously that Trump signed off on a value to any piece of property for insurance or real estate taxes without a supporting evaluation from somebody in his organization. Certainly, that "somebody" could be making the evaluation based on instructions but there will be support other than Trump's own opinion for the valuation of every significant asset in the real estate portfolio. It is entirely possible that the numbers are fictional but, if they are fictional, it is a work of joint authorship whose authors will include someone with appropriate credentials. I do not believe that anybody asked Cohen how he knew and his basis (including his expertise) for determining that the values were either inflated or understated. Appraisals are always a matter of opinion. Nobody asked these questions. Why not?
Maggie (Kansas City, MO)
@Amicus Publio part of the evidence were two documents for the same property with different evaluations. That is difficult to explain.
Linda G (Kansas)
@Amicus Publio Why did no one ask, when Cohen admitted to over 500 threats against Trump adversaries, whether he knew anything about the alleged threat Stormy Daniels spoke of in her 60 Minutes interview?
GWB (San Antonio)
@Amicus Publio Excellent catch. Your comment deserves to be a "Times Pick."
Barry Schreibman (Cazenovia, New York)
There's one aspect in all this that particularly sticks in my craw as the son of a working man and now a lawyer representing working people. And that's the part where Cohen admits that among his "fixer" jobs was routinely delivering the message to contractors that Trump was refusing to pay the contractors what they were owed. This was not a sometime thing. It was a systematic way Trump did business: to withhold a portion of payment roughly equivalent to the litigation cost of suing to recover it. Trump knew that the small and mid-size contractors he pulled this scam on would quickly conclude the game was not worth the candle and simply walk away. The result was a debris field of ruined small businesses -- mom and pop outfits whose businesses collapsed because they could not absorb the hit. There was one story along these lines that was extensively reported: a cabinet maker in Atlantic City who went out of business after he was never fully paid for extensive counter work in one of Trump's casinos. You could Google that one. But there are many more. Trump was well known in the NYC legal community for this practice and, since he also stiffed his lawyers in this manner, was a reason many law firms avoided him like the plague. A man of this moral depravity should not be allowed to conduct business of any sort, let alone be the leader of his country. He should be behind bars.
Garrett (NYC)
@Barry Schreibman You are so right, I sat there watching wondering when someone on the panel would stop posturing and simple say to Cohen "prove you are telling the truth, give us ten names of people or companies he had you stiff so we can build a record of his deceit and your truthfulness." No one did. Six random people sitting on a NYC subway car could have asked better questions than this so-called "investigative" committee.
@Barry Schreibman Thank you for this comment. I absolutely agree.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
@Barry Schreibman Trump is part of the economic elite. He doesn't care who is hurt by his refusal to pay for services rendered. Look at how he shut down the government: on a childish whim. For him and his commerce secretary and his family it was a game and a joke. He didn't give a hoot about the people who were hurt by the shut down. (Nor did the GOP although they pretended to as they blamed the Democrats for what their Dear Leader did.)
Brannon Perkison (Dallas, TX)
The Dems can no longer sidestep Impeachment. It is now 100% crystal clear that we have a Criminal running the country. It is also 100% crystal clear that the GOP leadership will do nothing but try to shield and excuse the Criminal's behavior no matter what he does. I have the feeling that the Dems and the few remaining independent Republicans are all waiting for the Mueller report to justify any action against Trump. But that is very cowardly and may well backfire because Mueller is obviously not going to indict the Criminal now and will at most deliver a negative report on "possible" Obstruction of Justice that we may not even see. No, it's time to stand up and impeach the Criminal. He has gone way, way beyond anything Nixon ever did. And that was already very bad indeed.
B A Rhodes (Florida)
@Brannon Perkison Or...wait until NY courts finish with him for all his criminal activities and send him to jail. But, but, but...not before he pays restitution to all those mom and pop businesses he swindled, and to the IRS for back taxes. He and his family of grifters and thugs will go to jail destitute—and without cell phones to tweet!!!
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
Nixon was clearly caught red handed, threatened, and quit in ignominy. Clinton was impeached and served out his term. draw your own conclusions.
Alan Einstoss (Pittsburgh PA)
The extent of Democrats contribution to Americans for over two years. this is how elections are lost ,four more years .
Pine Mountain Man, Esq. (California Dreamer)
Like Trump, Republicans have a brand, and for them it's clearly "brand" above country. If they'd lent their voices to those of the Democrats, we could have been done with this menace in about a month. For shame.
GWB (San Antonio)
I watched every minute of the hearing plus (thanks to recordings) commentary from those political polar opposites, Fox News and MSNBC. Quite entertaining, if you enjoy virtual whiplash. I was not impressed. Not with Cohen. Not with the Democrats’ obsessive Trump hating fixation. Not with the Republicans’ loyal defense and attack. The only person who did impress me was someone sitting quietly behind and to the right of Cohen. Now, Lanny Davis is an impressively interesting political operative. Cohen could not have chosen better counsel. With the Mueller report due within days this hearing was nothing but an irrelevant display of the Democrats’ rancor and resentment. What was the rush all about? That so many commenters here and elsewhere sport their emotional Trump revulsion is quite predictable. The majority were fortified by the orgy. Trump is a bad guy and a bad President. Impeach and convict him. That is how they felt the day before. Nothing changed the day after. “As we become more attuned to ‘real time’ events and media, we inevitably end up placing more trust in sensation and emotion than in evidence,” Davies writes. “Knowledge becomes more valued for its speed and impact than for its cold objectivity, and emotive falsehood often travels faster than fact.” Jennifer Szalai's review is found elsewhere on NYT at Well worth reading.
Chickpea (California)
@Edward Cohen did not put a stake in the heart of the Russian “collusion.” He could not testify regarding the subject because of ongoing investigations. Cohen did not say Trump did not tell him to lie. He explained precisely how Trump indicates what his people should do and say. Fox News counts on their viewers never checking the source material. It’s called propaganda.
Jeffrey Tierney (Tampa, FL)
What is being lost here is the fact that the Republican Party and its followers have become a cancer endangering the country and the world. Trump is just a symptom. The Democratic party should realize the greatest threat to our national security is not ISIS, China, or Russia, but a party that started out conservative decades ago, but has morphed into something unrecognizable and very dangerous. it is time to take the gloves off. The Civil War did not end in 1865, it is still being fought today.
Philip W (Boston)
There is certainly enough for Congress to demand more information such as the Tax Returns and for the Justice Dept to investigate. Impeachment should not be on the table until Mueller is finished. What a disgrace to have a President described in such a way. Cohen has nothing to gain by lying at this point, so I believe him.
Bob81+3 (Reston, Va.)
The democrats were probing for good reason to eventually dethrone the man sitting in the WH, either by early removal, or at the next presidential elections. The republicans were probing to denounce and denigrate a convicted liar, who's on his way to jail, but never once to voice support for the same man who sits in the WH. The moment of irrefutable truth within this whole process came from the words of Congress Cummings pleading for a return to a somewhat normal political democracy, if there ever was one. His comments have so far not received the the media attention they deserve.
Dave Hartley (Ocala, Fl)
The right thing to do is impeachment. Period. It’s time to do what’s right.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Dave Hartley But we can't impeach until we have a big enough majority to impeach. Otherwise it will backfire. Investigate and keep explaining why Trump is unfit.
You want DJT and all the dirty drama that surrounds him go away, go vote in 2020. Go door to door and ask people to vote. Take 2 people with you to vote. Maybe DJT is a wake up call for Americans to not take things for granted, to participate, to keep up with current affairs, to make lawmakers accountable. When my 15 year old engages in a political discussion in the dinner table, I know something good has come out of this Presidency.
Pine Mountain Man, Esq. (California Dreamer)
I thought we'd all be much better off if Elijah Cummings was President. Thats the only guy i saw that I'd trust next to me in a foxhole.
Ken Nyt (Chicago)
So the thesis here is not to begin impeachment proceedings because it might upset all the fools that cheer Trump? Really?
Somewhere (Arizona)
Why bother trying to impeach Trump? He's self-destructing and bringing the GOP down with him. And the Mueller report hasn't even come out yet! Trump will end up in prison with his "brand" and fortune destroyed when it is all over.
J. Alfred (The Beautiful State of Oregon)
"What have I done to deserve such a fate? I realize I have left it too late And so it's true pride comes before a fall I'm telling you so that you won't lose all I'm a loser..." Thank the great John Lennon for the lyric, but this could be Cohen warning anyone who falls into spider trump's web.
Steve Acho (Austin)
Trump is a bad guy, and he's done a lot of dubious things over the years. In my opinion he is completely unqualified for the office of President. HOWEVER, the problem with Democrats screaming for impeachment almost from his inauguration forward is that the general public is exhausted. Thanks to boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome, it really does seem like a witch hunt. Apparently they learned nothing from Republicans' daily calls for the Affordable Care Act to be repealed. One man's idealistic drumbeat is another man's annoyingly loud neighbor. When the Mueller investigation is all over, what if it reveals that Trump did a lot of unethical and borderline illegal stuff, but there is no definitive proof of collusion with Russian agents? I think there is going to be a major backlash from Middle America. Republicans know this, and they are content to play defense. The longer it goes on, the more public opinion tires of hearing about it.
Marianna (Houston, TX)
@Steve Acho If the stuff Trump did is considered "borderline illegal," then may be it means our criminal laws are overly lenient. I think one does not have to dig too deep to find proofs of the Trump Organization being a criminal enterprise. We have heard enough by now to know the facts are there and are not hard to find.
DSS (Ottawa)
@Steve Acho: What you are saying depends on what side you are on. It's not the Democratic Party's politicians that are screaming for impeachment, it's the people screaming for impeachment. What we are tired of is Trump. The more this carries on, the more Republican will lose the 2020 election and the Democrats know that.
GL (Upstate NY)
@Steve Acho Again, like a mob boss, he uses underlings to enact his nefarious doings. That way he can claim plausible deniability,"I had no idea these guys were doing this," and no concrete proof will be found.
Mark (NYC)
I believe Cohen's testimony has made it all but impossible for Congressional Democrats to accept anything less than a public release of the Mueller investigation upon its conclusion.
Marian Librarian (Alabama)
I have some questions. At the end of his questioning, Cohen made a chilling statement that I have to paraphrase - something about not to expect a peaceful transition in 2020. Is there a transcript of what transpired yesterday? I kept the article open until 3pm yesterday and so appreciated the commentary on the side. Is that article still available? Did anyone else hear that?
Marian Librarian (Alabama)
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Marian Libraria I've spent decades following democracies taken over by strongman dictators. Trump does everything that a wanna be dictator does before they abuse emergency powers to suspend the Constitution and cancel elections. Cohen knows Trump very well and says the same thing I have been saying for over two years. I guarantee that the point of using emergency powers to override congresses's power of the purse wasn't the wall, but to test how far he could push emergency powers. Trump is constantly testing the limits on his power to see what he can get away with. So far, We the People are failing the tests. When Trump mused about being "president for life," that was a test. P George Washington turned down king to let We the People create a Constitutional Republic. That makes him the best president ever. Trump says that Trump is the best president ever. Trump wants to do the opposite of what Washington did.
Chickpea (California)
It doesn’t even matter what’s in the Mueller report. Or what legal handles Cohen may have presented yesterday. The man is destroying the country. The damage increases every day. Congress is responsible for protecting our country from an unfit president. Republicans will not defend our country. We know that. At the very least impeachment will serve to slow down the destruction. Wait for the election? Will there even be enough pieces of the democratic process left in two years to have one?
Jay Amberg (Neptune, N.J.)
Let's let the 2020 electorate decide Mr. Trumps fate. The bias on both sides of the House and Senate is so deep I think the fate of nation's future, no matter the choice, should be made us, the voters.
Rex7 (NJ)
@Jay Amberg Us, the voters, made a choice in 2016, and us, the voters, placed Trump in 2nd place, 3M votes behind Clinton. Us, the voters, gave Trump and his party an even more resounding defeat in the 2018 midterms. Hillary would have been impeached by now if only a fraction of the Trump shenanigans had occurred on her watch.
Jay Amberg (Neptune, N.J.)
@Rex7 Thanks for the re-cap on the popular vote I might have missed it. Go out on the stump and change the process of using the Electoral College and I'll be right there to support you. I was a voter too am I included in "us" or am I excluded by "us the voters?" Or does it just depend on who I vote for?
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Nobody can predict what will happen. Trump is a man without conviction and without any sense of obligation to the people of the this nor any other country. He has lived his entire life without being convicted of any crimes even though the evidence indicates that he has probably broken it many times and been able to get away with it due to his money and celebrity. He has routinely failed to perform on his contracts and been able to continue doing business, anyway. Yet, forty percent of Americans are eager to have him make decisions for them and will not criticize him no matter what he does. Unless the situation changes, Trump will not be called to account for his misdeeds. But he deserves to be removed from office. It would be a good thing for humanity if he were not President of the United States.
Eric Friedman (Berkeley)
Didn't the Republicans take an oath to defend the Constitution? Why should anyone believe THEM after everything that's happened in just the last two months, let alone two years?
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Eric Friedman Read the Constitution and compare it to everything Republicans do. They are against the Constitution. "Democrats just want to tax and regulate and spend!" they say, as if it is a bad thing. Democrats should just say, "That is what the Constitution demands in Article I." There is no such thing as a unitary executive. There are the co-equal branches of government. No Compromise with traitors trying to shred the Constitution!
John (Virginia)
I am more interested in what comes out of the Mueller investigation. If anything can prematurely put a nail into Donald Trump’s Presidency then it will be that. Cohen’s testimony is only going to exacerbate the current political divide. In all honesty, I don’t know how the parties want this to play out. Democrats May well want to keep Trump in office until the 2020 election to ensure that Trump’s defeat has maximum impact down ballot. Republicans May be better off if Democrats manage to Impeach and remove Trump.
Keith Ferlin (Canada)
@John Definitely the better course is to have the GOP having the stench of Individual 1 clinging to him. It would be harder to refute a trouncing at the polls.
Dan (Sandy, Ut)
@John If Trump was impeached then we will be left with the fawning Pence. Perhaps the devil you know may be the course, but then again, the divisiveness, the fracturing of our nation politically perpetrated by the MAGA president Pence could be a little more palatable-or not-given his personal views...
Zach (AK)
@Keith Ferlin But then the Republicans will just say that 'it's not us and our orthodoxy, it was that Trump yahoo' and not lose a moment of sleep over the cognitive dissonance.
JSK (Crozet)
I am among the group that considers what we saw another example of political theater, in some ways no different than the Kavanaugh hearing. The stakes may be higher. The Democrats (I am one of them) knew what they were doing, highlighting much of what we already knew about Trump, attempting added public shaming. The Republicans appeared incapable of asking any substantive questions, focusing on discrediting a witness. Maybe it was like watching a Godfather sequel. I am not sure. I do not know if this were a prelude to impeachment--but no president has ever been convicted by the Senate. Expectations should be low. Maybe a more supporters can be peeled when national elections arrive. No doubt Mueller has much more damaging information in hand and some of it will surface. No doubt the Republicans are increasingly (and justifiably) concerned about their political futures.
-APR (Palo Alto, California)
@JSK SDNY is investigating RICO charges against Trump organization (Cohen hint). When SDNY files charges, then Trump, Trump children, Trump Organization, will be in peril. Mueller investigation is likely to expose more wrong doing. If there is enough proof that Republicans fear for their re-election, they will take action. McConnell is a weasel if not a rat.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
The Democrats can't impeach Trump without Republicans, so trying would be self defeating. Keep hammering on Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors until the Republicans decided that protecting Trump is not worth it any more. Keep saying: Trump repeatedly takes the side of a hostile intelligence service against U.S. intelligence whims our electoral systems. That is a High Crime. Trump demands personal loyalty from public servants sworn to uphold the Constitution. That is a High Crime. Trump used the Oval Office good personal profit. That is a High Crime. The list is nearly endless. Let the Republicans keep talking about impeachment. Democrats need to keep repeating the evidence of his crimes.
JSK (Crozet)
@McGloin I think you mean the Democrats cannot convict Trump, a job for the Senate. The House can impeach with a simple majority, without a Republican. Not that it would be a good idea.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@JSK Yes, but what is the point of impeachment, without removal?
JSK (Crozet)
@McGloin It's what happened with Clinton and several others. I'm just clarifying the process, not disagreeing with intent.
Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma (Jaipur, India.)
Once loyal now disillusioned Michael Cohen's angry outbursts against Ttump can be an entertaining fireworks event bur not perhaps a sufficient ground to force the Democrats and the Republicans into action of their choosing. Of course that moment might come when the Mueller investigation concludes its evidence backed report.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Prof. Jai Prakash Sharma Most people don't seem to understand what washappening yesterday. When Cohen said, "I don't know the answer to that question," then the questioner said, "who would," and Cohen replied with a list of names, that exercise opens up those people to be subpoenaed by Congress to answer those questions, under oath. You don't believe Cohen, they will say, then let's ask some others in the Trump business. The Party of liars and criminals thought they could install a liar and criminal in the Oval Office, and the best We the People could do is "political theatre?" The problem with extreme arrogance is that it blinds them to the real dangers of breaking the law.
MidwesternReader (Illinois)
Taking the good from both camps, and leaving the bad, I think it was valid to ask Mr. Cohen why should his testimony be considered truthful. Following up with specific factual questions, as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez did, was equally necessary and equally valid. Emphasizing one without the other offers no foundation for testimony. We are hearing more of the same facts from more sources -- sources whose credibility may not rise above those of Cohen, but represent an increase in the number of witnesses. What will tip the scale toward impeachment, or the lack of it? Facts free of questionable witnesses. And so we wait for the results of Robert Mueller's investigation. I hope, when the time comes, that members of both political parties have the conscience and the courage to act ethically. That may mean Republicans joining Democrats for impeachment. It may also mean Democrats risking a primary challenge from the far Left and declaring that the facts do not warrant impeachment.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@MidwesternReader This is how mobsters are convicted all the time. Who does everyone think testified to the inner workings of El Chapo's crime syndicate, Sunday school teachers and nuns? The thing about "rats" that "flip" is that they can tie together the actual evidence into a compelling narrative. It is the evidence that convicts, but it is the insiders that explain the evidence. Notice that Cohen only had a check, but Trump's lawyer, Giuliani had already said that the check was a payment for hushing up the porn star. As the evidence piles up, it's important to remember that it was Trump's own confessions on TV that are being corroborated. The president is not supposed to take the side of a hostile intelligence agency against our own intelligence agencies! He does it on TV! Committing and confessing to crimes on TV doesn't make them legal. It just makes it easier to prove intent, the hardest part to prove.
JH (Philadelphia)
While it would seem necessary to stake out a position with respect to Mr. Cohen’s testimony, his testimony does not merit immediate acceptance. He already has committed perjury more than once, and while it is difficult to ascertain what his motives might be for lying again, there are myriad possible reasons for doing so again. Despite my having near complete distrust of the president, I hope cooler heads prevail and the Cohen testimony gets tossed in with everything else and the folks directly responsible to make the next moves in DC and NY let it stew for a while.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@JH You are correct, but what the Cohen hearings did was to open up new lines of investigation so that his stories can be corroborated by paper evidence and new witnesses.
james haynes (blue lake california)
The same could have been said before the Watergate hearings and then, whoosh, Nixon was gone. But even then, it was no great longterm gain for Democrats, or loss for Republicans, as Reagan was elected just six years later. The Republic muddles on.
John (Virginia)
@james haynes Impeachment and removal would most likely be a positive turn for Republicans as long as some of them in Trump’s popular districts are not seen as working with Democrats to orchestrate the impeachment. Democrats stand to gain more down ballot from allowing Trump to stay and run in 2020.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@John That assumes that Trump doesn't abuse his emergency powers (which he is already testing) to cancel elections. We don't need to triangulate and try to win a political game. We need to protect the Constitution.
Stevem (Boston)
For Republicans, this is the "come to Jesus" moment. Will they do what's right? It's not up to the Democrats to do their work.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Stevem Republicans don't believe in anything that Jesus said (break the sick, help the poor, the greedy are unlikely to get into heaven), except that they will be forgiven for their sins, so they can keep sinning. So don't hold your breath.
Lei (Florida)
Even if everything Cohen said was true and accurate, what did Trump do to make the impeachment possible? After reading the whole disappointing article I have to say, Trump, even though hated by so many people, did not do anything wrong. The only reason that he is so much hated is not even because he did anything wrong to the country. It is because he sided with the conservatives. I think it is time to place the interest of the country over personal attacks. As the debt is so much out of control, the imperative task of the whole country is to improve the competitiveness rather than the totally meaningless PC.
Rex7 (NJ)
@Lei Campaign finance violations are a felony. Most folks consider that as "doing something wrong".
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Lei Nonsense. Cohen was convicted of crimes and Trump is implicated in those same crimes. Cohen provided paper evidence that showed that Trump was telling the IRS one thing about his finances and filling out forms to get loans with contradictory information. He either lied to the IRS, a crime, or lied to the banks, which is fraud, another crime. He probably lied to both. Trump told the IRS that his properties were worth a few million, then had them appraised for $900. That's tax fraud. Trump is unwilling and unable to put the needs of We the People above his personal self aggrandizement. That is not his job. The job of president is to faithfully execute the law. Trump keeps manipulating the law for profit and power. That means every official decision Trump makes is an act of official corruption. If you look at Trump's behaviour and say "he did nothing wrong," that says more about you than Trump. The scariest thing about this whole situation is that so many American businessmen look at Trump and think "businessman." If you are a small business owner or CEO that supports a pathological liar, tax cheat, fraudster, and traitor (who takes the side of Russian intelligence over U.S. intelligence), please wear your MAGA hat everyday, because I don't want to do business with you. I didn't like Bush, but I didn't call him a traitor or a criminal (until there was sufficient evidence to prove that he lied to get 45,000 U.S. troops killed or wounded in Iraq).
Joakim (Denmark)
@Lei Except using Campaign money to silence a Pornstar? Tax-Fraud? Bank-Fraud?
Howard Levine (Middletown Twp., PA)
Cohen put his signature on a picture the majority of the country has already seen. Are we past the point of just: Impeach Trump/Remove Trump from office? At present, their may be a majority of people in this country that will not be satisfied unless Trump is indicted, arrested, convicted and in jail. Sad reality is that he is going to be a mouthpiece and a menace to America long after he leaves office. Hopefully, SDNY will come up with the goods so the country can begin the long healing process.
Jon Hanna (Athens, Ga)
Trump is not going to get removed from office via impeachment. Today’s GOP are too ethically stunted to allow that to happen. Voting him out in 2020 is the best path towards healing the country from the damage he has done.
Pine Mountain Man, Esq. (California Dreamer)
Just vote the fool and his enablers out. Reduce the Republicans in the Senate at the ballot box, so this country can get on with the heavy lifting only we can do, making the world a better place on a macro scale. We're obsessing with a charlatan while the Earth is burning. The election is only 20 months away, which means tomorrow. Did no one hear Mr Cohen say that if Trump is voted out in 2020, that he (Cohen) feared there would not be a peaceful transition? Why didn't someone follow up on that? Aren't most of them lawyers? We don't just need "lawyers" asking the questions, we need trial lawyers asking them.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Pine Mountain Man, Esq. In order to do that, Democrats have to stop normalizing Republicans by pretending they have something worth compromising with. Compromising with those that are trying to rip up the Constitution is helping them to up the Constitution. Republicans would rather compromise with Russians than Democrats. The establishment's center keeps selling Republican policy and demanding Democrats play along. You can't win elections helping Republicans loot the national wealth, and even if you do, you well just help them lot the martial wealth. Advocate strongly for good policy to win.
Pine Mountain Man, Esq. (California Dreamer)
Trump has as much "charisma" as a street light does to a moth.
Robert B (Brooklyn, NY)
When asking: "For Republicans, Mr. Cohen’s allegations will once again require Mr. Trump’s followers to decide how long they will stand by a president whose actions threaten not only his administration but also the fate of politicians in the party he now leads." The answer remains the same: Forever. It is why through 5 hours of Cohen's testimony the Republicans primary mode of attack was to constantly and repeatedly assert that no one should listen to, or believe, a person who lies. Reason dictated that Republicans should have stayed away from such pronouncements like a high-voltage cable, instead emphasizing Cohen's previous perjury, and showing any inconsistencies in current testimony. Instead the Republicans grabbed that cable and refused to let go, making it their central argument. Since Donald Trump has a history of constantly lying, it means Republicans had no issue in actually making the argument that Trump cannot be believed. It was only possible for Republicans to make an argument explicitly acknowledging that Trump is totally untruthful, (meaning he's guilty of host of crimes), because Republicans calculated that Trump supporters don't care about any of Trump's lies or crimes, no matter what the proof, only potential lies of any who may oppose him. It was actually a good calculation for Republicans to make. Sadly, it showed that the G.O.P. is now a de facto authoritarian party, and that saving the country means stopping the G.O.P. more than stopping Trump.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Robert B Trump gives them permission to Be Worst and they love him for it. They like the lying and fraud. They want to do it too.
D.j.j.k. (south Delaware)
Perils for both parties no way can you add the Dems to this. The Republicans have been very corrupt for decades and anti life by getting us into 1000 year wars supporting the evil NRA and destroying our nation with climate damage by bringing coal back . They support raising the rents in Oregon so high that thousands of people end up getting kicked out of their apartments to live in tents in the parks and in their cars. Oregon people voted the Dems in control so they are voting for rent caps. The GOP are as always supporting the landlords to continue this bad behavior. Impeach Trump now .
Henry (Newburgh, IN)
My take.... 1. Perhaps I'm getting a bit ...old for this nonsense. 2. Out of all the shenanigans and questioning and rebuttals that occurred yesterday, the best questions where asked by .....Alexandria Ocasio Cortez- her questions regarding insurance fraud and bank fraud were spot on. Cohen admitted to participating and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and Bank fraud. Obviously, Mueller and the team have all these details locked up, as well as those eager beavers in the 9th district. It is a distinct possibility that Trump will do real hard time for his crimes.
Glenn (New Jersey)
@Henry It's not you getting a bit old for all this, it is the people leading our country who are.
Amanda (Colorado)
It's pretty obvious at this point that Trump is a very poor example of a person. What dismays me is the blind hatred for all things Democrat that forces a fairly large minority in this country to continue supporting him. Were it a Democrat accused of these things, the Republicans would be screaming for his head.
RLW (Chicago)
Impeachment of Trump, regardless of what is revealed by the Congressional hearings and the Mueller Investigation, would be a big political mistake. We are too close to the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns to begin impeachment proceedings which would result in sympathy for the poor beleaguered president Trump. Indeed, The House should continue with oversight committee hearings and scrutiny of Trump tax returns and any other information that could be made public. The majority of Americans know what a flawed person we now have as POTUS. The Congress should continue to let all his flaws and incompetencies be exposed. Just keep away from the very fraught process of "impeachment". As long as Trump can be hobbled by the Constitutional powers of the Congress, a weakened Trump in the White House is probably better for the country than an impeached president who would be exonerated by the Republican Senate.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@RLW Yes, Republicans moist impeach Trump. Otherwise it will fail miserably.
judyweller (Cumberland, MD)
I watched part of the hearings and saw our congress bloviating. I don't think we learned anything from the hearings which quickly became a circus. That is the problem with high profile hearings like this one - they turn into a circus. Did Michael Cohen tell the truth? I don't know if I can believe anything he said given his convictions. Remember he is trying to salvage something of his reputation too. He basically said what an audience of rabid Democrats wanted to hear. This hearing was one where if you hated Donald Trump you believed everything COhen said. If you supported Trump than you could easily believe Cohen as a sleazy con man and liar.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@judyweller I don't just believe liars either, but Cohen has evidence, and these hearings will see the stage for more evidence gathering. Even if you assume Cohen is a sleazy con-man and liar, why did Trump have him working for him as a Fixer for ten years? The attacks on Cohen didn't make Trump look good. Did you believe what sleazy liar and con-man Trump tells you?
IZA (Indiana)
It is absolutely unprecedented to have a sitting president so brazenly involved with so much illegal and lascivious activity. While Republicans were wringing their hands over Obama's wardrobe, their boy in the WH is a literal criminal and blatant fraud. But they STILL defend him. Disgusting and pathetic. Impeach this LITERAL criminal.
Tiberius (SoCal)
Cohen's art-of-the-squeal is a big juicy nothing burger. Democrats know if he had anything material to divulge, the special counsel would have used it by now. Cohen's "revelation" by calling him a con man racist and a liar will get no traction from the President's supporters. They've been calling him that since day one. It makes Democrats feel better about themselves but scores zero political points. And paying hush money was never a crime. If it was, many congressmembers would be in prison by now. Congress since 1997 itself paid out more than $17 million of taxpayer money from their hush money slush fund.
Moehoward (The Final Prophet)
@Tiberius Oh yes it is, when it comes out of your campaign money, and when it's not declared to the IRS.
Owen (CA)
@Tiberius There is plenty of material evidence that the president broke laws. The Emoluments clause, campaign finance violations. I agree that the absolute base will never be swayed. But there is probably a decent-sized set of folks in proximity to the base that will likely be repelled by this inside-account. So there are some political points to be gained from that. And, the more the republicans dig in and defend that president, and expose for all of us just how far they will go to trash our democracy for partisan reasons only, the more political points will be scored. I'd call it a juicy burger all right .. but it's not "nothing."
Mgaudet (Louisiana)
@Tiberius you say " Democrats know if he had anything material to divulge, the special counsel would have used it by now." Well, Cohen many times said he couldn't answer because it was being used by the prosecutor's office in New York.
Lynne Shook (Harvard MA)
I, for one, am tired of pundits evaluating every new round of information about Trump's misdeeds as being unlikely to change the loyalty of his "base." There is something inherently valuable about trying to get to the truth--isn't there?--even if it takes time to get there. Mr. Cohen's testimony was the beginning of that process, not an endpoint.
RMartini (Wyoming)
@Lynne Shook and yet the comment just before yours, by Dean Moriaty, shows the conundrum. Mr. Moriaty voted for Obama and not Trump but says in the next election he will vote for Trump. If he is switching horses, despite evidence of corruption, racism, incompetence, etc. why would Trump supporters see the light?
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@Lynne Shook Exactly. His base likes that he lies, cheats, and defrauds. Don't care what they think.
Lisa (Maryland)
“Perils for both parties”? What about the danger to our country from refusing to impeach this corrupt President?
Jim (WI)
Cohen says he lied because of his loyalty to Trump. Why did he cheat on millions in taxes and commit bank fraud ? Trump made him do it? How can anyone believe this guy? Cohen is hoping that the democrats will get cut his jail time. Cheating got him in jail maybe cheating for the democrats will get him out.
Moehoward (The Final Prophet)
@Jim "The Democrats" aren't the judge and jury. Only the judge can reduce his jail time.
Owen (CA)
@Jim As a lot of experienced trial attorneys have mentioned from their work in organized crime cases, the credibility of testimony is not precisely tied to previous, lying testimony or character. Otherwise, we would hardly be able to put mobsters in prison, since just about everyone who testifies against them is tainted. Cohen has never before been more credible than he was in this testimony, and the vast majority of those that watched know this, not only because he was corroborated, but because of the character that this president has shown us from even before he took office. It's been in plain sight all along. None of this testimony should be surprising, and it really wasn't for me.
Kathy McConnell (Walla Walla, WA)
@Jim Answer me this, why did Cohen lie for Trump if not for being loyal? And of course, answering why you think he lied proves that you believe not only that Cohen has lied, but in doing so, assisted in covering up President Trump's lies . This is the Catch-22 for Republicans. Trump associated with Cohen because they held the same value system. Cohen's crimes for which he is going to jail mirror the kind of crimes Trump admires and commits himself. Hence, he kept Cohen on the payroll for ten years. If Trump didn't like how Cohen acted, it was his responsiblity and right at anytime to fire him. That he didn't is proof that he loved Cohen's criminal behavior working on his behalf. When Republicans said Cohen was lying yesterday in his testimony and that they preferred his earlier lies, than they are saying that what they really admire is the kind of criminal activity that Cohen and his boss, their party leader, have been committing for years. Not an admirable stand.
cherrylog754 (Atlanta, GA)
Just leave things up to Speaker Pelosi. Seems to have a game plan in place and is now in the works. As far as the Republican Congress goes, it's, "be afraid, be afraid". No plan, just defend their unscrupulous leader and hope for the best.
Rick Gage (Mt Dora)
Let's look at the big picture. The Republican's peril is that they have become irrelevant to governing, checks and balances and the countries interest overseas. The only peril for the Democrats is timing. Giving the hands that have been dealt by the crooked casino owner I would say the Dems have the winning hand.
Ellen NicKenzie Lawson (Colorado)
So it was 14 months after John Dean's testimony that Nixon was impeached? Of course John Dean wasn't going to jail soon as a liar. On the other hand I believe he did go to jail too. So the next 14 months are crucial, which of course brings us to the 2020 election year.
Kodali (VA)
I urge the democrats not to take the path of impeachment unless there is a real impeachable offense. Otherwise, you will be as guilty as Republicans.
Garry (Eugene, Oregon)
Mueller’s report when it confirms Cohen’s testimony could be the tipping point for Americans. If Trump actively colluded with Russians to win against Clinton — would that be the tipping point? I hope so.
Barking Doggerel (America)
In this column and the comments thus far, there is one perspective missing. Cohen stated that Trump never really wanted to be or expected to be president. It was all about branding, marketing and money. Perhaps. But I think Trump's ambition and the support he gained were fueled primarily by something else: Barack Obama. Trump ran for president because Obama made fun of him at a White House Correspondents dinner. He was publicly humiliated and everything thereafter has been about revenge. It's why he is reversing Obama's work and legacy piece by piece. It's why he stuck to birtherism. He deeply resented that a black man could be president at all and then being insulted by Obama was the final straw. And a very significant portion of his "base" feels precisely the same way. They didn't care about policy. They just couldn't countenance the thought that a black man was in the white house.
IZA (Indiana)
@Barking Doggerel I COMPLETELY agree with you.
Trackster (San Diego)
Yes, this is fundamentally what it all comes down to. It is what drives everything in America frankly.
Garry (Eugene, Oregon)
Racism has devastated and divided our country for centuries not to mentioned justified slavery, Jim Crow laws, police brutality and the jailing of millions of people of color, etc. That Trump is a racist is not a surprise. How could anyone reasonably deny Trump’s racism given so many credible news reports? But Trump is not the source in the Republican Party—for decades racism sustained the political power of Republican Party — starting early on with Nixon’s cynical “southern strategy” when he courted racists as a winning political strategy. Too many Republican leaders turned a blind eye to Trump’s own racist campaign —and now on this Judiciary Committee — because it wins elections.
There (Here)
All of our leaders are corrupt to varying degrees, at least Trump is trying to secure our borders, make peace and maintain the economy, what else can we possibly ask from him...... We elect politicians, not saints
Amanda (Colorado)
@There Frankly, I'd settle for electing a decent human being.
Susan (Iowa)
@There Except he is not able to do any of these things... except talk about them.
Owen (CA)
@There I don't believe our president is doing any of those things: 1. It's been shown through credible data that a "wall" is not the best way to shore up border security. It doesn't matter that he dismisses the data as "lies" because the data doesn't lie - he does. 2. His overtures at peace are clearly just posturing. He goes to North Korea and quickly proclaims the threat is over. After it becomes obvious that this was not the truth, he returns and then walks out the next day. Instead of supporting a deal with Iran that many other countries ardently supported, he trashes it and walks out, which can only bring the region closer to war. 3. His "maintenance of the economy" consists of a massive tax cut for corporations and the rich which have ballooned the deficit to heights we could never have imagined. What we can ask of him is to actually take action to accomplish those three things you mentioned, and we can also ask him to behave like an actual leader of our country, instead of a partisan hack.
Dave (New York)
I don't care that Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, that she is not perfect, and that GOP's and Dem's think she is out of her league. She asked the MOST devastating ,most thoughtful, most informative questions of anyone on the committee. It was her questions that revealed Trump's magic real estate numbers and tax fraud schemes most clearly and the names of those associated with them. Thank you AOC!
Tom (Hudson Valley)
@Dave Thanks for posting the video. It should go viral. Oscasio-Cortez was clear, articulate, and effective. Very impressive.
njglea (Seattle)
I don't care if you don't care, Dave. She's smart and is simply doing the job she was hired/elected to do. Stop trying to elevate her to star status. It will destroy her. Or maybe that is what you want?
Dave (New York)
@njglea Thank you for your interesting, insightful, and intuitive rejoinder. It's certainly fodder to ponder.
su (ny)
Does cohen lied again or not really , that is Republicans concern? If the guy lied about Trump, AS we know him ( he sued Bill Maher for defamation) he will sue Cohen till the last penny. Will he, what we heard was lie. Was any American president last 70 years stay respectable and credible after this type of allegations? Bulger or Gambino were even described than this in court rooms.
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
The "liberal wing" of the Democratic Party is not clamoring for impeachment. That's a Republican trope used to stir up right-wing voters and encourage left-wing voters to make a mistake. Rushing to judgement over Cohen's testimony is the biggest favor Democrats could possibly gift Republicans during an election season. Right now, Republicans look like complete fools in their handling of Cohen's hearing. If you rush to impeachment, liberals validate their claims of unfair treatment and lack of credibility. Did Cohen offer impeachable evidence? Yes. However, he also mentioned a lot of names worth investigating. Pull out the subpoena pen and lets see where Cohen's testimony leads. First up: Allen Weisselberg
Mgaudet (Louisiana)
@Andy and second is Don jr.
Edward (Honolulu)
This article is too ridiculous to believe. Cohen put a stake in the heart of Russian collusion, but you won’t find that here. He also denied Trump told him to lie to Congress. We do have some narrative about Trump giving Cohen his first tour of the White House and pointing to the paintings on the wall as if it was another midnight moment of madness when Nixon had Kissinger kneel down with him before the Presidential portraits to whom he started talking to. But the ultimate absurdity is the quote from Representative Rashida Tlaib, Democrat of Michigan about how terrible it must be for Cohen to realize that “a man you worked for for the past 10 years is using the most powerful position in the world to hurt our country solely for personal gain.” I never realized she was the conscience of America. Too bad her race-baiting attack on Meadows during the hearing backfired, and she had to apologize.
@Edward He did not deny that Trump told him to lie to Congress; he said that it was implied that he should. Any four year old with instincts and experience understands the weight of implication. And applaud Tlaib, whom I find I find inexperienced and somewhat naive, for calling out a standard practice in the Republicans PR wars. She said something everyone knows and thinks. Another act of inference there... see a pattern? She then got a slap on the wrist for speaking the truth.
DR (New England)
@Edward - Cohen was a lackey who handled Trump's dirty personal business. It doesn't seem surprising that he wasn't involved in the Russian debacle.
GMooG (LA)
@BMM "Any four year old with instincts and experience understands the weight of implication." Sure. But adults, especially those of us with legal experience, know that nobody gets convicted solely on what B inferred from what A said, without more objective proof of intent
James (St. Paul, MN.)
We still have enough honest journalists who will continue to document the ongoing obstruction of justice, lying, cheating, racist behavior, and proud ignorance of the entire Trump family of grifters and their enablers. Nothing matters more to Donald Trump than his falsely-earned reputation as a brilliant negotiator, highly successful businessman, and marketing genius. We must hope and pray that he and his family will finally go away if faced with widespread public proof and acknowledgement that his entire life story has been a complete sham.
David Kesler (San Francisco)
The outrage is that Mr. Trump is a climate change denier. The outrage is that Trump has stolen money from my self and children to enrich himself and other billionaires. The outrage is that Trump is a blatant racist and white supremacist who through deregulation and support of a corrupt medical industry is endangering the lives of people of color and those who cannot afford health insurance. That is the outrage. In all other respects the Oligarchs that are currently hijacking our country are using Trump as a distraction. And its working. Trump is Al Capone, John Gotti and Bernie Madoff packaged in orange clown hair. It couldn't be more obvious. Democrats need to focus like laser beams on real issues and get these thieves back into the holes from whence they came as soon as is possible.
Steve (Denver)
The real hero to emerge from these hearings was Elijah Cummings. Listening to his final comments restored some of my faith in politicians and his thoughts on leaving a "better democracy" for our children were truly inspiring.
Matthew (New Jersey)
There are no "perils", rather there is only one ethical, responsible path: impeach this criminal. And prosecute ALL those that aided and abetted him. Imagine how impossible it would be to have a criminal operating completely out in the open representing our nation. We are supposed to respect that? Tolerate that? It is an impossibility that should never be entertained nor swept under the rug in some horrific political calculation. The republic CANNOT be headed up by a criminal.
JerryV (NYC)
What an insipid headline, "Impeach or Defend"! As with most presumed dilemas, there are usually additional choices. Mine is to allow Trump to continue in office to face the American voters. He needs to exit the same way he came in. Impeachment is madness. There is no way that the Senate would assemble a 2/3 majority to convict. In such a case, Trump and his supporters would claim his innocence, and his supporters would win.
Matthew (New Jersey)
@JerryV So your plan it to allow a criminal with dictatorial tendencies to further entrench himself in an office with incredible power. Nothing could go wrong with that plan.
JerryV (NYC)
@Matthew, You have a better choice? Impeachment will not work because the Republican-dominated Senate will not convict. And the 25th Amendment is seriously flawed, Read: "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President." The Vice-President AND a majority of the Trump-appointed Cabinet Officers need to initiate this. Does anyone really think there is a chance of this? The only possible value of the House initiating impeachment proceedings is that based on the Nixon and Clinton experiences it will take a long time for these proceedings to play out and perhaps it might pre-occupy Trump in defending himself. Of course, if he found himself cornered, he might do some even more dangerous things.
Gary Gress (Calgary, Alberta)
Cohen is now saying the opposite of what he was sent to jail for. They can't both be lies, so the Republican argument is self-defeating.
Always Larry (Utah)
Was Mr. Cohen 100% truthful yesterday before Congress? I can't say for sure, but what would help in sorting all of this out is to have Mr. Trump answer the same questions under oath. So far, Mr. Trump has refused to do so. Who then is America to believe?
su (ny)
What was that Louisiana guy doing here, he confused the Duck dynasty show. He said he doesn't know Michael Cohen until the yesterday! It is sure Trump is really choosing best man for defending him.
Dan Kravitz (Harpswell, ME)
Impeachment is a mug's game; it's easy, but conviction in the Senate is not just hard, it's impossible. The Democrats should stress the rule of law. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that a sitting president cannot be indicted. The Democrats should unite and state that 1) All investigations of possible criminal activity by Trump, whether Federal, State or Local, should continue unimpeded. 2) If evidence of crimes are found, Trump should be indicted, just like any other American. 3) If indicted, Trump should be tried. 4) If convicted, Trump should be sentenced. 5) After all appeals are exhausted, Trump should serve his sentence. That's what happens to Americans who break the law. This removes the political issue, gives Democrats the high ground and gives the American people a clear path to justice. Dan Kravitz
Ann (Dallas)
"Republicans on the panel from conservative districts have little to lose." For the life of me, I don't get that. How about their good names, their place in history, their basic human decency, their self respect? They are selling their souls, and they can't even defend Trump other than to point out that his personal lawyer for ten years is exactly what you would expect a personal lawyer for a mob boss to be. Cohen brought the checks, and the Republicans had no credible countervailing narrative to raise at the hearing -- nothing -- other than to attack Cohen and point to a lone black person who allegedly doesn't hate Trump. What do they have to lose? The right to like what they see in the mirror. Since when is self respect nothing to lose?
William Case (United States)
Michael Cohen is sorry he got caught committing bank fraud and tax evasion and is on his way to prison, but blaming his problems on Donald Trump is absurd. Cohen wasn’t charged with paying hush money to Stormy Daniels; that was not illegal. He was charged with making an excessive campaign contribution. The $130,000 paid Daniels exceeded the $2,700 individual limit. If that had been his only offense, Cohen would have paid a fine calculated as a percent of the excessive amount. Instead, Cohen got his sentence on the bank fraud and tax evasion charge reduced by implicating Trump in the hush money payments. Cohen did receive a two-month sentence for lying to congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, but the sentence will be served concurrently with his three-year sentence for bank fraud and tax evasion, which means that Cohen, in effect, will serve no jail time or lying to Congress So Trump is spending less time in jail—not more time in jail—due to his work as Trump’s personal attorney.
Amanda (Colorado)
@William Case Paying hush money to anyone to influence an election is illegal.
William Case (United States)
@Amanda Paying hush money to influence an election is not illegal. If Cohen had paid Stormy $2,700 to buy her silence instead of $130,000, he would not have been charged. If you disagree, cite the law that prohibits it. The FEC has ruled that candidates cannot use campaign money to pay personal expenses that a candidate might pay even if she or he were not a candidate. But there is no law against candidates making such payments out of their own pocket, even if the expenditures enhance a candidate's chance of wining election. It would be illegal for a candidate to make hush money payments out of campaign contributions, but not illegal if they paid out of their own pocket. The documents that Cohen presented show the hush money came from the Trump Organization, not the Trump campaign.
Amanda (Colorado)
@William Case 13-35-214. Illegal influence of voters.
DB (Central Coast, CA)
Between now and 2020 elections, let us, the American public, hold our elected representIves accountable for the myriad ways in which they have - or have NOT - upheld their sacred Oath of Office. This Oath is their solemn pledge to place country ahead of party: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” This Oath has served our country well for over 200 years; so help us God, may it continue to do so.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
Leona Helmsley: only little people pay taxes. Donald Trump on dodging service in Vietnam: You think I'm stupid? Dick Cheney on Vietnam: he had "other priorities" Bill Clinton: saved from the draft by enrolling in ROTC. Of the four listed above three of them had derogatory things to say about 99% of us who do not have a ton of money to arrange things our way. Two of them are hawks who love to show off their power and might. Two of them have served as leaders of our country. One of them has lied at least 1000 times while in office and after being confronted with his own words. (Yes we know Clinton lied about his liaison with Lewinsky but it's not the same as the lies Trump has told.) I do hope that the GOP realizes that they have damaged themselves beyond repair with a great many Americans and that the president they blindly support has damaged America's reputation. Then again, they didn't care before about America, why should they start to now?
Deirdre (New Jersey)
When they speak about Trump in the future it will always begin with the statement “No one knows why a corrupt, tax cheat, con man like Trump couldn’t be happy with his money but needed to seek power as well”. Donald Trump is a corrupt, grifting, self dealing, tax cheat whose only accomplishment is a tax plan that enriched himself and his cronies at the expense of his base.
bea durand (planet earth)
"Republicans still loyal to Trump..." That is a bogus statement if ever there was one. These Republicans are loyal to the enrichments they get from their positions in Congress. They do not want to get kicked off of the gravy train so it's stay quiet or make noise and fake outrage at how the president is being treated. All for the base, all for the money.
Pat (Somewhere)
@bea durand Exactly correct. If Trump knew history he would know that the GOP also stood by Nixon long into Watergate...until they didn't. Then they turned on him and he was out of office in a matter of days. If Trump is mistaking pure self-interest for loyalty, he will be in for a nasty surprise.
Amanda (Colorado)
@Pat Oh, I think Trump is well aware he doesn't have anyone's loyalty. He's counting on blind support of his base to keep the GOP from deserting him. Eventually it's not going to work.
John Watlington (Boston)
@Pat But we don't know what Putin has told Trump he has on the Republican senators. We have very good reason to believe that they took known Russian money from the NRA, and from Russian mobsters who've bought US citizenship. All it takes is proof of that felony to buy their complicity.
Penseur (Uptown)
They both no doubt will do what their chief funders tell them to do.
Brian (california)
I'm hoping Cohen's testimony peels at least a bit of the staunch support away...I mean c'mon, really?! This is your guy? We didn't need Cohen to tell us DJT is a conman, thief and liar. But if you really support him after this, that is deplorable, no question.
Taxlawguy (Calgary)
All I can say is that while Trump is very far from a model President, or even human being - Cohen's testimony was all sizzle and no steak. Yes, yes, Trump is a phony billionaire who had an affair with a porn star and paid her off to avoid affecting his election chances, etc etc. But really, how does this compare to a head of state making a decision motivated by politics to put pressure coupled with intimidation and threats - and eventually demotion - on his attorney general to grant a sweetheart deal to a politically important company in a province that contains his main base of support? This is what Justin Trudeau did in Canada - it is a real issue. We get it - you don't like Trump - but Trudeau's actions make Trump's look like nothing.
Ben (RI)
@Taxlawguy Did you just do "but what about Trudeau?" Amazing! I mean we've all heard "but what about the Clintons?" and "but what about Obama?" a thousand times, but this is breaking new ground, sir! Kudos!
PubliusMaximus (Piscataway, NJ)
@Taxlawguy We here didn't elect Trudeau, we (with a little help from Vlad) elected a grifting, failed casino owner and mail order meat salesman. Your problems pale in comparison.
RLW (Chicago)
@Taxlawguy O Canada. I thought Canada remained a civilized country while America has slid into the Swamp under the leadership of Donald Trump and the Current Republican Party. Are there no honest political leaders anywhere in the world?
Kevin C (Missouri)
How unsurprising it was to learn that Trump would send his stooge to bid on a picture of none other than Trump himself, just to make it look like it was the most wanted piece in the auction. Even more unsurprising was to learn that he paid the exorbitant price with other peoples donations to his charity! What a horrible excuse for a human being!!!
RLW (Chicago)
@Kevin C Now he doesn't need a "stooge" he has the whole Republican Party.
BobMeinetz (Los Angeles)
The perils for political parties pales in significance compared to the perils for the United States of America.
silver vibes (Virginia)
Republicans will be more intransigent than ever in their support of the president. They're prepared to support the president's emergency declaration for a border wall, putting him above the Constitution and swearing fealty to him rather than the Constitution. Republicans may not like what they hear about the president but there's little chance that they'll abandon him. Republicans will also ignore Cohen's warning about their attachment to this president and the dangers of blind faith to a faithless leader. Democrats want the oversight of a rogue president that Republicans denied the country for two years. The truth is something the Republicans aren't interested in. Yesterday's hearings were a microcosm into the next two years before the 2020 election. It comes down to truth vs. obfuscation.
RLW (Chicago)
@silver vibes Let the current Republicans in Congress continue to support the very flawed Donald Trump. That support will be used against them in 2020.
Elysse (Boston)
So before yesterday's hearing he was lying(and going to jail for it) but now he's telling the truth. Why should anyone believe anything he said yesterday as he's proved he's a liar? There's a narrative for everybody!
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood, NM)
@Elysse....When he lied to Congress the first time it was to protect Trump and there-by keep his position in the Trump organization. Now that he has plead guilty and is going to jail for a period of time already defined, what purpose would he have for lying again, which I might add could risk additional jail time?
Rick (Louisville)
@Elysse His lies to Congress the first time were to protect Trump. That's one motive he no longer has. If he lied yesterday, he faces more jail time. If Republicans think he lied yesterday, they haven't done anything about it yet.
Morgan (USA)
@Elysse Trump lies everyday with plenty of people dumb enough to believe him. So what is the difference?
Christy (WA)
The biggest test is for the GOP. If Republicans, bar a few never-Trumpers, continue to support and protect the worst and most unfit president we've ever had, the party is doomed.
Oliver (New York, NY)
If Mueller’s investigation uncovers misdeeds that rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors then, yes, the Democrats should start impeachment proceedings, but only under those conditions. Otherwise, there could very well be a backlash, which could put Trump in the White House again.
Owen (CA)
@Oliver I have to admit, I'm a little torn about this. I want desperately to believe that the process of impeachment, even if we know that it won't lead to removal because of the senate, will shine a great deal of light, sort of like this testimony did. The question is whether it would lead to outrage, and more democratic votes, or would it lead to exhaustion, and less? I can only imagine there is an army of data-gathering analysts testing that, perhaps through polling, right now. I would love to see the results of their work.
M Davis (Oklahoma)
He came across to me as a very sleazy guy. It was comical how he acted so hurt when told he was a liar.
@M Davis - He is a sleazy guy. That's why Trump employed him for 10 years. Sleaze attracts sleaze.
NLL (Bloomington, IN)
@M Davis Are you referring to Trump?
terry brady (new jersey)
The GOP will pay the historian in indelible, forever terms for allowing Trump (the crook) to run roughshod in constitutional matters big and small. Trump is on an irreversible path to become the final explanation for "separation of powers" and why an Imperial President cannot survive US Constitutional review. The GOP needs to be reconstituting with a name and leadership change ASAP. Every GOP stalwarts will need to exile themselves to Elba. Frankly, the Constitutional founders knew all about petty despots and authoritarianisms.
Dave (New York)
@terry brady I think we can add all those who supported the Vietnam War and the Iraq War and insane weapons systems to that list. In addition we can include the self-dealers who continuously value capital over labor and support tax breaks for the wealthy and powerful at the cost of decent lives for the average citizen.
manta666 (new york, ny)
Trump can only be defeated at the ballot box. Democrats will have to show more discipline than they may be capable of to defeat him. Time to abandon the purity tests, dear SJW's and come together behind a candidate who can win and end this nightmare.
Justice Holmes (Charleston)
Republicans don’t care about lying and corruption. They are rolling toward setting up the nasty mean spirited country they have always wanted and Trump has given it to them. He once said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad day light and his supporters would still support him. He was right. They just don’t care! He hates who they hate and they are comfortable with that. They ignore that most of them are people he has no use for and that he is committed to amassing as much $$$ as possible and helping his friends to do the same. His base won’t see much if any of those $$$ in fact they will lose health care, social security, jobs and much more. And he does it all with a Bible in his hand...a Bible about which he knows little.
me (world)
Axelrod is right, but by extension, the Republicans also must make a Legal decision by supporting Trump: Cohen was convicted for lying to Congress already, so if the Republicans think he lied yesterday, will they ask DOJ to prosecute him for lying to Congress again? And if not, why not? Put your prosecutorial money where your mouths are, Republicans, and put up or shut up! If you are so convinced he lied under oath repeatedly yesterday, then back it up by seeking prosecution -- or by not doing so, admit that your accusations of Cohen lying yesterday are just silly pandering to your base, because of course that's all it was. Cohen was right - they will suffer for doing so just like Cohen did; all they have to do is look at their colleagues who lost in November, and realize that if they're in a swing or even semi-safe district, then they're next in 2020! Jim Jordan will survive, but many others will not.
Naples (Avalon CA)
@me True, me. And if they prosecute Cohen for lying to Congress, then they need to prosecute everyone who has lied under oath, including Whittiker, Sessions, Trump Jr. Ksuhner, and Kavanaugh.
Elysse (Boston)
@me just as an aside, that "prosecutorial money" is actually taxpayer dollars which whether or not are being used wisely for hearings like this is subject to debate. Unfortunately, the taxpayers don't get a seat at the debate table on this!
paperfan (west central Ohio)
@me Jim Jordan will survive for one reason only. He occupies a highly gerrymandered district. It snakes from just south of Dayton up to Lake Erie and into Elyria outside of Cleveland. Reverse gerrymandering and he'll tank.
malflynn (Phuket, Thailand)
Cohen was genuinely horrified at having to lie to Melania for Trump - that much is clear.
Ziggy (PDX)
Democrats simply need to keep up the investigations. The voters will eventually decide on impeachment.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
The Grand Old Partisans completely disgraced themselves, completely abandoning their Constitutional Oversight duties yet again, preferring to character-assassinate the massive iceberg as the Trump Titanic cargo holds fill with ocean water. “I’m responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you’re doing now, for 10 years. I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years. I can only warn people — the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering,” said Michael Cohen to the Trump-GOP party hacks. Never have truer words been spoken about the worst Confederates this country has seen since 1861. Party First: Country Last. The 2019 Civil War Republicans always come through with a fresh new civil war.
Penseur (Uptown)
@Socrates: If Cohen makes it to one of the country club federal joints, it may not be so bad. Just think! He can improve his tennis game on the newly, clayed courts and further his education in the company with former judges, congressmen, bankers and the like. I believe that there are even charming little cottages for weekend conjugal visits.
christineMcM (Massachusetts)
" “I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years. I can only warn people — the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”" Michael Cohen seemed like the poster child for a cult follower who suddenly wakes up and sees the light. Throughout Donald Trump's campaign and presidency, through all the investigative journalism, exposes, and interviews, I've marveled at the staunch loyalty he's enjoyed from his supporters. For me, it's amazing that the more evidence about his unfitness for office, the more he's loved and defended. Examples abound in history of leaders like this, charismatic men who can lift crowds for their own often evil ends. But as an American with a still-free press, I find it so weird, and dangerous. I agree with Mr. Shear, I doubt in our age of extreme partisanship Cohen's testimony did much to change minds firmly made up. But I do hope Democrats, walking a slippery tightrope, can combine urgency with facts and good judgment to do the right thing as we hurtle towards 2020.
McGloin (Brooklyn)
@christineMcM Trump gives his supporters permission to Be Worst, and they love him for it. They love him BECAUSE he lies, BECAUSE he cheats on his taxes, BECAUSE he calls Neo-Nazis "fine people." The more evidence they see of Trump's crimes, the more they love him. First subtract all of Trump's criminal base from the equation. Then find the middle of who is left. That is where Democrats need to aim their policies asked rhetoric. I'm not voting for anyone who wants to compromise with traitors. I might vote for a Democrat. No one that still supports Trump ever will. Democrats should keep that in mind when you talk about moving to the fake "center."
See also