One thing was clear early on in Michael Cohen’s appearance Wednesday before the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee, the disgraced lawyer is intent on playing the poor helpless victim at the mercy of Donald Trump.
Cohen said President Trump had an “intoxicating” presence and that he followed him “blindly,” protecting Trump for 10 years.
“It seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong,” he said at one point.
When questioned by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., Cohen was asked, “What was the breaking point, at which you decided to start telling the truth?”
(Other than threats of jail time.)
Sounding conspicuously like he was regurgitating Democratic Party talking points, Cohen spoke about various events that occurred under President Trump, such as the president’s Helsinki press conference and his reaction to Charlottesville.
Getting cocky, he began to push his luck when he essentially called all of Congress liars.
“I’m responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you’re doing now. For 10 years.,” he said. “I protected Mr. Trump for 10 years. And the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and you want to use that as the premise for discrediting me, that I’m not the person that people called at 3 o’clock in the morning, would make you inaccurate.”
“In actuality, it would make you a liar,” he continued. “Which puts you in the same position that I am in. And I can only warn people, the more people follow Mr. Trump, as I did blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”
Cohen would somewhat contradict himself when he followed that by saying, “I didn’t go to work for Mr. Trump because I had to, I went to work for him because I wanted to.”
It was clear that Cooper was giving Cohen a platform to express himself, asking him about concerns he had for his family’s safety.
“When Mr. Trump turned around early in the campaign and said, ‘I can shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and get away with it.’ I want to be very clear. He’s not joking. He’s telling you the truth,” Cohen replied. “You don’t know him. I do.”
Inexplicably, he then said, “I’m the one who started his campaign,” adding that there are many things Trump is doing that “are great.”
“But this destruction of our civility to one another is just — it’s out of control, and when he goes on Twitter and he starts bringing in my in-laws, my parents, my wife, what does he think is going to happen?”
He said Trump is sending the message that he can do anything he wants.
“He’s becoming an autocrat and hopefully something bad won’t happen to me or my children or my wife so that I will not be here and testify,” Cohen added. “That’s what his hope was, to intimidate me.”
He again said his job was to protect Trump, as was everyone who worked for him.
And again, he called all of Congress liars.
“Every day, most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something, and that became the norm, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now in this country, and it’s exactly what’s happening here in government, sir,” he said.
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