Michael Cohen Already Exonerated President Trump

Scores of Democrat activists disguised as journalists have had their hair on fire since Donald Trump won the election. Every week brings another outrage, from the travel ban to separated illegal immigrant families. From Stormy Daniels to Robert Mueller. From President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un or Vladimir Putin to his slap-down of the EU.

Each manufactured outrage is another potential way to damage Trump, to chip away at his base of support, lame attempts to separate Trump from his supporters. If his tweets, demeanor, or personal life decades ago were enough to turn voters away, he would be polling in the teens and his rallies wouldn’t fill a high school gymnasium. Instead his support is quite the opposite.

Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen is the latest Willy Wonka golden ticket for the cable news magpies to salivate over. They finally got Trump. Fire up the impeachment panels, prepare the gallows.

The Hill provides a glimpse into the wishful thinking that Michael Cohen is their winning lottery ticket with this headline, “If Cohen is telling us the truth, Trump may end up like Flynn.” I’m not sure who reads The Hill other than the Washington DC branch of NeverTrump Club.

Good luck with that premise. The reality is that it’s Cohen who might end up like Flynn. Flynn was indicted for lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador during the Trump transition period. He discussed sanctions against Russia and UN Security Council resolutions, all appropriate conversations for an incoming administration to have with a foreign power. That’s what the transition is for, to provide time for the new administration to get up to speed for the job ahead.

Flynn’s problem is that he didn’t remember what he said to whom on separate occasions, hence “he lied to the FBI”. Ask me on different days who I spoke to and details of my conversation from weeks ago and I may provide a slightly different answer each time. Is that a lack of a photographic memory or am I a liar?

What did Michael Cohen say last year, before he developed new memories about the infamous Trump Tower meeting? Did his new Clinton-fixer attorney Lanny Davis refresh his memory or did he insert a new memory chip into Cohen’s spine? Or did someone make him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

Let’s go back almost a year to when Michael Cohen was a guest of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. on September 19, 2017. I am presuming he was under oath and that as an attorney, he understands what that means.

Cohen adamantly denied his own involvement with Russia.

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack anyone or any organization.

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack or interfere with the election.

I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to hack Democratic Party computers; and I have never engaged with, been paid by, paid for, or conversed with any member of the Russian Federation or anyone else to create fake news stories to assist the Trump campaign or to damage the Clinton campaign.

He then went further in his Senate testimony, exonerating President Trump.

Given my own proximity to the President of the United States as a candidate, let me also say that I never saw anything - not a hint of anything - that demonstrated his involvement in Russian interference in our election or any form of Russian collusion.

I'm certain that the evidence at the conclusion of this investigation will reinforce the fact that there was no collusion between Russia, President Trump or me.

He then provided a concise summary of the entire Russian collusion story including the Mueller witch hunt.

I'm also certain that there are some in this country who do not care about the facts, but simply want to politicize this issue, choosing to presume guilt - rather than presuming innocence - so as to discredit our lawfully elected President in the public eye and shame his supporters in the public square ... this is un-American.

You can oppose the President's points of view and his policies, but not raise false issues about the validity of his victory.

I'm very proud to have served Donald J. Trump for all these years, and I'll continue to support him.

So was Michael Cohen lying before the US Senate or is he lying now with his Clinton attorney pulling his strings? If he was lying before the Senate, that’s called perjury and he could indeed find himself in the same predicament as Michael Flynn. If he is lying now, he is simply making a fool of himself and discrediting anything else that comes out of his mouth.

Besides, Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed off the Michael Cohen case and raid on his office to the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York. This is the same office of the ethically challenged Chuck Rhoades on the television show Billions and his recent real-life counterpart, fired US Attorney Preet Bharara.

If Mueller had the goods on Cohen or thought he would be useful in his case to bring down Trump, why would he pass him off to another jurisdiction rather than keeping Cohen as his own personal John Dean?

Back to this week when Michael Cohen claimed, “Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting.” After the breathless CNN headline, based on “unnamed sources,” they begrudgingly admit, “To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.” Great, the account of a man who said the exact opposite under oath less than a year ago, with no corroborating evidence. Such a credible witness.

Now what? Was Cohen committing perjury when he exonerated President Trump late last year? Or is he talking a good game in the hopes of making a favorable deal now with the SDNY? Would he rather honorably protect his former client and attorney-client privilege or become the darling of cable news in similar fashion to Michael Avenatti?

Mr. Cohen is playing a dangerous game. Those falsely accusing or maligning Donald Trump have not fared well, from his primary opponents to his modern day detractors. Cohen won’t be an exception.

His exoneration of Trump last September in front of a US Senate committee, while under oath, should put this issue to rest. The Trump Tower meeting is a nonsensical distraction, one of many meetings, some with foreigners, most without Trump’s knowledge or involvement. No crime, only noise, confirmed by Michael Cohen’s sworn testimony. Case closed.

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.


Graphic montage by Monica Showalter. Image credits: IowaPolitics.com, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0 and Martin Dürrschnabel, via Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 2.5

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