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Did Michael Cohen Just Put The Final Nail In The Russia Coffin?

Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress was a complete disaster.

He’s previously lied so many times that people on both sides of the aisle say he cannot be believed.

But here’s something really interesting…..

It was EXTREMELY clear yesterday that he had one intention in his testimony to Congress:  to take down Presiden Trump.

True or not, he threw the kitchen sink at him.

But here’s what’s really interesting to me:  even as he was making every accusation under the sun against Trump, there were a few key allegations even he wouldn’t make:

1.  He says he has no evidence of Russian collusion.

2.  Trump never told him to lie.

3.  He has never been to Prague (contradicting a key claim in the infamous Steele Dossier).

Folks, those three things are the absolute nail in the coffin to the Trump-Russia Collusion story!  

If even Michael Cohen wouldn’t go on record about those, then they just don’t exist.  Period.  

Here's more analysis, from Town Hall:

After describing Cohen's words as "extraordinarily negative" and very blunt," I offered this analysis:

The "portrait/straw purchaser" story is recounted on page 12, and Cohen furnishes supporting documentation.  On another key point, it's unclearwhether the 'hush money' payments to women constitute a prosecutable crime, and I've expressed deep skepticism over the idea that they're impeachable offenses.  It should go without saying that none of this speaks highly of anyone involved, but the legal and political implications must be examined separately.  More thoughts:

Cohen says he believes Trump wanted him to lie to Congress (Cohen did just that, of course, which is part of the reason he's headed to prison), but there was no order or directive to do so.  He also says he cannot provide any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.  He says he has his suspicions, but has no proof.  He also says that Roger Stone relayed that Russia-linked Wikileaks was going to dump damaging emails about Hillary Clinton prior to the election, but Cohen's telling of that story suggests that Trump was an outside observer, not a participant.  My concluding message: "I personally suspect much of this statement is true, though Cohen is unquestionably a deeply embittered and disgruntled former employee with an enormous axe to grind. He’s also been convicted of lying under oath. I take anything he cannot definitively prove with a chunk of salt."  

During the hearings, Republicans repeatedly reinforced that Cohen is a self-serving, sleazy liar, but every blow against him also landed as indirect strikes against the man who employed him for so many years.  As others noted, there was almost no effort mounted to debunk or poke holes in the specific claims Cohen made about Trump, which is telling in its own right.  This might be a problem for Cohen, however:

If he's still lying under oath -- this time pandering to a new audience, in furtherance of a new narrative, for his own selfish purposes -- that would blow up his already-tough-to-swallow "coming clean for the country and civility" act.  In a battle of unreliable, slimy narrators, it's very difficult to know whom to believe.  In short, today's proceedings have been very embarrassing for Trump on a number of fronts, but in terms of new information that could imperil his presidency, it's been something of a high-drama dud.  Indeed, in some important ways, there were Trump-helpful elements of Cohen's testimony.  As mentioned above, he said he had no evidence to offer on collusion.  Cohen also rejected a discredited, explosive report about Trump suborning perjury, and helped discredit a major piece of the Steele dossier (which claimed that Cohen had traveled to Prague in pursuit of Russian collusion-related dealings).

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