Now that I have recovered from binge-watching the Cohen hearings, I thought I would make a few comments.
First, it was a spectacular disaster for the Republicans, as countless commentators have noted. The only Republican member of the Committee who uttered a word in defense of Trump was North Carolina’s very own Mark Meadows, who brought in a Black woman who works for the White House as evidence that Trump is not a racist. I mean, really? Rashida Tlaib took Meadows on about that and made a real rookie error that demonstrated that she is not ready for prime time. As she should have known, it is a long established custom and rule of the House that Members cannot make attacks on other members. There are all manner of elaborate rhetorical tropes that Members use to get around this rule, but she violated it by calling Meadows a racist. This allowed Meadows to protest, and the Chair, the splendid Elijah Cummings, was compelled to side with Meadows and soothe the troubled waters. I must confess I was not impressed with Tlaib. Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, used her five minutes splendidly to elicit from Cohen a list of people who should be called to testify to one or another specific bits of Trumperie. Well done!
As everyone has said, the high point of the entire day was Cohen’s dramatic production of the check, signed in Trump’s distinctive hand in the White House, for one-twelfth of the reimbursement to Cohen for the payoff to Stormy Daniels. This was magnificent theater, and will be replayed uncounted times for years.
Now, a little complaint. Among the many bad things Cohen said he did for Trump was to write a series of threatening letters to Trump’s high school, two colleges, and the College Board warning of law suits if they released Trump’s grades. Now I know this is not at the top of most people’s lists, but I really salivated when Cohen said that and I wish someone would follow up.
As for Cohen himself, I am an atheist, so I am not required to believe in redemption. Cohen is a dirtbag, regardless of whether he loves his wife and children, but he is now our dirtbag, and God Bless Him.
All in all, it was a day well spent.