I found Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee troubling and laughable and distasteful. With respect to the rationale proffered for his turn against Trump, though, what an unctuous liar. Unfortunately, the Democrats have much more of this coming down the pike. This was only a preview of coming attractions. They seem to be moving on from collusion to the Trump Organization and so on. Can’t we all just get along?
In one important respect Cohen’s testimony was helpful to President Trump. Unless you were watching, however, you probably missed it. I refer to Cohen’s denial that he had been to Prague during the campaign, a key component of the so-called Steele Dossier. Cohen supposedly went to Prague to work out the details of the Trump campaign’s collusion with the friends of Vladimir Putin.
I gave Greg Gordon and Peter Stone of McClatchy News my award for the fakiest news of 2018 in recognition of their story on Cleta Mitchell. I think that Gordon and Stone deserved extra credit for “Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier” (April 13, 2018) and “Cell signal puts Cohen outside Prague around time of purported Russian meeting” (December 27, 2018). I doubt it, but we shall see.
Tucker Carlson was watching Cohen’s testimony. The April McClatchy story about Cohen’s trip to Prague made a cameo appearance in his entertaining monologue last night (video below at about 02:10, transcript here). As Tucker reminds us, the dossier and related news stories were good enough for John Brennan. Brennan serves to remind us in turn that this all started with an Obama administration counterintelligence investigation and alleged collusion with Russian authorities on the part of the Trump campaign.